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.

Filed Under: agreements, australia, crowdsourcing, free, royalties, tourism

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


    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).

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