Crabby Old Lady has two complaints (well, she has many more, but two will do for today) that relate to blogs and computer program designers. Here goes.
Crabby has whined before about scrapulous scraper websites that steal her stories and attach Google ads, but she never expected to find it from an elderblogger. Crabby was shocked to see an entire TGB post republished without citation or link, and presented as the blogger’s own.
On thinking it over, Crabby wondered if perhaps bloggers (of any age) who haven’t had the need in their pre-blogging lives to concern themselves with copyright might not understand that people (and corporations) own the rights to their original written and graphic work – in any medium including online – and it cannot be used without permission.
So, in the interest of education, Crabby will enlighten those who need it.
No one may reprint another’s work without permission, and presenting it as your own is plagiarism. Period. In general, that’s all you need to know. However: one of the exceptions to copyright law is called the fair use doctrine which allows snippets of copyrighted material to be used with citations to indicate those are not your words and in the case of blogs and the web, it is polite – and expected - that a link be provided to the original work.
Links are the life blood of blogs. Without them, blogs could not exist. They are both what hold us together and help us move out around the World Wide Web to find new and interesting things. Quotations are crucial for passing on the good stuff, but using another person’s words without acknowledging the source and linking to it is not acceptable.
You’ll find more than you ever wanted or need to know about fair use at Wikipedia.
Adobe Photoshop Elements
When Crabby suffered a big-time computer crash last year and needed to reinstall programs, the disc for Adobe Photoshop Elements, which she has happily used for many years to tweak photographs and create graphics, was lost.
There are other photo/graphics programs and some are free, but Crabby longed for Photoshop Elements. She knows it so well she could almost operate it blind – and now it appears that is how Adobe expects her to use it. The newest version she bought looks like this:
Don’t be fooled by the small image. Full-screen size is just as difficult to read. In previous versions, the program was designed with the normal dark text on white background. Now Crabby can’t read the links, labels and dropdown menus.
She emailed Adobe explaining why Photoshop Elements 6.0 is unusable and asked if there might be a version an old person could use. She received a terse, one-sentence reply saying they will not be redesigning the user interface.
No "sorry" from Adobe. No offer of an old version with reverse colors. Just “Screw you, Crabby Old Lady. We've already got your money.”
Most people older than 40 have trouble reading light text on a dark background and even people who are younger complain. Do you suppose it doesn’t matter to Adobe, supposedly a commercial enterprise with the goal of profit?
Having wasted her money on what she considers defective design, Crabby has been testing free photo programs for several months. They are each adequate in their way, but slower or missing features Crabby likes in Photoshop Elements. Grrrr, says Crabby Old Lady.
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Just Nobody Now explains why (he's) Not Eliot Spitzer.]