December 20, 2007
Borrow from Flickr -> Live to regret it
Through Google Image Search & the like, it’s almost ridiculously easy to find pictures of nearly anything you can imagine–and just as easy to drag them into editing tools for your own use. Do it to a motivated photographer, however, and the practice can end in tears.
Last week, an image taken by photographer Lane Hartwell was used without permission in a parody video posted on YouTube. She wasn’t pleased, contacted the band, and filed a takedown notice with YouTube. CNET’s Stephen Shankland recaps the events to date, then interviews Hartwell. She notes that she’s had to deal with similar incidents frequently (five in just the last two weeks).
Over in the NYT, David Pogue talks about “the generational divide in copyright morality.”He lists a number of the scenarios he mentions to gauge audience reactions to what kind of media copying is acceptable. Short story: older people see shades of gray, whereas younger people think that anything goes.
I wonder what these folks would say about appropriating a piece of photography, artwork, or software. If a college kid did a painting that got used in a GM ad campaign, I’m betting he or she would feel entitled to some compensation. Now, if that painting got used in an amateur video on YouTube, would that be okay? What if the video promoted a hate group? Do these guys think that the creators of intellectual property deserve to have any say over how their work is used & whether they’re compensated? Without any of their skin in the game, the general answer seems to be no.