Photographs Are Mechanical Representations Of Facts, And Thus Should Have Only Thin Copyright Protection

from the idea-expression-dichotomy dept

A few weeks back, we wrote about what seemed like an absolutely ridiculous ruling against Rihanna, claiming that she may have violated the copyrights of photographer David LaChapelle in the video for her song S&M. We had a hard time seeing how this was possible if there truly was an "idea/expression dichotomy" in copyright law. There's supposed to be such a thing, and it's supposed to mean that you only get a copyright on the specific expression. Someone copying your idea is free to do so. But the initial ruling on the motion to dismiss suggests otherwise.

Lawyer John William Nelson has written up a thoughtful discussion of the ruling, and why photography needs a "bright-line rule" that says there is no infringement for making a similar image, but only for copying the actual image (found via Michael Scott).

The post is a little long, but beyond agreeing that the judge in the case clearly blurs (or, perhaps demolishes) the line between idea and expression, it makes a good point about how photography is really "a mechanical representation of facts" and, of course, you cannot copyright facts. This is an issue that has always troubled some, and why, technically, the copyright on a photograph is supposed to be limited to things like the exact framing, the lighting, focus, etc. of the image:

A photograph is a mechanical representation of facts. This is unlike a painting, which is a non-mechanical representation of something—be it facts, such as an attempt to paint an outdoor scene or create a portrait of someone, or imagination in the form of how the artist sees the world, such as the Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. Paintings, therefore, are pure expressions of ideas or facts. Photographs, however, are mechanical expressions of facts.

So can a photograph be copyrighted, even though it is a mechanical representation of facts? Yes.

Remember the Feist case—if the defendant in Feist had photocopied their competitor’s phone book pages then copyright infringement had occurred. They didn’t photocopy the pages, however—they copied the factual data and arranged it themselves. So even thin copyright allows some copyright protection, even if its limited.

A photograph deserves at least thin copyright protection. It is an expression of facts, even if it is a mechanical representation. Originality in the expression exists despite its mechanical origins—the angle, lighting, focus, and framing of the photo are controllable by the photographer. This allows a photograph to be original from another.

Given that, Nelson suggests that the courts should set out a bright line rule that says the only infringement is in the actual mechanical copying of the photograph -- and not in making any sort of similar image:
Photographs are mechanical representations of fact. Anyone who has ever taken photography seriously understands that these mechanical representations take a lot of work, effort, and result from each individual photographer’s expression of the scene being shot. Further, any commercial photographer will readily tell you of the importance of setting up a scene—be it in a studio, outdoors, or just knowing how to be in the right place at the right time.

But extending copyright protection beyond the mechanical copying of a photograph (i.e., scanning it and sending it to all your friends) is extending copyrights in photographs too far. The expression of a photograph cannot be separated from its factual reproduction of actual events. Attempting to do so leads to absurd results.

Therefore, a bright-line rule should reserve copyright protection in photographs only for the reproduction of those photographs. Copyright protection should not extend to the elements within the photographs themselves—doing so results in copyrighting facts, which is beyond the scope of copyright law.
He notes that there's already a similar such rule on sound recordings:
I can record my own version of, say, one of Rihanna’s songs and the owner of the sound recording copyright cannot sue me for copyright infringement. (The owner of the work’s composition and performance copyrights, however, could.)
Overall, though, I think that many photographers (and perhaps judges) have trouble with the idea that a photograph is a mechanical representation of facts, even if it's objectively true. Cameras are copy machines. That doesn't mean that photography doesn't take great and amazing skill, or that the results aren't artistic and unique. But they are copy machines, and granting expansive copyright control beyond the mechanical reproduction of the image itself seems to go against copyright laws' basic tenets.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:57am

    Here is the problem:
    § 302. Duration of copyright: Works created on or after January 1, 19784

    (a) In General. — Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and, except as provided by the following subsections, endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years after the author's death.


    Here is the solution:

    § 302. Duration of copyright: Works created on or after January 1, 19784

    (a) In General. — Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and, except as provided by the following subsections, endures for a term consisting of [strike this]the life of the author and 70 years after the author's death.[/strike this][insert here]10 year[/insert here]


    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap3.html

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:59am

    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#103

    Also strike all instances for "derivative" works from copyright law, it doesn't make sense to give protections for things that are derivative and not the direct fruit of ones labour or else everybody in every other field should have the same privileges.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:00am

    Next question

    How about video?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:02am

    For those who want to hack the law and have a go at it here.

    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:11am

    Look what I found:
    (3) the secondary transmission is made by any carrier who has no direct or indirect control over the content or selection of the primary transmission or over the particular recipients of the secondary transmission, and whose activities with respect to the secondary transmission consist solely of providing wires, cables, or other communications channels for the use of others: Provided, That the provisions of this clause extend only to the activities of said carrier with respect to secondary transmissions and do not exempt from liability the activities of others with respect to their own primary or secondary transmissions;


    Roja direct should claim secondary transmission immunity.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:16am

    Re: Next question

    Moving images you mean?

     

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    Armin, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:34am

    Pictures show facts? Really?

    Photographs are mechanical representations of fact

    Really? That might have been largely true for a long time, but especially over the last decade I would seriously challenge that statement.

    Have you never heard of Photoshop?

    I'd argue the majority of photos published today (certainly in most media) do in fact don't show the facts. They show an idealised world with idealised people. The world how they would like to see it, without blemishes. There are also tons of pictures out there which are composite pictures of several other pictures, they certainly don't show facts, as you will never ever be able to see what you see in the picture in reality. They are an expression of an idea of the photographer.

     

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    Paul, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:47am

    Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    If you are electronically manipulating the image after the fact of it being captured, then I guess it would be considered something of an electronic painting which has been derived from a factual photograph.

    The changes you make to the image (the execution) would then be copyrightable I assume.

     

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    Andy J (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:47am

    While I entirely agree that this decision (not to dismiss) is a bad one, it does not mean that at trial this will go against Rihanna, merely that the issues will be tested in court as opposed to being left in uncertainty. Clearly if the court finds against Rihanna, that would be a bad development.
    But John William Nelson's assertion that photographs are just mechanical copies of facts is equally wrong-headed. Clearly he has very little understanding of modern day photography which can, and usually does, involve a great deal of digital (ie electronic) manipulation. This tinkering with the 'facts' is similar to what an artist does when representing a scene on canvas. True photography is much like writing: the photographer chooses the visual elements he wants in the same way a writer chooses his words, Words alone or single musical notes are pretty much like facts; but once they are assembled in a particular way using skill and labor, they then become the expression of the author's ideas. I could provide dozens of examples of two photographs which show the same 'facts' but because of the way they have been cropped, lit and presented to the viewer, represent utterly different intrepretations of those facts. The camera is to the photographer what the brush is to the artist or the pen is to the writer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:03am

    Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    I have to agree after seeing the super muscles of Laurene Powell

    http://bilder.bild.de/fotos-skaliert/laurene-powell-quer-19186617_mbqf-1314616083-19690874 /1,h=343.bild.jpg

    http://webtablab.com/odd-stuff/worst-photoshop-fails/

    Now will photographers accept that their work are works of fiction? specially if you work for a newspaper that supposedly should not retouch those?

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:04am

    Re:

    "January 1, 19784"

    So approximately 17772 years from now?
    :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:05am

    Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    If that photo from Laurene Powell is really her I will have to question Jobs sexual tendencies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:28am

    Forget photographs.

    What about paintings?

    If I paint the same thing another painter painted, would that be copyright infringement? What if I used a different painting technique? Different colours?

    Copyright is confusing...

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 4:28am

    Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    Pardon the ad hominem title, but consider me miffed that you jump to conclusions on my knowledge of these topics and fail to look more deeply at my own work. (And consider your own ad hominem attacks on me.)

    I have a good deal of understanding when it comes to modern copyright law. I've taken photography courses and worked on a number of my own photography projects. I've developed my own film—which is as much of a composition process as the taking of a photo—and I have worked on my aperture, shutter speed, and film speed settings to get desired effects.

    I have also worked with electronic manipulation of images—changing the color balance, manipulating backgrounds, smoothing out portions of an image, and more.

    As I wrote in my post, I have great respect for the effort and creativity that goes into the composition of a great photo. Effort and creativity alone, however, are not the basis for copyright protection. Effort, frankly, has no bearing on copyright protection. Creativity only goes to whether a work has the minimum level of originality to be copyrightable. And, as I wrote, photographs do deserve copyright protection. (There are many who still argue they do not.)

    Photographs, however, deserve thin copyright protection. The reason is that it is near impossible to separate the copyrightable elements of a photograph from the underlying facts mechanically represented by the photo. (And just because the image is stored digitally does not mean it is no longer a mechanical representation of fact—there was still a mechanical process in creating the image.)

    This thin copyright should extend to digitally edited photographs for these same reasons. Otherwise the same tortured attempts to separate expression from fact occur. Where would you draw the line?

    Take the photo of a girl sitting on a wall with a fall landscape in the background. Should you or I be prevented from taking a photo of our sisters, wives, or mothers while sitting on a wall with a similar fall background? What if we happen to be at that same wall—are photos of girls on the wall reserved only for the first person to take a photo of a girl on the wall?

    But, say, we touch it up digitally. We change the color balance and really make the fall colors pop out while the colors of the foreground—wall, girl, etc—become more muted. Brilliant—but what are the copyrightable elements? The bright fall colors in a background with muted foreground colors? The juxtaposed feeling of a lively fall background—fall being a period of decline—versus the foreground of the youthful girl? Can I no longer highlight the colors in a foreground versus a background?

    More to the point, does the work done in editing this photo convert the non-copyrightable elements of the photo—the facts mechanically represented in it—or the thin-copyrightable elements—the photo as a whole—into something deserving of thicker copyright protection? While you might not agree that all photos of girls sitting on walls should be barred when I simply snap a photo of one, do you now change your mind since I've edited it digitally? What about just those that get edited digitally to highlight background colors versus foreground colors?

    If you think this kind of analysis and these questions are ridiculous, then I'd say I agree.

    But this is exactly the same kind of questions and the same analyses courts undertake. And it is ridiculous. That is the point of my post—photographs do deserve copyright protections, but there should be a bright line rule that they receive thin copyright protections versus thick copyright protections. This would cut down on these types of tortured analysis.

    Moreover, this doesn't mean photographs aren't expressive, are not creative, and are not original. No, they clearly are. Great photographs are works of art, and I do not dispute that.

    But we already have a similar type of bright line rule when it comes to sound recordings. They receive thin copyright protection, despite being works of art themselves.

    And if you're willing to argue that sound recordings do not have the same creative capacity as photographs, then I would argue that your understanding of what goes into sound recordings is woefully inadequate to make such a judgment. Creating a great sound recordings take quite a bit of skill, creativity, and work—as does creating a great photograph.

    Finally, you say true photography is like writing. I would agree. However, the writing it most closely resembles is news writing. A great news writing chooses his words carefully in an attempt to portray the facts of a situation. Nevertheless, news copy deserves (and receives) thin copyright because it is a representation of facts. (Similarly so, non-fiction books receive thin copyright—see Dan Brown's case involving his book, The Da Vinci Code, and The Holy Blood, and the Holy Grail.)

    But if you take only one thing away from this Andy J, please take this: Skill and Labor have no bearing on whether something can be copyrighted. Copyright is reserved for works of original expression. This is a low bar—the only thing that must be shown is a minimum of creativity. However, all the skill and labor in the world exercised on non-copyrightable elements—facts and ideas—cannot convert them into a copyrightable element.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:14am

    Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Photographs are strictly speaking not a mechanical representation of the facts at all. They are a limited record of a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and compared to the sophistication of the human eye are rather primitive.

    Even within the EM range that cameras operate in, whether analogue or digital, they are further limited by the dynamic range (range of light intensity) they are capable of recording. It is normally the case that the range of light levels in a scene exceed that which the camera's photographic medium can record; this leads to an inaccurate representation of the scene.

    A camera's sensitivity falls far short of the human eye's capability and the subsequent processing of the eyes' various signals in the human brain. A photograph created from the camera medium is not what the eye saw, and it is certainly not a mechanical representation of 'reality'.

    However, it is these very limitations, the cameras inability to accurately record what's in front of it, or to 'see' as the eye does, that enable skilled photographers to exploit these limitations and add an expressive quality to an image. Understanding the limitations allows a skilled practitioner to to use the camera settings to convey for example, a mood, through using a particular combination of the multitude of camera settings to select a section of the EM spectrum and record it in a particular way.

    The following are some of the settings used to achieve a mood;

    1) choice of lens aperture to control depth of field and the quantity of light allowed to pass through the lens,
    2) shutter speed to decide the amount of time the lens will stay open. This could be a small fraction of a second, say 1/4000ths of a sec up to several hours. If the subject is moving then longer shutter times will record movement in a way that is simply not possible with the eye.
    3) selecting the the sensitivity of the image capture medium, either a sensor, film, glass plate, etc. This choice will influence the choices to be made for 1) and 2) above.
    4) choice of filters such as a UV filter to eliminate some of the UV from the EM spectrum, or an graduated neutral density filter to control the amount of light coming from different parts of the scene to try and compensate for the fact that cameras cannot cope with the full dynamic range that exists in most scenes.
    5) whether the image is to be recorded in monochrome or colour. If colour a choice of white balance setting can be made, either in an attempt to record the colour spectrum as accurately as the camera's limitations permit, or to bias it in some way for artistic effect.
    6)Choice of lens and viewpoint. These allow the photographer to control what elements of the scene the viewer sees or doesn't see in the resulting image, and influenced in the way its recorded by the camera techniques used as described above.

    I could go on at length with all the ways in which a photographs can be created and how they are never a representation of facts. They are at best a subset of a few of the facts inaccurately represented. It is the cameras inability to accurately record what is in front of it that in skilled hands leads to evocative photographs of time and place. In other words, a photograph is a work of art, a camera is certainly not a copy machine, no such machine has ever been invented.

    In the same way that all paintings are a work of art, the tools of that trade being the brush and paint, all photographs are works of art, the tools in that case being the lenses and sensor/film. A photograph is no more a representation of reality than a painting.

    Of course some works of art are better than others, we all make judgements about that, but each creative effort, however poor, deserves respect as set out in the UN and EU human rights acts. IP rights are human rights as set out in this United Nations publication http://t.co/x6IUOL2 and most people accept that human rights should be respected. But not everyone unfortunately.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:21am

    In general terms, every method of reproduction, from photographs to MP3 files is a purely "mechanical" representation of facts. It is why this argument is rather misleading, because it looks at the medium rather than the content itself.

    It isn't the physical photograph (or the 1 and 0 representation of it), but rather than content of that image. To concentrate only on the physical (or the file structure) is to miss the actual art.

    A painting is, after all, just a collection of canvas and color, if you want to look at it that way.

    Put another way, a photocopy is a photocopy, but a photocopy of a blank page is still a blank page. It isn't the page that is important, it is what is on it that has the value.

    Only someone who is trying very hard to ignore the content could come up with a legal argument like this, perhaps proving once again that Lawyers have their souls removed when the join the bar.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:55am

    Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    I don't know if you can copyright editing and it would be decidedly perverse if you could take a mechanical representation of fact, like a photograph, remove something, and in so doing turn the entire image into something other than a mechanical representation of fact.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    I am the lawyer who wrote those legal arguments. Thank you for relying on personal attacks regarding whether I have a soul before you actually read the work, much less bother to understand what is being read.

    No where did I say photographs are not art, nor do I write that photographs are undeserving of copyright protection.

    You complain that my argument looks to the medium rather than the content. Yet, have you even read my argument? If you did, then you certainly do not understand it.

    This is nothing to be ashamed by. My argument rests on issues of copyright that even many lawyers don't grasp, much less Anonymous Cowards like yourself.

    But let me try and simplify it for you. Copyright protects expression. Facts and ideas, however, are not protected by copyright law. The problem with photographs is that it is near impossible to separate the unprotectable factual elements of a photograph from its protectable expression elements.

    Therefore, while photographs clearly deserve copyright protection (as original expressions), they do not deserve thick copyright protection as you might see in cases involving novels. The reason being that if we provide thick copyright protections to photographs then you very well might have comical situations where the first person to take a photo of the Statue of Liberty can bar all subsequent photos.

    Perhaps it is just my lawyerly lack of a soul, but I find it more sinister to give people methods to shut others out of expressing themselves. My argument is an attempt at increasing the likelihood of individual expression and, thereby, increasing the likelihood of art being created.

    Then again, I am not an Anonymous Coward, I'm just a soulless lawyer. What would I know?

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Actually, you've just described how cameras use mechanical functions to represent the light in a specific moment of time.

    So cameras, by your explanation, create photographs that are mechanical reproductions of fact (i.e., the light hitting the film or image sensor).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    So your argument is, essentially, that because a camera cannot perfectly reproduce what is seen by the human eye it cannot be considered a machine that reproduces facts.

    That's completely ludicrous.

    'A mechanical representation of reality' literally is a record of a small portion of facts limited by the machine which took the recording. That's what 'mechanical representation' means. The fact that a camera is not completely accurate is why the word 'representation' is used. The fact that it's a machine is the reason the word 'mechanical' is used. If the work of a machine, the camera, to reproduce a representation of reality, a photo, is not a 'mechanical representation of facts' then what is?

    "In other words, a photograph is a work of art, a camera is certainly not a copy machine, no such machine has ever been invented."

    Apparently nothing, which is why your position is patently absurd.

     

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    Robert Doyle (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:15am

    I take issue

    The whole idea that once a photographer takes a picture of someone from a certain angle that no one else can do so is ridiculous. Purely ridiculous.

    If I take a new photo, it is new. It is not derivative, and it is not a reproduction. Period. If I try to pass it off as though it was the work of someone else, that is forgery. Otherwise, I have as much right to say "I took that photo" as the first person to take one. Can I really copyright an event because I took a photo of it? Just plain silly.

    If artist A takes a photo of subject B that becomes famous, and then subject B lets artist C take another, similar photo, that work stands on its own. If it somehow becomes more popular than artist A's photo, that is the life of popularity - it's like saying only the first President can ever be called President. Everyone after is copying...

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Yes John, I agree cameras are a mechanical apparatus, to guide light towards a recording medium.

    The point I was trying to make was that the recording medium is fallible, it has limitations, it doesn't record all the light that, for example the eye can see, and that which it does record is imperfect, therefore what is recorded is not a mere representation of the facts as the article we are discussing is trying to set out.

    These limitations can and are used to create art. We have all seen photos, for example of sunsets, where the sky looks fantastic, but the foreground land is completely devoid of detail, perhaps completely black in the photograph. Yet, at the time of taking the photograph, the taker would have been able to see the foreground quite well.

    This can be due to the dynamic range of the available light exceeding what the recording medium can deal with. Therefore the resulting photograph is not an exact copy, it is an approximate representation, and may look more dramatic that the actual reality.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    Thank your for your response. I would suggest you re-read my comments again, because you entirely missed the gist.

    Clearly, you even missed on the simple thing. I said "perhaps proving once again that Lawyers have their souls removed when the join the bar." - the word perhaps is a rather large qualifier, don't you think? I don't comment on your lack of a soul directly (that is between you and the guy who reeks of sulfur that you may have discussed it with), but rather that many legal arguments appear to be made by people without souls. You may classify yourself as you like.

    There are few "factual elements" in a photograph. There is no "list of names" or data, however there are elements in the photograph. But the photograph isn't just of those elements, no more than a webpage is just a collection of zeros and ones.

    Take the example of a picture of the White House. You might consider it a "factual thing". A photograph of the White House is not a factual rendering of the White House, it is a moment in time captured, combining the White House, light, the surrounding elements, the position of leaves on the tree as a result of the wind, the time of the year, if the windows had been washed this week, and so on. It isn't a list of dimensions of the building, it is a captured image.

    Further, you add all the extra elements, from depth of field on up, and each and every photograph, no matter how fixed or how "known" the elements are, is unique.

    Heck, the same photographer, using the same camera, the same settings, and the same exact position, taking photographs 1 minute apart for an hour during sunset would generate 60 unique images, regardless of the "factual content". That is with only one of the elements changing.

    Your argument is akin to saying that all guitar music should only get thin copyright protection because it is hard to separate the factual elements (musical notes) from the protected song elements. It can only happen if you focus on the mechanical pieces of the "art" and not the "art" itself.

    I would also say that, in some cases, good photographs take more effort to make than it takes to write a cheap romance novel, and have significantly more artistic value worthy of protection. To say that a poorly written word is someone more worthy of protection than a skillfully crafted photograph is to entirely miss what is in a photograph.

    It's a soul thing, I guess.

     

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    Nicholas Alexander, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Copyright and Photography

    There is another argument with original photographs and copyright. Because the medium, especially in this digital age is essentially one that is easy to copy, it seems to people that it is right or justified that they should be able to do so. And they do.

    The point is this: a photograph is a recording of something that can not be recreated. It is a recording of a moment in time that no longer exists. A photograph of Marilyn Monroe is no the same as a photo of someone pretending to be her. And yet people generally assume that such things can be copied relentlessly as they have already been.

    Copyright is a right to realise a return for the investment for a period of time. It is plain to see how this works for works of literature or movies. And yet those who argue against copyright say because they can do it, they will. And they give copies of DVDs to their friends and lament that the studios no longer take risks. Or tour musicians. Or that authors write a low grade novel to satisfy a contract. Or reruns on TV.

    Copyright itself is an invention, a mechanism that exists only in law. If we violate laws, we are rejecting social mores that allow us to become rich doing what we love. Maybe it is time for copyright law to be updated, but just because you can violate someone's rights, does not mean you have to do so. The terms of major social networks include a clause claiming rights to anything you publish on there which is often ignored. Copyright should not be defeated in this way.

    Before we ditch copyright in favour of "sharing" perhaps someone could notice the flood of derivative works and the lack of risk taken by producers with originality is resulting in a world full of photocopied drivel.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    In which case artists who use the camera obscura to make paintings are also creating mechanical representations of facts?

    Of course one could argue that they too are making an imperfect recording due to the nature of their medium, the limits of their pallette, and the mechanical properties of the brushes they use.

    I don't believe you can pigeonhole art into categories on the basis of the equipment used to create it. Some of the works created by camera obscura, such as those by Johannes Vermeer, are viewed as masterpieces. Yet the assertion the article we are discussing is that they should be viewed as merely a representation of the facts. Very few, if any, people in the art world would subscribe to such a view.

     

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    Jim Lafferty, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Your argument is thin on insight into the nature of photography

    Perhaps you should do some deeper reading on the topic if you're going to try creating some laws...

    http://www.amazon.com/Believing-Seeing-Observations-Mysteries-Photography/dp/1594203016/r ef=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1307457553&sr=1-2

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    "Photographs are strictly speaking not a mechanical representation of the facts at all. They are a limited record of a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and compared to the sophistication of the human eye are rather primitive."

    Done it mechanically, so a reproduction by mechanical means the accuracy of it is irrelevant to that point.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Now it is time to change the UN charter to exclude copyrights from "human rights", no one should have a right to a monopoly.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Re:

    Thomas Jefferson has something to say about that.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Ok, let me see if I understand.

    A photo of a house is not a mechanical representation of a house, because it's is both too small and too flat for me to live in it?

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Re: Copyright and Photography

    Perhaps you should go back to the 80's where people where complaining about the same lack of risks that studios take, the same types of music that people create in some epochs and the sameness of the literature at the time.

     

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  32.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re: Copyright and Photography

    "Copyright itself is an invention, a mechanism that exists only in law."

    Therefore, not a right. It's a privilege granted for some at the expense of others (the privilege to violate everyone else's right to copy).

    "just because you can violate someone's rights, does not mean you have to do so."

    I agree. Thankfully copyright, not being a right, doesn't count.

     

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  33.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    And before you nitpick "copy" could easily be replaced by "share".

    Is it not a right to share? Do you teach your kids never to share with others?

     

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  34.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    John,I quite agree that emotional attacks are unhelpful to constructive debate but I'm afraid this is what seems to happen too often on TechDirt.

    I see you raise the point that the first time some one photographs something it would automatically debar anyone else from doing the same.

    Well, you can apply that argument equally well to people who draw the statue of liberty, the first drawing would debar all others, a drawing is by definition a mechanical representation of the facts created by the skill of the artists and his pen or pencil.

    You can also apply the same argument to realist painters. In reality however, each artist will have some unique take on the subject. It is very unlikely that two photographers will stand in exactly the same place, using the same focal length of lens and camera settings, and be blessed with identical light. The results will be different.

    It is the dilemma of copyright law that by some chance two almost identical artworks might be created by different people. In the vast majority of cases this will not become a problem if they are simply taken as personal records while taken on holiday for example.

    However, if one of those people were to sue the other it is the job of the law to determine if it is infringement or not. The law can come to the conclusion in such a case that it was not deliberate infringement, simply coincidence. I think it right that the law has to make these judgements in court, you cannot create a form of words to do that job for you - that way lies injustice.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    "In which case artists who use the camera obscura to make paintings are also creating mechanical representations of facts? "

    Yes like pre-historic men who drew their daily lifes on the walls of the places they lived on depicting their daily lifes.

     

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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Copyright is an invention of a right. Like any legal right - it is a method however brilliant or shoddy to reward those who invest time and money into their creations.

    I do look forward to the day that it can be replaced by a better scheme that works for most artists. But but because you can drive like a maniac, it may not be the best way to get around.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    So if somebody else did the same exact photo there can be no copyright claims on the other guys work right?

     

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    Greevar (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    You contradict yourself. You say skill and labor has no bearing on the validity of a copyright, yet you go on about what goes into sound recordings to support your point that they deserve copyright. Which is it going to be? Either the effort involved counts toward the validity of the copyright, or it doesn't.

    It's clear that you have no understanding of copyright. The biggest contributors to Techdirt happen to be very well studied in the copyright act and being one of those, I can tell you know nothing of which you speak. Everything in that wall of text doesn't cite one bit of fact, but instead your skewed opinion, with one exception: "Skill and labor have no bearing on whether something can be copyrighted."

    Fact: copyright gives the exclusive right to the original creator, to copy their works. Using similar ideas to produce independent works that bear similarity, but are clearly not 1:1 copies do not infringe one and the other.

    Rhianna's video and everything contained is a new expression. Some images may bear similarity to your photos, but they are not, nor any part of them, your photos. Compare the two images in question with a histogram or a hex editor and you will see that neither are anywhere near identical, thus not copies and do not infringe. Your photos do not express unique ideas either, they are fairly stereotypical depictions of BSDM themes and they are not your exclusively unique ideas. This exhibits some hypocrisy on your part.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Next question

    Uh "juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer."

    Whoops, wrong definition.

    Okay, how about "sequence of pictures, overlaid in time, and accompanying sound intended to...represent events in the past".

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    And yet what we see is people always trying to stop others from doing something that is just remotely similar to others.

    The real injustice is to give someone the power to stop other from doing something similar.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Anonymous, the point I made was that one can use the imperfections of the recording device to create a work with meaning beyond the simple representation of the facts. This is where the art comes in.

    Regardless of how good the operator of the camera is they have captured an unrepeatable moment in time, they have made choices about what to photograph, they have made choices about how to photograph it, and they have made choices about when to photograph something. These are all unique choices in which they invested their own unique intellect.

    You may think they made a poor photograph, I may even agree with you, but others might not. It is not the job of the law to make judgements about the meaning of or quality of art.

     

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    AMusingFool (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    Leaving aside all discussion of your soul, one important thing that your paper is missing is that most photographers do digital manipulations of their photos (eg: altering the lighting, framing, airbrushing details out, combining multiple exposures) before publishing them, and some amount (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot) of creativity is involved in any of those operations.

    Having said that, I still generally agree with the thrust of your argument that a bright line is needed. But I'm surprised to hear you say that, as a lawyer, because you're suggesting getting lawyers out of the determination process. At least a good percentage of the time.

     

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    mattarse (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    @John - this is the first time I have heard of the difference between "thin" and "thick" copyright.

    Is this an actual legal term used? I'm finding the differences (as explained in this article) to be quite interesting, and for the first time in a long time can see where some aspects of copyright may actually make sense.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    The law of copyright is a a benefit given by the law to everyone, therefore when you create something the law grants you the right to both moral and economic respect for your creation.

    It is wrong to think of copyright as a privilege. It is a right that we should all enjoy, a human right as set out by the United Nations.

    However, there is a view that copyright is a privilege and I think this is largely due to the global corporates who fight tooth and nail for their own interests. I can't say I'm impressed with the ethical behaviour of the global corporates who are frequently happy to trample on the independent artist.

    The behaviour of the corporate giants should not be an argument for abolishing copyright, it should be an argument for changing the bias of the law on copyright to protect the creators of art, i.e. the public.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    If it is unrepeatable and all mechanical means have differences then can I copy by mechanical means any work and include my own perspectives and artistic influence to it and not get sued?

    Because according to you, it is unrepeatable right?
    Even if a try to copy it I will have to make artistic decisions and those would create a new work not a copy right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    The technical term is "legal fiction"

     

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    Greevar (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    Ah, I confused you for the photographer. My mistake.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Since all mechanical means are fallible then there cannot be any reproduction of a work that can depict it therefore there are not copy infringement since it is a new work every time it is copied correct?

     

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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Even Facebook claims ownership if any photograph you post there - universal and irrevocable. So if I post something there, you can share it to your heart's content, on FB. Is that really fair? I guess it is. But if I posted a photo in a private members only arena, I would only expect sharing to be reasonable in that arena. My kids teach me to share. One of these days I will understand... But (some) photographs can have commercial value in the same way as any information can. Should that be protected is a different question as to whether copyright is evil or not.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    It is wrong to believe that one person could stop another from doing something unless it endangered physically somebody else.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Abolishing copyright would better protect the right of one to earn a living from his work, he would just need to compete with others, before that was difficult and the bar for entry into the market was high, technology changed that and now everybody is on the same level there is no need for copyrights.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    And that commercial value is not diminished by the absence of copyrights, only your ability to commercialize if you can't do it better than others can.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Also the long term of copyrights make it absolutely immoral.

    Copyright has become a welfare scheme.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    No is the answer to that Anonymous. While my copy may not be an exact rendering of a subject, it required the input of technical skill and intellectual choices about when and where to create the work.

    If you copy that, despite not being completely exact, you have instantly benefited from the product of my mind. That is unjust.

    What I would say to you is this, go and create something unique and enrich our culture, exploit it if you wish for economic benefits, and I will respect your right to do so.

    The so called 'right to copy' will lead to a dull world which does not encourage people to exercise their creativity. Had the 'right to copy' always existed we would be living in both a scientifically and culturally inferior world. I don't believe anyone would like the end result of such a regime.

     

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  55.  
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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    If the copy does not respect the original (i.e. it is inferior) then it dilutes the original expression and therefore hurts both the originator, and the consumer.

    The presence of digital technology is progress but it is remarkable that the law still has not caught up with it.

    Hence we have 15 pages of T&C every time we download software. And of course those T&C are generally copied from someone elses website...

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Go and create something and use copyright to compete with your creation against others. The market will decide, we all have that choice, this is called freedom.

     

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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    The long term of copyright is so you can leave it to your offspring. It is exactly the opposite of a welfare scheme.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Why introduce physical danger? Completely irrelevant. If you create something and somebody else copies your invention they are stealing the products of your mind, its not physical but its real and damaging. It is immoral and unethical.

    Copyright was invented for moral reasons and to enrich culture. The fact that copyright can be exploited by rights holders who are not creators is something I am not sympathetic to, so lets bias the law in favour of the public who create.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    The mind it is not protected by copyrights or patents.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    John, my reply to you got posted further down (techdirt technical demon, I am assuming), but I hope you will look down for it.

    I also have to add that I am concerned that you look at a photographer and a photocopy machine operator in the same way. They both press a button, and an "image" of something already existing comes out. Your argument appears to be that the photocopy operator is as much an artist as the photographer, which doesn't seem logical on it's face.

    It would suggest that painted wall is the same as a Picasso, because both depend on the mechanical medium of paint and brushes.

    As for your comment " My argument is an attempt at increasing the likelihood of individual expression and, thereby, increasing the likelihood of art being created.", I would say that your arguments seem to suggest that photographs are somewhat less art than other forms of art. If a photograph is, say, 1/10 of the art that a paperback book is, then you would need to generate 10 times more "art" just to catch up. I can't say that just "more art" is really beneficial, especially if that art is somehow less "art" than others.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    About the invention of modern copyright it was invented to exert control over information by the Queen under the excuse the curtail of sales of cheap Scottish books in England.

    It has nothing to do with morality,

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    By copying something according to you I'm in fact creating something new because there is no way to recreate something exactly therefore every copy is a new creation isn't?

    That was your point right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    And since my reproduction of your reproduction can never be the same as the original I am in fact creating a new work because like you reproducing some scene I too have to make artistic decisions on how to reproduce yours.

    More the mind is not the subject of copyrights nor is the amount of work put into it.

    Well about the go an create something unique, I could say the same thing about your work, why should you be the only one that have the right to reproduce something that you didn't produce and I'm not allowed?

    Besides the right to copy was what created America that copied Europe, that was copied by Japan, that is now being copied by the Chinese and incredibly they are doing well.

    Also as I recall, the Persian empire was beautiful, Shakespeare stole everything he wrote, Beethoven produce wonders, Michaelangelo is to this day a great name, Rome, Greece, Aztecs all are well know for their vibrant cultures and contributions to arts and sciences and none of them had copyrights.

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re:

    I wonder if they will still have photographs like THESE then?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    [The so called 'right to copy' will lead to a dull world which does not encourage people to exercise their creativity.]

    i don't manipulate my images in photoshop because of my ability to get paid for it. nor do i write songs and stories, draw, paint or play music because of it.

    i do all those creative things because i'm creative. i enjoy doing those things.

    argue your points, but please don't make such ridiculous generalizations that you can not possibly prove. ("the WORLD would be... ", please. really? the whole dang world huh?)

    just because some (fewer and fewer) narrow minded people can't conceive of being creative without getting paid for it, doesn't mean those of us who ARE actually and actively creative see it that way.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    "That is unjust."

    You've confused copyright, a statutory right, with morality. We don't grant copyrights because 'it is just' we grant them to promote art in general.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    If the point where the art comes in is when an artist manipulates the imperfects of the recording device to create a work then that's what should be protected by copyright, not the idea behind it, which is exactly the point John was making.

    It is not a judgement of the meaning or quality of art to say that a camera is a machine which creates representations of facts. Its a judgement of the camera itself. It says nothing about the art that can be produced with it. You're fighting this argument out of some misguided sense of defending the honor of photographers when nothing is being said about them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    Also, this definition doesn't really apply when the photographer is composing and adding his own creativity to the "facts" being recorded, which was the case in the Rihanna/La Chappelle case.

    If the photographer is choosing (or even designing) the wardrobe, lighting, posing, props, background, etc., then simply calling the photograph a representation of "facts," as opposed to the author's creative expression, is very misleading.

    Is the plot, character, etc. of a movie just a record of "facts?" I mean, the cameras just captured actors actually doing and saying those things.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Oh, and you still haven't answered my question: If a photo is not a 'mechanical representation of facts' then what is?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    So by taking a photo of Marilyn Monroe and reproducing her which you didn't create means what?

    You are stealing her rights over her own image?
    If you can steal that why can't others steal yours?

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    Yes, thick vs. thin copyright is a term used in copyright theory analysis. It refers to the strength of copyright protection. Thick protection is provided works where the copyrightable elements are more easily identified and separated from non-copyrightable elements. Think novels.

    Thin copyright protection refers to works that cannot be used broadly to against other similar works. Think of the classic example of the Feist v. Rural case--phonebooks are granted copyright protection, but only thin protection. I cannot photocopy it and redistribute the book, but I can take the phone numbers and names (the facts) and reuse them in my own phonebook.

    Pardon any mispells in this post, on my iPad in an airport before takeoff.

     

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    DH's Love Child (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    This started out so well and then you added the word 'moral'.

    In the US, there are no 'moral' rights associated with copyright (as has been affirmed by that pesky Supreme Court).

    Copyright (again I'm speaking from a US perspective where this all started) has been perverted from it's original intent to become a weapon for censorship and stifling innovation. Entire generations of culture are locked up behind copyright all over the world. This is not at all what copyright was supposed to do.

     

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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    excuse me if this was question was not directed at me, by I think I used MM as an example ... I think if you get to photograph a film star, you do so with their permission, if it is for commercial purposes (like an art portrait) and then you do own the image and it has inherent value. If someone then photographs your photograph, that does not have the consent of the original (MM) so therefore. If however you photograph a film star on the red carpet, or singing on stage, that is without their permission and although it is original work you may find it hard to provide any proof of that (i.e. the permission) so there is no providence in the work. It may be your copyright, but you have nothing to legally enforce it. If you draw a moustache on it, it is no longer a copy but a derivative work. I think laws are changing regarding derivative works.

    People generally misunderstand copyright. It does not prevent copying. It just establishes a legal framework for recovering of the rewards of doing so. So if you copy my photograph, then I can charge you a fee if I can establish providence.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I do not think copyright is moral or even applicable in many cases, but it is still the law.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    Your weak attempts at implying your personal attacks are not acually personal attacks, I suppose, is admirable so far as it shows you have some degree of social awareness. Your inability to read beyond your preconceptions, however, is disappointingly expected.

    Let me start at the end. Copyright law does not try to evaluate what is worthy of protection and what is not. The threshhold questions of whether a work is copyrightable are not answered by 'worthiness' but, rather, basic bright line rules.

    Further, you still seem to ignore my clear support of copyright protection for photographs and my clear and repeated acknowledgement of them as works of art. Then again, you strike me as someone unwilling to read past 140 characters.

    So instea of personally insulting people based on your misperceptions, qwjust type TL;DR and move on tonthe next Twitter post. Perhaps then the folks interested in discussions on a topic can discuss without your ill-informed, ad hominem rehtoric.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    stealing the products of your mind

    A meaningless phrase. Ideas are not property, and I have no responsibility to treat them as such. Those who would use violence to stop me from using my own private, tangible property are immoral and unethical.

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Why?
    You repeatedly insisted that a photograph is not a copy and doesn't represent fact and I quote "In other words, a photograph is a work of art, a camera is certainly not a copy machine, no such machine has ever been invented."

    Quote:
    I could go on at length with all the ways in which a photographs can be created and how they are never a representation of facts. They are at best a subset of a few of the facts inaccurately represented. It is the cameras inability to accurately record what is in front of it that in skilled hands leads to evocative photographs of time and place. In other words, a photograph is a work of art, a camera is certainly not a copy machine, no such machine has ever been invented.

    In the same way that all paintings are a work of art, the tools of that trade being the brush and paint, all photographs are works of art, the tools in that case being the lenses and sensor/film. A photograph is no more a representation of reality than a painting.

    Source: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110902/03151515777/photographs-are-mechanical-representations-fac ts-thus-should-have-only-thin-copyright-protection.shtml#c185

    Quote:
    The point I was trying to make was that the recording medium is fallible, it has limitations, it doesn't record all the light that, for example the eye can see, and that which it does record is imperfect, therefore what is recorded is not a mere representation of the facts as the article we are discussing is trying to set out.

    These limitations can and are used to create art. We have all seen photos, for example of sunsets, where the sky looks fantastic, but the foreground land is completely devoid of detail, perhaps completely black in the photograph. Yet, at the time of taking the photograph, the taker would have been able to see the foreground quite well.

    Source: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110902/03151515777/photographs-are-mechanical-representations-fac ts-thus-should-have-only-thin-copyright-protection.shtml#c300

    Quote:
    I don't believe you can pigeonhole art into categories on the basis of the equipment used to create it. Some of the works created by camera obscura, such as those by Johannes Vermeer, are viewed as masterpieces. Yet the assertion the article we are discussing is that they should be viewed as merely a representation of the facts. Very few, if any, people in the art world would subscribe to such a view.

    Source: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110902/03151515777/photographs-are-mechanical-representations-fac ts-thus-should-have-only-thin-copyright-protection.shtml#c335

    Quote:
    Anonymous, the point I made was that one can use the imperfections of the recording device to create a work with meaning beyond the simple representation of the facts. This is where the art comes in.

    Source: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110902/03151515777/photographs-are-mechanical-representations-fac ts-thus-should-have-only-thin-copyright-protection.shtml#c540

    So if a photograph cannot be a reproduction of fact, it also cannot be infringing on anything since anyone who reproduces that same photograph also had to use his mind to take artistic decisions.

    A photograph of Marilyn Monroe is a reproduction of something a photographer didn't create his own thing, he didn't create Marylin Monroe why should he be allowed to produce art as you called from something he didn't created or owned and other cannot do it?

     

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  77.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    The fact that is has a "term" at all is what makes a mockery out of current copyright law.

    If ideas are property, then they should remain property forever. If not, then copyright shouldn't exist at all.

    Anything else is not a product of any moral or philosophical system, but is instead a product of utilitarianism masquerading as a natural right.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    Now you're telling us 'the law' isn't just a form of words that do the job for you and that precisely worded laws, as opposed to broad laws that are open to many interpretations, are the injustice. How incredibly perverse.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Did the photographer of Obama that inspired the HOPE artwork ask permission to get that photo?

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Competing with others is what people already do. They live or die by their talent, the law of copyright has nothing to do with competition.

    Lets say that you, Anonymous Coward, create a book, it took you a year to write, then you place it online offering it at say, $5 for each copy. You'll probably make a few extracts available on line plus a synopsis so people can get a flavour of the work, as they would have had they gone to a traditional bookshop.

    Then, if they like what they've read, people will pay you $5 and get access to the download page. You hope, so that you can afford to live, that you will sell enough copies to buy food/warmth/shelter while you spend another year writing another book, you have no other income. Note that law of copyright in no way helps you sell your work, you are competing with other authors and if you are not talented you will not sell well or at all. Or if your book price is too high people will not buy it. Copyright has nothing to do with competition, creative talent and pricing is everything when it comes to competing.

    However we will take it for granted that you are a talented author and people enjoy your work. Now lets assume a hacker finds some way to bypass the payment page to get access to your book and download it, then he makes your book available to everyone to copy for free.

    Being an author is how you make a living, you don't have a regular salary, being an author is your job and selling books is your income. You will feel both angry and extremely worried. Angry because someone just took your creation that you had laboured over for a year, and extremely worried about how you are going to live.

    Now you face yet another another problem, in the world you have proposed there is no law of copyright so you can't use the law to stop the hacker giving your work away for nothing. Your livelihood has just been destroyed, so how are you going to deal with this Anonymous? In this situation your first thought will be to get a source of money, perhaps you apply for a job, work for a salary, and maybe do some part time writing.

    However, the rich seam of culture that you might have contributed to society has just been stunted, it will take much longer to create work, and eventually, although you may be driven to write from some inner need, that inner need may just wither because society has no moral respect for the products of your mind.

    Even if you continue to write with the same fervour and inner need, you can no longer do this full time. The volume of work you could have contributed to enrich public culture will be severely restricted. You, as an artist lose, and society loses a valuable contribution to enrich our culture.

    Copyright is there to support everyone in their endeavours to enrich public culture. To do so it gives those of the public who create works a temporary monopoly right (called copyright) in order that they may benefit economically from their work for a limited period of time, that they are also given certain moral rights, and these rights benefit society as a whole.

    Copyright, like all human ideas, can be used for good or ill. The power of large corporations, who acquire others creativity, has been used to distort the law of copyright to protect their interests primarily and individual creators, such as you Anonymous, are less well protected. This is wrong and is not the original intent of copyright which is at its core, a public right.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    "Your argument appears to be that the photocopy operator is as much an artist as the photographer, which doesn't seem logical on it's face."

    Of course it doesn't seem logical, it isn't logical. That's precisely why you choose this as the straw man to attack, because it was easier than addressing any actual arguments being made.

    "I would say that your arguments seem to suggest that photographs are somewhat less art than other forms of art."

    Look, yet more straw men. No one said this either. Certainly not John.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I'm sure that you don't understand what welfare means.

    2.
    receiving government aid owing to need: receiving government financial aid or benefits because of income level, unemployment, or other conditions that create a need for assistance

    http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search?q=define+welfare&qpvt=define+welfare&FOR M=DTPDIA

    Again copyright creates an unnecessary welfare, that would be even more appalling if what you said was true, no body should inherit a granted government monopoly ever, more the terms of copyright should be drastically reduced.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Copyright is not a moral or ethical right... That's not why it was invented, that's not why it exists, it is not a natural right.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    "the law of copyright has nothing to do with competition."

    I had to stop reading right there. Copyright is, literally, a government granted monopoly designed to reduce competition. If it didn't have anything to do with competition it wouldn't exist since 'having to do with competition' is the mechanism by which it affects change.

     

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  85.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Anonymous, you are entirely free to create whatever you want because you want to and not get paid for it. There is nothing wrong with that.

    Nor is there anything wrong in deciding to make a living as an artist, composing music, creating books, and so on. These are entirely honourable professions and I can think of no moral objections to paying for the works they create.

    If the artists is talentless, then I don't need to buy their works, or if its too expensive I won't buy them. These are decisions we all make about the purchases we have to make.

    Lets consider your employment for a moment. I don't know what it is but I'll assume you have a paid job and that you think this is fair and respectful of the time and effort you put into it. Or maybe you are fortunate enough to have a private income.

    So I would ask you why is it wrong for an artist to be paid for their work? People do this because they love what they do, and want to spend all their life doing it. If someone decides to spend their whole live as an artist this seems to me like a perfectly reasonable, if risky, choice to make. As I said before they will survive or die by their own talent.

    If an artist creates something that is expensive to create because of the amount of time or resources needed to complete the work then the artist has two choices in addition to giving it away for free. They can sell it as a one-off work at say $50,000, or they could decide to sell 10,000 copies at $5 each.


    There is nothing wrong with either choice. In the first case the one individual who bought it becomes the exclusive owner of a work. In the second case the work becomes more widely distributed to the public benefit, and if the public really like it the creator may sell far more than the 50,000 originally planned. This is how the free market works, this is open to you too, you are not being excluded from anything. Your choice to give work away fro free is respected.

     

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  86.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    If the photographer is choosing (or even designing) the wardrobe, lighting, posing, props, background, etc., then simply calling the photograph a representation of "facts," as opposed to the author's creative expression, is very misleading.

    From the post: "A photograph deserves at least thin copyright protection. It is an expression of facts, even if it is a mechanical representation. Originality in the expression exists despite its mechanical origins—the angle, lighting, focus, and framing of the photo are controllable by the photographer. This allows a photograph to be original from another."

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Oddly enough you later call copyrights a 'temporary monopoly right.' Are you sure you know what the relationship is between the word 'competition' and 'monopoly?'

     

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  88.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Both the UN and EU human rights acts set out intellectual property as a human right, and that such rights take precedence when a country is formulating laws. Here is a link to one such document which goes into more detail of the ramifications http://t.co/x6IUOL2 There are many other such documents published by authoritative bodies setting that IP is a human right.

    Remember too that within IP there are set out moral rights that apply to the creators of all works. These are set out in the Berne Convention and honoured more or less by most governments. If you are in the USA you may not be aware of the moral right component of copyright because the USA has not implemented such provisions within its own copyright legislation. This makes the USA an exception.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    um...so? Other than "lighting," that's talking about very different things.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    The Problem With "Facts"

    I think we need to distinguish between photographic subject matter that exists independently of the author's creativity/input and photographic subject matter that is due (at least in part) to the author's creativity.

    For example, a landscape photo will generally be a record of "facts" that the author had no part in creating. However, there may still be creative expression in the author's framing, exposure, etc. choices.

    In contrast, a photo of a model that the author selected, wearing clothes that the author selected or designed, in a background that the author selected or designed, in a pose/expression that the author selected or designed, in lighting that the author controlled, etc., etc. is not merely a representation of preexisting facts any more than your typical motion picture or sound recording is.

    For example, a sound recording is simply a recording of "facts" that existed at a particular time (i.e., those sound frequencies were actually occuring in that order and were simply recorded on a medium). A motion picture is simply a recording of "facts" that existed at a particular time (i.e., those actors were actually saying those words and striking that pose at a particular time). But the "facts" these things record are the creation (at least in part) of the author.

    Thus, rather than simply saying "photographs should have a "thin" copyright," there needs to be an analysis of how much of the author's creative expression is inherent in the subject matter of the photo (posing, wardrobe, backdrop, etc.), in addition to the manner in which he takes the photo (framing, exposure, focus, etc.).

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Re: The Problem With "Facts"

    OF course, this doesn't even deal with post-production creativity like photoshop, etc.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Quote:
    However we will take it for granted that you are a talented author and people enjoy your work. Now lets assume a hacker finds some way to bypass the payment page to get access to your book and download it, then he makes your book available to everyone to copy for free.

    Source:

    You assume that, people wouldn't buy anything from me ever which is not at all true.
    Paulo Coelho says he sold more books than ever before and he helped people pirate his own work.
    http://piratecoelho.wordpress.com/
    Many people making millions on the Kindle also give free copies.
    Multi-million dollar companies sell open hardware(i.e. arduino), software and even medicine and they give all the rest for free to others and still somehow people go to them to acquire things can you explain why are they not destroyed?

    And the good thing, nobody can sue you in the open world, they bitch and moan a lot but rarely people go to court for anything, because it doesn't incentivate the hedonistic side of people, it incentivate people to find their own solutions, many projects in the open world started with one person who for one reason or another was left behind and the better administrators and inovators got ahead and along the way everybody noticed how things should be for it to work and so an eco-system was born and it became more than that it became an ethos.

    And people respect the people who create doubt?
    http://www.blender.org/
    Go try and badmouth Ton(aka Ton Roosendaal) people will trash you there, but fans are nothing right real people wouldn't respect him correct?
    That also would be wrong for his contributions he got a honorary doctorate from a real university.
    http://www.blender.org/blenderorg/blender-foundation/press/honorary-doctorate/

    Not to mention the hundreds of contributors that found employement contributing things to open projects and others that build around that.

    Copyright is something that exclude others, is something that is used as a weapon to hurt others it is not something that benefits everyone, it benefits only one small class of people.

    Want to see more people making 6 figures that give everything for free?
    The Annoying Orange and like them there are hundreds more making a lot of money.

    Want to see someone that used content of others to get rich and now produce their own content?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooster_Teeth_Productions

    Copyright produces the wrong incentives and ethos inside society, it poisons our lifes and destroy the little decency others could have it doesn't reward people for being good neighbours it rewards aggression and that is the real immoral part of it.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Photographs having anything more than than proposed "thin" copyright protection of mechanical copying also does not pass a simple sniff test.

    If I am standing behind my friend and we both take a picture of the same subject, am I copyright infringer because he pushed his shutter button first?

    If I sneak onto the set of a professional photographer and push my shutter button first, is he the infringer? Or am I the infringer because I recorded his unique arrangements and choices that were not fixed in any kind of medium like normal copyrighted works are?

    Doesn't make sense.

     

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  94.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    When photographing people, if you intend to publish it, you really need to have a model release in which they have agreed that they grant you permission to use it, and it may have limitations on use set out in the release. It needs to be signed by the person(s) in the photograph. This is to respect a persons right to a private life.

    If you photograph a photograph of MM there are two potential offences in such a case. If you were to use such a photograph, say publish it, you have infringed the copyright of the creator of the photograph, and as you have not been granted the right to use the image of MM, you have breached her privacy. Not sure about the privacy rights of a dead peson but substitute any live person and you will see the problems that arise.

    Copying not only has copyright ramifications, it can have privacy implications as well.

    This is how the law is set out both to protect creators rights, and to protect the public's privacy.

    Re the Hope artwork, this was based on a photograph by Associated Press freelance photographer Mannie Garcia and published as a news item. As I understand it publication of such a photograph by the press is covered by the US Fair Use law.

    Where it went wrong was the artist Shepard Fairey copied it without adding originality, did so with crediting Mannie Garcia as the originator of the image. Associated Press sued and the case was settled out of court which usually means the defendant knows he is going to lose and decides to avoid incurring court expenses. What Shepherd should have done was to approach the creator of the image, seek permission for use and come to terms about that. So much simpler and respectful.

    Simply using other people's work without permission is wrong.

     

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  95.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re: The Problem With "Facts"

    That is what he tried to say, there is no easy way and it would be almost impossible to distinguish those things.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    It only dilutes something if it has your name attached for that you have trademarks, you don't need copyright.

     

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  97.  
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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Sure, but my photographs on FB only have commercial value to FB unless I am using it as a promotional medium in which case you want people to copy them as much as possible. If you put up high-res photos on FB, you are basically putting your works into the public domain.

    An illustration: I publish these statements under my name. You state your opinions without your name. Your statements are in effect not copyrightable. Mine are. Reproduce them and then I would be only too happy to realise a commercial benefit from your distribution model (if there was a commercial benefit to be had, which of course there is not!)

     

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  98.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Not sure what your question is.

    Do you mean

    "If a photo is not a 'mechanical representation of facts' then what is it? [the word it has been added]

    or

    If a photo is not a 'mechanical representation of facts' then what is a 'mechanical representation of facts'?

     

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  99.  
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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Thank you for clarifying, the key does appear to be "publishing" vs "privacy" for shots taken of public figures. W

    The same is also true of video - I wonder if Youtube would stand the test of "fair use" when 50000 people video a concert and publish them? Are they sufficiently covered by offering to take down such works?

    In earlier post I said "providence" when I meant "provenance".

     

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  100.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Sorry Anonymous, you have not explained why it is wrong for an author to have the right to sell copies of books they write, nor why its wrong that only they should have that right.

    You have not explained why it is morally wrong for artists to choose to sell their work in order to make a living, you know, buy food, clothes, shelter.

    I assume you can afford to give your creative work away for free because you have another source of money, otherwise you will be the only person I know that can live on fresh air.

    If you have a source of money which allows you to give your creative works away for free do you feel you really have the right to say to artists they may not create something and have the exclusive right to sell copies of it? What gives you a right to dictate how they lead their lives?

    Surely you must see, that should say, a dictator, promulgate such laws it would be seen as oppressive? Surely you stand against such a law?

    With regard to neighbours and colleagues I have never fallen out with anyone about copyright, we just never discuss it, certainly not with your obsessiveness about its supposed evils.

    Copyright does not exclude others, at the risk of sounding boring copyright is a benefit the law has granted to everyone, call it a 'privilege' if you like, you too are granted that 'privilege'. Except its not a privilege, a privilege is something that a few are given to disadvantage of the many. But copyright is granted to everyone, the UN and the EU have even declared it to be a human right.

    Copyright is a moral right, and a human right, only a minority think otherwise.

     

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  101.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    You are misunderstanding copyright. Ideas are not copyrightable.

    Only when an idea has been transformed into a work, such as a book, a song, an illustration, etc., does the physical manifestation or digital encapsulation of the work become copyrightable.

    The purpose of the limited term for the monopoly is to enable the author to benefit from the creation of his mind throughout his life and pass it onto his grandchildren. When the term expires the work becomes public domain.

     

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  102.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    One may also ask what is wrong with passing stuff onto to ones children and grandchildren. This is a very human thing to do and I don't see it as any different from passing on any other inheritance.

     

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  103.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Competition and monopoly are two different things. The monopoly granted by copyright to an individual is to enable them to benefit both morally and materially from the products of their mind and to to compete with other creators against the products of their minds.

    This is the free market, one person's creative works competing against another's creative works. Copyright stops me from cheating, I am prohibited from taking the product of another persons mind and using it to compete against other authors, so the monopoly prevents cheating.

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: The Problem With "Facts"

    How is it impossible to distinguish "those things" (and what things are you talking about)?

    This is done all the time in the cases of sound recordings, motion pictures, etc., and some of the earliest copyright cases acknowledging protection for photographs focus on the posing-type aspects, as opposed to the exposure-type aspects, of the author's creativity.

     

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  105.  
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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I can not make sense of what you are so sure of?

    What has copyrights got to do with government assistance?

    The government is not the same thing as the law.

    The law on copyright assets and the laws about passing of ownership of assets to your children is fairly clear. If anything it reduces the need welfare.

    (the difference of opinion may be cultural? I am British, welfare is seen as left wing, ownership and inheritance is seen as right wing I think).

     

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  106.  
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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    This is the best description of copyright I have seen on this discussion. May I have your permission to republish it (as it is your original work) or do I need to ask this website as they have effectively published it?

    I think this is also an interesting and difficult question.

     

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  107.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Thanks Nicholas, please feel free to reproduce any of my content reproduced on this TechDirt page, you don't need permission from TechDirt.

     

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  108.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Ideas are not copyrightable.

    So they say, but protecting "derivative works" makes a lie out of this.

     

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  109.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    One may also ask what is wrong with passing stuff onto to ones children and grandchildren. This is a very human thing to do and I don't see it as any different from passing on any other inheritance.

    I said nothing about inheritance, but if you want to get into that:

    1. If "intellectual property" is truly property, then it should remain property forever, and could thereby be passed down to future generations.
    2. If it's not property, then then it shouldn't be granted in the first place and there would be nothing to pass down.
    3. If instead, it's merely a utilitarian contrivance (of dubious value), then all bets are off and what matters is whether allowing IP to pass down to children provides more utility than not allowing it.

     

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  110.  
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    Nicholas Alexander (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Thank you kindly. It appears on manifestarts.co.uk which I have also linked to your brilliantly useful site. You are right, it was not hard to ask first.

     

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  111.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    We agree on some issues, and you make good points. In the first case you are not a copyright infringer because you made a unique work from your viewpoint.

    The second case is interesting. Assuming you could sneak into a pro photographers studio and take a photo of his set up and lighting arrangement it does raise a dilemma in my mind about the legal position, not sure how a court would rule on that.

    However, from a moral (sorry to use that word again!) point of view it bothers me. The photographer has created his own unique set up, props, lighting, determined model poses, etc., and before it was fixed in a copyrightable work someone else has recorded it.

    It's a fascinating legal point but the act of the sneak photographer is just not right in my view. He has immediately taken advantage of the skill, experience, and creative intent of someone else. Maybe he could be charged with trespassing instead, but that still does not resolve the legal/moral issue re the photo he took.

    Perhaps the legal people who visit TechDirt could comment on this very interesting point. Just think how dull life would be without copyright to argue about! It is always the case with human determined laws that they will always be less than perfect, human ingenuity is almost unlimited and the law only has the written word and previous judgements to guide it, a less than perfect medium.

    We can also use our sense of rightness of course, but as discussions on TechDirt reveal there does seem to be huge variations in what is considered right and wrong. Hence we need to resort to the law, an expense largely exclusively the solution of those who can afford it. Yet another problem.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Thanks Nicholas, and also for the link, glad to have met you.

     

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  113.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Well I think you've cleared it up - you misunderstand competition, or monopoly, or both. Monopoly means there's no (or at most severely limited) competition. Copyright is a monopoly and an interference with the free market.

     

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  114.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Both the UN and EU human rights acts set out intellectual property as a human right, and that such rights take precedence when a country is formulating laws.

    This is an appeal to authority fallacy.

     

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  115.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    When photographing people, if you intend to publish it, you really need to have a model release in which they have agreed that they grant you permission to use it, and it may have limitations on use set out in the release.

    If you photograph them in a public place, this is generally not true. If in private, it would depend on publicity rights laws in that jurisdiction.

    Where it went wrong was the artist Shepard Fairey copied it without adding originality, did so with crediting Mannie Garcia as the originator of the image.

    You got that backwards: Where it went wrong was the artist Shepard Fairey copied it with adding originality, did so without crediting Mannie Garcia as the originator of the image. And where it really went wrong was in the way he tried to defend himself. He probably could have won with a fair use defense if properly mounted.


    Simply using other people's work without permission is wrong.


    Such a drastic oversimplification is false, and generally only employed by the ignorant and those with a financial incentive tied to copyright. I'm guessing you are one of the latter.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Intellectual Property is granted as a temporary right (for a number of years) in order to prevent it becoming a permanent monopoly. A permanent monopoly would be not encourage the creation of new creativity and so the law was set not to avoid that.

    It is important to have a system in place that a) rewards the public for putting in the effort to be creative, but b) does not assign permanence to that monopoly so that c) creative works enrich the public domain after the creator and his descendents have died.

    This is a benefit that you to can enjoy, and your children and grandchildren, before the law removes it from you. It is nor a privilege given to a few. You have not explained what is wrong with creating incentives for people to enrich society with creative or scientific works.

    Without such incentive we would be the poorer, only the talented aristocracy would be able to indulge in such pursuits, as was the case in the past, now we have a law that supports all those who desire to be creative and dedicate their lives making a living from such activity.

    Which is, as with all ventures, a very risky thing to do. No one can possibly know before they embark on such a creative career whether it will actually make them a living, and in most cases it doesn't. Those who have the skills and talent to either make life changing scientific discoveries, or create life changing culture deserve the rewards that society provides for them through copyright.

    Of course one can criticise the corporate giants from taking advantage of these laws by the power they wield to pursue their own vested interests by lobbying governments to make copyright even more favourable to them. I would support you in such an argument, but on an individual level copyright should support creative people. If their talent is not good enough they will fail and their enterprise will come to naught, and this is fair, if tough.

    So back to the argument about how long the monopoly of copyright should last, then we can agree to disagree, everyone has an opinion. Should it be passed for a limited period to ones descendents or not? I think ones family should gain the benefit of ones endeavours. If you think that's wrong you'll need to convince those who make the law, not me.

    So you may disagree with me about the about the term of copyright, but we shouldn't disagree about its fundamental purpose, that is, to encourage creativity by rewarding it. I can see nothing wrong with that principle, and I would hope that everyone would see this as fair and just to an individual who has created something that the public feel they wish to enjoy or benefit from in some way.

     

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  117.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    If you put up high-res photos on FB, you are basically putting your works into the public domain.

    No, you're retaining the copyright to them and granting FB a license to use them.

     

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  118.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography


    You have not explained why it is morally wrong for artists to choose to sell their work in order to make a living, you know, buy food, clothes, shelter.


    Strawman.

    I assume you can afford to give your creative work away for free because you have another source of money, otherwise you will be the only person I know that can live on fresh air.

    False dichotomy.

    If you have a source of money which allows you to give your creative works away for free, do you feel you really have the right to say to artists they may not create something and have the exclusive right to sell copies of it?

    Anybody can legitimately argue for or against anything regardless of their source of income. It is beyond ridiculous to suggest that only people who rely on copyright can campaign against copyright.

    Surely you must see, that should say, a dictator, promulgate such laws it would be seen as oppressive?

    What do you mean, promulgate such laws? The law you're talking about is copyright. The absence of such a law would be the natural state of affairs.

    Copyright does not exclude others, at the risk of sounding boring copyright is a benefit the law has granted to everyone, call it a 'privilege' if you like, you too are granted that 'privilege'.

    It is the privilege of exclusive right to copy. Exclusive, meaning excluding others. I'm curious what you think copyright does, because if you think it doesn't exclude, then you don't understand it.

    Except its not a privilege, a privilege is something that a few are given to disadvantage of the many.

    No, that's not what a privilege is. I have the privilege of driving a car, but not at the disadvantage of anyone else.

    But copyright is granted to everyone, the UN and the EU have even declared it to be a human right.

    Thankfully, the US has not followed suit. US copyright law still recognizes it (correctly) as a utilitarian privilege.

    Copyright is a moral right, and a human right, only a minority think otherwise.

    Citation needed.

     

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  119.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    It's only not welfare according to that definition because the need is not necessarily there. Copyright is clearly a government-granted benefit. And to talk about ownership and inheritance is to pretend that copyright is equivalent or similar to property. It isn't, it's a utilitarian grant of an exclusive privilege. There is no reason it should be inheritable unless that helps fulfill its legal purpose (and that purpose has nothing to do with reducing welfare expenditure).

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    This is nonsense. Read your law, ideas are NOT copyrightable, ask any lawyer. Nor is a derivative work is an idea. It is taking someone else's work and changing it in some way to create a new work.

    The argument then is as follows; has the artist, in the course of making a derivative work added some originality to the work, transforming it in some way that gives the original work an entirely new meaning. This is where inspiration comes into play.

    Artists can be inspired by works created in the past by others, they can take ideas expressed in that work and transform it into a work with a new meaning, a new view of the human condition, a new view of the universe, a new meaning for our time compared to when the original work was created, and so on.

    In many cases derivative works are little more than slavish copies with changes that add no new expression, no new meanings of the human condition, no new challenge to how one views the world, add no new understanding of the universe, no new way of arranging graphic elements, no new way of using language.

    Such works deserve no protection and are simply infringements of the original artists work as court cases inevitably conclude. Why should any artists with any self respect for his honour and reputation for originality and skill indulge in such behaviour? It demeans them. Why not just go ahead and create new works out of your own imagination? Then there is no problem whatsoever and we can all live happily without squabbling over copyright!

    It is a way of life I would thoroughly recommend. Ban copying, live in an original way! Hallelujah!

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Nasch, copyright is not an exclusive privilege. I am really sorry that I have had to bang on about this in my unending replies to contributors to this comment column.

    Copyright is NOT a privilege, lets get that out of the way right now. If it is a privilege then it is a very strange privilege because we all enjoy its benefits. By definition a privilege is something that it is granted to a few to the disadvantage of the many.

    In now way does copyright fall into this definition of privilege. Why you may ask? Simply because we are all granted this 'privilege' by the law. The 'privilege of copyright is granted freely to you for every original work you artwork you create. It is not welfare, copyright does not provide a living as the following discussion will show;

    Lets say that you, Nasch, create a book, it took you a year to write, then you place it online offering it at say, $5 for each copy. You'll probably make a few extracts available on line plus a synopsis so people can get a flavour of the work, as they would have had they gone to a traditional bookshop.

    Then, if they like what they've read, people will pay you $5 and get access to the download page. You hope, so that you can afford to live, that you will sell enough copies to buy food/warmth/shelter while you spend another year writing another book, you have no other income. Note that law of copyright in no way helps you sell your work, you are competing with other authors and if you are not talented you will not sell well or at all. Or if your book price is too high people will not buy it. Copyright has nothing to do with competition, creative talent and pricing is everything when it comes to competing.

    However we will take it for granted that you are a talented author and people enjoy your work. Now lets assume a hacker finds some way to bypass the payment page to get access to your book and download it, then he makes your book available to everyone to copy for free.

    Being an author is how you make a living, you don't have a regular salary, being an author is your job and selling books is your income. You will feel both angry and extremely worried. Angry because someone just took your creation that you had laboured over for a year, and extremely worried about how you are going to live.

    Now you face yet another another problem, in the world you have proposed there is no law of copyright so you can't use the law to stop the hacker giving your work away for nothing. Your livelihood has just been destroyed, so how are you going to deal with this nasch? In this situation your first thought will be to get a source of money, perhaps you apply for a job, work for a salary, and maybe do some part time writing.

    However, the rich seam of culture that you might have contributed to society has just been stunted, it will take much longer to create work, and eventually, although you may be driven to write from some inner need, that inner need may just wither because society has no moral respect for the products of your mind.

    Even if you continue to write with the same fervour and inner need, you can no longer do this full time. The volume of work you could have contributed to enrich public culture will be severely restricted. You, as an artist lose, and society loses a valuable contribution to enrich our culture.

    Copyright is there to support everyone in their endeavours to enrich public culture. To do so it gives those of the public who create works a temporary monopoly right (called copyright) in order that they may benefit economically from their work for a limited period of time, that they are also given certain moral rights, and these rights benefit society as a whole.

    Copyright, like all human ideas, can be used for good or ill. The power of large corporations, who acquire others creativity, has been used to distort the law of copyright to protect their interests primarily and individual creators, such as you Anonymous, are less well protected. This is wrong and is not the original intent of copyright which is at its core, a public right.

    So now we move onto the subject of inheritance.

    Intellectual Property is granted as a temporary right (for a number of years) in order to prevent it becoming a permanent monopoly. A permanent monopoly would not encourage the creation of new creativity and so the law was set not to avoid that.

    It is important to have a system in place that a) rewards the public for putting in the effort to be creative, but b) does not assign permanence to that monopoly so that c) creative works enrich the public domain after the creator and his descendents have died.

    This is a benefit that you to can enjoy, and your children and grandchildren, before the law removes it from you. It is nor a privilege given to a few. You have not yet explained what is wrong with creating incentives for people to enrich society with creative or scientific works.

    Without such incentive we would be the poorer, only the talented aristocracy would be able to indulge in such pursuits, as was the case in the past, now we have a law that supports all those who desire to be creative and dedicate their lives making a living from such activity.

    Which is, as with all ventures, a very risky thing to do. No one can possibly know before they embark on such a creative career whether it will actually make them a living, and in most cases it doesn't. Those who have the skills and talent to either make life changing scientific discoveries, or create life enhancing culture deserve the rewards that society provides for them through copyright.

    Of course one can criticise the corporate giants from taking advantage of these laws by the power they wield to pursue their own vested interests by lobbying governments to make copyright even more favourable to them. I would support you in such an argument, but on an individual level copyright should support creative people. If their talent is not good enough they will fail and their enterprise will come to naught, and this is fair, if tough.

    So back to the argument about how long the monopoly of copyright should last, then we can agree to disagree, everyone has an opinion. Should it be passed for a limited period to ones descendents or not? I think ones family should gain the benefit of ones endeavours. If you think that's wrong you'll need to convince those who make the law, not me.

    So you may disagree with me about the about the term of copyright, but we shouldn't disagree about its fundamental purpose, that is, to encourage creativity by rewarding it. I can see nothing wrong with that principle, and I would hope that everyone would see this as fair and just to an individual who has created something that the public feel they wish to enjoy or benefit from in some way.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re:

    Agreed. As I understand slavish copies are not allowed by copyright law, but a work inspired in some new way from a previous work is allowable. I think we have to allow that despite the fact that it leads to difficult judgements.

     

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  123.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    Agreed that news reporters should not manipulate their images by altering its content, absolutely unethical.

    But yes, of course photographs can be works of fiction, just as painters and other artists produce.

    It may be easier now but it happened in the past too. The most famous examples I suppose are those in which Stalin ordered those who fell out of favour be removed from photographs. It was more difficult back then and required more effort, time and skill, but it happened.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Pictures show facts? Really?

    With regard to news photographs, as previously explained, this is entirely unethical.

    However with regard to creating art it is entirely acceptable. Painters don't necessarily paint what the see, the paint what they want to express, and so it is with photographs, but it should never be done for news photographs.

    Photographers have been shamed and driven out of the profession for such behaviour, and rightly so.

     

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  125.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    In no way can a photograph ever be compared to a phone book. The creation of a phone book is an administrative process of arranging information in the prescribed order.

    It calls for no creativity by the persons/organisation so employed in its production. it is in fact the ultimate mechanical act. Given the rules of ordering information, and by slavishly copying them, I would produce an identical outcome. There is no art. I am not arguing that a phone book should not be copyright protected, far from it, simply that comparing it to the creation of a photograph is an invalid comparison.

    The process of photography has absolutely no comparison with the process of creating a telephone book. A photographers has 1) a choice of what to include/exclude for the image 2) the viewpoint of what they wish to include 3) how to record the subjects to be included 4) how to post process the image recorded on film/sensor.

    Thus the creation of a phone book bears no relation whatsoever to the creation of a photograph.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 6:49pm

    Re:

    Yes, it can be confusing. The intent of copyright is good but human laws are imperfect. We are imperfect, we simply do what we believe to be right to try and protect creators and reward them in some way.

    Deciding between right and wrong is not always easy, hence all the agonising copyright cases. We do the best we can and hopefully it works out for the best in most cases.

     

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  127.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Please present a cogent argument with reasoning for your assertions and I can respond properly to you.

    I don't know what you mean by 'authority fallacy'. Do you mean the United Nations is a fallacy? Do you mean the people who determined human rights used fallacious arguments? Or are you pressing some other argument? If you can tell me what you mean I will be happy to discuss your reasoning with you.

     

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  128.  
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    darryl, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:06pm

    A picture is worth a thousand words clause

    yes, right up there with the "finders/keepers" legal argument.

    what about a photograph of a painting, or a book page(s).

    Or a photo of a design blueprint ?
    Or a photo of a circuit diagram for a new invention ?

    Is not a movie simply a series of photo's ? with commentry!

    A painting is a mechanical representation of a scene as well, except paint, brushes and canvass are the mechanical tools to create it, a photo is the same, but the tools are different.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    I'm sorry nasch but you do not understand the law. If you photograph people in a public place and use it in any way without permission you can be sued. However, if you think it is OK to do that please go ahead.

    If nothing else it is at the very least respectful to seek permission of a person to publish a photograph of them. If you don't they can sue you, but feel free to follow your own interpretation if the law if you must...

    Re Crediting, I got that wrong, I omitted to type the word 'out' in the heat of passion, you know what its like when you feel passionate about something. OK Nasch, I admire your knowledge of the law, offer your services to Shepard the next time he fails to be original, as was the case, a novice could have created his artwork from the photograph, and I'm sure he'll be grateful for your defence of him in court. I'm assuming from what you say you are a qualified attorney?

    Why did Shepaerd not just approach Obama, take along his sketch book or camera and do his own thing, discuss with the president what was important to him and try and incorporate that in his artwork. Too much trouble perhaps? To easy to copy the photo and manipulate it?

    You have just accused me of being ignorant and having a financial incentive tied to copyright. Let me correct you on both these points. Firstly I reckon I am fairly well educated but certainly not ranked as a genius. Secondly my livelihood does not depend on exploitation of copyright. I license no works. I sell fine art prints and my digital works are not accessible online to hackers so they cannot be pirated.

    I suppose you could say I am old fashioned, I sell physical copies, I suppose someone could buy one and try and make a copy of it, but they should signed by me, any other signature would of course be a forgery which would make that person a criminal. They would need to find some way of proving they were me, I don't envy them their task, I know of no one who wants to be like me.

    I see you have also called me ignorant. I have no idea how you could come to such a conclusion nor what has prompted you to use such offensive language. As far as I'm concerned we are having a civilised discussion about the pro's and con's of copyright and debating points of law. We can have our differences of course and point out the weaknesses in each others arguments. Perhaps you could restrain your language in future to debating points of fact or I may have cause to complain to TechDirt about you.

     

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  130.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    You misunderstand the point again Anonymous Coward. BTW are their two of you?

    No words can ever be absolutely precise, they can try to be so but will always ultimately fail thus requiring judgements in court. It is how our imperfect system works.

    We are all fallible, and our laws are likewise, we are merely human. Life is full of infinite complexity and man has at least devised a system where although the written words fail to give a precise answer to a specific situation the whole issue can at least be debated in court, before the public, before a jury, where required, with a judge or judges with vast experience to guide the process and ultimately come to a ruling to inform future law.

    As with all human created procedures nothing is ever perfect, we continually innovate and try to improve things. The intent is to do right, and hopefully that is the outcome most of the time.

    I'm not sure if this explanation answers your point because I'm not sure what point you were making. If I haven't answered it perhaps you could clarify the point you were making and I will try to answer it.

     

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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    To answer your question the person has used his mind to decide to create a copy of someones else's work. He has not decided to do anything original, he has decided to make a slavish copy.

    Making a slavish copy, within the limits of the copying device & medium, cannot be compared with the production of an original artwork.

    The creation of an original artwork begins with an original idea, generated from a feeling perhaps, or an experience, or from a sudden and unexpected moment of inspiration. The artist then builds in these initial promptings to create something new.

    The mere copying of a previously created artwork is of course completely unoriginal, unimaginative, and only employs mechanical copying skills. The proliferation of such behaviour, slavish copying, would lead to the very dull un-enriched world that I mentioned in a previous post on this page.

    What we need are people with originality and creativity.

    So now we come to the point about the photographer not creating Marilyn Monroe. We agree on that. Nor has the photographer created the statue of liberty or Mount Everest. Then you make the point, why should he allowed to prevent others creating art from the same subjects that they didn't create?

    Firstly, if you take a photograph of Mount Everest and I also take one it is extraordinarily unlikely they will be identical, they will be unique, I, nor anyone else has any interest in preventing you photographing Mount Everest and profiting from it. Please go ahead and photograph Mount Everest.

    The situation with MM, or any other person for that matter, is slightly different. Assuming they are alive, otherwise you cannot photograph them, you should get permission from them, not specifically to photograph them as such, but to use the photograph.

    That permission has to be recorded on a model release, take a photograph of someone and use it without a signed model release, giving you permission for the specific use, you can be sued. This is nothing to do with copyright, it is to do with the legal rights of privacy.

    Professional photographers should always make sure they have signed model releases but as mentioned before there are exceptions for news so that for example freedom of expression/investigative journalism is not inhibited. Having said that I can imagine now another attack coming based of the freedom of expression argument, but please go ahead, I look forward to the next debate!

    Your final point was why should a photographer be allowed to produce art from something he didn't create, such as Marilyn Monroe. I assume then your argument then applies to all the creative disciplines, such as painters. You seem to be questioning why any artist should be allowed to create art from something they didn't create. If this is not the point you are making please correct me in your next post and make clear why your argument only applies to photographers.

    Assuming it is the point, then clearly no artist, let alone a 'mere photographer' has created any person or natural artifact, yet these are subjects that artists turn to time and time again and have done throughout history. It is obvious that a photographer cannot create Marilyn Monroe, or Mount Everest, so why raise it?

    There is no problem in using people or natural objects as subjects for photographs (putting aside for the moment the model release issue). Each such original photograph is likely to be entirely unique.

     

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  132.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    It is entirely relevant. The article postulates photographs are merely a representation of the facts. They are not, for all the reasons mentioned, thus the argument made by the article has failed to prove its point.

     

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  133.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    No. I never said that.

    I said it is an inaccurate representation of reality, much as a painting is an inaccurate representation of reality.

    I explained all the reasons why this was so. You have chosen to ignore all the points I made. If you disagree with any of the specific points I made please respond and explain why you think I am wrong. I will be glad to debate specifics with you.

     

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  134.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I'm sorry you are unable or unwilling to engage with attempts to explain the purpose of copyright. Copyright is NOT a government monopoly designed to reduce competition. For goodness sake that would be completely illogical, think about it! Where will the innovation come from? A government that stifled competition would lead its nation on a road to ruin. Politicians are not always the brightest but they are not usually utterly stupid.

    Please re-read what was read, understand it even if you don't agree with it, then raise counter arguments based on a proper understanding. I'll be happy to debate arguments based on reason.

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    There is nothing wrong with someone trying to sell something they wrote or even didn't wrote that is the entire point, for that they don't need copyright do they?

    But you didn't answer why anybody deserves the right to exclude others from the market?

    Why can't someone just put what is theirs in the market and let people decide from where they want to acquire such a thing?

    What is wrong with that?

    Quote:
    Copyright does not exclude others


    If it didn't it wouldn't be possible to stop others now would it?

    Copyright is a exclusion tool that enable bad actors to exclude people from a market without having to do any real work.

     

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  136.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    Excuse me?

    Photographs merit only a thin copyright, while a pulp paperback book merits a "thick" copyright. That is to say that the amount of "artist" input into the photo is too small to merit it for full coverage.

    I don't think it gets clearer than that.

     

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  137.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Quote:
    If you have a source of money which allows you to give your creative works away for free do you feel you really have the right to say to artists they may not create something and have the exclusive right to sell copies of it? What gives you a right to dictate how they lead their lives?


    Nature that is what gives everybody the right to copy anything, without it there wouldn't be a human race.

    In millions of years cells divide and copy themselves and keep adding little changes, they don't pay each other and somehow without any copy protection an immense diversity emerged from that, what makes you believe people need copy protection to create or make a living?

    Just because you don't like to be copied it doesn't preclude the end of a market for you, it just means you need to work harder, it means you are compeled to be nice to others in order to sell anything it means and God forbid you may have to treat others with some respect, instead what you want apparently is the ability to force others to see it your way, that ain't gonna happen I'm sorry.

     

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  138.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Quote:
    Nasch, copyright is not an exclusive privilege. I am really sorry that I have had to bang on about this in my unending replies to contributors to this comment column.

    Source: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110902/03151515777/photographs-are-mechanical-representations-fac ts-thus-should-have-only-thin-copyright-protection.shtml#c1566

    I'm sorry I have to be repeating this to you but copyright is a privilege conceded by a government, it is not a natural right because people don't need it to survive, it is a granted monopoly that wich states very clearly it is to exclude others from doing something, for which inumerous times during history generated bloodshed(e.g. The Peasant's Revolts).

    Granting to everyone doesn't it make it needed or useful to everybody since most people don't have the resources to enforce that right by themselves which it makes it in fact a privilege of a very few.

    Copyright also is a threat to freeddom of speech and civil liberties as verified by Chilling Effects.

    And as pointed out to you already, authors everywhere can make money without copyright protections at all, so why is that we need that exclusive privilege again?

    Ask Paulo Coelho did he not made millions helping pirate his own works?

    Did the Kindle people not make millions giving away for free their own works?

    Did people not create multi-million dollar companies giving away they work in the open hardware sector?

    People don't need copyright protections, they need to learn how to deal with other people and copyright only teaches people how to fight, not how to sell or be successful as proven time and time again by people who don't use it and still manage to make a living and in some cases a fortune.

     

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  139.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Now it is a monopoly, but up there you said:
    "Nasch, copyright is not an exclusive privilege. I am really sorry that I have had to bang on about this in my unending replies to contributors to this comment column."

     

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  140.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    We already have such a system is called open source.

    It rewards everybody, not just a few.

     

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  141.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    But if we need to have this absurd privilege called copyright why not make it 10 years instead of life+95 years?

    Copyright as it is now is a burdensome ambiguous unnecessary welfare granted by the government.

     

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  142.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I see you respond to discussion points by not always presenting reasoned arguments. Please explain what you mean by 'strawman' 'false dichotomy'.
    ----
    You have misunderstood the points I was making. For example I never said that "only people who rely on copyright can campaign against copyright." Where did that come from?

    The point I made was that an artist who intends to make a living solely by selling copies of his artworks is doing something honorable, he is not scrounging off the state, he is making his own way in society and contributing to it by contributing culture and paying his taxes. You have no justification for criticising him for making a living producing works that people are happy to buy.
    ----
    Next you state that the lack of copyright would be the natural state of affairs.

    Lets say that you, Nasch, create a book, it took you a year to write, then you place it online offering it at say, $5 for each copy. You'll probably make a few extracts available on line plus a synopsis so people can get a flavour of the work, as they would have had they gone to a traditional bookshop.

    Then, if they like what they've read, people will pay you $5 and get access to the download page. You hope, so that you can afford to live, that you will sell enough copies to buy food/warmth/shelter while you spend another year writing another book, you have no other income. Note that law of copyright in no way helps you sell your work, you are competing with other authors and if you are not talented you will not sell well or at all. Or if your book price is too high people will not buy it. Copyright has nothing to do with competition, creative talent and pricing is everything when it comes to competing.

    However we will take it for granted that you are a talented author and people enjoy your work. Now lets assume a hacker finds some way to bypass the payment page to get access to your book and download it, then he makes your book available to everyone to copy for free.

    Being an author is how you make a living, you don't have a regular salary, being an author is your job and selling books is your income. You will feel both angry and extremely worried. Angry because someone just took your creation that you had laboured over for a year, and extremely worried about how you are going to live.

    Now you face yet another another problem, in the world you have proposed there is no law of copyright so you can't use the law to stop the hacker giving your work away for nothing. Your livelihood has just been destroyed, so how are you going to deal with this Anonymous? In this situation your first thought will be to get a source of money, perhaps you apply for a job, work for a salary, and maybe do some part time writing.

    However, the rich seam of culture that you might have contributed to society has just been stunted, it will take much longer to create work, and eventually, although you may be driven to write from some inner need, that inner need may just wither because society has no moral respect for the products of your mind.

    Even if you continue to write with the same fervour and inner need, you can no longer do this full time. The volume of work you could have contributed to enrich public culture will be severely restricted. You, as an artist lose, and society loses a valuable contribution to enrich our culture.

    Copyright is there to support everyone in their endeavours to enrich public culture. To do so it gives those of the public who create works a temporary monopoly right (called copyright) in order that they may benefit economically from their work for a limited period of time, that they are also given certain moral rights, and these rights benefit society as a whole.

    Copyright, like all human ideas, can be used for good or ill. The power of large corporations, who acquire others creativity, has been used to distort the law of copyright to protect their interests primarily and individual creators, such as you Anonymous, are less well protected. This is wrong and is not the original intent of copyright which is at its core, a public right.

    Sorry to repeat that again, but you seem to have missed the above and have not responded with a detailed alternative system.
    ----
    Next you argue that copyright provides an exclusive right to copy, and so it does, we all agree on that. However, it grants you an exclusive right to copy your own works, so you are free to enter the market, create your own works, and compete with others on the basis of your talent and business ability. You are not EXCLUDED, you have the same rights as me, as everybody, feel free to join in.
    ----
    When you drive a car you are not disadvantaging anybody else. Perhaps you could explain what you mean, I cannot understand your point.

    If you create a work, say a book, or a photo, or a song, you have exactly the same rights as me with regard to copyright. The works you create are yours alone, the products of your mind, exclusively yours to do with as you wish, they law has granted you that privilege, you are not at any disadvantage. If you believe there is a disadvantage please explain what these disadvantages are for you and we can discuss them.
    ---
    You mentioned you needed a citation for copyright being a moral right and a human right. I have already given that on this page but I will give it again, I wish I didn't have to keep repeating the same arguments - http://t.co/x6IUOL2 - is just one citation published by the UN. There are many other authoritative references within the UN, the EU and within the USA. You can search them out yourself.

    If you are in the USA you should be aware that that country does not recognise the moral rights of the artist as set out in the Berne Convention, rights that are recognised elsewhere. This could explain why you have never heard of moral rights. However you can easily find out what they are by reading the Berne Convention or reading other authoritative legal documents.

     

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  143.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    John, let's be fair here. You ignored a key word in my statement, and took it personally. That's your problem, not mine. Perhaps you want to re-read it.

    The "basic bright line rules" exist, but they aren't shining where you want them to point. Your argument only makes sense if you consider a photographer to be on par with a photocopy machine operator, someone with nothing more than a basic skill to push a button.

    The "facts" of an image aren't just "facts". In the wonderful 3D world that we live in, even the slightest change of a camera angle, change of depth of field, or a thousand other things changes how those facts are seen.

    There is no reason to give a photograph a "thin" copyright. Claiming to support copyright of photographs and then attempting to lump them as second class citizens isn't exactly supporting them as art.

     

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  144.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    They law may say it doesn't cover ideas only expression but we can ask James Cameron about Harlan Ellison and what happened there, since Cameron took the idea create Terminator which is an original with only bits and pieces of the original plot for Ellison's Soldier story.

    So no what you are saying is not what reality is showing.

     

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  145.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Are you deliberately not understanding arguments, if you are this is being very naughty and I will stop answering you.

    Of course people need copyright otherwise there would be no law to stop you or anyone else from copying the products of there mind and exploiting it for their own gain.

    Neither I, nor anyone else, excludes you from the market, I welcome you to the market! Please create a work and enter the market, its free to join and you can compete with your work against others who have brought their work to the market.

    I have no idea why you feel you are excluded, you are welcome to join in. What do you do? Stories, poems, novels or do you compose music? We need people like you to enrich our culture - please don't feel excluded.

     

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  146.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 9:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: The Problem With "Facts"

    Yes, it happens all the time and lead to absurd results like winning a lawsuit because somebody used 3 notes of a song.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeport_Music_Inc._v._Dimension_Films

    That killed sampling as a viable means for creation of new works, essentially making it illegal for anyone to get a brick to build a house unless they manage to make a brick themselves.

     

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  147.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:02pm

    Re:

    You repeatedly said that taking a photograph was entirely and artistic endeavour, so even if someone copies the work by taking a picture of it, it would still be a new work of art.

    You said it yourself and I quote "The point I was trying to make was that the recording medium is fallible, it has limitations, it doesn't record all the light that, for example the eye can see, and that which it does record is imperfect, therefore what is recorded is not a mere representation of the facts as the article we are discussing is trying to set out.".

    If a photographer is able to create something new just by photographing something, then photographing that work would also be an entire new work no?

     

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  148.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    If by temporally you mean life + 120 years with options to extend it indefinitely I don't think you are being honest here.

     

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  149.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Next question

    The sound part is irrelevant since it is covered in other parts of copyright law.

    "sequence of pictures, overlaid in time, intended to...represent events in the past".

     

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  150.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Yes, this true nature provides all our resources.

    However the mechanisms of biology have little to do with with how we encourage creativity and enable people to make a living from it. Unless we decide to have an entirely anarchic society where anything goes, which ultimately is how nature works.

    As human beings we try as best we can to create a just society and give everyone an equal chance. We are not very good at that as I will readily admit. There is a lot of prejudice in the world, racial, religious, class, and so on.

    I'm always nice to people. Despite being scorned in this discussion as ignorant and accused of being a tyrant I haven't reciprocated in kind. On the contrary I have been respectful throughout and sought explanations for points made when I didn't understand them.

    The only thing I ask people to do is to respect the products of my mind. I am not asking them to buy them, I am not even asking them to like them, they will not be to every ones' taste. You can even tell me I've got the price wrong, and maybe you will be right, who knows, I'm no expert in pricing artworks.

    All I ask you to do is not to copy my artworks and exploit them for your profit. You didn't put in the skill or creativity that resulted in their making. You can have no understanding of why they the way they are, because they were created by my mind. They are not yours.

    You are free to create your works and sell them if you wish, and I will respect your moral rights and your copyright. As a fellow human being I expect the same respect from you that I will give you.

     

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  151.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Quote:
    When photographing people, if you intend to publish it, you really need to have a model release in which they have agreed that they grant you permission to use it, and it may have limitations on use set out in the release. It needs to be signed by the person(s) in the photograph. This is to respect a persons right to a private life.


    Not true at all, because if it was there would be no paparazzi everywhere.

     

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  152.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I'm sorry for you nasch, I will give up up trying to explain to you what the moral purpose of copyright is.

    You have been completely brainwashed by 'bigtech' into thinking copyright is a bad thing and don't seem to understand that you are their plaything. Of course bigtech are happy to see copyright weakened, then they can more easily profit from the creativity of the public at no cost to them.

    I do not threaten your freedom of speech, you are entirely free to express your mind, as you have done here. It is my freedom also to challenge your beliefs.

    We both have the same freedoms you and I.
    We both have the same freedoms to create stuff, you and I.
    We both have the same freedoms to exploit our creativity, you and I.
    We both have the same freedoms to stop others from exploiting the products of our mind, you and I.
    We both have the same rights to freedom of expression, you and I.

    As for chilling effects, this also is a plaything of bigtech to give everyone the impression that they are being 'excluded' or 'repressed'. Can't you see you are being manipulated, exploited, and brainwashed by the consumers of creativity, such as bigtech. They are happy to use you to defend their interests.

    Anyway, I'm done here, I had a go a go at acting as a catalyst for intelligent and thoughtful discussion, I'm sorry its failed. Ciao.

    PS For a better understanding of BigTech and its ethics just follow up this link -

    http://gawker.com/5538216/facebook-ceo-slammed-dumb-users-who-trusted-him-in-college

     

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  153.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    I'm sorry Gordon but you are not a lawyer, why are you stating the law when you painfully make it clear you don't know it?

     

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  154.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

     

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  155.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Open source is not the same as copyright. If it was you wouldn't be complaining about copyright. Surely you can formulate better responses to justify your beliefs.

     

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  156.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Do I need to quote you again saying that every photograph is a unique form of art and that it is impossible to copy something?

    You said it repeatedly that to take a photograph is to engage directly in artistic creation, one cannot copy a subject and thus it needs to make decisions as to what the photo will look like is that is true than taking a photo of a photo would make it a new creative work since one cannot copy a subject accurately and needs to make "creative decisions" is was not that what you said back there?

     

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  157.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    You don't understand the difference between welfare and copyright. In welfare the government hands out money to those who are jobless or for some other reason unable to have an income.

    I can have copyright on lots of works and they do not earn me a penny unless I sell the copyrighted works. Copyright does not = money. It would be great if it did, but it doesn't.

    Why have you shifted your position and are now prepared to consider copyright for a period of ten years. Is it because you think there is some merit in the arguments I have presented. If not why did you throw that into the melting pot after so long an argument, I'd like to know.

     

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  158.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Copyright isn't and shouldn't be extended indefinitely. That would go against the purpose of copyright which is to encourage innovation.

     

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  159.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I have already explained that a temporary monopoly is an exclusive privilege granted to every member of the public. Please take care when reading what I say and respond with relevant arguments.

     

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  160.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re:

    No, and you know its not. I have also explained that no original thought has gone into making a slavish copy.

    You know, I think I will give a link to this page as an example of what seem to be deliberate attempts not to understand copyright and its purpose. If its not that I'm somewhat amazed at the quality of discussion here.

     

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  161.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    "Firstly, if you take a photograph of Mount Everest and I also take one it is extraordinarily unlikely they will be identical, they will be unique, I, nor anyone else has any interest in preventing you photographing Mount Everest and profiting from it. Please go ahead and photograph Mount Everest"

    That is not true at all, try to take a photo from the Eiffel tower and see what the French government will do to you, try to get a picture of a that pyramid in San Francisco and see if lawyers will not knock on your door copyright is being used to stop others from taking photos from landmarks in the case of the French they don't even try to hide.

    "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn't used in ways we don't approve," said Mr. Dieu.
    http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/fast-company-staff/fast-company-blog/eiffel-tower-repossessed

    W hy do they need to approve anything is beyond me, still it happens all the time.

    Also ship hulls are covered by copyright did you know that?
    People can get in trouble for making a model, using that in a film, photographing it and so forth.

    "Assuming it is the point, then clearly no artist, let alone a 'mere photographer' has created any person or natural artifact, yet these are subjects that artists turn to time and time again and have done throughout history. It is obvious that a photographer cannot create Marilyn Monroe, or Mount Everest, so why raise it?"

    If they can't create Marilyn Monroe so they have create nothing except for the copy they took and if they can do it to Marilyn so others should be allowed to do it to them also since they don't own Marilyn and the only things one could claim as their own is the camera settings, so if a take a picture of a picture of Marilyn I am also changing those settings and it should be legal to do so.

     

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  162.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    No.

     

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  163.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    You also failed to prove any point since if it is not a reproduction of facts it opens the door to the interpretation that any new photograph of any subject is a new work of art entirely which of course you don't agree if someone takes a photograph of your photograph right?

     

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  164.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 10:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    The imperfections is compounded by the fact that copyright is purely in the realm of fiction literally.

    It is so abstract and subjective that we will never be able to agree on guidelines and thus should not exist since it endangers real important rights like free speech, freedom of expression for little to no gains inside society.

     

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  165.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I'm really sorry that you are unable to see your conflicting statements in a clear way.

    You have stated before that copyright is a government granted monopoly for a limited time when talking to Nash didn't you?

     

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  166.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Because I know what is required in respect of model releases. The issue has been made perfectly clear by many lawyers, including in the USA such as Ed Greenberg, just go read his articles and advice on the subject. If I am wrong its because he is wrong, so present your understanding to him. He has been practicing for decades, so I trust him.

    Check out the advice about model releases yourself in the various learned sources.

     

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  167.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    LegalAndrew agrees with me, you cannot simply go round photographing people, there is a question of privacy.

    Why would you send me to an article that defeats your own position?

     

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  168.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    No, but I'm not sure about you.

    What is wrong with other people exploiting the products of the minds of others?

    Thomas Jefferson saw nothing wrong with it, English Lords had the same discussions hundreds of years ago and they all seemed to agree that nothing is lost when I use your ideas, when those ideas are shared I get it at no loss of them to you.

    More without copyright nobody could stop you from working, with copyright that can happen since it is a exclusion tool to stop others from doing something.

     

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  169.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Yes, and they get sued. As in the case of Rowling who took the paparazi to court for invading her and her child's privacy in a public place. This resulted in substantial damages being awarded to Rowling.

    You need to be aware that in different countries different levels of privacy apply. In France the laws are strict, in the UK less so, but this is changing as the Rowling case has shown.

    Not that this has anything to do with the meat of our discussion.

     

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  170.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Nature knows more about how to survive them you or I do, it is a marvel of engineering and social order that has just millions if not billions of years of accumulated knowledge inside you can choose to ignore it, but that wouldn't be wise.

    About the respect of the products of your mind, what respect is that?
    Appreciation? you don't need copyrights for that.
    Selling products? you don't need copyrights for that.

    What is that you find so disrespectful?
    It is that some people copy you and do things that you did?
    Get over it.

    What you are asking is that society gives you a 200years monopoly that is so ample in scope and ambiguous that it threatens other liberties and even the economy itself.

     

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  171.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    "We both have the same freedoms you and I."
    No we dont, legal cost guarantee that it won't be equal to everybody.

    "We both have the same freedoms to create stuff, you and I."
    No we don't unless you have the money to pay for law firms for "clearance rights" one is always in doubt if it could be sued or not, the Daemacles Sword is no fun at all.
    "We both have the same freedoms to exploit our creativity, you and I."
    Yes but only one of us will be able to express it to others.
    We both have the same freedoms to stop others from exploiting the products of our mind, you and I.
    "We both have the same rights to freedom of expression, you and I."
    Yes that is true, but that is not because of copyright it is in spite of it.

     

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  172.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Richard Stallman at UofC
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNBMdDaYhZA

    Who cares about, Facebook I don't.

    I care about, Gimp, Blender, OpenLibre, FreeBeer.

    http://freebeer.org/blog/

    Even the US military believes in open source since they are the ones trying to crowdsource manufacturing capabilities to counter what is perceived as a threat to national security in the form of outsourced manufacturing capabilities and that will only be possible if people can exchange information freely, for which copyright is a barrier that must be knock down a lot.

     

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  173.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Also I should let you know that Facebook is one of the reasons I absolutely loath copyrights.

     

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  174.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Would you be able to stop others on your own without the help from the government?

    Of course not.

    Besides if copyright doesn't make you money why have it anyways, it doesn't help you to make money that much as you yourself stated.

    Also you don't like 10 years? lets make five then.

     

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  175.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Mount Everest and the Eiffel Tower are different beast, one can be considered to be a natural artifact of nature, God help us if anyone tried to claim Everest as private property.

    Now we com to the Eiffel Tower, this falls under the heading of private property, so for example I am not permitted to go to a private place an photograph it. As a model release is required for a person so is a property release required for property. I can understand the argument for having permission and release when the property is a private dwelling. However, the Eiffel Tower is a public and cultural artifact belonging to the citizens of France. I don't agree with restrictions being placed on photographing it. Its the law however and I will abide with it.

    So lets move onto Marilyn Monroe. You say that no photographer has created her so other should be allowed to do it. OK, lets assume she is still alive or our discussion will become quite weird. Lets also assume I have taken a photo of Marilyn, got permission from her to do so, and got a model release permitting me to use it.

    This does not stop you photographing Marilyn, you can approach her, or maybe she'll come to you because she's heard you are good. Then you'll take a photo of her, have her signing the model release that permits you to use it it, and off you go. Nobody is stopping you from photographing Marilyn.

    I will stop you from exploiting my photograph of Marilyn, but you can exploit your own. BTW, there is much more than camera settings involved in taking a portrait. There can be a choice of props, how the person should be, head and shoulders, facing which way, the desired mood, the lighting setup to achieve that mood, camera settings are the least of the issues to be considered.

    There are of course the psychological aspects to be considered, such as putting the person at ease, if this is what is required. The resulting portrait is far far more than the sum of the camera settings and includes whatever personality you may have been able to coax the person into displaying.

     

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  176.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No you didn't you put forth a lot of contradicting statements full of logical holes and thought it made sense.

     

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  177.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    And I already explained to you that it is not temporary but in fact it seems to be forever minus one day.

    How else do you explain the absurd lengths that it reached already and it keeps getting expanded over and over again?

     

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  178.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    And yet that it is what happens, not only that but the scope keeps growing too.

     

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  179.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Of course it is not it is a fairer system.

     

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  180.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Yes, you've got it. You can make photographs of any object you like. but you are infringing my copyright if you make a copy of my photo.

    Why would you want to copy another person's photo when you can go and create your own. It's boring to copy, it exciting to create something new. Copying implies a lack of originality. I fail to see why some people have this obsessive need to copy other peoples' works. Its really quite weird!

     

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  181.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Oh so because you can't imagine any other way of working or making money that implies that only your vision is correct.

    The reality of course is a bit different, there are people right now helping pirate their own works that are making millions of dollars that fact you just ignore because you don't want to hear about it, just as you believe that the only way to make money is to threaten others with copyrights instead of trying to be nice to people.

     

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  182.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    http://www.theopensourceway.org/

    I don't need to read about the old way, I want something better and so should you.

     

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  183.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    Actually copyright is in the realm of reality, it exists in law whether you like it or not, and will continue to exist.

    Copyright law, at its heart is simple. It becomes complex when people try to abuse it by copying the products of other peoples minds. If you simply go and create new original works you will not encounter any problems. You will be a happy soul with a contented and challenging life. I'd highly recommend it.

    Your view of life and copyright is making you unhappy, you feel you are being excluded but you are looking at things the wrong way. Its an attidudinal thing, think of creating, don't think of copying, you'll be much happier.

    Why do people want to copy the creations of other people? What possible satisfaction is gained from such an activity. Does it improve the quality of their life in some way? How? Please explain why copying makes life better? Then explain why people would not create something new instead? These are all very interesting philosophical points, I am genuinely interested.

     

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  184.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    No one ever said it was. You do have funny ideas. It is only intellectual works that become fixed in some way that become subject to copyright or patents.

     

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  185.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Emotional reactions leading to personal attacks are not constructive arguments

    Copyright is not in the realm of reality but in the realm of legal fiction and you know that don't you?

    About my point of views they are simple really, every one should have the right to copy, change and distribute anything and give credits where credit is due, there is not much to it.

    Since copyright is not that interesting and it is already dead in practice we should just formalize it by changing the laws.

    Why can't people copy other peoples creations and do whatever they want with it?

    Just because you don't want them to?

    That is not good enough sorry, I can do that for you.

     

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  186.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I never said ideas were property. When ideas are formed into some physical creation, such as a book, a music score, a digital work, they then become property, i.e. products of the mind.

    I have said repeatedly that ideas are not copyrightable, are you not reading what I say and just throwing random responses around?! Please pay attention or I'll get fed up going over old ground, i.e. copying myself. Copying is so boring.

     

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  187.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    The problem is you said it already that by taking a photo I cannot make an exact copy and have to make artistic decisions so that creates a new work right?

    Or are you saying that if a take a photo of something I'm copying it and thus I'm making a mechanical copy of a fact?

     

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  188.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2011 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Why would I not want to copy somebody who had a good idea and could save me time?

    Why can I copy the movements of a dog in a film to use it in another animation?

    Why can't I use a song for a baby on a video and put it on the internet for others to see?

    Why can't I get bits and pieces and create something new?

    Why can't I take a photo from the Eiffel tower?

    Why can't I restored old movies?
    Why can't I put my own special effects on those?
    Why can't I create my own version of a sequel?

    Why can't I just enjoy things like I enjoyed them in the 70's?

    I don't know what I do know is that I will never have respect for copyrights let alone fallow those laws, I may hide, but respect it, it ain't gonna happen any time soon.

     

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  189.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    So if I rewrite the book on my own I am copying the ideas but not the expression correct?

     

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  190.  
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    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Copyright is not an exclusion tool. Copyright is a tool to encourage people like you to be creative, contribute your imagination and learning to enrich society. Copyright is an inclusive tool.

    While a work is in copyright you have the right to purchase a copy from the creator, this gives you the right to enjoy it, to learn from it, perhaps even be inspired by it. Copyright grants each author of a work the right to profit from his work, exclusively, but only temporarily.

    Without copyright an author would find that anybody and everybody could copy their work.

    Lets say that you, Anonymous Coward, create a book, it took you a year to write, then you place it online offering it at say, $5 for each copy. You'll probably make a few extracts available on line plus a synopsis so people can get a flavour of the work, as they would have had they gone to a traditional bookshop.

    Then, if they like what they've read, people will pay you $5 and get access to the download page. You hope, so that you can afford to live, that you will sell enough copies to buy food/warmth/shelter while you spend another year writing another book, you have no other income. Note that law of copyright in no way helps you sell your work, you are competing with other authors and if you are not talented you will not sell well or at all. Or if your book price is too high people will not buy it. Copyright has nothing to do with competition, creative talent and pricing is everything when it comes to competing.

    However we will take it for granted that you are a talented author and people enjoy your work. Now lets assume a hacker finds some way to bypass the payment page to get access to your book and download it, then he makes your book available to everyone to copy for free.

    Being an author is how you make a living, you don't have a regular salary, being an author is your job and selling books is your income. You will feel both angry and extremely worried. Angry because someone just took your creation that you had laboured over for a year, and extremely worried about how you are going to live.

    Now you face yet another another problem, in the world you have proposed there is no law of copyright so you can't use the law to stop the hacker giving your work away for nothing. Your livelihood has just been destroyed, so how are you going to deal with this Anonymous? In this situation your first thought will be to get a source of money, perhaps you apply for a job, work for a salary, and maybe do some part time writing.

    However, the rich seam of culture that you might have contributed to society has just been stunted, it will take much longer to create work, and eventually, although you may be driven to write from some inner need, that inner need may just wither because society has no moral respect for the products of your mind.

    Even if you continue to write with the same fervour and inner need, you can no longer do this full time. The volume of work you could have contributed to enrich public culture will be severely restricted. You, as an artist lose, and society loses a valuable contribution to enrich our culture.

    Copyright is there to support everyone in their endeavours to enrich public culture. To do so it gives those of the public who create works a temporary monopoly right (called copyright) in order that they may benefit economically from their work for a limited period of time, that they are also given certain moral rights, and these rights benefit society as a whole.

    Copyright, like all human ideas, can be used for good or ill. The power of large corporations, who acquire others creativity, has been used to distort the law of copyright to protect their interests primarily and individual creators, such as you Anonymous, are less well protected. This is wrong and is not the original intent of copyright which is at its core, a public right.

    So there you are, I hope that clears things up. Copyright is not an exclusion tool, you are perfectly free to create what you like. Tell me what it is you do so that I can understand why you have the viewpoint you have.

     

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  191.  
    identicon
    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Copyright is not an exclusion tool. Copyright is a tool to encourage people like you to be creative, contribute your imagination and learning to enrich society. Copyright is an inclusive tool.

    While a work is in copyright you have the right to purchase a copy from the creator, this gives you the right to enjoy it, to learn from it, perhaps even be inspired by it. Copyright grants each author of a work the right to profit from his work, exclusively, but only temporarily.

    Without copyright an author would find that anybody and everybody could copy their work.

    Lets say that you, Anonymous Coward, create a book, it took you a year to write, then you place it online offering it at say, $5 for each copy. You'll probably make a few extracts available on line plus a synopsis so people can get a flavour of the work, as they would have had they gone to a traditional bookshop.

    Then, if they like what they've read, people will pay you $5 and get access to the download page. You hope, so that you can afford to live, that you will sell enough copies to buy food/warmth/shelter while you spend another year writing another book, you have no other income. Note that law of copyright in no way helps you sell your work, you are competing with other authors and if you are not talented you will not sell well or at all. Or if your book price is too high people will not buy it. Copyright has nothing to do with competition, creative talent and pricing is everything when it comes to competing.

    However we will take it for granted that you are a talented author and people enjoy your work. Now lets assume a hacker finds some way to bypass the payment page to get access to your book and download it, then he makes your book available to everyone to copy for free.

    Being an author is how you make a living, you don't have a regular salary, being an author is your job and selling books is your income. You will feel both angry and extremely worried. Angry because someone just took your creation that you had laboured over for a year, and extremely worried about how you are going to live.

    Now you face yet another another problem, in the world you have proposed there is no law of copyright so you can't use the law to stop the hacker giving your work away for nothing. Your livelihood has just been destroyed, so how are you going to deal with this Anonymous? In this situation your first thought will be to get a source of money, perhaps you apply for a job, work for a salary, and maybe do some part time writing.

    However, the rich seam of culture that you might have contributed to society has just been stunted, it will take much longer to create work, and eventually, although you may be driven to write from some inner need, that inner need may just wither because society has no moral respect for the products of your mind.

    Even if you continue to write with the same fervour and inner need, you can no longer do this full time. The volume of work you could have contributed to enrich public culture will be severely restricted. You, as an artist lose, and society loses a valuable contribution to enrich our culture.

    Copyright is there to support everyone in their endeavours to enrich public culture. To do so it gives those of the public who create works a temporary monopoly right (called copyright) in order that they may benefit economically from their work for a limited period of time, that they are also given certain moral rights, and these rights benefit society as a whole.

    Copyright, like all human ideas, can be used for good or ill. The power of large corporations, who acquire others creativity, has been used to distort the law of copyright to protect their interests primarily and individual creators, such as you Anonymous, are less well protected. This is wrong and is not the original intent of copyright which is at its core, a public right.

    So there you are, I hope that clears things up. Copyright is not an exclusion tool, you are perfectly free to create what you like. Tell me what it is you do so that I can understand why you have the viewpoint you have.

     

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  192.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I don't need to stop a hacker from appropriating my "intelectual property" what I need to do is to be more appealing than he are to others, if I can't I should not benefit for that I could not achieve.

     

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  193.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Here is a real world example of something that is good.

    OpenOffice was bought and people disagreed on how it should be managed others forked an now it has 2 competing versions, where people are free to choose.

    It creates an ecosystem where you need to respect others to get respect and it is far more moral not to mention healthy than copyrights could ever be.

    Copyright incentives aggression instead of dialogue.

     

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  194.  
    identicon
    Gordon C Harrison, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 12:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Copyright is not asking for a 200 year monopoly, go read your law.

    Nature has nothing to do with copyright, human decisions about what's right and wrong have everything to do with it.

    The reason for copyright is simply to let authors profit from their creativity for a temporary period. What is not respectful would be to make copies of an authors work without their permission. Should they grant you a copy and on condition that you should pay for it then you have a choice. Pay for it to acquire a copy, or walk away.

    I have never copied another persons work, ever, not sure how you could imagine accusing me of any such thing when you have never met me nor know me as a person. I buy all my music/films on CD/DVD/BluRay physical media, and should I ever decide to acquire them online I would pay for them.

    A lot of people seem happy to pirate other peoples work. This is illegal, and even if it wasn't illegal in the copyright free world you aspire to such behaviour would be unethical. A good reason for having copyright law is in fact to make such behaviour illegal. Tell me Anonymous, do you acquire copyright works by finding ways to avoid paying for them, such as piracy? No, don't, because I won't be back to this page.

    As for threatening liberty you are simply recycling the old tired cliches. Copyright is not threatening your liberty, it acts as an incentive for you to be creative. Go be creative, enjoy copyright and what it has to offer you, stop being such a sourpuss about it.

    When I publish a news piece about this page the world will be utterly amazed about the obsessiveness over copying being expressed here, instead of being original and creative. Surely TechDirt would not support your views? I will ask them for comment for my piece.

    And now sadly, its time to say goodbye. Sad because I never got any answers to my questions, I know no more about what drives your thinking than when this discussions started several hours ago. Yet you know clearly what drives my understanding albeit you don't agree with it, so I feel I got a poor return for my effort. I now have to assume that your beliefs are like an article of faith, it has no real logic supporting it, just an unquestioning belief implanted by....?

    Ciao.

    PS Don't bother taking the effort to respond - I'm gone.

     

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  195.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Artists can be inspired by works created in the past by others, they can take ideas expressed in that work and transform it into a work with a new meaning, a new view of the human condition, a new view of the universe, a new meaning for our time compared to when the original work was created, and so on.

    With derivative works restrictions, only the original creator can do this. And if I'm not mistaken, monopoly privilege on derivative works is something with no statutory basis in the US, it was just made up by courts.

    In many cases derivative works are little more than slavish copies with changes that add no new expression

    If there's no new expression, then it's a copy, not a derivative work.

    ...no new meanings of the human condition, no new challenge to how one views the world, add no new understanding of the universe, no new way of arranging graphic elements, no new way of using language.

    None of those things are necessary for copyright protection, nor usable as a defense against an infringement claim. If you make something that's found to be a derivative of someone else's work that has all those components, it's still infringing.

     

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  196.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Before I even bother responding to any of this, would you mind disclosing your primary source of income? You come across as someone with a deeply vested interest in the continuation and expansion of copyright. People with such monetary interest are impossible to convince of the need for copyright reform, so I don't want to waste my time.

    As a quid pro quo, I will tell you that I have no money in the game either way. I don't make my livelihood from copyright, and as far as I know I wouldn't have any particular monetary benefit from abolishing copyright (any more than any other citizen, anyway).

     

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  197.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

     

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  198.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    What do you think life + 95 years mean?
    life expectancy in the US is 80 years plus 95 years that is 175 years not counting future retroactive expansion terms that could happen at any point.

    Also nature has everything to do with how we live our lifes, we are part of a natural ecosystem, we are part of nature you can't just try and make believe you are not part of it and try to make your own rules, nature will not fallow you, you comply with it or you die is just that simple, go try and tell yourself you can survive in the artic without any protection and you see what it happens.

    Also I don't need to have met you, if you never copied anybody you wouldn't resemble a human being, how did you acquire your manners? education? and experience?

    I will be creative I will steal every thing I can from everybody I can and I'm not ashamed of it in the least, I also will do everything in my power to enable others to steal ideas from others and the way I will do that is using open culture, open source and open hardware you see I don't need you dear person that don't get the world.

    As for your answer they were there you just choose to ignore them.

     

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  199.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    If you photograph people in a public place and use it in any way without permission you can be sued.

    I think you're mistaken.

    http://www.photoattorney.com/2008/09/reasonable-expectation-of-privacy.html

    http://w ww.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-12-29-camera-laws_x.htm

    Need I go on? Would you like to provide references supporting your position?

    If nothing else it is at the very least respectful to seek permission of a person to publish a photograph of them.

    I take a bunch of pictures when I'm on vacation. Many of them have other people in them. I publish those photos on the web, without asking any of the subjects for permission. This is neither illegal, nor IMO disrespectful.

    Why did Shepaerd not just approach Obama, take along his sketch book or camera and do his own thing

    For one thing, you cannot just walk up to the President and get a nice photo of him unless you're really lucky. Second, there was no reason to. He had a photo available that would already enjoy limited copyright protection due to being so generic, and he transformed it so completely even the photographer didn't recognize it as his work. It's a very good case for fair use - no reason to try to go get his own photo. If he couldn't have used Garcia's (or someone else's), he may not have ever created his art. Wouldn't that have been a perverse outcome of copyright law, now?

    You have just accused me of being ignorant and having a financial incentive tied to copyright.

    No, I actually commented on the similarity of your argument to those of people who are ignorant or have a financial interest in copyright.

    Let me correct you on both these points. Firstly I reckon I am fairly well educated but certainly not ranked as a genius. Secondly my livelihood does not depend on exploitation of copyright. I license no works. I sell fine art prints and my digital works are not accessible online to hackers so they cannot be pirated.

    That is excellent, you have developed a business model that does not depend on selling infinite goods. As you can see, copyright is not necessary in order to allow people to create and make money from it. And before you mention it, no this is not unique to your profession. Musicians can do it, movie makers can do it, photographers can do it, authors can do it, anyone can do it.

    I see you have also called me ignorant. I have no idea how you could come to such a conclusion nor what has prompted you to use such offensive language.

    Well once again, I didn't call you ignorant, and in fact if you reread my comment, you'll see that my guess was you are actually not ignorant, but vested in copyright. Apparently I was wrong.

    Perhaps you could restrain your language in future to debating points of fact or I may have cause to complain to TechDirt about you.

    Well that is amusing! I would love to see what happens if you complain to TechDirt about being called names such as "ignorant". :-) Interesting though, that you consider seeking to curtail my freedom of expression. By what rule would you think to restrict my speech to points of fact only?

    At the risk of offending you further, I think you misunderstand or are unaware of the facts about what effect copyright actually has on culture, creativity, and freedom of expression. There are a lot of great stories on this site about it if you want to browse around, or just follow it for a while and they'll turn up fairly often. I can help you find some if you're interested.

     

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  200.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Also I was just going through chronologically so you can ignore my other question about your profession. I'm not sure I'll get around to responding to that whole thread though.

     

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  201.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 2:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    It is really bizarre that you think that article says you cannot take a photo of someone in a public place without their consent. It says almost exactly the opposite of that - you very much can take photos of people in public, where they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

     

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  202.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    Keep in mind that model releases are only needed and used because the photographer is planning to use the person's likeness in a commercial fashion. If I passed a model on the street, I could take and publish (non-commercially) a photo of her (assume it's a her) without her permission, and she would have no legal complaint against me.

    I found a great reference on model releases and why and when they're needed:

    http://www.simslaw.com/model/model_releases.htm

    It is not nearly as simple as "if you take a photo of someone you need a release".

     

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  203.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I see you respond to discussion points by not always presenting reasoned arguments. Please explain what you mean by 'strawman' 'false dichotomy'.

    Are you familiar with the concept of logical fallacy, or with Google or Wikipedia?

    Strawman fallacy
    False dichotomy fallacy

    You have misunderstood the points I was making. For example I never said that "only people who rely on copyright can campaign against copyright." Where did that come from?

    From right here: "If you have a source of money which allows you to give your creative works away for free do you feel you really have the right to say to artists they may not create something and have the exclusive right to sell copies of it?" I don't know how else to interpret that. You're saying I don't have the right to tell people they shouldn't be able to restrict others' freedom of expression because I have a source of income not based on restricting others' freedom of expression. And yes, copyright functions by restricting freedom of expression. The expressions I am permitted to engage in are limited to those not covered by copyright (excepting fair use and any other exceptions to copyright).

    The point I made was that an artist who intends to make a living solely by selling copies of his artworks is doing something honorable

    The point is not about artists selling copies, that is totally fine. The point is about his ability to restrict what others do with his art once it's public. He can only curtail others in that fashion because of copyright law.

    You have no justification for criticising him for making a living producing works that people are happy to buy.

    Thankfully, I am not doing that.

    Lets say that you, Nasch, create a book....

    1. Copyright is not necessary to get people to write books. 2. Copyright is not necessary for people to get paid writing books. 3. Most people who would like to will not be able to make a living writing books, with or without copyright. 4. More people can make some money writing books without using copyright than they can by relying on it. 5. Fewer people would make enormous sums of money from writing books if there were no copyright (I think, I'm not sure). 6. Copyright is ineffective at preventing people from copying others' works.

    So which of those do you disagree with?

    that they are also given certain moral rights

    Not in the US.

    Copyright, like all human ideas, can be used for good or ill.

    Actually there's precious little evidence that copyright has any salutary benefit at all.

    Sorry to repeat that again, but you seem to have missed the above and have not responded with a detailed alternative system.

    The alternative system is simple: no copyright. Human creativity will abound without it. And without it, culture will spread and develop more freely.

    If you create a work, say a book, or a photo, or a song, you have exactly the same rights as me with regard to copyright.

    No, I have certain rights over that work that you do not have.

    You mentioned you needed a citation for copyright being a moral right and a human right. I have already given that on this page but I will give it again, I wish I didn't have to keep repeating the same arguments - http://t.co/x6IUOL2 - is just one citation published by the UN.

    Well the thing is, I don't accept the UN as an authority who can declare something a natural right. They may say it is so, but that doesn't make it so. A natural right is something that exists outside any legal framework. Intellectual property law doesn't.

    This could explain why you have never heard of moral rights.

    I have certainly heard of them, I am simply glad that the US does not recognize them. I think they make copyright even more harmful (and difficult to reform) than it is already.

     

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  204.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Copyright is not an exclusion tool.

    Perhaps there's confusion between the goal of copyright and the means of copyright. The goal is to promote progress of useful arts, etc. The way it accomplishes that is by granting exclusive copying privileges. The word exclusive is even in the Constitution. So it works precisely by excluding everyone but the author from the right to copy the work. It's an exclusion tool.

     

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  205.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Of course people need copyright otherwise there would be no law to stop you or anyone else from copying the products of there mind and exploiting it for their own gain.

    What's the problem with that? If someone else has figured out a way to make money using something I wrote (sang, whatever), why should I be allowed to stop them from doing so?

     

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  206.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    I know you love the blue pill there is no shame in that.
    I on the other hand am taking the red one.

    See you in Copyright Waterloo.

     

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  207.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography


    We both have the same freedoms to stop others from exploiting the products of our mind, you and I.


    I love this: we both have the same freedom to restrict others' freedom. Hurrah!

    So Facebook isn't too interested in preserving its users' privacy. This is pretty well known, but what in the world does it have to do with copyright?

    Also, claiming your opponent has been brainwashed is never a convincing argument. Especially when the brainwasher is some conspiracy theorist bait term like "BigTech". It's also kind of sneaky ad hominem attack (another one of those logical fallacies), because what you're saying is my position is based not on sound reason or correct apprehension of facts, but based on mental weakness combined with exposure to a biased source of information. Or at least that's how I take it if someone says a person has been brainwashed. Perhaps you meant something slightly more charitable.

     

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  208.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    I fail to see why some people have this obsessive need to copy other peoples' works. Its really quite weird!

    It's called sharing culture. I listen to a song I like and I think, "I know someone who might like this too, I'm going to send it him." Copyright infringement! Illegal, but nothing weird about it. There's also the whole issue of remix culture, but that's a different beast.

     

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  209.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Problem With "Facts"

    Not at all. If you can make bricks yourself, more power to you. If you need bricks from someone else to do it, you get to pay for them.

    Sampling isn't the be all and end all. If those three notes were that important, someone could have picked up an instrument and played them, ending the issue. The copyright wasn't on the three notes, it was on the PERFORMANCE of the three notes.

    The inability for people to grasp simple concepts here is astounding.

     

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  210.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 5:46pm

    Gordon C Harrison

    Shut the Fu*&^ UP !!!!!

    You too Nasch

    what do you two thing that if you can write a million posts that will make your case more secure ?

    Harrison, you are a freaking moron, you might be trying to argue in support of copyright, but the frequency, length and nature of your post are enough to turn anyone AWAY from your argument.

    You have written so much that NO ONE will bother to read it.

    You have written so much that any points you may of had there were valid or not are LOST in the torrent of dribble that you supplied with it.

    and Nasch your stupid enough to engage him

    And we are ALL really impressed that you have a middle name.
    WOW, just like Arther C clark or George W Bush.

    So please make your point THEN GO AWAY, if you actually made a point.

     

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  211.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Its not a mechanical representation of the facts.

    It's called sharing culture.

    No it's called copying culture, you cannot buy, sell or trade or share culture, you either have it or to do not.

    You cannot ACQUIRE CULTURE, you cannot trade it, you cannot buy it, or sell it and you cannot trade it.

    you can purchase or share THE PRODUCT of a culture, just like you can purchase or share THE PRODUCT of the local supermarket.

    But you cannot acquire or share the culture of the people who created that product, but only the product.

    Ok, lets look at African ZULU tribe culture, you can go to Arfica and take photo's of the Zulu's, you can buy their spears, you can film them, you can even dress like them and join in on their cerimonies.

    But you WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PURCHASE OR ACQUIRE their culture, only PRODUCTS of their culture.

    Culture is not tradeable, or sharable, only the products of that culture.

     

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  212.  
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    darryl, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 6:49pm

    photopcopier is not a camera

    you can only photocopy something that is allready in a copied form.

    You can photocopy a photograph, but you can use the photocopier to create the photo.

    You can photocopy a painting, but you can photocopy a painting that has not been painted yet. Nor can you photocopy the scene that might be the subject of that painting.

    you cannot copy a photograph that has not been allready taken, just as you cannot copy a painting that has yet to be painted.

    you all seem to be confused about what is actually being copyrighted, it is not the painting or the photo, it is the IMAGE depicted that is subject to copyright.

    yes, you can make a photocopy of a photograph, or a painting, but you cannot photocopy a photograph that does not exist or a painting that does not exist.

    Taking a photo or painting a picture is a mechanical operation and an expression of art, it is the PRODUCT of that ART that is subject to copyright, not the photo, not the canvass, not the paint, not the frame, not the ink, or photo emolsion, or the camera mechanics, or the paint brushes, or the pain, or the.

    It IS the SUBJECT and expression of that art that is subject to copyright.

    BTW, if you do happen to have a photograph or a painting that you created, THAT IS NOT CULTURE, and culture cannot be acquired, or shared, you either have it or you do not.

    To create art, be it a photograph, or painting, or song or whatever requires a level of skill, talent and ability, that is what you acheive a copyright for, that is the PRODUCT of your skill, talent and ability.

    So if you photocopy the result of that skill, talent and ability (and effort), you are stealing the product of that persons creation.

    The fact you want to photocopy it means simply that you have placed a value on that skill, the value you have placed on it is equivalent to the value you feel it is worth, and a value that exceeds what you are willing to pay rightly for.

    But as you value it so highly anyway, you feel that it is worth the crime of stealing that skill and creativity for your own gains.

    It is also an admission that you value the artists creative abilities well about your own abilities. And you recognise those skills and abilities that the artist has to the point where you want to benefit from the product of those skills and abilities.

    That includes two admissions:
    1) you do not yourself posses the required skills and telent to create a product that you yourself value as much as the original work.

    2) you are too tight and have sufficient disregard for the artists skills and talent (and law) to be willing to PAY him,her or it for their efforts.

    "I really like this song, I listen to it all the time, therefore I really respect the skills and abilities of the artists that created it."

    "I value that song very highly its a REALLY good song."

    "But I do not like the song, or respect the skills and telents and effort required to create that song enough to be willing to pay them for that effort."

    "Therefore allthough I really like that song, and would probably like other songs they they create, I am not willing to pay them for their efforts and therefore not willing to 'promote' the creation of other works from that artist".

    "I like it, I wanted it, I use it, I enjoy it, I gain pleasure from it, I respect the skill required to create it, BUT I do not respect or like it enough to reward the artist for it's creation, and I do not respect the law and moral value enough to acknowledge the skills, talent and effort required to create this thing I enjoy so very much THAT I VALUE HIGHLY !!!"

    Would you copy a song or a painting or a photograph that you DID NOT VALUE AT ALL ??? if so why ?

    Therefore you only steal what you value, what you feel is "worth" the risk, you have performed a "risk, benefit analysis" and felt that the benefit of stealing that product outweighs the risks of that theft.

    If a copy has 'no value' then why do you want it ?

     

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  213.  
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    nasch (profile), Sep 10th, 2011 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Gordon C Harrison

    If you're not interested in reading a lengthy debate, then don't. There's no need to shout about it.

    And we are ALL really impressed that you have a middle name.
    WOW, just like Arther C clark or George W Bush.


    Very sophisticated, making fun of someone's name.

    ...if you actually made a point.

    You're one to talk.

     

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  214.  
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    darryl J, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    you can talk !!!

    I love this: we both have the same freedom to restrict others' freedom. Hurrah!

    No, we both have the same freedom to to accept the right of others to have that same freedom.

    that, that freedom is the right to have ownership of your own creations, and the right and obligation to respect others freedom to have that same right to their own creations.

    what you do not have and should not have is the right or freedom to take what is not yours off someone who has the right and freedom to have that thing.

    that thing could be an idea, or a right, or a physical thing.

    And yes YOU do have a freedom to enforce your rights, that is what the freedom you talk about is all about.

    You're freedom to enforce your right, but in turn you have to respect others freedom to protect THEIR rights.

    And if you cannot understand that, then you do not really understand either "freedom" or "rights".

     

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  215.  
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    darryl, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    "open source" or the "GPL" is a COPYRIGHT LICENSE, it is PURE COPYRIGHT, and based on COPYRIGHT...

    Copy ??? right !!!!

    When you release software under the GPL you sign over the copyright for your work to the FSF. Who then hold the copyright for your work, and if necessary will use COPYRIGHT LAW to act on behalf of FOSS and in defense of the GPL...

    It is not a good idea to bring up FOSS or the GPL if you are against COPYRIGHT..

    Because FOSS would not EXIST neither would the GPL Vx if it were not for strong copyright laws :)

    But thanks for the great PRO-Copyright example for us...
    (yes it IS a fairer system)......

    Copy ??? Right !!!!

     

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  216.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 11th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    So if I made a phonebook with flowers on the sides, then it's art?

     

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  217.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Clearly you have little understanding of copyright law

    if YOU made it,,,, no.

     

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  218.  
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    darryl, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    very nice summary of what copyright is and how it equally applied to all.

    You are correct that people who are anti-copyright feel that authors or creators should be required to compete with their own product.

    And compete with the product being offered for free by someone else who did nothing to create the material in the first place.

    You are correct, that you are not competing with the benefit of some Governent grated privelate, you are simply given the right to gain from your own work, and to rightfully stop being required to compete with a free version of your work.

    It is to ensure and you correctly stated that the artist has a method of self support and profit, that is his human right, as is it is the human right of all humans.

    There is nothing stopping someone else creating their own book and competing for his market share.
    But there is something major wrong with expecting the auther to have to compete with HIS product being offered by someone else (NOT HIM) for free.

    Yes, that particular work might be read by a few more people, but you have ensured that this source of work that you find value in (otherwise you would not want it) is the first and last work that artist creates.

    Your book example is very clear.

    You could also consider a FOSS programmer and the FSF, you write some code you release it under the GPLv2 and you hand over the copyright to your code to the FSF.

    If the FSF did not have that copyright anyone could use GPL'd code for whatever they wanted or for any purpose, they could make it proprietary, or modify it and pay no respect for the rules of the GPL.

    The FSF would not be able to take action against any group that chose to do this, as they would not have any legal standing or right to enforce others NOT to copy that code.

    Without copyright law the FSF would not be able to enforce the GPL and FOSS would certainly not exist in it's present form.

     

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  219.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    You seem to be arguing against a phantom. I pointed out that IP as-it-exists-today doesn't make much sense from a property rights perspective, because the rights terminate after a certain number of years (if you leave your grandmother's diamond ring to your daughter, does she have to worry about the state confiscating the ring 70 years after said grandmother's death?).

    You then went off the rails and started talking about how IP encourages innovation and how we need it, etc. I think that's garbage, of course, but none of that was in my post. Who are you arguing against?

     

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  220.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    or is a derivative work is an idea. It is taking someone else's work and changing it in some way to create a new work.

    See the unofficial "sequel" to the catcher in the rye, which didn't use anything from the original. They banned it in the US as a "derivative work".

    Your position is not rooted in reality.

     

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  221.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 12th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright and Photography

    Your desperate attempts to appear obtuse notwithstanding:

    If I write a book, I own any physical representations that I create with my own materials. I don't own your paper or your ink, and I certainly don't have the right to prevent you from creating your own copy with your own materials.

    Anything else is immoral.

     

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  222.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Problem With "Facts"

    "The inability for people to grasp simple concepts here is astounding."

    Probably unnecessarily confrontational, but very true.

     

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  223.  
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    DonS, Apr 12th, 2012 @ 6:05pm

    What a stupid argument

    Mike, I won't even begin to try to educate you. Who is paying you to write this dribble?

    Get an education in art history, philosophy and religion. This has all been gone over long before your brain thought it original. I would like to think these simple-minded arguments you post are clever devices to garner attention, but I really don't think you're up to that task. Try a creative pursuit, challenge yourself, take a risk, show us the result in a photograph or a painting or a song (another intangible) or a film. Don't just rant on the sidelines with what you know little about from real experience. Life will begin to be rewarding again.

     

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


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