Photographers based in the UK now have an easier and cheaper legal path to take if they discover someone infringing upon their copyrights. Chris Cheesman of Amateur Photographer writes that photographers can now receive do-it-yourself justice without having to hire a lawyer:
Intellectual property disputes can now be resolved using the ‘small claims track’ in the Patents County Court (PCC), following a Government announcement of a ‘simpler and easier’ system last month. Photographers can pursue damages for breach of copyright, for up to £5,000, without even appointing a solicitor, unlike before where they may have been put off by a potentially long, and expensive, legal fight.
Furthermore, the damages limit may rise to £10,000 under Ministry of Justice proposals, possibly as early as next year. Crucially, under the new system, photographers can avoid the prospect of a lengthy court battle and the fear of having to pay the legal fees of the successful party if they lose.
Leave it up to Samsung to hold crazy promotions for its mirrorless cameras — at least in the UK. The company recently offered to give a NX1000 mirrorless camera to anyone named David Bailey; 142 David Baileys came forward to claim their camera. Now the camera maker is doing another unique promo, and this time it’s open to the general public: it’s giving away tablet computers with its mirrorless cameras. Read more…
The UK government issued an updated copyright policy statement today that’s intended to modernize copyright law in a digital era. But here’s where those traditionally protected under copyright — authors, poets, artists, photographers and so forth — begin to cringe: sweeping definitions of “orphan works” and Extended Collective Licensing could allow companies to buy chunks of content without compensating original authors. Read more…
Beauty may only be skin deep, but apparently it’s also scientifically measurable. At least that’s what Lorraine Cosmetics was banking on when they put together the Britain-wide beauty contest “Lorraine: Naked.” Contestants, who were not allowed to have had any plastic surgery, were asked to send in a photo with no makeup on, and after many different symmetry tests, input from experts and a nationwide vote over the top three, Florence Colgate emerged victorious. Read more…
If you’re a photographer in the UK, you might want to think twice about shooting and selling a photograph that has a similar composition to an existing photo. Souvenir company Temple Island Collection has won a copyright infringement case against tea company New English Teas after a photo of a red London bus was used on tea packaging. Photo copyright expert and lawyer Charles Swan states,
His honour Judge Birss QC decided that a photograph of a red London bus against a black and white background of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, with a blank sky, was similar enough to another photograph of the same subject matter to infringe copyright.
The decision is perhaps surprising, given the commonplace subject matter of the photographs. The judge himself admitted that he found it a difficult question, but in the end he decided that a substantial part of photograph one [Temple Island's image, top] had been reproduced in photograph two [New English Teas', bottom].
Although the photo itself wasn’t copied, the judge ruled that the similarity of the ‘visual contrast’ of the red bus and B&W background infringed on the original photographer’s ‘intellectual creation’. The case is reminiscent of photographer David LaChapelle’s lawsuit against Rihanna for infringing upon his style in one of her music videos. Rihanna ended up paying an undisclosed sum of money to LaChapelle to settle the case.
A UK photographer who goes by the moniker Hamstify was documenting his town Scunthorpe late last year when he was confronted by security personel outside a Golden Wonder plant and ordered to stop photographing. He was shooting from a public location, so he decided to stand up for his rights and film the argument that transpired. On VisitScunthorpe.com, he writes,
What also aggrieves me is that someone in a uniform representing a company in an apparent position of authority can try and intimidate members of the public by making up laws that don’t exist. This seemed to be an attempt to subjugate a member of the public into accepting what was being told was to be true. Further more hurling offensive insults and puerile slander, like seen at the end of the video, surely isn’t something that someone in that position should resort to.
In general, for UK residents, photography from public places is perfectly legal. There are some exceptions (e.g. buildings critical to national security), but the general rule of thumb is that if you’re shooting from public property police and security guards don’t have the power to stop you.
Now here’s an absolutely bizarre statistic if it’s actually true: 76 percent of Facebook photos with tagged Britons show the subjects in some state of drunkenness. Photo book service MyMemory.com surveyed 1,781 Britons over the age of 18, asking them to estimate the percentage of their pics that showed them under the influence of alcohol. A quarter of those respondents also said that their privacy settings allowed the general public to view their tagged images.
Photographer Tim Allen spotted this sign outside the Aldwych tube station, an abandoned London Underground station that recently opened up for tours. While photography bans are pretty common, the station has decided to only ban DSLRs due to “their combination of high quality sensor and high resolution”. Other cameras are allowed in, as long as they don’t look “big” enough to shoot amazing photos.
Last Friday, 45-year-old Chris White was at the Braehead shopping center near Glasgow, when he took a snapshot of his daughter Hazel eating some ice cream. He was then confronted by security guards — and later the police — who cited the Prevention of Terrorism Act to explain that it was in their rights to confiscate his phone. While they did allow him to keep the photos, they demanded his personal details. Afterward, White created a Facebook page titled “Boycott Braehead” in an effort to draw attention to the incident. Read more…
After the widespread looting that occurred in the UK recently, a guy named Mrog Deville was inspired to distribute photographic art to the masses. Through his project This Was Found, Deville makes prints of photographs, frames them, and then leaves them in various locations where you normally wouldn’t expect to see art. His hope is that either the works will be left untouched at those locations for the public to view, or that people take them home to treasure privately. Finders can also visit the website to report the print as being claimed.