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January 19, 2006

Photographer pans Blogspotting pix. Got something better?

Stephen Baker

Photographer Gary Crabbe says that most of the photos from the free sites I linked to yesterday are crap.

I wonder how business blogs and websites would spend so much time, energy, and resources building a professional web presence, and then be so attracted to decorating their site with bad photos – just because they’re free.

Gary, how about if we use this site to showcase superior photography? If you have a photo that would go well with our format, we'd be happy to post it.

07:37 AM

photos

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Probably not a topic you'd like to delve into in this blog, but photographers really need to reconcile themselves to the real meaning of putting their content online.

Given the ease with which bloggers can pirate photos, it is time to discuss an ASCAP-like arrangement where for-profit blogs and websites pay an annual licensing fee that entitles them to use (with appropriate credits and links) any photo they find. The funds would then be allocated among registered photographers according to the number of "linked photos" used.

As it is now, all I have to do to "legally" use any photo is to crop part of it and throw it into a collage or do some treatment to alter the photo. It then becomes a visual sample, just like a snippet of Aretha Franklin on a hip hop song.

Things need to change, and fast. But sites that "buy" photos will be at a competitive disadvantage as that is a luxury only premium news sites can now afford.

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at January 19, 2006 01:29 PM

I'll delve. The truth is that there are rules* you need to follow if you want to use content that somebody else created.

Re: bloggers pirating photos; just because it is easy doesn't make it right. It's easy to steal a candy bar at the grocery store. It's easy to run a stop sign or park in a handicapped spot. Even BusinessWeek Online sets limits with what you can do with the content on this site. It would be easy to take advantage of that and exceed their limits. If easy made right, Napster would still be around in their original form. Ask them what they've learned about copyright over the last few years.

And as for Mark and his changing or cropping an image to be "legal", he just proves himself to be among the masses of people that are mis-informed. *Here in the US and in other countries that follow the same guidelines, you could use only a small part of an image or a few notes from a song, but the Courts will consider how important that percent was in relation to the whole. And yes, you can still violate a copyright by creating a derivative work.

There's a great resource on the web called:

"10 Big Myths about copyright explained"

and can be found at:

http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

Cheers, & Thanks for your consideration....

Posted by: Gary Crabbe at January 19, 2006 02:49 PM

I'm with Gary. I look through most cycling-related photos at Flickr to post to my cycling blog, and may one in about 500 photos I look at are halfway interesting. There are thousands of uninteresting photos of bikes. Thousands more cyclists' backsides. And then probably millions of straight dumps from the memory sticks with titles like "DSC0012.JPG."

Posted by: Fritz at January 19, 2006 06:15 PM


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