The Kritic

‘Internet’ Category


Can I use it?

Internet Piracy

Can I Use It?Source: wesd440/TKK

Inspired by Elisha.

If, while walking down the mall, you see a person sitting on a garden wall and beside them on that wall you noticed a loaf of bread you wouldn’t just pick up the bread and walk off assuming it was free would you? No, of course not, you would assume that the bread belongs to that person. You could certainly ask the person if it’s free to take and use it or if it’s for sale and that is exactly the way it is with the Internet. Only the loaf of bread is a photo, a picture, a song or an article or some other item.

Some people may not realise that just because it is on the Internet does not mean it is there for the taking. It does not mean it is free or if it is free it does not necessarily mean it comes without legal conditions of use. Even some things you pay for, such as stock images, can come with conditions of use.

Some may even argue that because it is on the Internet it is in the public domain. The public domain is “the state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, especially through not being subject to copyright or other legal restrictions.”[1] With regards to copyright law the term “public domain” actually means “belonging to the public” rather than “available to the public.” So therefore a work may be available to the public without belonging to that public.

“In the sense of intellectual property, works in the public domain are those whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. For example, the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, and most of the early silent films, are all now in the public domain by either being created before copyrights existed or leaving the copyright term.”[2] In most of the world, the default length of copyright (copyright term) is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years.[3]

Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?[4] “Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools.”[5] One of these tools, the Creative Commons License, helps you to legally access the knowledge and creativity of content creators thereby allowing a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. The easy-to-understand copyright licenses make it simple for you to know what you can and can’t do with content from the Internet. A Creative Commons licence does not necessarily mean the creator gives up their copyright. It simply means permitting you to make use of their material in various ways, but only under the specified conditions.

For example, if you were to go to the "About"[6] page on this Blog you would find the following:

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

Which means that I license my work, here on The Kritic, for you to “Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format” under the following terms:

Creative Commons License BY NC ND terms

Creative Commons license BY,NC,NDSource: Creative Commons

Creative Commons Australia suite of CC licences version 3.0

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licensesSource: Creative Commons

What Is Fair Use?

In Australia "Fair Use" is referred to as "Fair Dealing" by the Australian Copyright Council.

The Australian Copyright Council states:[7]

There is no general exception for using copyright material simply because you think it is fair or because you are not making a profit. The Copyright Act allows you to use copyright material without permission if your use is a "fair dealing" for one of the following purposes:

  • research or study;
  • criticism or review;
  • parody or satire;
  • reporting news; or
  • professional advice by a lawyer, patent attorney or trade marks attorney.

Stock Images

There are plenty of Stock photo websites to be found where you can purchase royalty free images. They can supply many formats such as photos or illustrations or even video. Do not commit to a particular stock photo, illustration or video unless you understand the license agreement. There is always fine print for your license so make sure you read it. Some stock photo services reserve the right to revoke your license at any point and this can be problematic if you have built your theme around your purchase.

Actual Free Photos

Yes, there are websites that offer free photos. Most of them offer low resolution and often poor quality photos. Some of the photos may even be someone else’s intellectual property, stolen from somewhere else and offered on the free photos website. Another problem that is often seen with these websites is they come with an unusually high amount of advertising and can often require quite a few clicks through various pages before you get to the promised image.

But in saying that, there are the exceptions and one of those is “Pexels”. Pexels offer their stock of photos with a Creative Commons CC0 license[8], which basically means that the original owner of the copyright has offered the work with “No Rights Reserved” thereby placing the work as completely as possible in the public domain.

Which means you would see this:

Public Domain
This work is licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication.

So, Can you use it?

Yes, No, Maybe!

Look, Read and/or Ask!


The information in this article is provided as a general introduction to copyright. If you need to know how the law applies in a particular situation and you do not understand the license then please seek legal advice.

[1] Public Domain Definition –
[2] Public domain –
[3] Copyright Term –
[4] Creative Commons –
[5] Creative Commons FAQ –
[6] The Kritic » About –
[7] Australian Copyright Council Information Sheet G079v07 Fair Dealing –
[8] Creative Commons CC0 license –

No OptusWhen I relocated to the mainland I continued to use the mobile broadband from Optus that I had been using for over a year. There was one small change in that I started using Amaysim as my service enabler. They utilise the Optus network for their service and the change made for better customer service, far better pricing and not dealing with Optus customer service.

On Saturday the 14th April at about 11.30am I encountered a problem.

Something changed. I was happily working away on my blog and the internet disappeared. I had signal. I did all the checks. It just wasn’t there.

I contacted Amaysim tech support team and they had me jump through the regular hoops. All to no avail.

The Amaysim team then elevated the support request to Optus for their “Advanced Technical Assistance”. Which is Amaysim’s procedure for when there is a suspected hardware issue that Amaysim have no control over.

Optus came back to Amaysim with: “Have the client check the Sim card, Dongle, PC etc. etc.” (As it couldn’t possibly be their fault.)

So Amaysim tech support had me replace the SIM card, Try an alternate dongle and try a different PC. No problems my end so Amaysim went back to Optus again for their “Advanced Technical Assistance”.

Optus advised Amaysim that they had to initiate an investigation into the matter and will get back to them in 2 to 5 working days.

On the 5th working day I called Amaysim support and they contacted Optus for an update.

Optus advised Amaysim that they “position their towers to cover main roads not residential areas” and that “Because the client is located on the coast…” there is a high amount of moisture in the air and that the Optus signal is affected by Swamp gas from a weather balloon that is trapped in a thermal pocket… and refracted the light from Venus.(MIB)

What they actually said in this last part was “Because the client is located on the coast and there is a high moisture content in the air there the Optus mobile data signal is affected by the high moisture content and this can cause unreliable data streams.”

I asked the Amaysim team member if he believed what Optus had advised. He diplomatically stated that it was the information that was provided and that he had to work with it.

The response from Optus was disappointing. I once again pointed out that this problem had just started. I also said that in the four months since being in this new area I had been able to use the service with no problems and that in Tasmania, days of 100% humidity were the norm and that I hadn’t had a problem with data streams through high moisture content in the air while I was there.

Also that Optus’s statement that they “position their towers to cover main roads not residential areas” is Verging on the Ridiculous to say the least.

The Amaysim team member reiterated that unfortunately he can only go by the information provided by Optus.

So basically Optus either made a change to their equipment on that Saturday or something has failed and they aren’t prepared to rectify the problem.

I enquired as to how we proceed from here. I was advised that Amaysim were prepared to provide me with a full refund of my package purchase. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that “full refund” meant that even though I had already used about half the package they would refund as if I hadn’t used any.

I have no problem with Amaysim whatsoever. I continue to use them for my mobile phone and happily recommend them to others.

Director James Cameron at the launch of the 3D version of Titanic.
Director James Cameron at the launch of the 3D version of Titanic. – Source EPA/Franck Robichon

Trending on Twitter this week has been Gen Y shock and awe that Titanic isn’t just the name of a film. Apparently someone has accidentally stumbled onto the fact that the Titanic story was a tad more than just a bad Celine Dion song and some King of the World-ing on the prow of a ship. OMG why didn’t someone tell me this sooner?

There’s an easy story here about dumb kids. A tale of stupidity, naiveté and the downside of education gleaned largely from the screen. A more interesting story however, is the question of why Titanic should be considered more important than any other historic event.

Like many disasters – think the Hindenberg crash or the Challenger explosion – for reasons of sympathy and curiosity and quite possibly even a little schadenfreude – we remain fascinated decades and decades post-fact. Bad news sells and the worse the news, the higher the death toll and the more preoccupied we are.

Only the explanation for why Titanic has been prioritised as a historic event has much less to do with the high death toll and far more to do with James Cameron Inc’s interest in keeping us fascinated.

The RMS Titanic hit the iceberg in 1912. 1500 people were killed, Leonardo DiCaprio was not one of them, nor even was his character Jack Dawson who – like much of the film – was thorough fabrication. A whopping loss of life, to be sure, but lots of equally horrible stuff has happened since, thousands and thousands of other people have died tragically, and rarely have any of them been treated to the loquacious prominence as the Titanic story.

Two years after the Titanic disaster, 1000 more people were killed when the Empress of Ireland hit a Norwegian ship. No blockbuster film, no box office records and no elevation of it in collective memory. In 1945 the Wilhelm Gustloff ship was torpedoed, killing over 9000. The Doña Paz ferry in the Philippines sunk and 4000 lost their lives in 1987. The Haitian ferry the Neptune capsized in 1993 and killed over 1500.

Way worse things have happened at sea. And if large scale loss of life is the key to importance, the Titanic pales in comparison to other post-1912 catastrophes. Think some fifteen million from famine in China and at least 100,000 from flood in Vietnam. Just for starters.

The Titanic story is told and retold and has been gifted a ridiculous and gratuitous amount of airplay recently not just because it’s the 100th anniversary of the voyage, but because a 3D rehash of the 1997 blockbuster has been released and because someone has to pay for it. Our interest is being cultivated for commerce rather than commemoration.

Of course, all of those more significant – and quite possibly more noteworthy – disasters aside, another question to ask is whether kids believing that the Titanic was just a film isn’t actually a good thing. Perhaps them thinking of it as fiction helps usefully mitigate muddling of history with Hollywood.

Only the scantest knowledge of British history for example, will tell you that the Margaret Thatcher story was a whole lot more complicated than The Iron Lady presented. If you were a homosexual or a Communist or any kind of presumed dissident, J. Edgar probably seemed revoltingly kind to Mr Hoover. Not to mention the accuracy concerns plaguing flicks such as Michael Collins, The Hurricane and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

Biopics and films based on “true” stories serve a purpose, undoubtedly, but their primary goal is entertainment. To pretend that 90 minutes in a cinema with a vat of popcorn gives you enough data to be informed in farcical.

Indeed, a bunch of kids “discovering” that the Titanic happened in real life long before the 1997 celluloid incarnation is laughable. More ridiculous however, is the extreme priority given to the Titanic story as though we’re being peddled history more readily than cinema tickets.

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.