UK Police Issue Copyright Takedown Over Speed Camera Photos
from the incentive-to-create? dept
Another day, another example of copyright being misused. This one, sent in by JJ, involves police in the UK demanding that certain speed camera photos be taken offline as copyright violations. They’re apparently pissed that a guy who used the photos to prove that the cameras are faulty has posted his story (with the photos) online:
“The content of these photographs are the property of Sussex Police and publication of them is a breach of copyright. They should be removed from the website forthwith. If they are not removed further action may be contemplated.”
The real issue is that the guy who posted the photos is one of a growing number of folks who have discovered that, if you know a little bit of math, you can often show that the speed cameras were flat-out wrong.
Copyright is a gov’t granted exclusive right solely for the purpose of creating incentives for works that otherwise wouldn’t be created. I can’t see how that applies to police speed camera photos at all — which seem to have a different incentive to “create,” whether it’s to make the roads safer (the official explanation) or to raise money from speeding tickets (the real reason). Neither one of those requires copyright at all. And, of course, posting the images hardly seems like it should be a violation of copyright. The whole thing is obviously being used to stifle free speech because the police department doesn’t like it, not because there’s any sort of reasonable copyright claim.