Sweden Failed To License Photographs On New Currency

from the oops dept

Ah, copyright. Back in April, the Swedish central bank announced and showed off its new banknotes, including portraits of "important Swedish personalities." There's just one problem: it failed to license the images before announcing the notes. The bank insists that it wants to license the photos, but by showing off the new bills with the images prior to licensing them, it's put itself in a not-so-great bargaining position, and it appears the photographers are using that to demand much higher prices than the bank was expecting. So far, only two images have been cleared -- even though it's been five months since the new bills were announced and shown off. Yes, the bank can (and most likely will) find other photos, but it's going to involve redesigning many of the bills in question. Of course, this is the same Sweden where the government has been trying hard to crack down on infringement (at the urging of the US). Yet it's own central bank is going with a "use first, license later" approach?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Pham Awards?!

    And it's amusing how it's a lose-lose situation because the photographers ask for more then the bank switches photos and the next photographers will get a worse license. And maybe the photos aren't that fit for the bills.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    'dont do what i do, do what i tell you'.

    it's the same approach for almost all (soon to be all, i bet) so-called democratic countries. is it any wonder that China, Iraq etc call us hypocrites and continue down the path of destroying human rights and freedoms?

     

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    bob, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Relax-- they can always print what they need.

    Did any of the government employees do their jobs first and negotiate a contract later? I'm sure they wouldn't think of it. Heck, they've probably two or three layers of union negotiators in the loop before anyone goes to work.

    So why should the artists be treated any differently than the engravers, the designers or the printers? Copyright is just a union for artists.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Heh. Gotta love the irony of the biter bit.

    Thanks!

     

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  5.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    "is it any wonder that China, Iraq etc call us hypocrites and continue down the path of destroying human rights and freedoms?"

    Wealth and power often go hand in hand and are just variations on the same theme. Many of the people who want one get the other.

    The ultimate end of the increasing wealth gap looks a lot like the ultimate end of political devolution into a dictatorship or totalitarian government. In both cases you end up essentially as an indentured servant to the whims of the state, regardless of whether its ruled by religious fundamentalists, political extremists, or wealth-hoarding capitalists. You owe your soul to the company store, regardless of what it's selling.

     

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    maclypse (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    It's funny to see governments and pro-IP groups get caught in the copyright swamp. It's sad though, that no matter how many times they get caught in the copyright bog for doing things in "good faith" or "for the best intentions" they still refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe, copyright isn't actually the perfect solution to everything, including baldness for men.

    As a Swedish citizen, I also can't help but wonder just how much money now has to be spent on overpriced licenses and redesigning already expensive bills.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Relax-- they can always print what they need.

    Did any of the government employees do their jobs first and negotiate a contract later? I'm sure they wouldn't think of it. Heck, they've probably two or three layers of union negotiators in the loop before anyone goes to work.

    So why should the artists be treated any differently than the engravers, the designers or the printers?


    You realize that you just agreed with a Techdirt article right? (Is that one of the Seven Signs? Is the world going to end soon?)

    The article is saying that the bank SHOULD have negotiated the licenses with the rights holders before the using the images, just like you would negotiate a contract with your employer before doing the work.


    Copyright is just a union for artists.

    No, it's not.

     

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    Lord Binky, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    'My work is above being printed on money itself'

    I can't wait to see which ones foul this opportunity up by being greedy. Although I don't know how to think about my work being sat on every day either.

     

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    gnudist, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    So, they'd pay for the rights to the images by handing the copyright holder a buch of paper with the images on them?

    Heh

     

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  10.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Heh. Gotta love the irony of the biter bit.

    The only time you move forward by backing up is when something is biting you square in the ass.

    -- old Maine proverb

     

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  11.  
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    Bill Stewart, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

    There's an obvious solution

    Don't the Copyright Owners get to seize all the copies of the infringing material? And also charge the government the value of all the copies they would have sold (i.e. all the bills the government was planning to print in the future)?

    That's certainly how things would work under the kinds of copyright laws and treaties the US Intellectual Property Mafia are trying to get the rest of the world to pass!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    They just love the licensing process, harder the better

     

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    gorehound (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

    Politicians just do whatever they feel like with Copyright Issues.
    Bunch of hypocrites and Copyright Maximalists.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2012 @ 5:30pm

    HA ha

     

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  15.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 20th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re: Relax-- they can always print what they need.

    Copyright is a paywall for Big Money.

    Or something.

     

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


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