[sumo] Mark Buckton is attacking Le Monde du Sumo !!!

Scott Kahn smk1 at columbia.edu
Fri Nov 3 14:56:38 EST 2006


Nicolas,

This discussion is above the level of what used to be the Sumo World 
flame wars, so I won't go there.

Copyright infringement is copyright infringement, no matter what your 
good hearted intentions.  I applaud you for taking the time to bring 
sumo to fans like me.  But once you jump into that arena, you are 
responsible for following "laws", just or unjust as they may be 
perceived by you to be.  You can not control what other magazines do, 
only your own.  I think that you may have misunderstood my point about 
money.  It is those who go to Japan to take the copyrighted pictures 
that end up spending money.  If they decide to copyright their pictures, 
why should they bear the costs for anyone else to use these pictures?  
No matter how big your heart, and how dedicated you are to bringing sumo 
to sumo-starved fans, and how much we appreciate the sacrifices that you 
make on our behalf, you have to respect their copyright, and their 
decision to enforce it.  Whether it be one photograph or hundreds.

My suggestion is that in lieu of cash transactions, you attempt to 
negotiate with suppliers of pictures with some kind of bartering 
arrangement, ie posting of links, or that you, yourself try to obtain 
advertising to raise funds to pay for pictures, or, heaven forbid, 
charge a subscription fee to your magazine.  That would be a win-win 
situation for all.  Even if you are not able, your articles will draw 
you fans without your having to rely on pictures.  If your readers know 
of your labor of love, then you might even be able to recruit people in 
Japan to help you get your own pictures.

Business, research, unfortunately, is cold, and labors of love are not 
given that kind of credit, no matter how deserved.  I love what I do,  I 
think I am good at it, and I suffered greatly when my work was 
appropriated by someone in one of the highest positions at one of the 
highest institutions in the United States.  I could literally have made 
my case into a federal one (Congress asked me to present it as a worst 
case example of abuse in scientific research), but I made a conscious 
decision at the time, not to.  Now, when I apply for grant applications, 
I can't attach a note saying that I do prostate and breast cancer 
research out of the good of my heart, and because of my sacrifices, that 
I should be given preference over all others.  While perhaps deserved in 
my own mind, I can't make the rules.  And the rules are that grant 
applications have to go by the book.

In much the same way, I suggest that your labor of love continue as a 
labor of love, and that you honor all rules.  That is your 
responsibility.  Now, perhaps sumofanmagazine or some others might cut 
you some slack down the line knowing that you are not trying to compete 
with them, and that positive publicity in your magazine works for 
everybody.  But until you get such an agreement, you need to play by the 
rules, just like I do.  Again, you don't know the reasons why others 
choose to enforce copyrights, and as such you can't judge.  You can only 
go along with your own magazine, do your best, and stay positive.  That 
will win you the most respect from fans.  I think there is cyberspace 
for multiple sumo magazines, especially when they are of different 
primary languages.  I suggest that instead of sinking to flame wars (we 
get enough of that now on TV in the USA with nauseating commercials for 
political candidates for the upcoming election on Tuesday), that you 
take the high road and try to work this out for you, for 
sumofanmagazine, and for all sumo fans in general.

I hope this comes across in the positive manner in which it was intended.

Sukubidubidu

Nicolas Schuler wrote:

> Thank you all for your kind (or not) replies.
>
> As Skubidubidu is speaking about money, here's another line : how 
> could we afford to pay anything to anyone, when we don't receive a 
> single euro for what we are doing on our free time, most of the time 
> to the detriment of our family lives, and just for the satisfaction to 
> bring people to read about sumo ?
> It actually costs us money to run the website...
>
> And I perfectly understand your point of view as a scientist... but 
> here again, there are no thousands of dollars.
> All we get sometimes are messages from people who read what we offer 
> them, and say "hey, thank you for this work", or "I haven't had the 
> opportunity to read French since High School, but now I took back my 
> old school books in order to understand what you write".
> And I don't think I ever read "wow, your pictures are great, that's 
> what I like most in your magazine"... that must be because people come 
> to read our magazine mainly for what we WRITE, and not for all the 
> pictures they can see inside !
>
> On an opposite side, we only ONCE used (and it was a mistake, as I 
> didn't know) a picture that belongs to SFM. And, as you can see, I 
> removed it immediately upon their request, apologizing, etc.
> Shouldn't they be satisfied with it ?
>
> Or do they want something more... ?
> Are they so megalomanic that they would want to become the ONLY source 
> of information available on the internet, and for this make us 
> disappear because we are getting too much attention ?
> I don't have the answer...
>
> And if you set "law" aside, just for one moment... how do we harm 
> newspapers, from which we "borrow" our picture ? Our issues come 
> online many weeks after the release of the pictures on the internet, 
> so there's no scoop here ! And by the way, how many people would chose 
> not to visit these sites , which most of the times they wouldn't visit 
> at all because they don't read japanese, and prefer to wait for our 
> issues to come ?
> And what about Nihon Sumo Kyokai ? Do we harm them, by helping 
> popularize sumo in countries where alsmot NOTHING exists to read about 
> sumo ?
>
> I really don't understand why people keep on trying to destroy 
> everything that's disinterested and without commercial purpose...
>
> salut,
> Nicolas
>
>
>
> Scott Kahn a écrit:
>
>> I would like to chime in with my 2 yen's worth.
>>
>> There is a cost consideration in obtaining photographs, not to 
>> mention the time that is taken to post them as part of the magazine.  
>> When these photographs are "borrowed", after being copyrighted, it is 
>> really in effect stealing them, no matter how benevolent the intention.
>>
>> While one can argue whether on line material should be subject to 
>> copyright laws, the truth is, that these photographs do have 
>> copyright protection.  And, as such, permission to use them should be 
>> obtained for the cost reasons that I mentioned above.  So, Le Monde 
>> was wrong to use them without first obtaining permission.
>>
>> How might this be settled?  That is up to sumofanmagazine and Le 
>> Monde.  If Le Monde has burned any trust that sumofanmagazine might 
>> have in them, then that is too bad for Le Monde.  As a sumo fan who 
>> starves for any information and who appreciates deeply the efforts of 
>> all who bring this wonderful and delicious sport to all of us, I 
>> would hope that this could be amiacably worked out between the 
>> parties involved, because I don't know that the average sumo fan 
>> really cares about such issues.  They just want to enjoy and feel 
>> that the sumo domain is for all to appreciate.
>>
>> Some suggestions-  Le Monde pay sumofanmagazine for the rights to use 
>> their photographs, either a subscription to their photo base, and/or 
>> some other venue to help pay for costs.  This may include publicity 
>> for sumofanmagazine in Le Monde, credit next to the photos, links to 
>> sumofanmagazine, etc., etc.  Since sumofanmagazine could use such 
>> good publicity, this would serve to broaden their fan base, if the 
>> feelings toward Le Monde are not irreversable at this time.
>>
>> I guess that I can relate to the situation as a scientist.  Say that 
>> I come up with an idea and I publish it in a copyrighted journal.  
>> Then, someone comes along and takes my publication, copies it, and 
>> publishes under his own name.  Would I be angry?  You bet.  And this 
>> is not a dreamt up scenario.  A department director did this to me 
>> and profited off of it by stealing and republishing my work as his 
>> own and obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money by 
>> submitting a grant application with my work, behind my back.  Should 
>> science be free to the masses?  You bet.  But not at the expense of 
>> those doing the real work because I have a career and a family to 
>> support.
>>
>> Sukubidubidu
>>
>> moti wrote:
>>
>>> >>>>This issue started at the beginning of this week, when him and 
>>> Ms Klein
>>> contacted me, to let me know that we had been using a picture on which
>>> Ms Klein has a copyright, asking for removal and apologies.
>>> Which I did to Ms Klein, sending a copy to Mr Buckton.
>>> (you can check, there's now a red disclaimer on page 28 of MDS#18)
>>>
>>> It is true that we never asked newspaper websites and the like that we
>>> were "borrowing" pictures from them. But we never ever made any single
>>> euro on this ! Our only purpose is to provide non-japanese people with
>>> information concerning our common passion : sumo.
>>> And we always asked "private" people for permission to use some of 
>>> their
>>> photos when we wanted some.>>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I for one couldn't care less if anyone used my pictures that are 
>>> publicly posted, as did happen when Sadogatake were here. I'd 
>>> actually be more than happy to oblige anyone asking for permission 
>>> to use them, and probably wouldn't mind running into them on sites 
>>> that didn't ask..
>>> But I am a private person, and my livelihood does not depend on 
>>> anything Sumo-related. Hence, I can't judge anyone who is in a 
>>> position where his livelihood may or may not be jeopardised.
>>> OTOH, there are a few more internet magazines, video sites, news 
>>> sites (cough..cough..) and forums out there that use copyrighted 
>>> photos, not to mention blatant rip-offs from copyrighted articles.
>>> I fail to see why the French magazine is any different in that respect.
>>>
>>> Kintamayama
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Sumo mailing list
>>> Sumo at webtrek.com
>>> http://www.webtrek.com/mailman/listinfo/sumo
>>>
>>
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