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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

If somebody paints a huge mural on a wall in a city centre which is designed to be a tourist attraction they should not be surprised if it is photographed and shown in editorial articles about the city. 

Edited 3 hours ago by geogphotos

 

 

Parodies are okay.  Paramount allowed Star Trek fan fiction as long as it was never offered for sale; but paid people for novelization edited under their control) were okay, but they were fairly rigorous in who they accepted novels from.  

 

My first science fiction novel had a front cover that was copied from an Enemy Mine poster (I tried to warn the editor, but he didn't believe me).  The designer of the makeup for the alien registered his objection.   The book was reissued with a far better cover by Wayne Barlowe, and people put the first artist on an industry blacklist.  (The make up work was under intellectual property protection).  The guy painted a copy of the Enemy Mine poster.  He still got blackballed and Tor had to reissue the book with a new cover.    The Tor book distributor was part of the conglomerate that made the movie, so the octopus didn't have one arm sue the other.  I was happy because I loved how Barlowe did aliens.

 

So, I'm not as sanguine about this as you might be.    Alamy is asking us to do transformative work where the work of someone else still living is not 100% of the photograph.

Edited by MizBrown
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Here is a post that I kept and thought explained the use of the editorial only box and what covered our butts. Might be worth reading again. If this has changed perhaps Alamy can direct us to the latest information on its use

 

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/13135-editorial-box-should-it-be-checked/?tab=comments#comment-252441

 

Edited by Shergar
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Wikipedia, whose stance is firmly in the open source creative commons camp, has this article on  Copyright Trolls:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_troll

 

I think museum restrictions are problematic for works of people who are no longer living and may not have been for several hundred or thousand years.   Just don't claim the work as one's own.

 

I think some of us feel protective of our work and don't like people assuming that it's fair use to copy it.   Other people believe that if it's in public or on-line, it's not protected from being shared and copied. 

 

From another Wikipedia article on the issue:   Publishers have often placed copyright notices and restrictions on their reproductions of public domain artwork and photos. However, there is no copyright for a reproduction, whether by photograph or even a painted reproduction, since there is no original creativity. One famous court case which explained that was Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. in 1999: The "skill, labor or judgment merely in the process of copying cannot confer originality . . . ."[15][d]

 

 

Edited by MizBrown
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"So long as you have annotated that the image contains people/property, and that there are no releases, the onus will be on the customer to clear the image for commercial use if that was what they wanted to use it for."

 

This is a quote from the original Alamy advice as quoted by Shergar above (thanks for that)

 

The only problem with this is that people who are trying to sue tend to employ a "spatter gun" approach, in the hope of spreading the net far and wide. What Alamy's advice is suggesting is that if the image is annotated correctly, and then used inappropriately, the photographer will be fine and the person/company who bought and used the image is at fault. Unfortunately this does not prevent the photographer being involved, though hopefully in the end all will be OK. 

 

As I remember a previous Alamy colleague commenting: "The ball keeps bouncing"

 

I wonder if Alamy has been contacted by this artists' lawyers, and also presumably the purchasers of the image?

 

Kumar

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Interesting situation, in my case i would be asking about the wall the mural is on, I guess that permission was obtained from the city to place this work, and effectively making money by suing you would possibly go against the city rules or terms and conditions of the permissions to apply the mural to the wall, I would find a homeless charity in the city state in full and final settlement you will donate 500-1000 dollars in full and final settlement to the charity, if they refuse that then maybe it will give them some negative publicity and force them to accept that your good deed is sufficient 

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36 minutes ago, David Pyatt said:

Interesting situation, in my case i would be asking about the wall the mural is on, I guess that permission was obtained from the city to place this work, and effectively making money by suing you would possibly go against the city rules or terms and conditions of the permissions to apply the mural to the wall, I would find a homeless charity in the city state in full and final settlement you will donate 500-1000 dollars in full and final settlement to the charity, if they refuse that then maybe it will give them some negative publicity and force them to accept that your good deed is sufficient 

 

This specific mural is quite well described as there was a crowdfunding campaign.

Most info is here in this thread I think, including the bit that the artist did file his work with the US Copyright Office, which is what counts and what leads to these (for Europeans) ridiculously high damage rewards. They are however real and the norm in the US. Your work would get the same protection if you would follow the same procedure. You do not need to be a US citizen.

The mural could even be painted illegally on the wall of a US police office, which could quite possibly land you in jail. The police could then just paint over or clean your painting. But it could not sell an image of your painting without your approval and probably (if you would ask for that) payment to you.

 

In the end it's all simple Berne Convention stuff, except for the registration part that leads to these statutory damages.

If you're interested: wikipedia.

As always the interesting bits are when there are conflicting rights. (article 1; 2)

The article where the artist's business savviness is hailed.

 

wim

Edited by wiskerke
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In my opinion what this person paints on walls is not art and the way he pursues people is tantamount to entrapment and certainly not the actions of an artist. 

 

I would like the hypothetical young ambitious attorney I imagined to blow this up and expose this scam. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

In my opinion what this person paints on walls is not art and the way he pursues people is tantamount to entrapment and certainly not the actions of an artist. 

 

I would like the hypothetical young ambitious attorney I imagined to blow this up and expose this scam. 

 

 

 

I kinda wonder if he had permissions from the various creators who did the originals that he used in his collage.

 

Much of the harshness of the US copyright law is due to the music and movie industries wanting to have serious penalties for copying and distributing their products.   Some IT companies and colleges with broadband tended to defend their users against this as much as they could.  Going after college students tends to be problematic as they're generally judgment proof. 

 

Google Images makes it relatively easy to find image infringments.  

 

It would be a rule if it wasn't complex.  Because it's complex, there are lawyers involved.  

 

 

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32 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

 

It would be a rule if it wasn't complex.  Because it's complex, there are lawyers involved.  

 

 

 

 

The 'complexity' is created by lawyers in USA to the benefit of lawyers in USA.  

 

I have emailed the Buffalo tourist website to inform them that my itinerary has changed because of the risk of being sued in their city. And that I will do my stock photography elsewhere and advise others to do the same. 

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2 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

This specific mural is quite well described as there was a crowdfunding campaign.

Most info is here in this thread I think, including the bit that the artist did file his work with the US Copyright Office, which is what counts and what leads to these (for Europeans) ridiculously high damage rewards. They are however real and the norm in the US. Your work would get the same protection if you would follow the same procedure. You do not need to be a US citizen.

The mural could even be painted illegally on the wall of a US police office, which could quite possibly land you in jail. The police could then just paint over or clean your painting. But it could not sell an image of your painting without your approval and probably (if you would ask for that) payment to you.

 

In the end it's all simple Berne Convention stuff, except for the registration part that leads to these statutory damages.

If you're interested: wikipedia.

As always the interesting bits are when there are conflicting rights. (article 1; 2)

The article where the artist's business savviness is hailed.

 

wim

"Going a step further, he copyrights each of them, periodically benefiting from payments when they are reproduced."

I have tried looking through court records and don't find a single case. ( Worth having a second check Glenn). Perhaps they don't like going to court hmm.

 

Would be nice to know if they have gone after Alamy who are likely to fight back.

 

Perhaps we have an attorney who's wife has divorced him and taken everything he has or who is paying off all the law school student debt by righting a few scary  letters?

 

The problem here is that from what I see Glenn has done nothing wrong but is being forced to defend himself by an attorney working for himself in the evening and at weekends. It sucks.

Edited by Shergar
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Alamy was asking those of us who've posted mural photos and photos of other flat artwork to mark them as not-exclusive to Alamy, editorial only, and suggested it would be wiser if we included context with the photos, didn't just make it a one to one reproduction.  According to Alamy, the people who licensed the work are responsible how they used it.

 

I suspect that anyone photographing murals might research who painted the mural.  Any artist who registered a copyright is far more likely to want money for his work than some kids painting a birthday present for a friend or those who do graffiti on trains or on bridges.  

 

 

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This thread is starting to read like a John Grisham novel about sleazy lawyers. 😟

 

I only had one street mural image (with questionable context) taken in the USA left in my collection, and I've just deleted it.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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The mass entertainment industry got the penalties passed for their own benefit without considering how much very low value other art there was out there where a multi-thousand dollar settlement would be overkill. 

 

The stupid level of penalties has created an business in finding infringements and collecting money for them by threatening Federal court legal action.   This isn't the first time I've heard about someone doing that.  Someone set up to chase music infringements and made a living off that, if I'm remembering the details correctly. 

 

Funny thing is that Nicaraguan streets have vendors of copies of US movies that were not licensed to be sold here, and Claro, the major internet provider here doesn't throttle downloaders since probably a certain percentage of them pay for their internet by selling DVDs of downloaded materials.   Nobody in the US chases those pirates because they're judgment proof.   Australia has a similar problem -- because people pirate US movies, they're not released to Australia.  Because they'e not released in Australia, they're pirated.   Lather, rinse, repeat. 

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