Australian Artists Upset That Australian Tourism Campaign Crowdsourced Images

from the overreact-much? dept

Reader mick writes in to alert us to a group of photographers in Australia who seem absolutely livid that the government's latest toursim campaign sought to crowdsource photographs that could be used as part of the campaign. To me, that seems like a perfectly reasonable idea -- in fact, a good idea in engaging people and getting them to take part in the campaign. But the problem comes from the fact that Tourism Australia asked people to let it use the photographs for free. That's when a bunch of groups went ballistic:
The National Association for the Visual Arts, the Australian Copyright Council and the Arts Law Centre of Australia are protesting the conditions.

They are demanding the agency relicense any photographs used in the campaign to pay royalties to the artists.
Let me get this straight. Even though the whole thing is completely optional, and photographers, who don't like the terms, have every right to just not participate, they're pissed off that others can participate -- of their own free will -- by letting the Tourism campaign use their photographs freely. If the photographers don't mind the terms, why should others? The reality is that these groups are trying to stomp out amateur competition. This whole hissy fit is about limiting the market to professionals, and keeping the amateurs out.
Arts Law Centre of Australia chief executive Robyn Ayres says the copyright rules set a "worrying precedent".

"The creative industries play a huge role in our economy and our culture," she said in a statement.
Of course the creative industries play a huge role in the economy and culture. But what does that have to do with willing participants letting the Tourism campaign use their images for free of their own free will?
"Refusing to license these photographic works in an appropriate way sends a message that it (government) does not value creative work in the same way as it values other economic assets."
No, it shows that the Tourism group realizes that some people are more than willing to contribute their works for free for reasons other than direct payment.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 5:52pm

    That's because copy protection laws aren't designed to promote the progress, they're designed to enrich the elite and direct money towards special interest groups.

     

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  2.  
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    Frankz (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    Sounds like some of these groups probably get a cut of any such royalties, so of course they want their "fair" share: in other words, they could care less about any artist, they just want their own cut.

     

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  3.  
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    Bob, May 28th, 2010 @ 7:12pm

    I think

    That these are dues paying organizations as you will see from my links to them.

    https://www.visualarts.net.au/shop/memberships

    And

    http://www.artslaw.com.au/Subscriptions/

    Australian Copyright Council looks like your typical over funded government promotional agency.

    So yes they are whining about the loss of their cut.

     

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  4.  
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    Dodo, May 28th, 2010 @ 8:17pm

    Its just that time

    Once there was a time when few could read & write, reading & writing being their mastery would complain, if everyone could read & write, they would lose their jobs.
    Result also being that if no one needed a master writer, and could do it themselves to save a penny, it would be lower quality work, but it would still work, and did, except for exceptional situations where you would need a master.

    I think this goes for photographers too, its getting so easy to take or find cheap good photo's to use, hiring a photographer would just be a waste of money, but there will always be a place for the professional for those who could pay.

     

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  5.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 8:41pm

    "Refusing to license these photographic works in an appropriate way sends a message that it (government) does not value creative work in the same way as it values other economic assets"

    Refusing to understand that people create art and science for the sake of the creation of art and science sends the message that you are only in ohotography for a monetary gain. This shows that you do not value art for arts sake.

     

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  6.  
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    Nelson Cruz (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 10:20pm

    I guess these organizations are gonna start to fight against the government using any kind of volunteer work, right? We must leave it all to highly paid professionals. :-)

     

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  7.  
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    thornintheside, May 29th, 2010 @ 12:01am

    a joke

    A better question is why the Arts Law Centre of Australia needs a chief executive.

     

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  8.  
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    Richard (profile), May 29th, 2010 @ 1:10am

    Print Unions

    This is just like the old print Unions in the UK.

    (The ones that were broken by one R. Murdoch.)

    They used to insist that no-one outside the union could operate a keyboard that was in any way connected to the typesetting system.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2010 @ 2:43am

    I'm curious to see what it will happen when copyright and patents hits the DNA encoding/decoding frenzy after recent news.

    Your son was born with patented DNA code you must get rid of it or pay up LoL

     

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  10.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), May 29th, 2010 @ 5:25am

    Like anyone actually needs professional photographers anymore

    What a bunch of wanking twits! If anything, this should make the government and anyone else wonder why they would pay such a bunch of untalented whiners anything at all, for merely duplicating what anyone with a decent digital camera and a photo editing program could do. Why would they? I guess being an idiot would be an important factor, since only an idiot would pay them.

    Bloodsucking leeches, the lot of them. Boycott all photographers for a few months or years, and see who's left whining. Sorry, you prats, but you'll never win this one unless you have a whole lot of money to pay off a large number of politicos. Go take your infantile crying elsewhere, like maybe your local pub, where they will doubtless pummel you insensate, leaving you face down in your own water and vomit. Prats!

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    When there is no more Pro-Artists there will be art again. Then maybe people can enjoy it for a change.

     

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  12.  
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    Jeremy2020 (profile), May 29th, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Creativity obviously only comes from those in the organization. No one else can be creative.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2010 @ 11:31am

    and who was it that kept on arguing that, if it weren't for piracy, no one would care about file sharing and that they're not interested in stopping competition with these ACTA and other laws? Of course their intent is to stop all competition, they don't just care about stopping file sharing, they want to stop anyone from competing with them.

    "If bittorrent was used only for creative commons music, creative commons films, self published books, and linux distros, no one (including the entertainment industries) would give a shit. "

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100430/1218009261.shtml

    Except this is false, their intent is exactly to stop ALL competition, including CC competition and any other competition that competes with them. They don't want competition, PERIOD, they want their unearned monopoly rents so they can make more money and competition takes away from their profits. and outside the Internet they have pretty much managed to ensure that almost everything is only available at monopoly prices (ie: is copyright under a non CC license and is distributed via monopolized distribution channels).

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    It's all about monopoly


    A.C. is exactly right.
    The IP lobby shapes all conversations about creator's rights to obscure the fact that their real motive is monopoly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Sam_K (profile), May 29th, 2010 @ 5:42pm

    It strikes me that the reason these photographers can be so easily threatened by amateurs is because deep down in the pit of their soul they know full well that what they do isn't all that special and their just shit scared of everyone else realising it.

    Really, if you were a truly a talented photographer then you should be confident that your photos can run rings around amateur photos and one look from a potential client is enough for them to realise why they would want to pay your fee.

    If not, you've got some re-evaluating to do.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    This is guild protectionism at work. What had been a professionalized and cliquish field, with an unwritten gentleman's agreement to maintain high prices, has just been invaded by a flood of upstarts with $100 cameras competing against them.

    Basically, the protest amounts to "Buh-buh-but we want to still be able to price-fix and collude! And we can't do that anymore if just anyone can take photos and give them away! At least business and government used to abide by the unwritten rules and source only from us 'professionals' at 'professional' prices, but now you've gone and broken that unwritten rule! We can't charge whatever we want to anymore! WAAAAAH! WAAAAAH! Mommy, I'm scared, I don't know how to make an honest living, please make the big bad competition go away! WAAAAAHAAHAHAHAHH!"

    The appropriate answer to which is simple: "Tough."

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2010 @ 9:49pm

    Re:

    and if you think about it, the government has an incentive to maintain these monopolies, because if people sell art and music, in opposed to giving it away, the government gets to collect more tax revenue and everyone but society at large wins.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    Re: same with graphic design

    Have you seen the No-Spec, AIGA and SpecWatch campaigns against sites like 99designs? It's more of the same.

    A logo should cost $5000 minimum, anything that devalues that and gives opportunity to college students or people outside of the USA is immoral.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2010 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: same with graphic design

    It's amazing how these people say that they aren't here to debate the morality of the issue but then they turn around and debate the morality of the issue. Oh, and SpecWatch claims fair use but I highly doubt that they will like for those who disagree with them to claim fair use.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2010 @ 9:36pm

    I want to respond to this site, I responded there but am unsure if my response would make it past moderation.


    http://www.logodesignlove.com/spec-watch/comment-page-1#comment-13492


    "For those of you who think these are designer exploitation sites, then don’t use them. No one is forcing you to. Those who use them use them as an act of their own free will, who are you to tell others what’s in their best interest for them or that they shouldn’t be allowed to design for these sites or that these sites shouldn’t exist. If you don’t like the competition, tough, that’s free market capitalism and competition shouldn’t be eliminated just because you can’t compete. As far as guaranteed revenue, in no business is revenue ever guaranteed and it’s certainly not the governments job to eliminate (or even to reduce) risk. All businesses have risk."

    ...

    "Oh, and another thing (if any of my comments even make it through, I wonder) is that it’s amazing how you people argue that you won’t argue the morality of the issue but then you turn around and do just that. If you aren’t arguing the morality of the issue then what’s the problem? When you say something like, “This is hardly fair” isn’t the implication that unfairness is immoral and that things should be fair? Well, A: It’s not a fair world and B: I would say that the Internet and the way things are currently done on the Internet (including these crowdsourcing sites) is more fair than things were in a long time, because the playing field is more level than things were in a long time. The Internet levels the playing field, I know incumbents who have managed to unfairly monopolize everything outside the Internet absolutely hate that, but a level playing field is more fair than a government regulated unlevel playing field. Who are you to decide what’s fair? What, because anyone can now compete with you it’s not fair? Hardly."

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2010 @ 9:55pm

    Re:

    Oh, and as far as uniqueness is concerned, pretty much all work is a derivative of previous work in some way or another. To say that your work is more unique than the work of others because you said so seems rather arbitrary. Yes, people improve on each others work, but I don't see a problem with that, and it allows you to improve on the work of others. If you don't like it, don't contribute (no one is forcing you to, you can better serve the community and society by finding another job instead), but don't attempt to diminish the rights of others to contribute to each others work just because you don't want anyone to contribute to something you do (and don't require the unnecessary restrictions on our rights and extra cost and work everyone must go through just to enforce your wishes that no one can improve on your work, extra work that no one signed up to but was instead forced upon them by an overarching government that doesn't know when to mind its own business).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2010 @ 11:24pm

    Re:

    and regarding the fairness argument, some people are born into rich families, some people are born into poor families. Tough, that's just the way it is. If you want things to be fair then everyone should be born into the same social class.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    noesbueno (profile), Jun 1st, 2010 @ 5:36am

    Re: Like anyone actually needs professional photographers anymore

    you dudes just use the most interesting language.
    but what's a "prat"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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