Posted by: In: Just Chat 02 May 2013 0 comments

There has been a flutter of interest on the internet at the release of the government’s Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill. Mainly this revolves around the concern around the use of orphan images.

The regulations must provide that, for a work to qualify as an orphan work, it is a requirement that the owner of copyright in it has not been found after a diligent search made in accordance with the regulations

Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Bill

freeimage-5993737-webMy understanding of this is that it allows anyone to make use of (for commercial or non-commercial gain) an “orphan” image as long as they made a “reasonable” search for the owner. Will this mean a rise in images that have watermarks plastered all over them? Perhaps that will be the case, and the wider internet can only suffer because of this.

As usual, accurate information is hard to find, with even sites like the esteemed British Journal of Photography stating that “While publishers seeking to use an orphan work will have to demonstrate they have done a reasonable search for the image’s owner, a large number of online services, such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, strip the metadata from uploaded images, creating millions of new orphan works each day.” (Source) Well I know that Flickr doesn’t strip this information unless you tell it to in your account options.

Hysterical media furore isn’t helping the average user dig to the bottom of the facts unfortunately, and I find government bills exceptionally hard to read…

Having a go at this though, I feel that I can see why there are so many uncertainties around the act. To begin with, the Copyright Licensing Factsheet is rather woolly about the advantages, stating:

 This legislation will modernise the UK’s copyright licensing system, putting in place measures that will give our licensing system the competitive edge and helping UK creative industries retain their world beating-status.

UK Government

Without being cynical (ok, maybe I am being cynical) this sounds like someone serving up a plate of horse manure and telling me it’s chocolate cake. I may never be able to convince them it isn’t, but I certainly don’t have to eat it! A description of the benefits in more understandable terms might improve the feedback we’re seeing. Getting back on track though, my main question seems to be the definition of what is an Orphan image? What means is there to prevent someone unscrupulous from copying my photograph, stripping and identifying information from it, then uploading it to an anonymous photo hosting site and then grabbing it back as an “orphaned” work?

Wired managed to get a comment from a spokesman from the Intellectual Property office who stated…

“Nor do the changes mean anyone can use a copyright work without permission or free of charge. If someone copies a photo posted online they still need the permission from the rights holder of the photo to do so. If they don’t have this permission they will have to apply for and buy an orphan works licence.”

Intellectual Property Office Spokesman

Apparently, the monies paid for this license will be held (no doubt the Government will be happy to take the interest) for the original owner should they come forward.

It all sounds a bit fishy to me and whilst I’m not a professional photographer who sells their work, this could have serious implications to Stock photographers and Fine Art photographers. At the time of writing, a current e-Petition to prevent what is being described as “legalised theft of copyrighted works” has almost 18,000 signatures. At least anything over 10,000 means they will have to issue some sort of response.

The crux of the “issues” around this as far as I can see come from understanding what constitutes a “diligent search”. A 2008 memo to the House of Commons refers to the US report on Orphaned Works stating… would be useful if the UK could adopt a similar policy and define what should count as `reasonable efforts

British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Either way – at the time of writing, there is no clear (i.e. “easy to find”) documentation regarding what constitutes a “diligent search” so we’ll have to rely on Daily Mail paranoia, or perhaps just wait & see…


Posted by: In: Just Chat 02 Apr 2013 0 comments Tags: , ,

Spam shoes... A two in one deal...I‘ve just been checking my blog for comments and I have over a hundred and fifty comments now in about a week. All of it is spam…

You know what I mean by spam right? These are the comments that make very little sense and are stuffed with links to other websites. More often than not – they are footwear based sites.

Initially, it annoyed me – mainly because I had to go through and delete hundreds of emails asking me to moderate bad comments. That was until I discovered Askimet – a free (for personal use!) WordPress plugin that catches rogue spam. Now all I need to do is have a read through the comments to double check they aren’t spam, then hit the “Delete Spam” button.

So if you’re suffering with lots of spam comments on WordPress, give Askimet a go. After all, reading through all that spam isn’t very interesting is it…? Just in case I deleted some in error though, I thought I’d respond to the ones that weren’t too obviously spam in this post. I’m sorry I deleted your valuable contributions!

The next time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this 1. I mean, I know it was my selection to read, but I in fact thought youd have some thing fascinating to say. All I hear is often a bunch of whining about some thing that you simply could fix for those who werent too busy searching for attention.

I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy my post. I didn’t enjoy your lack of apostrophes much, but that’s ok, we’re all different. I’m so glad to see that you felt better 12 minutes later when you sent this…

Wonderful Post.thanks for share..more wait.

Another reader has recently been on holiday and seems to be regretful that another blogger of similar style is away from his/her computer at the moment.

Last a few years has been to Ibiza, so met a person there whose style of presentation is very similar to yours. But, unfortunately, that person is too far from the Internet!…

It’s hard to imagine being too far from the internet in this day & age. I feel for you sir, I really do.

Thanks designed for sharing such a fastidious thinking, article is fastidious, thats why i have read it entirely

You’re welcome. This reminds me of being at school and in an English lesson, being tasked with the problem of coming up with a sentence with the word “fascinate” in it. Cautiously, I replied – “I have nine buttons on my coat, but I can only fasten eight.” Thankyou again for allowing me to relive that memory.

kidding, who eats donuts?

I do. It’s better than eating paint. Far safer, and at least my sentences make sense within the context of my posts.

They think just like flip-flops. I would really like Hxxxxx Bags reduced i never like they can stoop downward all of the time thus i will need to drag Hxxxxx Bags way up usually. Furthermore, they drag my own footwear downward, some other downer.

The number for emergency services is in your phone book. When you call be sure to have the tablets you took close to hand so that you can tell them what medicines you’ve taken. And no – eating flip-flops can’t get you high.

Have a good Easter!

Posted by: In: In-Camera, Just Chat, Techniques 28 Jan 2013 0 comments Tags: , ,

It’s funny how sometimes you might think that a landscape should be treated with a camera in actual landscape format. However sometimes it works really well to rotate the camera through 90 degrees and try it that way.

As can be seen with the images to the right, such a wide-angled view of the world allows for interesting creative possibilities. It really allows you to generate foreground, middle-ground and background interest – forcing the viewer to “read” up through your picture.

Whilst ploughing through my 52 I have really discovered that a portrait orientation for my camera can really generate some striking images.

So what are you looking for when creating a landscape image in a portrait format? It’s all about “interest” in the three main areas of the image. Dividing the image very roughly into thirds is a general rule that applies moreso in this instance.

Foreground interest is an important detail that many images lack. If I look at the slideshow to the right, I prefer the images that have a degree of foreground detail. Middle-ground is usually obvious. Something in the middle-distance that is of interest to the viewer. Finally, consider your background. Is the sky flat & grey, or are there some fluffy clouds there to add that last sprinkling of detail to your image?

Lastly, when thinking about having a sharp image right through the scene, you need to think about where to focus. My post on Hyperfocal Distance explains how you can get nearly all the scene in focus if you have the settings in your camera set right. Needless to say, this technique works best with wide angled lenses and also works well if you can get down low.