Sunday, February 18, 2007

Flickr and copyright

Was led to some thought provoking ideas related to copyright while reading the Accidental Pedagogy blog.

The Ecstasy of Influence: A plagiarism

One of the things Lethem (2007) wrote about photography struck me and I quote:

"It's worth noting, then, that early in the history of photography a series of judicial decisions could well have changed the course of that art: courts were asked whether the photographer, amateur or professional, required permission before he could capture and print an image. Was the photographer stealing from the person or building whose photograph he shot, pirating something of private and certifiable value? Those early decisions went in favor of the pirates. Just as Walt Disney could take inspiration from Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr., the Brothers Grimm, or the existence of real mice, the photographer should be free to capture an image without compensating the source. The world that meets our eye through the lens of a camera was judged to be, with minor exceptions, a sort of public commons, where a cat may look at a king."

Am writing about this today, because even after reading what Flickr has posted on its website and completing several searches on copyright related to use of Flickr images am still not sure if I am pirating from the pirates. Because of this blogs title thought it would be fun to find and post beautiful images of portals and I found a lot of gorgeous images on Flickr. I have been saving some of them as images in a My Pictures folder on my PC and was planning to rotate the images over the course of the next few months.

Some of the information found in my searches led me to believe that some folks on Flickr license their images through Creative Commons, but if that is the case I am not finding the information. Also, found some folks on Flickr pointing fingers at people who are using images without proper attribution.

Right now there is a single image of a portal by a photographer that identifies himself as, astrovine. Under the image I have carefully and prominently displayed the following: Italian Portal by astovine. I am wondering, is that enough? While there are active forums discussing copyright issues on Flickr, there are not definitive answers to people's questions in the forums. You can view astovine photos and his profile on Flickr, but I can't find anything on his site or on the Flickr site that makes me sure it is okay to use this image.

Might be nice if there was some information on the Flickr site and and on individual profiles that outlined how the photos can and can be used. The Creative Commons license would help people like me who come looking and want to use photos of portals ethically. Perhaps the information is there and I am just not finding it, or maybe all the issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property related to blogging and on the Internet were solved and I missed the announcement :-)

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