‘Copy Right’ Posts
This is an interesting turn of events in terms of what it could be like to be a photographer in the near future. There is already enough problems over being a photographer and trying to take pictures of the police, or other government servants in action, but now Techdirt is reporting that a blogger took and posted on her web site of Raanan Katz, a co-owner of a sports team and a billionaire. The good part is that she seems to be well defended by her lawyers right now; the bad part is that Katz has also taken on Google to have the picture removed.
As a photographer I do take pictures, sometimes thousands of them, and when I am culling them I am really looking at more like eyes closed, is it in focus, are the colors right, do I like it. These judgments are made on the fly, usually with only a few seconds to make the opinion, delete it or keep it and move on. There has been the occasional non-flattering picture that makes it into my photo streams on Smugmug and Flickr, generally if someone complains I’ll take a look at it again, and then decide if there is enough artistic merit to keep it. I do get the occasional complaint, generally I have many other pictures so I don’t sweat it and will generally take it down, sometimes I think I really like it, it tells its own story, and I’ll keep it. But no one in my knowledge has ever been successfully sued for showing an unflattering picture of someone.
If that was the case then TMZ, most grocery store news rags, and some fashion magazines are in for a hard time. They make money off of unflattering pictures of celebrities. If it was not for the occasional unflattering pictures of people who are in the public eye, so many businesses would be out of business. All someone would have to do if Katz wins this one is say it was unflattering, and have it yanked. While right now Katz seems to be undergoing the Streisand effect with the lawsuit, photographers have to think about all the pictures they take of people, and the subsequent mayhem that would happen if everyone hated their picture and wanted it taken down. People pictures, street photography, candid’s, a lot of photography would be under the gun, and seriously in jeopardy.
It is good that Katz is suing Google along with this; Google has some awesome lawyers that will help the blogger win her case. But on the odd chance that Katz prevails, people who take pictures of people are in for a very rough ride in the future.
YCombinator has declared war on Hollywood claiming that they will do a lot of damage to the web on the way out as new media models start to take over the industry. The question is declaring war on Hollywood the right thing to do. For some, yes it is, for others we need to stop [...]