A significant update to an earlier presentation on strategies for maximising photography in modern, digitally enabled corporate communications environments.
Download the presentation here.
Read the related BitDepth column here.
What would I have to do to pursue my rights as the creator of creative work visible on the Internet?
I'd have to track down the people responsible for the infringement.
I'd have to explain to them that what they had done was wrong and that I expected redress.
I'd have to follow up that with a formal letter and request for payment.
I'd probably have to hound them down for days, weeks or even months if, and only if they actually agreed to pay the requested fee.
If they didn't, I'd then have to institute legal proceedings, quite likely at a cost entirely out of proportion to the value of the infringement, mostly to make a point.
So, I decided to just make the point.
I thank Edmund Prince Nurse, RPA Production of the Downtown Carnival Magazine and even the former Mayor of Port of Spain, Murchinson Brown, who gave his blessings to the project, for helping me to realise that the only approach worth taking would be to learn from the small merchants who have had to deal with microfraud for years, and to pin their crimes to a virtual wall.
Nurse and his artist at RPA Production directly engaged in the theft of my photo of Destra, done exclusively for the Guardian magazine Womanwise, by failing to exercise due diligence over the ownership and rights to the image they so casually used.
In addition, my image had a watermark, identifying me as the author and copyright holder and my web address, which would allow anyone interested in contacting me to do so, purposefully removed.
Former Mayor Brown, you are culpable for endorsing the work of thieves of copyrighted works.
You stole my photo. This is what happens when you do that.
Will we win anything? Who knows? A number of the entries are print shovelware, PDFs of printed documents livened up by online Flash-based presentations and I don't think that's what the judges will be looking for.
But we're also up against some formidable web-based competition, projects with much larger launch budgets than ours (our launch budget was, shall we say, minimal) and much splashier presentations.
What we do have, I sincerely believe, is honesty, authenticity and passion. It should be no secret that Outlish is buoyed almost entirely by the energy and dedication of its contributors, none of whom has drawn a cent in renumeration for any of the 25 issues we have published so far.
Each of the contributors is a digital native and implicitly understands that online publication of anything of value is a slow, steady process of winning a critical mass of readers and the project is doing exactly that. We're sliding up steadily toward 9,000 unique visitors per month and most of those readers are repeat readers, folks who come back again and again to a project that reflects their interests and aspirations.
For those who haven't visited Outlish.com, it's a simple focused magazine. We talk to young people who are entrepreneurial in their outlook across a wide range of disciplines.
This entry is a key point in our development, I think and winning anything is almost beside the point. Outlish online is focused, rich and engaging. It's not for everyone, but it resonates with those who align with its principles and outlook. Our project is confident, capable and robust and there is no contributor to Outlish who feels anything less than pride in what this collective of contributors has achieved by sheer force of will and determination to succeed.
Kudos to our webmaster, Ndelamiko Lord, who recovered from our first hacking in record time and got the site back up with enhanced security and to our bold leader, Karel McIntosh whose sense of organisation makes doing Outlish such a joy and whose vision was so comprehensive and clear that she rallied a group of contributors together behind it with what seemed like no effort at all.
To my colleagues at Outlish I offer a genuine and heartfelt salute for their hard work, to Karel, Quilin and Ndelamiko, I tip my hat to your efforts at keeping the show running so seamlessly. To our readers, I say thank you and hey, bring friends when you visit the Outlish next time around!
What do I find? My photograph of Mungal Patasar, done for Caribbean Beat at his home.
Why am I pissed? Because if someone from the San Fernando Jazz Festival had asked, I would have given them permission to make use of the photo, probably in return for... complimentary tickets?
What's going on here is a simple thing that's almost impossible to fix, I think. If you're producing a print project and you don't know where the photographs came from, then as the client, you have a responsibility to ask, because they came from somewhere.
Because when people like me come calling full of righteous anger, we aren't going after some scrunting graphic designer with a heart full of drop shadow, we're coming after the people who earned the real money from the project, we're coming after you.
Britt's going to kill me if I ever end up at another Microsoft event for posting this image of her with her eyes closed. This is the crew that organised my working days at Microsoft's recent Innovative Education Forum in Panama.
The Caribbean gets lumped in with Latin America for these global events and I don't speak Spanish, so these three multi-lingual communications professionals make it possible for me to actually get stuff done.
We had a long, amusing chat after they pointed out to me that "No habla Espanol" is actually wrong, it's supposed to be "No hablo Espanol."
"Hah," I argued, "But if I really don't know how to speak Spanish, then habla is exactly right, it underlines my ignorance with semantic irony!"
This, believe it or not, is the kind of conversation I have with these ladies.
From left, they are Britt Peemoller, who I met at the launch of Vista, Sarah DiDonato from Microsoft, who I met for the first time in Panama and Pilar Metzler, with whom I had the considerable pleasure of hanging out in New York for the launch of Office 2007, San Diego for the Partner conference and this year, when she did her very best Helen of Troy imitation at an event for which the dress code was, apparently, white.
This photograph of Nikki Crosby was done as a promotional image for Gayelle the Channel and while it's quite easily found on Facebook and Flickr, it's clearly watermarked, so the artist who put together this, um, creative collage would have had to remove my clear notice of copyright before merrily carrying on with stealing my work.
Shame on you, and shame on Randy Glasgow, who in promoting creative talent, shouldn't be allowing his artists to steal it so handily. I'm pretty tired of folks who casually steal my work. It's a terrific hassle to chase after miscreants, who for the most part don't want to pay, so I'll happy hang their efforts in this little gallery of copyright infringement shame.
Discussing my political blog posts with host Cedriann Martin and guest Raymond Ramcharitar.
Both are here: http://lyndersaydigital.com/brain/dump_files/PM_plan.html and here: http://lyndersaydigital.com/brain/dump_files/punditry.html
The Morning Edition after
Absolute Political Punditry
The Virtual Town Hall
A brief telephone interview with the Morning Edition's Andy Johnson about my blog post on May 19 calling the T&T election five full days before the polls opened. View the post here: http://lyndersaydigital.com/brain/dump_files/punditry.html
The Morning Edition after
Absolute Political Punditry
The Virtual Town Hall
Since the original post, I've added notes on the winners, the missed calls and the margins of the wins.
My appearance as the first guest on the first show of Gayelle's new morning show, Gayelle.com which aggregates information from Internet contributors and sources.
Ten years after his sudden passing, it seems that there is much to lament today in the loss of the prodigious talent of Aldwyn Roberts, who wrote, sang and worked in his chosen profession for more than 60 years after getting his first break at a tamboo bamboo calypso tent in 1937.
In an era in which the successful careers of most performers in the soca arena are measured in months and there is little interest in becoming the kind of well-rounded musician, arranger, promoter and extraordinary composer that Kitchener was, it’s worth remembering the sheer scope of the man’s legacy and the enormity of his contribution to the Carnival landscape.
The man was no kaiso elitist. In the England years, between 1948 and 1963, Roberts worked his behind off, building his reputation and a small calypso empire fuelled by frequent performances, a nightclub and investments in properties even as he sent songs back to Trinidad and Tobago to let his fans know that he still had his sting. ‘Nora Nora Nora’ and ‘Trouble in Arima’ were songs from this period, music strong enough to succeed without the man present to sing them.
On his return to this country in 1963, he immediately staked his claim on the Road March, the anthem of each year’s Carnival celebration and the most forthright expression of a People’s Choice award anywhere in the world.
His combination of topicality, wit, and astonishing arranging skills landed him the award ten times between 1963’s ‘The Road’ and ‘Flag woman’ in 1976.
By then, the musical emphasis of Carnival on the road had changed and the impact of the steelbands for whom his music was so emphatically composed diminished in importance on the streets, replaced by brass bands and music trucks as portable generators finally became small enough to be practical on the road.
He remained, however, the pan arranger’s darling, his music gliding off the shimmering surfaces of hammered steel with a sweetness that has rarely been matched then or since.
Between ‘Mama dis is mas’ in 1964 and ‘The Guitar Pan’ in 1997, steelbands were victorious in the Panorama competitions with his music an astonishing 18 times.
While servicing his existing constituencies, Kitchener the composer proved a restless, ready observer of the music around him. He incorporated jazz credibly in ’12 bar Joan’ created one of the great lavway laments in ‘The Carnival is over,’ and cemented the relevance of soca for disdainful calypsonians with ‘Sugar Bum Bum.’
Roberts was a calypsonian’s calypsonian, and his Calypso Revue was nursery, school and finally home to a surprising number of today’s calypsonians who got their start at the tent and remained loyally with Kitch after they became successful.
In 1964, its first year of existence, four calypsonians from the Revue competed in the Calypso Monarch finals; Kitch, Nap Hepburn, Bomber, and Blakie, with Bomber taking the crown.
In 2000, after his passing, the Dimanche Gras stage was also commanded by a startling percentage of cast members of his tent, including Sugar Aloes, Crazy, Pink Panther and De Fosto, each of whom performed in a red suit and hat styled after Kitchener’s trademark stage uniform.
Lord Kitchener may be lost to us, but his influence and legacy remain. His son, Kernel, has grown into a potent musical force and serves as a composer, musical director and as a remarkable arranger for Machel Montano’s HD family.
He is father’s son, but he is also his own man, adapting his rhythmic talents to the fast moving world of modern soca and creating, among other songs, the JW & Blaze hit Palance, which musically riffs off a bridge formulated in the Brassorama competition to move from one song to another during the competition.
The enormity of Lord Kitchener’s influence on the music of Trinidad and Tobago is still to be fully evaluated. In 1996, an attempt was made at Queen’s Hall as an Honour Performance of the man’s work was mounted by a virtual who’s who of contemporary performers, from the boy group Blak Mayl to the Marionettes Chorale.
The lessons of Kitchener’s life offer rich example for today’s calypso and soca performers. This was a man who was, at every stage of his career, a remarkable mix of entrepreneur and artist, a composer, arranger and singer who accepted everything as an influence and created something unique out of all that he saw and heard.
Aldwyn Roberts was adaptable but firm in his style – there was never a Kitch calypso that sounded like anyone else’s – and he remained vital and relevant throughout six decades of the artform’s development.
His was a daunting example, a mountainous legacy worth climbing in deed.