Daily Archives: February 7, 2012

Georgia Aquarium, dolphins and more tricks. This time with copyright claims.

As I have previously posted, the Georgia Aquarium and other U.S. aquariums are allowed to display dolphins only under certain conditions.  Those conditions include that there be a valid educational purpose to the display.  In these United States, dolphins cannot be displayed without this valid educational purpose.  Why?  Because we recognize that marine mammals are highly intelligent creatures and whose lives we value as part of a healthy and stable marine ecosystem and whom we intend to protect.  So say our laws.

In an earlier article, I tried to show you content of the Georgia Aquarium’s dolphin show so that you could form an opinion as to whether there was valid educational content.  I incorporated a video of one dolphin show, shot by a visitor to the Aquarium.  But my little endeavor to let you be the judge was thwarted.  After I published my article, the content on YouTube was disabled, due to a copyright claim by the Georgia Aquarium.

I don’t pretend to understand copyright law.  But neither, it would appear, does the Georgia Aquarium.  Layman’s explanation and all that, copyrights exist to prevent someone from capitalizing on the blood, sweat and tears of someone else’s creative process.  Like this very valuable blog, for instance.  Okay, so it’s not so valuable, but it is mine.  I created it.  No one can “borrow” from it, and claim it as their own.  And you know that this is a real possibility on this fine piece of blogmanship.  Not.

Could they, however, instead of Stealing my Superlative Stuff, quote me, with proper attribution?  Sure!  No copyright infringement there.  And you know that happens all the time, too.  Again, not.

Drawing of copyright from http://www.erikjheels.com/803.html

But the point is, if I create something, someone else can’t claim it as their own.  If I write something, a very important book critic might read it (I mean, a verrrry important critic) and want to write a review about it.  Could I claim copyright infringement if that critic chose to quote from my work an example of some simply marvelous way I have of saying things?  Of course not.  What if the famous critic didn’t like my work?  As hard as that might be to imagine, could I stop him or her from extracting and publishing a properly attributed excerpt from my book, just because I didn’t like the review?  You are ahead of me again.  Of course not.

So, back to the Georgia Aquarium’s disabling of video content of their dolphin show.  Video posted on YouTube and thence to my blog to show a snippet, a “quote” if you will, from the dolphin show.  It didn’t say it was from SeaWorld or some competitor’s show.  No, siree.  It was properly attributed, even to the individual who shot the video by being linked back to YouTube.

So, two questions:

  • Why would they want to disable that video? and
  • On what grounds could they assert that there was copyright infringement (bearing in mind the example of the book critic)?

As to the latter, I don’t know either.  As to the former, I’m going to try to help you answer that by, once again, sharing with you a video.  A video that might also help you answer a question about whether there is a valid educational purpose in keeping The Atlanta 11 in a concrete tank for displaying in this dolphin show.

And unless and until the Georgia Aquarium disables it, here from the YouTubes is a snippet, an excerpt, a quote from the Georgia Aquarium’s Dolphin Tales, filmed by someone named NatrlBrnKiLLER:

 The dolphins have taken the sea monsters to the bottom of the ocean.  – Star Spinner, Dolphin Tales, Georgia Aquarium

Please don’t be mislead that the dolphin show is either benign or educational.  Watch a movie that will educate you about dolphin captivity and take a pledge not to go to the dolphin show.

And on April 14, 2012, you can join a worldwide statement, Just Say No to the Dolphin Show, sponsored by Save Misty the Dolphin.  For more information on how you can participate, you can also reach out to Free the Atlanta 11, or leave a comment here.