In December I posted to a thread at the fanlistings message board where a member was advertising their little hosting business. Replying to several other members who were ooh-ing and aah-ing at the prices, I pointed out that they weren’t that great and that after commotion regarding other generic teenybopper hosting it might be wise to go with a real, registered company. At about the same time Gemma questioned how valid the Terms and Conditions were when several “hostees” were using images that they obviously didn’t legally own.
In typical over-sensitive TFL style, several people piped up on how it wasn’t nice to degrade people publicly, blah moan blah whine blah cry. I didn’t actually see the majority of the responses right away because I was busy enjoying my Christmas, and by the time I came back there was no point continuing or developing an argument that was purely based on opinion. It’s rare that people will change theirs therefore rendering any discussion pointless. If people consider having an opinion — whether negative or positive — a form of degradation that’s their own problem (one that they’re perfectly entitled to write about, and I’m perfectly entitled to mock).
Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is what stemmed from Gemma’s original comment… a discussion (if you can call it that) on using images that don’t belong to people. It can be summed up by saying the general residing opinion is “it’s ok to steal images, because it’s the Internet and everyone does it“. Bear in mind this same discussion is happening on a forum that has it’s own “OMG STEALERS” section where certain members call thieves “sick” etc (a term that I tend to reserve for extreme crimes such as child prostitution and murder; how nice it must be to live in a world where sick crime is a bit of layout theft).
How fucking hypocritical is it to bitch that some delusional celebrity-obsessed fool has jerked off your layout that consists of someone else’s ugly face and a few uncredited textures and brushes and then turn around and say that it’s ok to steal because everyone does it? If it’s ok for you to steal pictures and photography, then it’s ok for people to steal what you produce. Or are there double-standards reserved for teen webmasters and fanlisting owners now?
Update (19th Jan): I rest my case…