June 27, 2009

Missing Plug-ins CS 4, a bit of a Rant

You know when your working and in the zone and something brings it all to grinding halt? It happened to me yesterday when I went to use Contact Sheet II in Adobe PhotoShop CS4. It's always been in PhotoShop for as long as I can remember, ->File/Automate/Proof Sheet II, like a friend ready to help me do my work. Why would they get rid of a tool that collects all your images into proof sheets automatically and saves them to any file format you want so clients can easily pick photos.

Adobe decided that you need to use another program to do this. Adobe Bridge will now handle the Contact Sheet duties, and Contact Sheet II would be an optional install for Photoshop. You have to change your Bridge CS4 workspace to output, and a panel will appear to let you go through many more steps than you used to, only the Panel didn't appear. What did appear were peoples comments on forum pages asking why the Panel didn't appear.

It was then I decided to do the optional install of Contact Sheet II and found that Adobe felt other things were optional as well. Bigger Tiles, ContactSheetII, ExtractPlus, Layer Comps to WPG, PatternMaker, PhotomergeUI, Texture presets for Texturizer, TWAIN, and Web Photo Gallery (WebContactSheetII) were all optional now. Twain, the plugin to run many scanners and input devices, is now optional, go figure.

Apparently they are on one of the install disks that came with CS4. I also found them here:

The install locations are all over the place, so be sure to read the file OptionalPluginsReadMe.pdf to make sure you get them in the right place, then take a deep breath, grab a fresh cup of coffe, restart your timer and get back to work.

June 17, 2009

Orphan Works Legislation

As a designer and artist this legislation scares me. Before I get into why, let me give you some info about both sides.

This is what Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights has to say in favor of the legislation.

Based on the recommendation of my office, as published in our 2006 Report on Orphan Works, the legislation would allow good-faith users of copyrighted content to move forward in cases where they wish to license a use but cannot locate the copyright owner after a diligent search. It has benefited from many months of discussion, reflection and fine-tuning under the leadership of Senators Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch and Representatives Howard Berman and Lamar Smith.

Here's a bit of the side against the legislation.

If the Orphan Works Act is passed, all of your copyright holdings will be retroactively “orphaned” and lose their associated protections. You will have to register each of them with the federal Copyright Office in order to regain said protection. In addition, any future work of yours will have to be registered as well. This registration will cost a fee, and will likely be too expensive for most individuals to pay.

Here are some links to others with an opinion on the Orphan Legislation.

My opinion.

What if someone sees an illustration on my portfolio site and innocently copies it for their vacation blog. They shouldn't do it, but we all know this happens. They stop updating the blog, time goes by and they change their email. Someone looking for a picture for their project comes across my image and can't find contact information for anyone connected to the blog? They send a few emails, maybe look up a name, no luck. As I understand this law they can now take my image and do anything they want. I don’t think someone should be able to do that after a feeble attempt to find the creator. What if they put it on a product and sell it, worse yet, what if they take the image and use it in connection something I don't agree with?

If an illustration, photo, story, song, blog is found on the web and the owner can't be located it should not be used, it should be assumed it is protected and left alone. If someone really wants to use the work they should hire an artist to create something that will fit their needs. This law will cheat the creator out of control of their work, and cost other artists work because people can just find images, do an unsuccessful search and then use the image as they see fit. When in history has it ever been okay to find something someone has used their talent to create and just take it.

We are at time in human history where technology has made the ability to be creative and share that creativity in ways that are unprecedented, and now we are going to make a law that not only will cost us to be creative with government fees, but also let our creativity be stolen legally.

Please do something to help stop this legislation from becoming law, send a message that creativity is valued.

Learn more about current copyright law,