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Thread: Image Copyright

  1. #1
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    Image Copyright

    A really interesting article on DPR
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01...Copyright_Case

    quote -
    "Despite significant differences between the two images (there was no implication that the second image was a duplicate of the first), the court found that the second image copied substantially from the 'intellectual creation' of the first (that is the elements that can be protected by copyright in the original image, including a consideration of the composition, lighting and processing of the image)."

    That REALLY is interesting, as basically I think it could mean two things
    1. it is a heavily processed image which use the same basic principle of processing and subject elements
    2. AND will it also mean that if you take an image which lets say is from the same place with the same elements (light, composition etc) while it might remain your photo, will you be able to publish it ?

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    Firstly, you cannot copyright an idea.

    While the two images were stylistically and thematically very similar, they're still different images captured by different people.

    Secondly, that business is over in the UK, not in Australia.

    All the time, photographers are having their own go at creating an image someone else shot.

    Look at images of coloured liquid in wine glasses, for example.

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    That ruling has quite deep ramifications... for the poms anyway.
    Logic says It has to be appealed & thrown out or it'll be used as precedence for endless cases.

    Could you imgaine that judge going through the rest of the so called clich├ęs in the photographic world if they were put in his court ?

    Hey, I did a silky water shot of that beach at sunrise before you did !!...

    Quite timely acutally.
    Last edited by Art Vandelay; 25-01-2012 at 3:59pm.

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    Yeah and that's the point, IF it does hold up (and we all think or hope it wont) it wont be long before it is tried here.

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    Another of the many cases where a Judge shows their total ignorance to normal life. The Judge is the one that should be thrown out of court along with the case.
    Keith.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    CASUS CAPUT BUFUS EST.

    Bad Latin, I know (not even, in fact) but it stands for
    A case of Boofheadery!

    (Sorry, I just remembered a member who calls himself that. No, I don't mean you.)
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    Firstly, you cannot copyright an idea.

    .....

    Secondly, that business is over in the UK, not in Australia.

    ......
    Two problems with these arguments are:

    1. the judge's ruling clearly states that you can copyright 'an idea' (or process, style or action .. etc etc)

    and

    2. it won't be long before this idiotic ruling filters down to our part of the world.

    It's now a matter of which well known local photographer is going to sue which unknown photographer for copying their idea.

    So now, if I want to capture an image of Uluru, SHB, Melb skyline at night .. etc, and want to profit from any such images, I need permission from all other photographers that have done so before me!

    I reckon this was probably brought to court on the basis of the earlier ruling in the US in favour of LaFayette(or whatever his name was) on the music video debacle.
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    After reading the entire judgement. I think this line says a lot to me about the two photos and the way there were used "What is behind this case is that the defendants' tea tins and boxes are sold side by side with souvenirs bearing the claimant's image".

    So they were both selling products bearing the similar photos, side by side. Even though the presiding Judge said he did not take that into account, for me that seems to be the crux of it.
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    The real issue of the similarity between the two images(whilst they're different) is the selective colouring effect.
    The images have different compsitional elements/perspectives, but the selective colouring process is what I believe to be the biggest issue.
    The judge based his decision on the fact that the images were not so much photographs(ie. straight out of camera) but in fact the judge referred to the original authors image as a 'photographic work' encompassing the editing as a part of the photo itself.. and fair enough!

    But does the judge realise that editing is now a major part of the internal workings of the camera itself. While I don't know of any cameras that can do automatic selective colouring of an image at this level, it wont' be long before this type of feature will be available in camera as part of the creative filter sets currently available.

    His use of the term photographic work makes sense now.. but the judge has opened up a legal minefield that is going to have to consider the term 'photographic works' and how to cameras can produce an exact same image based on the 'workings' of the camera.

    My sister's HTC phone has a set of creative filters that can be used at the time of capture .. they are dreadfully hopeless, but effective, and(from memory) one of those filters is selective colouring!
    Take it to another level.
    Polaroid have recently introduced an Android powered camera ... and strangely, one that looks like a phone! . Install some uber cool Droid app for adding creative effects to the image 'as captured on the camera' and this ruling is only going to become a nightmare for a legal system that's heavily based on precedent.
    Obviously this judge is still living in the 1800's .... in photographic terms.

    The defendant seems to have had a prior incident with the plaintiff too! This must have had some bearing on the outcome too.

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    Oh, boy! What next? Copyright decision from the UK.

    [NOTE: The posts #10 - #15 have been merged from a similar thread started today - see Rick's post below]

    It seems this case from the UK is destined to go down in the annals of infamy where photographers are concerned. Those who claim imitation is the sincerest form of artistic expression had best read this judgement in its entirety! The judgement contains the subject images near the bottom.

    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWPCC/2012/1.html

    It seems if you imitate the "idea" of another photographer without actually duplicating the image then you've infringed copyright!

    Maybe the Mayan calendar was photographically aligned and 2012 truly is the end of the (photographic) world!
    Last edited by WhoDo; 26-01-2012 at 9:46am.
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    I go along with the judgement.

    IMO the image was created with the intent of duplicating the original but with an attempt made to be slightly different so as to avoid the issue of infringement. It seems to me the defendant wanted that image but instead of purchasing a licence they set out to duplicate it by original means.

    It is not just about the selective colour but about the whole image and content.

    I dare say I am allowed to take as many pictures of sunflowers as I like but if I arranged them in the exact form of Van Goghs famous painting, photoshopped it until it looked similar to the original, and then printed high quality copies for sale I would expect a knock on the door for copyright infringment.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    How ever you look at it, the bus is red in both pictures (and this is the 2nd thread on this very subject). Therefore you might wonder what the judge read into the two pictures? Was he just seeing red?

    I don't go along with the judgement, though if the bus was going my way I'd go along on it.

  13. #13
    It's all about the Light!
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    This is a bad decision and hopefully will be appealed.

    BTW I just (c) portraits ... pay me $1,000 for every portrait shot you take, ditto landscape.
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    In terms of composition:
    i) Elements of the composition of the claimant's work which have not been taken are the prominent arches of the bridge and the river, the steps in the foreground and the prominent lamppost. The angle to the vertical is somewhat different since the road can be seen with the bus sitting on it in the defendants' image whereas from the angle of the claimant's picture a balustrade obscures the road. The angle presented by the facade of the Houses of Parliament is different: in the defendants' image the perspective of the facade falls away more sharply whereas in the claimant's image there is much less perspective. The bus is on the central right side of the image, touching Big Ben, it is not left of centre as in the claimant's picture. The defendants' bus is bigger and presents a slightly different angle to the viewer. There are no people in front of the defendants' bus.
    ii) Although the images undoubtedly differ in their composition, elements of the overall composition of the claimant's image have been reproduced. The bus is a Routemaster, driving from right to left with Big Ben on the right of the bus. The riverside facade of the Houses of Parliament is part of the image. The bus is on Westminster Bridge (albeit in a different place) in both images. This is obvious in the claimant's image and can be seen from the presence of the balustrade on the left in the defendants' image. There are some people visible but they are small (and in different places). There is no other obvious traffic. The edge of Portcullis house is visible on the right. Running from top to bottom, there is a substantial amount of sky in the picture (albeit more in the claimant's) and the top of the bus is roughly the same height as the facade of the Houses of Parliament.

    In terms of visual contrast features:
    i) The element of bright red bus against a black and white background has been reproduced.
    ii) The element of the blank white sky, which creates a strong sky line, has been reproduced. A small point arose that the image produced by Sphere actually has no sky at all, so that it takes on the background of the box it is placed on. Nothing turns on that since in use it is placed on a white (or very pale grey) tin.
    All of those people who have seen iconic images of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night and set out to reproduce the look-and-feel of those images for commercial gain are in breach of copyright by virtue of this decision. The issue upon which the judgement turns is NOT whether the images are the same, but what was the intent of each photographer. The judge accepted that the claimant's word that he had not seen a number of similar iconic images before composing his own whereas the defendant had unquestionably seen the claimant's image before taking his substantially different yet "similar" version.

    Would all of those photographers, painters, sculptors, and digital artists who have attempted to learn their craft by trying to duplicate the look-and-feel of some past master's efforts please destroy all evidence of your crimes or at the very least lock them in a safe and never, never attempt to sell those efforts to anyone. They are not your original idea! I think I'll sue Michelangelo's estate for breaching copyright with his statue of David. After all, he cannot fail to have seen so been influenced by the Venus de Milo before he created it, and both are iconic white, marble, naked, human subjects mounted on a pedestal. The differences clearly don't matter in the face of those alarming similarities!

    [NOTE: End of merged posts]
    Last edited by WhoDo; 26-01-2012 at 9:46am.

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