The Intercept Releases Photos To The Public Domain… But Unfortunately Locks Up Text Content With Copyfraud Claims
from the kudos-and-boos dept
We already wrote about the launch of The Intercept, the first new publication from Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, helmed by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, and about its first big article about the NSA’s use of questionable metadata in telling the CIA where to drop bombs from drones. However, the other article that the publication launches with is also worth noting. It’s by photographer Trevor Paglen, who rented a helicopter and took aerial photographs of the headquarters of the NSA, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) which builds spy satellites, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which maps and analyzes imagery caught from those spy satellites. As Paglen notes:
My intention is to expand the visual vocabulary we use to “see” the U.S. intelligence community. Although the organizing logic of our nation’s surveillance apparatus is invisibility and secrecy, its operations occupy the physical world. Digital surveillance programs require concrete data centers; intelligence agencies are based in real buildings; surveillance systems ultimately consist of technologies, people, and the vast network of material resources that supports them. If we look in the right places at the right times, we can begin to glimpse America’s vast intelligence infrastructure.
But here’s the part that caught my eye:
These new images of the NSA, NRO, and NGA are being placed in the public domain without restriction, to be used by anyone for any purpose whatsoever, with or without attribution. They can be found on Creative Time Reports, which commissioned this piece, as well as on Flickr, Wikimedia Commons and The Intercept.
Here are the three images:
That statement above ignores even the possibility of fair use, which you can’t do. I’m sure it’s just boilerplate that First Look got from some lawyer, but for a publication with such lofty goals, and which used one of its first articles to release images into the public domain, you’d hope they wouldn’t have started out with such a bogus copyright statement.