gill moore photography

Archive for the 'politics' Category

Orphan Works : What is it, where can I read about what is going on in the US with this proposed new Bill?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very simply Orphan Works are creative works which have been produced (including photography, music, articles, cartoons, books, painting the list goes on) but the creator of said creative endeavour (or copyright holder) cannot be found to gain permission to reproduce the work.

At the moment, if this occurs, then the photograph (insert relevant option) just cannot be used but with the new legislation here is what would happen. The hopeful user of the creative work would firstly have to exercise “due diligence” to try and track down the copyright holder. If they cannot be found then the the person wishing to use the work would be able to go ahead but must ensure this useage is logged onto a register. The problem seems to be just what exactly is “due diligence” and is this pushing creatives to have to submit everything they produce onto a register so putting the onus onto the creator to protect.

This is a massively contentious area, many creatives are hugely worried and justifiably confused as there seems to be many arguments and scenario’s. That alone makes me think this is an ill-thought out Bill. I do not claim to understand properly and so I will not try and argue things out but I do urge you all to read more on this subject (as I will) we need to protect our right to own and control what we produce.

Pro-Imaging (a UK-based photographers organisation and discussion list) have an Action Alert on their site at the moment and have sent a lobbyist to meet with Senators and Representatives in Washington to educate them to the dangers of the Orphan Works 2008 legislation. Photo Business News has some interesting discussion on their site and to balance things a little Chase Jarvis’ site has arguments on the other side including a link to the ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) site; this organisation have come out in favour of the Bill.

 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


 

The fight to protect everyone’s right to take photographs continues ….

One of my most popular posts has been regarding photographer’s rights in the UK : “Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps.” This topic is moving so fast I think it is worthy of a follow-up post. The Pro-Imaging website now has a separate page dealing with good and bad photography competions. This now makes it incredibly easy to check on which photo competions are just rights-grabs lurking behind the banner of a prize. Pro-Imaging are having good success with raising awareness and making information freely available, often getting some organizations to actually change their Terms and Conditions to something more palatable.

Sadly it is not all good news. The farce that was the “Olympic Torch Relay” took place in London at the start of the month. Inevitably the event was crashed by protestors wanting to focus attention on China and the situation in Tibet. We then saw a heavily guarded Olympic flame; a symbol of peace and unity, being protected by a massive security operation involving 2,000 members of the Metropolitan Police Force bolstered by Chinese security officers.
Regular members of the public and press photographers tried to record the event in pictures and reported some of the most heavy-handed policing seen in the UK for many a year. Quite brutal incidents of physical assaults, some on horseback, sent out quite a sobering picture of how easily rights can be waved aside when the time demands.
This comes on the back of a number of highly reported incidents involving community support officers and the police both seemingly unaware of UK law and challenging people’s legal right to photograph in public places. Austin Mitchell MP for Grimbsy has taken up the baton and tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons condemning police action against lawful photography in public spaces and has urged the Home Office to agree a “photography code” to be drawn up and used by police officers and UK citizens as a guide to what is and isn’t possible for street photography. Click here for a link to the EDM wording in full. The link also lists every MP who has signed the petition, if your local MP hasn’t, then find your local MP and send them an email here.
If you want to show your support for this cause then you can sign a petition on the 10 Downing Street website.
For some links to some of the recent problems affecting members of the public trying to take photographs in public places, then Amateur Photographer has some good links.
And on the EPUK site they have a list of incidents affecting press photographers. Another one here @ photorights.org.
UPDATE : Further discussion on BBC Radio 4 blog on the current confusion regarding the law and photography, also on the Manchester Flickr group regarding contacting their MP’s.

UPDATE : Sept 08. Click here for a link to an excellent online video made by the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) UK regarding the erosion of civil liberties and media freedoms in Britain.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button