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Photographers face copyright threat after shock court ruling

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by CSBC, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    We could :D

    But p68 proves the point of the contradiction. It allows say a image of a routemaster crossing the bridge taken by another photographer and I presum give the same post image treatment but not it being created in a the computer or maybe via collage.

    Routemasters still exist and you can hire them.

    Therefore you could have one drive over Westminister bridge then be shot and have the popping treatment or is the judge going to restrict what model of bus you can or cannot use on Westminister bridge? Come on that is illogical.

    In fact P68 give that very hole because he states "London bus, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Whatever image was produced could then have been used on the tins of tea. Such an image would not infringe."

    But like you say MickLL we disagree, :) these might be the areas the appeal court will pick apart or consider.

    It will come down to how bad the damages the claimant is getting.

    If they very painful for the defendant they might consider trying to mounting a appeal.

    Logically the company will probably revise the image on the next production run on the basis that said image is now tainted. Also they are not going to want to pay anymore money to the claimant in the long run. Plus they have P68. :)
  2. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    That's where your logic falls down. Para 68 refers to the production of an original image from the same spot. It does NOT presume that the image could once more be manipulated in order to copy the essence of the original. That bit is a figment of your imagination.;);)


    PS It's good to have a discussion without rancour even if we do disagree. I wish that it would happen more often.
  3. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    True that is not in P68, but many IP lawyer feel that this where it might be going to far. Barristers like Jane Lambert has allegedly said it goes to far. I comes close to copyright idea. Something that has always been considered troublesome.

    One example used is the famous Beatles Abbey road shot. With this ruling re-shooting a similar style image might fall foul of the new PCC.

    It seems quite clear from your position or understanding of the judgement that if go out to London next week with a Routemaster on Westminister bridge and take a shot I am not allowed to red pop it post production. Because that market has been cornered. Even though the orginal shot is my copyright and I have gone to the trouble of arranging a Routemaster to cross the bridge. :)

    To me that copyrights a style or idea. Which I reckon takes us into troubled waters indeed. :(

    PS: I never allow a argument to be personal I try and see how someone is reading that position.
  4. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    Personally, I think there's a world of difference - it's the difference between someone wearing my shoes and someone wearing a pair of shoes like mine.

    (Besides, there haven't been that many and none, to my remembrance, started shouting. So much for a dislike of generalisations and an ability to deal with only facts. ;))

    To me this wasn't about copyright, per se, (although the courts felt otherwise) and to pursue it so has muddied the waters. Had it been a matter of passing off then I think it would have made more sense, in general terms.
  5. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    She doesn't say that it goes too far she says that she is "uneasy" - at least that's what I read in her own words.

    I can't find any other IP lawyers expressing an opinion so if you can point me to the 'many' I'd be genuinely grateful.

    If you reproduced the original photo then yes I would expect you to infringe. However the existence of a routemaster and 'colour popping' are only part of the story. Those elements alone would not cause you to infringe.

    If you used a modicum of originality by allowing the different elements to have different weighting, maybe using figures differently or having a sky then I guess that you would not infringe.

    Finally, even if you did infringe, I doubt that anyone would complain unless you then printed your image onto tins of tea and sold them alongside the 'real' image.

  6. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    Was it you who was insisting that you should logically justify everything you wrote in a post? Perhaps not because you didn't.

    Just don't quote the law as being 100% right and that means that something is not worth discussing.
  7. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Allow me to apologise for not making myself absolutely clear. My excuse is that my posts can be too long anyway and having to explain every remark in words that cannot be misconstrued by any member of the forum is just too onerous. Indeed it may be beyond me.

    The remark that I made that invoked your 'Germany' post was aimed at the first few lines of post numbered 73 where an unattributed quote is presented. I did not feel it worthwhile to begin debating on the basis of a quote, the source of which I didn't know and which clearly came from a quarter that had a high emotional content.

    I found your invocation of Germany in the '30's to be offensive, crude, misguided and, as I said, stupid.

    I repeat my apology for being less than clear so that you didn't grasp my meaning.

    It's time to bow out of this thread now. I was rather enjoying what I thought was a civilised discussion with Mr Stoddart but enough is enough.

  8. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I too have enjoyed the discussion with you MickLL. :)

    I hope your position is the correct one and this is a narrow judgment that does not affect photographers being inspired by other work either from pros or amateurs. I think that is your position. If not I apologise.

    I'd like to see how a appeal would plays out in the high court. But my understanding the damages are limited in the PCC therefore it might not be cost effective for the defendant to lodge a appeal.
  9. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Sorry I missed you post and a good point. That sadly did not go to court ie they caved.

    Which shows you the dangers of this new judgement. It not the court case which is the issue it is the threat of legal costs especially APs and big rich corporate license holders. :( Although not in the case but can could happen.

    In the case you linked to it clearly was a homage to the cuba leader image.

    But art and photography in recent years seem to have been going back a forth on fair use etc for a few years. :D

    Wiki have a few things on this:

  10. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Apologies but I cannot spend a lot of time on here today dealing with all the points you raise. Suffice for now: let me take you back to something I carefully highlighted but you appear to have overlooked subsequently:

    'I would be the first to support a Judge, ruling in a copyright case, where there had been a clear misuse of an image and the original photographer had had his or her rights infringed. {I've tried to be very careful in the use of words here!} I find it hard to agree that there has been any form of 'passing off' in this case. The Judge may be learned, his opinion considered, but I disagree, especially as I see his decision as setting parameters far too wide: "turns on a disputed qualitative judgment". '

    Facts are indeed put before the Judge. He makes his decision on his understanding of those facts and his understanding of the law. In this, it is an opinion - his opinion - and it can be wrong. It can be disputed.

    If that was not the case there would be no need for a Court of Appeal.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  11. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Sorry Mr Olybacker,

    What with Myk wading in with his size tens and kicking our finely crafted arguments to pieces ;);) and then being accused of somehow suppressing free speech I've lost my enthusiasm for this topic.

    Would have loved to debate with you but really don't have the heart.

    Sorry again
  12. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    But... but... but, I was only wearing me tartan slippers! :eek:
  13. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Yes I know - the ones with steel toecaps.;);)

  14. TheFatControlleR

    TheFatControlleR :Devil's Advocaat: Forum Admin

    My regulation IPC health & safety slippers. ;)
  15. MissLilly

    MissLilly Member

    Indeed it worries me all this madness around copyright. It's SOPA, it's ACTA, and cases like this.
    In than sense of orders, the first guy who took the first macro, could sue us all. For commercial purposes I understand we have to be more careful, but still is it wrong to use what's already been created and try to improve it? Isn't that evolution? Isn't that how we grow?
  16. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Myk? Your alter ego? :confused:


    I was in a well known store yesterday and got a shock. There in the entrance was a photo print of .... a colour popped London bus! A No. 38 and titled as being in Victoria not Westminster. It was part of the store's decoration although it may also have been for sale as a print: it was certainly on display again in the frames and prints area.

    The other problem I have with the judgment in this case is the Judge's concentration on the white sky. I understand where he is coming from and hence your enthusiastic support for his decision, bearing in mind that the defendent set out to replicate the photo rather than pay a copyright licence.

    Now you have to consider this judgement in its wider implication. How did the defendant's photographer set out to replicate the weather and lighting conditions? And in the future, for us as photographers, perhaps standing in front of a scene that has appeared in a famous work, been used for commercial purposes, do we have to ensure that we only photograph that same scene as long as the conditions are different? And if we do not and our image is sold for commercial use (or placed with a Library), what then?

    Fortunately, in the photo in the store there was no blank sky. In fact, no sky at all. But if there had been ... ?
  17. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Well hey, this is what I pointed out. I say the defendant shot is better in that it has less clutter. :D
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

  19. garryknight

    garryknight New Member

    I was in the Sunday Up Market at Brick Lane on the 12th of February and saw this poster on sale. I wonder if Temple Island, Swan Turton, or New English Teas are aware of it.

  20. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    I saw that poster for sale in Nottingham last week. It doesn't have a white, featureless sky, so is clearly an original image and doesn't infringe anyone elses copyright. I don't think the others left the No Stopping lines in red either, did they?

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