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How am I not surprised
well im glad my images are crap so if anyone wants them feel free to take em I will be flattered more than anything.
Quote: How am I not surprised
Yes, in spades
It's pretty awful but I must say that no-one should put any image of any value on a social site. It is the equivalent of making a print and pinning it up on a noticeboard in the town centre. Surprise, surprise, someone nicked it. So long has this been going on that there is now a law to legitimize it.
There is a saying that if you are not paying for the product you are the product. These sites will plainly sell the pictures in time and that is what is behind this.
It seems hard for some people to realise that these sites cost millions to run and staff. How can they be free? Advertising alone is not enough and there is massive competition for it, too, which drives the revenue down. This move is a trojan horse and I think we can expect in future that sites will claim rights of sale and use over the pictures of anyone who displays them on their site. Mark Zuckerberg already tried it once and gave in to the howls of protest. He'll try again and again and with this act and time will get his way.
I'm not surprised that this happened. So many photographers are willing to let their material be used just for the so-called glory of seeing it in print that it is easy to see why people like Facebook think they can do as they please.
And so the quality of photography will continue to be watered down...
Just place a copyright stamp on your image - only "orphan images" are affected.
This should not stop us all enjoying our photography and sharing our work though and remember it is legally orphan works they are talking about so that means they should not be identifiable, if you use copyright watermarks or logos on your work then they do not quality as orphans , neither do they on site such as epz which does not strip data.
I also presume that this new law does not actually change the copyright law in which case if you can prove an image is yours then you can still force someone to stop using it after you find it ?
One of the many reasons i have ditched facebook and dont use instagram or flickr any more.
One point that was made is very relevant and that is that we will see a slow withdrawal of many artists and photographers from publishing their work online and this will be to the detriment of the public in general.
A interesting aspect for me is that this is going to be an enabling Act. This means that only broad general guidelines will be enacted with the relevant Secretary of State "enabled" by the legislation to introduce further Regulations when s/he sees fit, i.e. without the need for further legislation which is a lengthy and costly process. Thus, this new legislation will never get out of date or be circumvented by loopholes because it can be updated; added to or have loopholes plugged very quickly through this enabling process. In other words the government aims not to be out-smarted by advances in technology or consumer behaviour.
The other major piece of enabling legislation that most of us in the UK will be familiar with is the Health & Safety At Work Act, 1974. Although nearly 40 years old it doesn't require too much updating because all that happens is Regulations are introduced to respond to newly arsing circumstances
Quote: I also presume that this new law does not actually change the copyright law in which case if you can prove an image is yours then you can still force someone to stop using it after you find it ?
Sort of...the article says "the user only needs to perform a "diligent search"..." so if they do a cursory search and don't find anything they have the defence of the law behind them and it is unlikely you would win any case as what comprises a 'diligent search' is too open to interpretation.
Quote: if you use copyright watermarks or logos on your work then they do not quality as orphans ,
true. But there have been cases of people stripping copyright logos off the bottom of the image before posting them on their own site, and once that happens a third person can claim the 'diligence' defence. It is not beyond possibility you will see people setting up ghost web pages specifically for this purpose.
Quote: Thus, this new legislation will never get out of date or be circumvented by loopholes because it can be updated; added to or have loopholes plugged very quickly through this enabling process.
If the article is to be believed, this legislation was brought in as a response to pressure from self-styled 'reformers' - who is to say that further changes will not be to liberalise further? Especially with organisations as powerful as Facebook who would love nothing better than to be able to claim the content as their own and sell them as a revenue stream?
This seems to be really aimed at works that are old and finding the owner not possible. Part of the diligent search would have to be at least asking the person who owned the Facebook page if the image was theirs. It's not really changing anything. As now, some will ask and some will steal. But they are breaking the law now by not doing the diligent search and contacting you.
Quote: But they are breaking the law now by not doing the diligent search and contacting you.
It would be interesting to see how this law would develop. At the moment if you see your work being used without your permission you could instruct them to stop using it and also claim costs for use so far. Under the proposed law there are one of two outcomes:
- they have done diligence and used it, and can continue using it despite now knowing whose work it is
- they have done diligence but must stop using it because they now know whose work it is
the second would obviously be the preferred outcome (and common sense says it would be) but I suspect that in both cases retrospective claim would be not be possible under this new law so the user would go ahead knowing they will get at least some free use out of it.
However I can foresee a large company putting a huge advertising campaign in place using 'orphan' images: at the moment they have no defence under copyright - under this new law they would have a loophole to exploit and they could well claim an 'honest mistake'. And if the owner turned up they would have a choice of scrapping an expensive campaign or paying the owner of the images and that loophole would be very handy. From cases I have read in the press the courts do not have a good history of enforcing either circumstance against a large company.
Quote: they have done diligence and used it, and can continue using it despite now knowing whose work it is
Not really because they wouldn't have done a very diligent search if they took it from a site where you posted it without giving contact details. Unless, the image had previously been stolen and posted without your knowledge.
Quote: However I can foresee a large company putting a huge advertising campaign in place using 'orphan' images: at the moment they have no defence under copyright
And this is another interesting part of the law; companies and organisations will have to buy a licence from the government to use orphaned images.
Quote: Not really because they wouldn't have done a very diligent search if they took it from a site where you posted it without giving contact details.
I don't follow that.
Quote: Unless, the image had previously been stolen and posted without your knowledge.
I have seen several cases on different for a where someone has seen their image, stripped of copyright information, on someone else's website. Once it gets picked up from there, a third company could find it, see no identifying information and use it. How far do they need to go to see who the owner is?
Quote: companies and organisations will have to buy a licence from the government to use orphaned images.
So the government gets the money and walks away. The company says 'OK boys, find something that is not copyrighted' because I refuse to pay a professional photographer fees' and they find your image. You see your image being used, and the government says 'don't look at me' all we've done is given them a license. You go to court. At the moment it is strict liability - you have copyright outright and they cannot argue that and you can invoice them for it. Under the new law they can say 'OOPS sorry' and refuse to pay anything for use up to now because it was used in good faith - proving otherwise is another burden on the copyright holder. They could also claim that (a) your charges for future use are unreasonable because they took it in all good faith and (b) it is unreasonable for them to be forced to stop using it immediately for commercial reasons and the courts are likely to take this into consideration.
IMO all laws should serve a purpose so the main question is: what does this law actually add? IMO all it does is allow companies to make use of content that is not theirs. And in the process it muddies waters that at the moment are quite transparent.
Quote: IMO all laws should serve a purpose so the main question is: what does this law actually add? IMO all it does is allow companies to make use of content that is not theirs. And in the process it muddies waters that at the moment are quite transparent.
This law serves a very useful purpose for certain vested interests. Corporate users can now effectively ignore copyright held by the small guy and the removal of Legal Aid prevents the peasantry from asserting any legal rights. The likes of Getty won't be affected by the new law because they have the financial resources to protect their property.
The Bible warned us that "he who has will be given more and he who has not will lose even what little he does have".
I heard that the Act now has Royal Assent.
One of our marketing department guys is rubbing his hands with glee to the fact that he can soon start using free images rather than paying the stock agencies like alamy, it makes me wonder what the view is of this act from the image agencies.
Do image agencies feel they will lose out or will be able to barter these 'lost' images to their advantage.
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