/ Terrible news for photographers and other creatives

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Alex Ekins - on 02 Jul 2012
Terrible news for photographers and other creatives -

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/02/govt_copyright_white_paper/

Mr Lopez - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Care to translate what that means? Read a few times the 'how it works' part and i still don't get what's going on...
The Lemming - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Don't upload any more photos to new sites when this becomes law otherwise your pictures can be used and you won't see a penny, ever. :-(

And you won't have a legal leg to stand on. Well you will, but can you afford the legal costs to get back a few quid?
Paul Evans - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:
Thanks for posting this Alex. Worrying, I can see -
1. Mass complaints by photographers and others to their MPs
2. Mass "opting out".
3. Making sure that all my web images bear prominent copyright logos.

Yet another example of how our government is acting in the interests of big business and their lobbyists and against the interests of the electorate. Not like we live in a democracy or anything, is it?

Paul
Mr Lopez - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to The Lemming:

Mmmmh... That's what i thought i read it as...

So is the website owner the 'agent' or can anyone just snatch them and sell/use them, and pay whatever they feel like 'if they find you'?
Fredt on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Would this apply to (a) my photos stored on a remote server,
and (b)photos only viewable through my own website?
Neil Williams - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Fredt:

It would apply to all your photos however obtained, if I read it right.

Neil
Fraser on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Qu. 1: who is/are 'The Register'?
The Pylon King on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

If i create something and a company then uses it without my permission to make money that i see nothing of, then i will find out where the company is and petrol bomb the premises. Simples.
dissonance - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Fraser:

> Qu. 1: who is/are 'The Register'?

a well known news website in the tech industry.
They have their good subjects and bad but are strong on certain subjects. They aint some random blog.
syv_k - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to dissonance:

Indeed, but the author of this piece does have a reputation within the industry for going off on one.
Neil Williams - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

To look at it differently, running a disco, say, would be quite hard if you didn't have the PRS to handle getting music rights. If you had to negotiate with every single music publisher separately it would be a mighty faff.

Neil
davidbeynon - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

Most musicians don't see a penny from that either.
Frogger - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Unbelievable.

If I didn't already think that the government is clueless, this has to be the nail in the coffin.

Looking at some of the comments on that article, it appears that businesses will be protected/permitted using what they want, but the individual will be screwed for doing the same.



Frogger - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

This is the government's proposal document:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/response-2011-copyright.pdf

The relevant sections are on orphan works and extended collective licensing.


:(
Neil Williams - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Frogger:

Is there a party of the individual and small business?

I haven't encountered one yet; definitely not Labour and definitely not the Tories...

Neil
davidbeynon - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

A few years ago I would have said maybe lib dems, but it's quite difficult to do that with a straight face now.
dissonance - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:

> A few years ago I would have said maybe lib dems, but it's quite difficult to do that with a straight face now.

well their membership does now consist of one individual and a small business.
haydn on 03 Jul 2012
Is this a consultation? Can we provide feedback anywhere? In work at the moment, so not had a proper look around.
stonemaster - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: Oh well, that saves spending money on a new camera...:)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Howard J - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: I think what this exercise has failed to take into consideration is that we are all "creatives" now. Everyone has uploaded digital photos or written a blog or has some other material on the internet. 99.9% of the time no one has given a thought to copyright or licensing, but if that photo is used for a magazine cover or becomes hot news then it's suddenly a different matter. The government's paper talks about protecting "vulnerable groups" including non-professionals but it's unclear how it will do this when it seems to be promoting an opt-out system. And if it isn't opt-in, how are the collection societies going to distribute royalties to the rights-holders?

I predict a mighty shitstorm as people find their photos reproduced without their consent, or as large numbers of people overload the administration as they try to opt out.

In fairness, the government's paper says that ECL is intended to supplement existing arrangements rather than replace them, but it's still unclear how it will work.
The Pylon King on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J:

The government are c*nts of the highest order imaginable and they can shove their paper up their collectively uncreative, work ethic riddled capitalist shitterz.

good night.
Andy S - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Question 1. Why do they want to do this?

Question 2. How the f*ck are you supposed to 'opt out'?
Howard J - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
> (In reply to Neil Williams)
>
> Most musicians don't see a penny from that [PRS] either.

Not true.
Frogger - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Andy S:
> Question 1. Why do they want to do this?
> Question 2. How the f*ck are you supposed to 'opt out'?


As far as I see it, there will be no effective way of opting out. If companies can claim that they couldn't track down the copyright owner, won't it effectively give them an easy get-out excuse for the occasions that complaints are made? And without proper punishment for breaching copyright of individual creatives, won't they be likely to try it on as a matter of course, to make clear profits from the many people who aren't aware that their work is being used?


Alex Ekins - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Frogger:
I imagine the Government have been heavily lobbied by huge conglomerates who have decided that it would be lovely if they didn't have to deal with the inconvenience of actually paying for any photography...
Anni on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Saw this the other day too. Very bad news indeed :o( Welcome to everything being heavily watermarked work on the internet! As a rule Im not really that bothered about selling/making money from my photography, however I am against others ncking it and making money out of it without me knowing though! Itll mean pretty much the end of photography as a vocation, why bother employing a photographer/buying stock images when you can get it free off the net? Personally think this one is utterly rediculous as a policy.
Paul Evans - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:
And to add insult to injury, after Google have nicked your images, you can use Google Image Search to find out where they are using them!

Paul
cap'nChino - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Paul Evans:
> (In reply to Alex Ekins)
> And to add insult to injury, after Google have nicked your images, you can use Google Image Search to find out where they are using them!
>
> Paul

Stumbled accross this story.
cap'nChino - on 09 Jul 2012
Arjen - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:
This kinda sucks, but there is an easy way of getting out - having your email address stored in the metadata. In LR, it applies the copyright status, my name etc. to the picture, so no-one can claim that they didn't know it was mine.
I don't know if Google+ and FB store metadata on pictures uploaded to it, but Flickr certainly does. Otherwise even a small (c) - name in the corner of a picture should do, I guess...
Adam Long - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Arjen:

Both those methods are very easily removed. The only real protection is to only upload low resolution photos, use large central watermarks, or both.
Max Harms on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: back to film we go then...
dissonance - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Arjen:

> This kinda sucks, but there is an easy way of getting out - having your email address stored in the metadata. In LR, it applies the copyright status, my name etc. to the picture, so no-one can claim that they didn't know it was mine.

1)find some pics i like.
2)set up throw away blog
3)take copies of those pics, strip meta data and upload them
4)miraculously find this new blog and, mourning that i cant find the original user, use the pics for my corporate site.
5)profit.
fhyndoh - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: copyright notice, EXIF, and steganography?
Richard Carter - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

I don't support this, however I don't think this will be an issue for working photographers. Maintaining control over your photographs is something that most photographers take very seriously and have done for a long long time.

Just as photographers never used to give out their negatives, I can't imagine photographers working today would put their work out freely onto the internet.

Amateur photographers will have to adopt similar strategies I suppose!
Alex Ekins - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Richard Carter:
I wish it was this simple. I am a working photographer and do everything I can to maintain control over my photographs.
It is very hard to keep things off the internet not least because my clients want the photos they pay for to appear on their websites.
For example there is a picture of Kilimanjaro on the Jagged Globe website that is being used legitimately. However I have this week discovered that two charities and two travel websites have decided that they too like this picture and have just decided to nick it without contacting or crediting me.
As it stands I can legally chase for payment for the usage and get the pictures removed from the websites.


LakesWinter on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Arjen)
>
> [...]
>
> 1)find some pics i like.
> 2)set up throw away blog
> 3)take copies of those pics, strip meta data and upload them
> 4)miraculously find this new blog and, mourning that i cant find the original user, use the pics for my corporate site.
> 5)profit.

Exactly. Totally sucks. Who here has written to their MP, not emailed but written as you'll get a better response? I just have.
Alex Ekins - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to fhyndoh:
The EXIF data is systematically stripped and copyright notices can be removed/cropped out. Steganography sounds good, do you have any advice on how it can be used with photographs?
Richard Carter - on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Well in that example I suppose youre a bit limited in what you can do in that example. For online publication I suppose you'd have to charge the equivalent of a one off fee. I worked in the wedding photography business and keeping control of original images is like professions motto :-P
ads.ukclimbing.com
needvert on 09 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:
> Terrible news for photographers and other creatives

We could do away with copyright entirely, and it wouldn't be terrible news for photographers and other 'creatives'.

It's important to not forget the way copyright grants 'rights' to creators, is by removing those rights from everyone else.

Also, I've never quite understand why it's so acceptable that most of us should be paid by the hour, but so many 'creatives' get paid by, say, the number of people who see their creation.

We paid-by-the-hour types can often be 'creatives', too.

The article is vague, but it sounds like it might be quite useful.
" The obligation would fall upon the rightsholder to keep the agency updated at all times - the reverse of the law today."

So in terms of say, making my own mashup of my favourite film scenes, instead of requiring a legion of lawyers consulting hundreds of parties, I can just got to one agency? And if the author doesn't care enough about their work to keep the agency updated, it's not a problem for me? Great!

Also, a lot of creative works are abandoned. They disappear from society, because no one else can copy or use them without the rights holder permission - sometimes that holder may be a large diverse group that requires an unreasonable amount of time and effort to track down, or someone who just doesn't care because it's non-profitable to them now, so pieces of culture and works of creative talent get lost forever. It's quite a waste :(


Blue Straggler - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to Adam Long:
> The only real protection is to only upload low resolution photos...

I've been saying this (I acknowledge that I have snipped your sentence) ever since image theft became a hot topic amongst the masses!
I'm no pro and I don't think I've ever taken anything that anyone could make money from, to be honest, but I still very rarely upload at more than about 1200 * 900. Usually less. What's the point? If anyone wants to see a higher-res version of one of my pics, they can ask me.
Alex Ekins - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to needvert:

I apologise for being so blunt but you are talking utter bollocks.

> We could do away with copyright entirely, and it wouldn't be terrible news for photographers and other 'creatives'.

> It's important to not forget the way copyright grants 'rights' to creators, is by removing those rights from everyone else.

Of course copyright grants rights to creators, that's the point. I/we/you created it and should decide how it is used. I can choose to give it away, sell it or display it on a website.

Why should 'everyone else' have any rights to what I produce?
Tom Last - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to Richard Carter:
> (In reply to Alex Ekins)
>
> Well in that example I suppose youre a bit limited in what you can do in that example. For online publication I suppose you'd have to charge the equivalent of a one off fee. I worked in the wedding photography business and keeping control of original images is like professions motto :-P

Yeah agree about weddings and other print based work, fairly easy to regulate in those instances.
Alex's experience re' his Kili pic are where things become difficult.
As others have said, low res/watermarked & small scale images will be the way to go if you want to protect yourself and display images online.

A fair number of photographers with larger contracts and some staffers will already have relinquished their copywrite at the point of sale however, so this is unlikely to impact on them, rather the onus will be passed on to the client. Obviously this situation is not ideal either, the notion of copywrite being sacrosanct etc, but back in the real World it's a hoop that you often have to jump through if you want work from many large companies, but then they tend to pay well for one off sale. This happens to me all the time, pix of mine turn up here and there but I've been paid already as part of my contract. Whilst this isn't the photographic idyll that Magnum dreamed of, I have peace of mind and a living. Besides getting nationals to actually pay for stuff that they've actually said they'd pay for at the outset is easier said than done!

As for this being the (yet another?) death knell for jobbing photographers, well whovever said that above has failed to recognise just how specific most photographic jobs are. I had a job to photograph a particular person at a particular hotel the other week. She'd never been there before, so just where online the production company would have found a pic to lift I don't know!

It's an abhorrant bit of legislation though no doubt, I think picture libraries are going to struggle with it, but personally and I think for many pros it won't make much difference.
timjones - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:
> (In reply to needvert)
>
> I apologise for being so blunt but you are talking utter bollocks.
>
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Of course copyright grants rights to creators, that's the point. I/we/you created it and should decide how it is used. I can choose to give it away, sell it or display it on a website.
>
> Why should 'everyone else' have any rights to what I produce?

Is it possible to be creative without beiung mercenary about it.

Hannes on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> I've been saying this (I acknowledge that I have snipped your sentence) ever since image theft became a hot topic amongst the masses!
> I'm no pro and I don't think I've ever taken anything that anyone could make money from, to be honest, but I still very rarely upload at more than about 1200 * 900. Usually less. What's the point? If anyone wants to see a higher-res version of one of my pics, they can ask me.

Thats big enough to use for most things on a web page and most likely big enough to print in a paper or magazine without problems
needvert on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:
> (In reply to needvert)
>
> I apologise for being so blunt but you are talking utter bollocks.

That's not the most useful statement, but sure.

> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Of course copyright grants rights to creators, that's the point.

I'm not sure you picked up my point, copyright grants exclusive rights by depriving everyone else of a right they would otherwise have had. For example anyone can use "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" for any purpose they feel fit - for example standing in the town square and singing aloud, they however can not use "Happy Birthday to You" as that is currently protected by copyright. Most of us chose to ignore that, however.

Presumably in your view of the world we should ask permission from the rights holder before we sing it, though? It is after all, another's creation that we are using.

> I/we/you created it and should decide how it is used. I can choose to give it away, sell it or display it on a website.
>
> Why should 'everyone else' have any rights to what I produce?

I feel if I like a song, I should be able to share it with my friends without limitation. I like that freedom. I don't feel I should be restricted in the fashion copyright attempts. However, it appears to not be much of an issue, as everyone appears to ignore copyright in a great many things (particularly music.)

The notion that a creator should completely control their creation is one that is not shared by many. For example fair use exists in many countries with copyright, where one may use a work for some purposes without the permission of the rights holder

The history of copyright in the US is a curious one. They are in my opinion the largest player in the English speaking world regarding TV/movies/songs. The US constitution doesn't state copyright as a necessity, it does state that should it be granted it be for a limited period. When copyright was first introduced into the use, it required registration of your work, and only lasted 14 years. We've strayed a long, long way from that. Repeatedly the duration of copyright has been extended, sometimes due to the efforts of companies like Disney and Sony, attempting to maintain control of works.

It's rather scary to see how far it's come:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_the_United_States#History
Works staying protected for decades after the author dies is a worrying notion to me.


It's important to realise that the public domain is a valuable resource for society. If we started relaxing authors controls on their creative works, we may improve the public domain which is good for all of society. It's possibly a trade-off, some would argue creators will be less inspired to create if their monopoly on their creations were to be weakened. Perhaps that's the case, though the massive amount of effort put into software under copyleft licences is an interesting counterpoint to that.

While irrelevant to the discussion, I make my living being paid by the hour for my ideas and creative works. I think it's important to realise changes in copyright law are most often met with resistance because they require changes in business models. I do like the following saying/quote:

"It's hard to make a man understand something when his livelihood depends on him not understanding it"

(I'm not sure who created that sentence, I don't feel guilty at all for using it without permission. Perhaps that makes me a bad person, I'm not sure.)
needvert on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Oh! In my opinion the greatest written work of humanity thus far, is Wikipedia.

A massive effort by many, many people. And all done under licences that explicitly state that the author does not have complete control over their works - instead allowing people to copy, modified and redistribute at will

An amazing project :). If that can be created without the strong monopoly copyright grants...Well, I do wonder what can't be.
dissonance - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to timjones:

> Is it possible to be creative without beiung mercenary about it.

not and make a living out of it.
dissonance - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to needvert:

> I'm not sure you picked up my point, copyright grants exclusive rights by depriving everyone else of a right they would otherwise have had.

a right to what exactly? If the person cant spend their time writing songs because they aint getting paid and hence spend their time counting beans instead.


> The notion that a creator should completely control their creation is one that is not shared by many. For example fair use exists in many countries with copyright, where one may use a work for some purposes without the permission of the rights holder

correct, however i dont think anyone is arguing against that. The question is whether someone can use your photos etc for their profit.
Since i take pics for amusement if anyone is dumb enough to want them i have them under the non commercial cc licence. I am happy enough for someone to use it for their amusement but not to make cash.
I cant really blame a professional photographer for not allowing that either though.

> Works staying protected for decades after the author dies is a worrying notion to me.

I think it is dubious but there is a big difference between that and no protection.

> Perhaps that's the case, though the massive amount of effort put into software under copyleft licences is an interesting counterpoint to that.

its also worth noting the serious amount of cash which goes into the professional part of open source software. From google pretty much paying for firefox through to the various linux distributions making money from support.
Even for individuals it can help professionally when companies want to use some software its handy to have a senior member of the dev team on the payroll.

> While irrelevant to the discussion, I make my living being paid by the hour for my ideas and creative works.

and yet i suspect the ability to patent or copyright them means you are still employed rather than the business employing you going boom when someone else jumps that boring R&D stuff.
Henry Iddon - on 10 Jul 2012
In reply to needvert:

First off I'd like to suggest you fill out your profile. You allude to this that and the other but state nothing as to who you are - are you suggesting your are a paid creative in a leading ad agency? Or a creative who writes jokes for crackers? People may value your opinion if they knew more about you - which would set those opinions into context. As I know nothing I think your an idiot.

Secondly ' ideas ' are the life blood of creativity in all its meanings - creative thought and creative actions. Copyright is there to protect and reward those who 'create' or come up with an idea. Progressing an idea into something tangible like a book, poem, photograph or film can be time consuming and expensive. Copyright protects that investment.

Can I have Star Wars and do what I want with it? I fancy knocking out some box sets of the most successful movies of all time. Should make me lots of money - those who produced and funded them in the first place won't be bothered will they?

If I came round to your house and stole all the contents would that be ok? I mean lets share everything.

Theft of physical property is wrong - why is theft of intellectual property acceptable?
needvert on 11 Jul 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:
> (In reply to needvert)
>
> First off I'd like to suggest you fill out your profile. You allude to this that and the other but state nothing as to who you are - are you suggesting your are a paid creative in a leading ad agency? Or a creative who writes jokes for crackers? People may value your opinion if they knew more about you - which would set those opinions into context.

Suggestion noted. I don't think they should value my views based on who or what I am, rather thoughts should be judged on their own merit irrelevant of who voiced them.

>As I know nothing I think your an idiot.

Your statement made me smile. I don't think you are an idiot, though I know you only by your words in this thread.

> Secondly ' ideas ' are the life blood of creativity in all its meanings - creative thought and creative actions. Copyright is there to protect and reward those who 'create' or come up with an idea. Progressing an idea into something tangible like a book, poem, photograph or film can be time consuming and expensive. Copyright protects that investment.

Protect from what? Many creators don't do it for the money. You're right, it *can* be expensive to produce those things, it can also be near free (in terms of money) when one realises none of those things have to be tangible.

> Can I have Star Wars and do what I want with it? I fancy knocking out some box sets of the most successful movies of all time. Should make me lots of money - those who produced and funded them in the first place won't be bothered will they?

I can't speak for the creators of Star Wars. Maybe they would be bothered by you earning money.

Personally, I wouldn't be. I believe we should build on the work of others. I never feel bad for not paying for the theorems or laws that others devoted their lives to formulating when I'm solving a problem.

> If I came round to your house and stole all the contents would that be ok? I mean lets share everything.
>
> Theft of physical property is wrong - why is theft of intellectual property acceptable?

I can honestly say I've never met anyone who has voiced such a view before.

First off, intellectual property is of much wider scope than the copyright we are talking about here, among other things it includes patents and trademarks. Though for the sake of argument I'll keep to just copyright.

Theft applies to physical property, not to copyrighted works. That would be copyright infringement.

Breaking into my house and taking my TV is depriving me of the use of my TV. If you broke into my house and copied a photo off my camera, you haven't deprived me of anything. There is an argument that perhaps I will now be able to achieve less profit from that photo now, though it could also go the other way, if you work for Time magazine you may have just made my career!

Presuming you didn't lie about who the creator is, anyway. But that's another problem, one of deceit and fraud.


I
Howard J - on 11 Jul 2012
You may choose to take photographs or write songs for no reward - fine, that's your choice. Other people seek to make a living from it, and because this allows them the time to perfect their skills they usually do a better job than amateurs (or at least are more consistently better). To be able to do this they need to get paid.

If, say, a joiner spends hours working on a piece of furniture then no one would think it acceptable just to take it without paying. And if it happened regularly he'd soon go out of business.

Just because some people's work is intangible and easily duplicated doesn't make it any less unacceptable to take it without paying. You'd be depriving them of the legitimate rewards of their labour.

Richard Carter - on 11 Jul 2012
In reply to dissonance:

"> Is it possible to be creative without beiung mercenary about it.

not and make a living out of it."


I don't think that's true at all. I know lots of photographers who aren't mercenary, I don't think I was mercenary either :-/
Gordon Stainforth - on 11 Jul 2012
In reply to Richard Carter:

I can think of no genuine creative person that I know who is primarily motivated by money (which is what mercenary means).
captainH - on 11 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: If the creator of the work is not necessarily in control of how their work is used. what happens with things like Model releases and property releases which may have put restrictions on the usage of works at point of creation?
needvert on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J:

I'm not interested in ensuring people make a living from arbitrary activities.

However, in the event an artist's creations are sufficiently desired by members of society with money and they will not produce it without momentary motivation, surely we can expect with weakened copyright law, or even no copyright law, they will be paid. Perhaps it'll just be by the hour, which is how much of the world seems happy enough to be paid.

Take is a potentially misleading word to use in this context. A better term would be copying. It is also misleading to say you would be depriving them of anything as that has the premise you will buy a copy if you can not freely get a copy.
Howard J - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to needvert:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>
>Perhaps it'll just be by the hour, which is how much of the world seems happy enough to be paid.
>
There's a difference between an employee selling his labour and a creative person selling the output of his creativity. In both cases the value of the final output may bear no relationship to the length of time it takes to produce. For an employee, provided he's paid for that time it doesn't really matter to him what the product sells for. This also applies to a creative who works as an employee, but in these cases the copyright is usually owned by his employer, so he doesn't own his work any more than a factory worker owns the car he helps produce.

For a freelance creative the length of time it takes to create something is irrelevant, what he gets paid is based entirely on the value of what he produces. For example, an iconic photograph may have taken only 1/250 sec to create but could be worth a large sum. It would be a nonsense to value that work on a time basis. However the photo is only worth a large sum if the photographer can control how it is copied.

The claim that you wouldn't have copied something if you had to pay for it is nonsense. If you want something enough to copy it, you should expect to pay for it. You wouldn't expect to get away with that argument if you took a tin of beans, so why should it apply to an image or piece of music?
Alex Ekins - on 13 Jul 2012
In reply to needvert


Those who challenge copyright and advocate some utopia of sharing talk about freedom and choice, when in fact you are advocating a horrible selfishness. You wish to freely use something for your own personal gratification while denieing the creator any choice in the matter.

It is not about money it is about choice. My and everyone else's choice to decide what we want to do with what we create. I may decide to share it, I may decide to offer it commercially, I may decide just to show it to my friends or keep it to myself. But it is my choice. What you want to do is remove that choice.

> I'm not interested in ensuring people make a living from arbitrary activities.

What a horrible attitude. How on earth does anyone making a living from what you condescendingly call "arbitrary activities" affect you in any way?
Henry Iddon - on 14 Jul 2012
In reply to needvert:

"I'm not interested in ensuring people make a living from arbitrary activities."

Please explain why the creative industries are 'arbitrary activities'.

ads.ukclimbing.com
shaun walby - on 16 Jul 2012
In reply to All:

I expressed my concerns to Mark Darby the senior policy advisor....this is his response...

Dear Mr Walby

Thank you for your e-mail of 10th July expressing your concerns about whether the proposed changes to the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act will mean that, as a photographer, your work will not be protected from people using it without permission or payment. I assume that these relate to the proposals for a scheme to license use of orphan works.

At present, there are valuable cultural works in, for example, museums and archives, that cannot be exhibited to the public without risking infringing copyright because the copyright owners are not known or cannot be located and their permission cannot be sought. The proposed scheme would license non-commercial and commercial use of these orphan works only after a proper diligent search, verified by an independent body. There is likely to be sector-specific guidance about what should constitute a diligent search.

Licences to use orphan works will come at an appropriate price, comparable with similar known works being used in a similar way. This will be payable in advance and set aside for any rights holders who may appear even though the diligent search has not found them.

We know that concerns have been expressed that people will remove the metadata from digital photos to make them look like orphan works. However, if someone knowingly and without authorisation removes metadata from a digital photo they are committing a civil infringement. We understand that the stripping of metadata is already an issue. In fact, the orphan works scheme will make illegal use more obvious because users will be required to credit rights holders where the names are known (but not locatable) and where they do not have the names they will need to provide a notice referring to the authorising body they should approach to claim their works and the remuneration set aside.

The new scheme will also include a registry of works that have been declared orphan, which will make it easier for rights holders to check whether any of their work is being considered or used as an orphan work, allow them to gain remuneration for past use, and will enable them to regain control of their work.

I can assure you that all images will continue to enjoy the full protection of copyright relevant to the type of work. This will not change with the introduction of an orphan works scheme.



Kind Regards



Mark Darby
Senior Policy Adviser
Copyright and Enforcement Directorate
Intellectual Property Office

0207 034 2812
Alex Ekins - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to shaun walby:
Thank you very much for posting the reply from the IPO Shaun.
I passed on Mark Darby's reply to someone who knows far more about this issue than me and this is his reply -

"Orphan works is of a lesser issue. The real problem is Enforced (sic)
Collective Licensing. With this scheme full protection is gone....

Perhaps you could go back to Mr Darby and ask him to explain how the right
to say 'no, not at any price' is protected with Extended Collective
Licensing...ask what level of damages will be forthcoming when an ECL
opt-out image is used in this way? Ask if the payment will be on the
creators terms...or on the users terms?

Ask why moral rights - the right to a credit that would help stop more
orphans - is not part of Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Ask to see the impact assessment that takes into account these concerns.

I'm slowly digging my nails into the IPO...no reply yet, but I suspect
that?s because the Impact Assessment they have written does not cope with
our concerns. Otherwise, a simple copy/paste from the document in reply
would suffice. I have told them so...but so far, nothing.

Regards,

Simon Brown"
Alex Ekins - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to shaun walby:
Thank you very much for posting the reply from the IPO Shaun.
I passed on Mark Darby's reply to someone who knows far more about this issue than me and this is his response -

"Orphan works is of a lesser issue. The real problem is Enforced (sic)
Collective Licensing. With this scheme full protection is gone....

Perhaps you could go back to Mr Darby and ask him to explain how the right
to say 'no, not at any price' is protected with Extended Collective
Licensing...ask what level of damages will be forthcoming when an ECL
opt-out image is used in this way? Ask if the payment will be on the
creators terms...or on the users terms?

Ask why moral rights - the right to a credit that would help stop more
orphans - is not part of Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Ask to see the impact assessment that takes into account these concerns.

I'm slowly digging my nails into the IPO...no reply yet, but I suspect
that?s because the Impact Assessment they have written does not cope with
our concerns. Otherwise, a simple copy/paste from the document in reply
would suffice. I have told them so...but so far, nothing."
Paul B - on 18 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

If anyone wants to already see how copyright is abused (with the field of climbing) you might find this enlightening:

A few weekends ago I photographed the BBCs. I posted these images in three galleries; one on Google +, the other Facebook and finally my flickr page. These were marked with my signature clearly, and on flickr were clearly set to "all rights reserved".

A few people got in touch wishing to use the images for personal blogs in return for linking back credit (which I was fine with), they were published on 8a.nu after they sought permission and I was also contacted by a volume manufacturer wishing to use them as advertising. The company didn't want to pay for image usage and as I have a personal policy that nobody should profit from my work I declined their offer of credit. Subsequently a UK magazine has bought a number of the images for print and one for an online gallery.

On Friday of last week I was contacted by a large US publication (in their own words "the biggest buyer of climbing images in the world), who notified me they'd taken the image from a personal blog and they were using it in a news article, they didn't pay for online contact and to let them know if this wasn't ok. As I was sat by the computer they didn't get away with this for long and I invoiced them for usage, the replies to which, have been one of the most dis-heartening conversations I've ever had with a publisher. The image was hosted on their website, next to paid for advertising.

His general feeling (publisher and editor in chief) was that as they publically viewable on the internet I had no right to complain and it was a "courtesy" that the image was taken down. He couldn't see (or wouldn't admit) to a difference between me allowing use for "free" by none commercial interests and the website in question.

For this he cited the Google+ policy and facebook policies. For G+ this is nonsense:

"Your Content in our Services

Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours. "

For facebook the policy is here:
https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms and 2.4 was cited as allowing him to do so.

This defence has recently been thrown out by the US courts following a high profile legal case (Morel) involving photographs on twitpic taken of the Haiti earthquake.

However, as a UK based (currently un-employed) person I haven't the ability to do anything about this. My plan was to lay out each of the emails one by one on a dedicated blog and with the help of some high profile photographers who feel passionately on this issue, use social media to force them into doing the right thing. However, it really is a David and Goliath situation.

Currently this has been settled (fairly amicably) but only because I made a proposal which was very hard to turn down: my fee could be paid to a local bolt fund instead. If this had been turned down and become public knowledge it would have reflected very badly. This hasn't yet been paid but the intention is for this to happen on Monday.

I'll re-iterate, this is a LARGE publisher WITHOUT this new legislation. The new proposals will be devasting for the photographic industry.
Howard J - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Paul B: It seems to me that the publisher is deliberately flouting copyright law in the expectation that you'll do nothing about it, and using loopholes in the t&cs of the websites in justification.

On the other hand, if you want to control use of your material you should be careful which sites you post it on. It's unwise to rely on the courts to overturn clearly written terms, and expensive if someone hasn't already taken it to court.

The idea of collective licensing is that it ceases to be David v Goliath and becomes Goliath v Goliath. The publisher has to negotiate with a large organisation rather than an individual. It makes it much easier for a publisher to get permission because they can go straight to the organisation rather than trying to trace the individual.

This works reasonably well with music (OK, it's not perfect). Imagine how it would be if every time a performer sang a copyright song they had to get permission and negotiate terms with the rights holder. Instead its done through a body which acts on behalf of composers and which grants licences.

The biggest concerns over these proposals seem to be that it will be "opt-out" which raises questions about how the licensing body will be able to distribute payments. The music licensing is "opt-in", a composer has to join the organisation. It also raises questions over whether photographers will receive less than they should for high-value images.
Gordon Stainforth - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J:

> On the other hand, if you want to control use of your material you should be careful which sites you post it on. It's unwise to rely on the courts to overturn clearly written terms, and expensive if someone hasn't already taken it to court.

Hang on. If I understand Paul correctly the image was simply lifted (stolen) from a blog website, just as any image can be lifted from any web site. I don't see how being 'careful which sites you post on' can protect you in any way, unless the sites are so obscure that no one comes across the images, even by Googling.
nic mullin - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J:

> On the other hand, if you want to control use of your material you should be careful which sites you post it on.

Isn't the whole point of copyright that you can do precisely what you want with your work, and (unless you specifically waive your right to do anything about it) people can't just steal it? I don't really see how changing who gets to chase people for infringing that copyright will do much about people just stealing other people's work.

> The idea of collective licensing is that it ceases to be David v Goliath and becomes Goliath v Goliath. The publisher has to negotiate with a large organisation rather than an individual. It makes it much easier for a publisher to get permission because they can go straight to the organisation rather than trying to trace the individual.

In Paul's case, would the large organization (whatever form that may take) be as vigilant and proactive about the unlicensed use of his work as he was? Would they be likely to come to a mutually acceptable agreement (donating the fee to a local bolt fund, because it's a point of principle, not about making a fee for yourself) like Paul did?

My feeling is that they'd have bigger fish to fry. I can't see them dredging through climbing websites to answer a single claim in a niche market. Given how mammoth a task it would be to protect the copyright of every creative individual in the UK, my guess is that not opting out will be a lot like donating all your work to a stock agency who farm it out for a flat rate and pay you a nominal fee for any usage.

That might mean that you may be more likely to get paid for a higher proportion of the usage, but I'd be very surprised if you get any say in who uses your work, or for what. That would be a pretty big deal for a lot of people.

So it will most likely come back to "if you don't want your work used without your permission, don't put it on the internet". This may work for some people who are heavily print based, but if it puts people off uploading their work to their own blogs, websites, flickr pages, UKC galleries etc. we all lose access to that work, which will be a great shame.


Nadir khan - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: Maybe UKC should adda large C watermark to the centre of each pic thats uploaded and every photographer does the same to any online gallery . I know its not as great to look at but at least it makes it harder for someone to lift the image and use it .

The file size on websites and UKC also makes it difficult to use it for anything other than very small reproductions but I may be wrong on this ?
Paul B - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You understood it correctly; they lifted it from a climbers blog, they openly stated this in the initial contact (after taking the image) which also stated they don't pay for online content.

They then used the fact (3 days later) that it was on other social media (freely viewable) to state that they could do just that and if I was happy for personal free use [for credit] and public viewing, I should be happy for them to use it too. The fact this was next to paid for advertising didn't seem to matter in their eyes.

The whole concept of not posting images such as this anywhere where they might be stolen is one I simply won't subscribe to. Do you really want to see sites like 500px, flickr and to a degree UKC without all the content people upload 'just in case'? I don't.

Whilst its been widely accepted that the facebook policy gives facebook carte blanche to do what they want with uploaded content, this doesn't apply to third parties!

I'd also expected better from people with whom I only have one degree of seperation; this isn't a large industry.
Paul B - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Nadir khan: the fact is, if its viewable for web use, then its big enough to steal for web use.

Sticking a faint (C) over an image is one option but as you said it detracts massively.
Henry Iddon - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Paul B:

I believe the best way for photographers to fight their corner is by standing together on the issue and speaking from a collective voice - working in a unified way to lobby govt etc.

The most effective way is to be a member of an organisation such as the AoP http://home.the-aop.org/ or NUJ http://www.nuj.org.uk/ - I'm a member of both and I know that a huge amount of effort has gone in at govt committee level to push for photographers rights. There are other groups such as EPUK.

Sadly both the AoP and NUJ are suffering from falling membership - some what ironic as there are more people trying to make a living from photography. I would suggest its worth people 'putting their money where their mouth is' to join these organisations in an attempt to get photographers voices heard.
Richard Carter - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

"Sadly both the AoP and NUJ are suffering from falling membership - some what ironic as there are more people trying to make a living from photography."

Well the NUJ won't really be of use to a lot of photographers and the AOP is nearly 400 a year - for many it doesn't make sense to spend that much money.
Henry Iddon - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Richard Carter:

NUJ has a freelance photography branch - and has the most relevant internationally recognised press card / free legal support.

AoP is a prestige organisation that lobbies hard and has the highly regarded Awards.

Whats the cost of doing nothing?
Howard J - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>
> [...]
>
> Hang on. If I understand Paul correctly the image was simply lifted (stolen) from a blog website, just as any image can be lifted from any web site. I don't see how being 'careful which sites you post on' can protect you in any way, unless the sites are so obscure that no one comes across the images, even by Googling.

Yes, but if I understood him correctly the publisher claiming that the t&cs of the websites waived his copyright and allowed them to lift the photos. Which he goes on to point out is either incorrect, or has been overruled by a court.

My point is that if you put photos on a site which claims to waive your copyright, then even if that is of doubtful legal force it does at least gives the publisher a line of argument. If the t&cs clearly state that you retain copyright then he can't claim that you've waived your copyright by putting the photos on there.

But of course, that won't stop people stealing your images, and it's then a question of what you can do about it. Which is where a collective licensing organisation may have a better chance of enforcing copyright than an individual.
Henry Iddon - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J:

All though not a collective licensing organisation DACS distributes a certain amount of money.
Paul B - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J:

> My point is that if you put photos on a site which claims to waive your copyright, then even if that is of doubtful legal force it does at least gives the publisher a line of argument. If the t&cs clearly state that you retain copyright then he can't claim that you've waived your copyright by putting the photos on there.

Not quite, what the agreement does is allow Facebook specifically to have certain rights. Although this potentially has lots of seedy results in actual fact it is so people liking/sharing things doesn't cause them any legal issues.

There's nowhere that it explicitly grants 3rd parties licenses unless you take "access and use" to mean that in a legal manner.

Earlier in the agreement it explicitly states what kind of license you grant FB itself, if this pertained to third parties it'd do this also as otherwise there's no territory stated, time period etc. defined.

Social media is a massive tool for photographers. Although I'll try and limit the possibility of theft etc. arising from situations like this, removing myself from sharing stuff on social media seems drastic (and disadvantageous) and is in line with earlier comments about content simply not being seen.
Richard Carter - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

"AoP is a prestige organisation"
I think that's their problem, for a lot of photographers I think the 400 outlay wouldn't bring in a worthwhile return.
While the NUJ is valid for journalists I suspect the vast majotiry of working photographers aren't - but yes if they're a journalist then the NUJ is pretty good.

"Whats the cost of doing nothing?"
You can do something without having to sign up to such organisations.
Richard Carter - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

I'm not trying to be argumentative by the way, even thought it might sound like I am.
Howard J - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Paul B: I've not gone through them in detail but my point is that FB's t&cs for example are possibly ambiguous, at least enough to allow the publisher to justify lifting the photo. It may not be a valid justification, he's still infringing your copyright, but it gives him an excuse to argue about it. Whereas with Flickr, for example, the t&cs are very clear that you retain copyright. No excuse.

Which of these sites you use is a matter for your judgement and you have to weigh the potential risks against the benefits.
What Goes Up - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: I'm a member of ther Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) and to be honest I haven't really seen this discussed on their forums at all. Normally they love to pick up on anything like this and thrash it out, so I'm not sure whether they don't actually see it as that big a threat with their insider knoweldge or if it's passed them by (I'd be suprised if no-one's noticed though).

Not sure if it's that the pro's consider themselves protected by the steps they take anyway as it's their day-to-day livelihoods that they are always looking out for. This, significant as it could be, is just one of a multitude of things which constantly threaten to undermine the industry seemingly every other day. Could be more a case of enthusiast / amateur: watch out what you are giving away for free. I'm certainly very careful about what goes where, what gets watermarked etc, but it's a balancing act as you do need to use these increasingly exploitable media for marketing and promotion.

I might pop a post up on the forum and if I hear anything interesting I'll feed it back.
ads.ukclimbing.com
John Rushby - on 19 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

but the Gov are happy to allow a 19 yr old to be extradited to the US for hosting a file sharing website (I precis) at the behest of the music industry.
Paul B - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J: I know what you're saying but I've had people take things from numerous websites and try and defend their position without T&Cs to back even slightly hide behind, just the belief that they're free and within their rights to take them.
Howard J - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to Paul B: That seems to be the general attitude to anything on the internet, and of course they'll just ignore t&cs where it suits them. It's when you come to defend your copyright (which might be worthwhile if the image turned out to be valuable) that ambiguous t&cs may allow them to argue that you'd waived your copyright or given it some form of creative commons licence.

I'm not suggesting people shouldn't use these sites, but they should look at the t&cs and consider the implications.
Alex Ekins - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:
In regard to pictures being nicked here is a link to a useful article - http://www.epuk.org/Opinion/994/stolen-photographs-what-to-do
In fact the whole EPUK site is worth a look at
Cheers
Alex
Paul B - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins: Thanks Alex, that was linked to me on another forum.
John_Hat - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to Alex Ekins:

Ho-hum - I've had photos used by both the Sun and the Daily Mail - in both cases nicked off my website, I didn't get a penny, and I don't give a toss.

In fact I'd be slightly embarrassed if I was associated with either of those papers.

I understand if you're a professional then its a big deal, but for the average joe I fail to see the relevence or why the hot air.
Gordon Stainforth - on 21 Jul 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

I hate to say it (but I will because it's late at night) but photography - for all the reasons in this thread, and many more besides - is quite a dumb profession to be in now. Which is why, almost every day when someone asks me about photography as a career, I say, well fine if you mean by that a film or television cameraman, otherwise forget it.
Richard Carter - on 21 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

"I hate to say it (but I will because it's late at night) but photography - for all the reasons in this thread, and many more besides - is quite a dumb profession to be in now."

It's not that bad! Many photography jobs don't involve displaying your work online. Photographers have been complaining at what a hard industry it is to work in since I started and I suspect long before that too!
Gordon Stainforth - on 21 Jul 2012
In reply to Richard Carter:

Not quite my point. I was talking about it as a sensible profession. Interesting to see from your profile that you're 'now an accountant after having worked for many years as a photographer'.
Richard Carter - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Well I'd started the Accountancy while still a Photographer as something to do during the week. Then someone offered to buy my Photography business and I was bored of working weekends so I went for the Accountancy full time :)

Haven't quite decided what I want to do yet though so I might well change again.
Henry Iddon - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Rankin trained as an accountant - need more be said. The most commercially successful photographers are usually those who are most ruthless in business / great marketeers and mediocre photographers.

Those most adept at image making are usually less commercially successful because they aren't ruthless business men who are driven by money.
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

You've said it all. So ... I submit that, unless you are a ruthless businessman, you are a lot better off channelling your creative talents elsewhere. Let me then for the umpteenth time champion the idea of keen photographers becoming video/film cameramen as a career. Alastair Lee, surely, is a shining example. The guys shooting the Griff Rhys Jones programme, Mountains, that I worked on were likewise inspirational.
Henry Iddon - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I don't know how much Al makes - but I'm sure film / video will become as difficult to make a living in as other creative media. DSLRs and youtube have seen to that.
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

No - there are loads of bad cameramen about, but still only a small fraction that are really good. But, even then, there's much more real work available, day by day. The demand for still photographers is absolutely minute by comparison.
Gordon Stainforth - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

PS. Failing half-decent still photography, what sane person would choose to join the papparazzi as a profession?
Richard Carter - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I'm not ruthless :(
Or maybe I am? But I don't think I am.

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