Do You Need Permission To Take A Photo With A Chair In It? You Might In France...

from the exactly-wrong dept

The British Journal of Photography (BJP) brings us yet another story of aggressive assertion of copyright wreaking harm on artists -- the very people it allegedly empowers. It concerns some photos in Getty Images' stock library that have chairs in them. Because a few of those chairs are "famous" in the sense that they were produced by a couple of designers that worked with the architect Le Corbusier, the heirs of those designers, together with the Le Corbusier Foundation, have sued Getty Images in France for copyright infringement -- and won:

"Basically, there are two notions of copyright going against each other in this particular case," says [the plaintiffs' lawyer] de Leusse. "Photographers' copyright, and the designers' rights. Very much like a photographer needs the authorisation of people featured in their photos before selling them, they also need the authorisation of the intellectual property rights' holders when it comes to works of art such as these objects."
That, of course, raises the question: when is a chair -- or any other object -- a work of art? Because the logic of the court's decision would seem to be that before you can take a photo of any "work of art", you must get permission from the rights holder -- but knowing when that is necessary is difficult.

Getty Images is apparently trying to push that problem on to its contributing photographers, judging by an email sent to them, and reported in the BJP article quoted above:

You are responsible under your agreements with us to submit only content for which you have the necessary rights. Using this case as an example, while you may hold a copyright in a particular image or clip, if it contains even a fraction of a Le Corbusier piece then you may not have all the necessary rights under French law to provide that content and therefore may be liable for copyright infringement under French law in respect of the furniture featured.
This ruling will surely lead to an escalation of claims in France against photographers for daring to "infringe" on the rights of someone by including "even a fraction" of an object in their photos -- perhaps unwittingly. Which, in its turn, will inevitably have a chilling effect on photographers' spontaneity and choice of subject-matter, as they try to avoid getting sued by shooting only the most generic of objects, and under tightly-controlled conditions.

And so, once again, the assertion of an intellectual monopoly will lead to an overall reduction in creativity, with both artists and society losing out -- exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to happen.

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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:08am

    I've talked to some people from France.

    They say stuff like this makes them embarrassed to be French.

     

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      Michael, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:27am

      Re:

      "They say stuff like this makes them embarrassed to be French."

      This case illustrates the willingness of government bodies to abuse the public. It's apparent that they have no real criminals to go after, so they redefine menial, harmless, everyday actions as being criminal. Real crime requires real work, after all, so go after easier targets. Viola, they've got millions of potential criminals, a win-win-win for federal officials, lawyers and copyright holders. This is abuse of the public.

      If they ever tried to sue me for taking a picture of a chair, I would give them absolutely nothing.

       

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      Bengie, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:14am

      Re:

      It's universal, the government of any country makes their people embarrassed to live their.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:32am

      Re:

      Maybe they should, like, vote or something.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:04am

        Re: Re:

        He thinks voting changes anything?

        HA HA HA! Good one ol' boy!

        Come, let us give "campaign contributions" to politicians so they may make favorable laws for our entertainment industry.

         

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      D., Feb 26th, 2012 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      There's some crazy stuff going on in France... Sarkozy, whom you might remember as a President elected by the people, manages to remove unflattering pictures or videos from existence. Poor little baby can't take a little criticizing.

      There's a law making sure you can't libel someone's reputation - let's say Mr. X stole your bike. You know he did: he put a picture on Facebook of the bike with him on it, he sent you a text telling you he's got your bike, and he even went up on a roof and yelled he stole your bike. Well, you can't tell anyone he's the one who stole your bike, since that would hurt his reputation. People have won on cases like this one.

      The problem with France is they still think they're under Louis XIV. I grant them he's probably one of the best Kings the world has seen (but he was not *that* great, unlike what they'd want you to believe). However if you ask any French person what the Republic stands for, he'll talk about Napoleon, liberty, equality, fraternity, etc. But deep down they want everyone to know about their great monarchy.

      I should know, I live right next to them. They're like that creepy neighbour across the hall who's always greeting you when you come home as if he's been standing on his porch all day, and you just know his room is full of pictures of Lindsey Lohan with knives planted to hold them on the wall.

       

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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:14am

    It seems like suing a non-French company is close to a certain win in France. If the non-French company is Google, then it is a slam-dunk guaranteed win.

     

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    Y.Bhargav (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:16am

    Photographers now are compelled by law to take only nude pics.
    After all the copyrights of the designers have to be protected.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:22am

    Now to see if someone copyrights the backgrounds used for portraits.

     

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      wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      I wonder how long will it be before some greedy idiot photographs a national landmark like the Washington Monument and then tries to assert copyright on the landmark itself?

      This isn't copyright infringement, it's out and out copyright abuse, claiming rights that are not and were never granted by copyright law. And that in itself is a crime.

       

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    John Doe, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:25am

    Don't we have that same problem in the US?

    If I am not mistaken, you can photograph Seattle, WA and include the Space Needle and you are fine. But if you photograph only the Space Needle you cannot sell your photographs due to some copyright or trademark issue. I believe there are a few other buildings in the US like this as well.

    I am glad to see this kind of issue crop up. We can only hope it crops up more and more until the courts are so choked with copyright issues that maybe someone takes notice and does something about it. When artists start choking each other and not just consumers, then something might be done.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:36am

      Re: Don't we have that same problem in the US?

      Spoiled artist deathmatch. Popcorn, please.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:11am

      Re: Don't we have that same problem in the US?

      That is correct. There is a difference between the right to take the photograph and the right to publish it or sell the rights to publish. Specifically in the example used of photographing people. When a photographer takes a photograph of someone (except in specific cases) he owns the writes to the specific image. Everyone owns the rights to their own likeness. This is why photographer's need model release forms from their subjects before they can sell the rights to the image for publication. However for photographs of crowds where an individual's image isn't distinguishable the release isn't needed. The other interesting thing here is what is known as the "News Loophole." If the use of the image can be deemed as "News" then the person doesn't have to permit the use of their likeness for it to be used. This loophole is designed to prevent reports allow news organizations from being sued or otherwise encumbered such that they are not able to report news to the public. However this loophole is abused by the paparazzi and tabloids to justify publishing unauthorized photographs of celebrities that would otherwise not be permitted if the person wasn't famous.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:34am

    this is a slope to having to get permission of everything and everyone if you want to take a photo in public

    For shame

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:34am

    In other words, you may no longer take pictures of any of the following and upload them on the Internet without permission.
    -Chairs
    -Couches
    -Tables
    -People
    -Buildings
    -Objects
    -Pretty much anything man made

    So I guess that means we can only take pictures of nature from now on, as long as that 'nature' is on your property (after all the public, as in the government, owns public parks!). Unless of course the Pope, or someone claiming to represent god decides to sue you for the lord for violating god's copyright, since god created the earth. Then you'll be allowed to take and post pictures of absolutely nothing, not even yourself, seeing as other people own the rights to your DNA.

     

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      Andrew (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:42am

      Re:

      Well, probably not. I'm not familiar with French copyright law, but it's quite common to make a distinction between artistic works and mass produced items (though these may be protected by design rights or similar). So you'll probably be safe taking photos in Ikea. But your general point on encroachment is well made.

       

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      Michael, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:45am

      Re:

      "Unless of course the Pope, or someone claiming to represent god decides to sue you for the lord for violating god's copyright, since god created the earth. Then you'll be allowed to take and post pictures of absolutely nothing, not even yourself, seeing as other people own the rights to your DNA."

      This part of your post is pointless and demeaning. What do you gain from taking hot-shots at the Catholic Church?

       

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        Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re:

        At least his entire post wasn't pointless and demeaning like yours. We get it, you're insensitive, but the post wasn't taking a pot shot at the Catholic church. He picked the Pope probably because he is the most recognizable person that claims to speak on God's behalf. Would you have felt better if he mentioned the Mormon prophet, the Dalai Lama, the Grand Mufti, or even that crazy guy on the street corner?

         

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      Richard (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:48am

      Re:

      since god created the earth.

      And gave it to us on a copyleft license

      As in Matthew 10: "Freely you have received, freely give".

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:27am

        Re: Re:

        God is a dirty pirate!?!

        My God...I would never have thought You would get mixed up in this.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:34am

        Re: Re:

        Well, too bad he gave us one big mess:

        - The world is crawling with bugs;
        - Security is abysmal: There is at least one recorded instance of the use of a Trojan horse to gain illegal access to a protected system;
        - Drivers keep crashing.

         

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      AB, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      You forgot to mention cultivated varieties of flowers, grass, bushes, trees, and other plants. Also any genetically modified or custom bred animals.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:35am

    Ceci n'est pas une chaise.

     

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      Ceci n'est pas une chaise.

      The "h" kinda looks like a chair.

       

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        wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re:

        Ah, now the French can sue anyone who uses the letter "h" in anything he writes!!! Better start turning all our office buildings into courthouses and all our hotels into prisons, so we can handle all the infringement cases of all the people who write anything using the letter "h".

        Oops! I just did it at least 7 times above and more here. I better run and hide somewhere where the French can't find me.

         

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        Joe Publius (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re:

        The "h" kinda looks like a chair.

        It also kinda looks like a tiny cheerleader holding up one pompon with one hand and another pompon telekinetically.

        I think that this use of the haitch is transformative!

         

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      Valkor, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 10:02am

      Re:

      Image with this caption should have been the one and only exhibit submitted by the defense. The judge should have had a knowledge of postmodernism and summarily dismissed the case with extreme prejudice.

       

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    Andrew (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:36am

    I look forward to combining this with the recent Temple Islands case in the UK so I can sue anyone whose photo contains "even a fraction" of an idea I once had.

     

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    Prisoner 201, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:42am

    The solution is simple - stop stealing and only photograph original content. How hard can it be? The entitlement and hypocrisy here knows no bounds.

    Photographing the lower quarter inch of the back left leg of a Corbusier is like breaking into Corbusier's descendants villa, stealing the dining silver and raping their kid. Yes, you heard me. If you are against copyright to any degree you are a pedophile.

    Just because your mommy gave you a camera does not give you a free pass to take other peoples stuff.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:43am

    I wonder when it's going to start to include things like fashion, and clothing and such.

    "Did you get permission from the hat designer? Or the shirt designer? Pants? Socks? You didn't get permission from the sock designer? Criminal scum!"

     

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    John Steele Pornographer, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:44am

    Getty Nazis

    Getty Nazis are getting a taste of their own medicine!

     

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:45am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:46am

    HAHA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    identicon
    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:47am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    lolzzzzz, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:48am

    HAHAAAAA

    GO FRANCE keep it up and no ones ever gonna hear a anything french again i say hurry up get to it max it all out this insane stupidity...lets go world over at it and see how bad awful it is and how badly it affects all the worlds economies and then we can go the opposite and eradicate all of them and copyrights.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:48am

    comment held for moderation

    WOOT CENSORSHIP NOW
    FUCK YOU later
    dont bother no more techdirt is dead

     

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:55am

      Re: comment held for moderation

      CENSORSHIP
      Clearly.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:58am

      Re: comment held for moderation

      OMG! Your incessant posting in a very short time triggered a mechanism that stopped you from posting for a few minutes/seconds!


      CENSORSHIP!


      Or perhaps it's just a spam filter, but I'm going to stick with


      CENSORSHIP!

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: comment held for moderation

        Also known as an anti-flooding/spam device or code in Wordpress.

        Comes in handy even though Techdirt doesn't censor.

         

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      Gwiz (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:07am

      Re: comment held for moderation

      comment held for moderation

      For future reference - If your comment gets stuck in the moderation queue, pushing the submit button over and over again doesn't make it appear quicker.

      Next time you could try making really fast clockwise circles with your cursor - that might speed things up.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:00am

        Re: Re: comment held for moderation

        Next time you could try making really fast clockwise circles with your cursor - that might speed things up.

        But not nearly as fast as counter-clockwise...

         

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          identicon
          DogBreath, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:43am

          Re: Re: Re: comment held for moderation

          But not nearly as fast as counter-clockwise...

          Of course, that all depends on if the poster is in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

           

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:51am

    Can we flood the copyright holders with letters and emails asking their permission to use their objects in a photo? Say a couple thousand people do this. Don't actually use the permission, don't pay any fees, just waste their time asking. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

     

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      identicon
      AB, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      Unfortunately this misses the point that the majority of copyright holders probably don't want this law any more then the rest of the population. Only a small minority of people are interested in this, but they are represented by very powerful lobbyists who are taking advantage of the huge disconnect currently existing between politicians and their constituents.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re:

        Well then the copyright holders that are in favor of it. Add an additional letter (or CC) for the lobbyists as well.

         

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          identicon
          AB, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, including a CC to your political representative might make the idea meaningful after all. If enough CCs start flooding their mail they will have a hard time denying the long-term reality of the problem being created.

           

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      wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:54am

      Re:

      Why just a couple of thousand? How about ten million? Then maybe after they climb out from under all that mountain of paper they'll get the message!

       

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    Justin (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Dear Rights holder,

    Dear Rights holder,

    I really enjoyed your work and wanted to share it with my friends who couldn't be here with me today. But since you are so concerned about your rights on this object, I was not able to take a picture and give you a bunch of free advertisement that you would of had to put 0 effort into. That is really too bad, because I know someone who really likes this type of design and probably would have bought one from you. But I guess you are getting what you want, so good luck with that.

     

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    identicon
    abc gum, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 6:54am

    I am going to start taking pictures that include both a chair and a red bus, mostly on bridges ...

     

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    identicon
    Rob, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Quickly!

    Someone copyright the Eiffel Tower before someone takes a photograph of it!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Eat the copyright holders.

     

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    identicon
    Tripcat, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Typical

    It's the French what else would you expect...
    They are a very good reason why anyone thinking entitlements are a good thing - study French Gov't and their future.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:40am

    Glyn, way to go with the FUD at the end. How can you be sure there will be some sort of ramp up? Your conclusion is pure scare tactic, and nothing more.

    You barely get a 2/10 for this article, very poor work.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:49am

      Re:

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/adrianhon/100007156/infinite-copyright-a-modest-proposal/

      Certainly we wouldn't want to listen to their other suggestions, which would see us broaden the definition of "fair use" and, horrifically, reduce copyright terms back to merely a lifetime or even less. Not only would such an act deprive our great-great-grandchildren of their birthright, but it would surely choke off creativity to the dark ages of the 18th and 19th centuries, a desperately lean time for art in which we had to make do with mere scribblers such as Wordsworth, Swift, Richardson, Defoe, Austen, Bronte, Hardy, Dickens, and Keats.

      Do we really want to return to that world? I don't think so.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:10am

        Re: Re:

        Most of the extended fair use proposals pretty much come at the expense of actual creators and rights holders. It doesn't appear to be a very fair trade at all.

        Further, the proposals generally allow for larger rights for individuals not working specifically for profit than everyone else. That is also an unfair situation.

        Finally, how would you stack these extended rights up on, say, Youtube? If you give more fair use rights to "amateur" video creators, what happens when their work appears on a commercial website? Did their fair use disappear, or did their fair use suddenly magically get extended to a commercial entity, which couldn't do the same thing by itself?

        I have yet to see a "fair use expansion" proposal that didn't allow for this massive backdoor.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, copyright is fucking stupid.

           

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I am glad that you mentioned rights holders as being "hurt" by extended fair use/dealing. As we already know in most cases the artist themselves is rarely paid or paid a pittance due to having to sign their rights over to, say, Getty Images.

          What total bullocks.

           

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    Zangetsu (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Perfect Picture of Paris

    I found this perfect picture of France on the Wikipedia site. It has been carefully adjusted to avoid any copyright issues.

    Paris in Summer

    This is how most pictures of Paris should look. Please note the subtle modifications to the picture to ensure that it follows all of the latest guidelines and policies put in place by the French courts.

     

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      identicon
      AB, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:12am

      Re: Perfect Picture of Paris

      But didn't someone produce a painting just like this? That would make this a copyright violation too! Dirty pirates, stealing hard-working creators artistic genius!!

       

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      wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:57am

      Re: Perfect Picture of Paris

      Oh! You just violated the copyright on blank copy paper!!!

       

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    WysiWyg (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Say what now!?

    "Very much like a photographer needs the authorisation of people featured in their photos before selling them, [...]"

    How can this be!? How would you ever be able to do anything even remotely journalistic if you needed permission from everyone in the pictures!? Madness.

     

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      identicon
      AB, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:14am

      Re: Say what now!?

      Actually the news has traditionally been considered exempt from this rule. But now that you mention it I can certainly see that coming next.

       

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 8:55am

    As a side note, I'd just love to know what of any value the chair lost to its rights holder. Did the picture cause a loss of advertising or promotional rights? Or cause a copy of the chair to be made? Did the photo copy an exact photo made by the rights holder?

    And really, copyright on a chair?????????

    Oh well, the world gets crazier.

     

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    Beta (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:19am

    unintended consequences

    So if I were to steal the chair itself, and the criminal case against me were based entirely on security camera footage of me carrying the chair...

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 9:24am

    I would be fine with the same rules applying to people for publication of inanimate objects. The chair then itself owns the right to it's likeness and can sue the photographer if it didn't give permission to publish the image.

     

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    V (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Again...

    Again... It's France... what do you expect?

    They didn't have enough interest in their rights to stand-up to the Nazi's in WWII and they don't have enough interest in their rights now to stand up to idiotic and problematic "intellectual" property laws.

    Eventually... the entire world - except for pirate - will completely stagnate because you won't actually be able to create anything new since someone will have some VAGUELY similiar copyright, trademark or patent and the new creators will be so afraid of a lawsuit, they won't even try to publish mainstream.

    Instead, I see an underground culture forming. You'll have the yellow pencil, googstepping 9-5 sheepeople who just blindly follow the yellow line to work and then back to home.

    Then, you'll have the creative underground "criminals"... and dare I says, "intellectual copyright terrorists" who create new stuff, remix stuff and rehash old stuff from 200 years ago - which has been retroactively copyrighted.

    It's a sad, sad testemant to where we are headed. And the French are the first to get the labotomy.

     

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    identicon
    Jo, Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:25pm

    Copyright?

    How does one infringe copyright? It is not a copy! A chair is three dimensional; a photo is not!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 12:34am

    Perhaps Janine Gordon should take note of these developments before she decides to sue someone for infringing her copyrights of composition, of all bloody things. Did she create the people and all the other elements of her photographs?

    [sarc]
    Filthy pirates, photographers. Can't stand 'em. I'm foaming at the mouth and the world is in its endtimes because of all this immorality.

    Mike, why are you such a pirate? Chubby two-faced slimeball.
    [/sarc]

     

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    identicon
    healurselfcuzin, Feb 24th, 2012 @ 6:19am

    Folks, does anyone of you have a link to the alleged picture itself ?

    Thanks !

     

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    wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    "harmonizing copyright law worldwide

    Wait until every copyright restriction of every nation on earth are all rolled into world copyright law. It will be an infringement of copyright just to open your mouth or pick up a pen or turn on your radio or TV because every letter of the alphabet, every word in the dictionary, every note on the musical scale, every possible element of any image imaginable will each be individually copyright, and the slightest violation of even any single element, note, letter or spoken word will land you in jail and subject to multi-million dollar fines, with each element violated counting as a separate offense.

    [Sarcasm - copyright industry pipe dreams]

     

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    identicon
    mgjr73, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Copyright law should be reviewed and redefine. He did not create a chair he took a picture of it. Plain and simple. The lawyers are making things more confusing.

     

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