The past couple of days have been some-kind-of-wonderful in that I’ve realized how important it is to embrace and celebrate freedom. Specifically, I’m talking about the freedom to share pictures (images, photos, whatever you want to call them). Since the incident in Washington, I’ve thought more about this than I ever imagined I would. The freedom of the photographer is something that is of great value, especially now that we’re able (and expect to) document our lives, the places we go and our thoughts on them. Lori sent me this recent article from BBC that addresses the issue of the right to take pictures as a citizen.
Jason & Varanrat sent me these “photographer’s rights” links. Jason suggests that if you’re a frequent photo snapper, you should keep a copy of one of these in your pocket at all times. Take a look.
Legal Rights of Photographer’s by Andrew Kanter
Photograhy & The Law
Ok, in the last link on photojojo there is the line about “Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.” But how are you supposed to know this if they disguise the building to be something other than it is?
Any photographer’s tales to tell?
Here’s to freedom!
Last week my colleague, Lori, called me for 2 reasons. First, she’d read my post about creating Free Use Photos and was intrigued by the idea. Second, in the process of looking into “Free Use” a bit more, she’d found a group who aim to do just the opposite by making flickr images exclusive, basically inaccessible legally without obtaining specific (paid) rights. [While searching just now, I see that one of the group’s administrators has changed the very formal and hard-edge statement that was listed last week which was essentially language that spoke of image-poachers and keeping images from free use. The statement now is more about offering “useful information for photographers…”].
Lori put forth the challenge to expand my one “Free Use Photos” set into a flickr group. Yes! Within a few hours the Free Use Group was set up, and has grown in the past couple of days to have over 30 members and 4 administrators.
You can be a part of the Free Use Movement, too, and join the Free Use Group.
Part 2, Scene 2
This morning I received a call from the FBI. I’m not making this up. It was a follow-up from the photo-taking-spree I conducted during Computers in Libraries in DC. I explained (again) why one would want to take photos of signs and buildings and such to use in presentations and on blogs. I explained about “Creative Commons” that I had just presented at the conference earlier that morning with Helene Blowers and that I’d posted the images on flickr in a set called “Free Use Photos.” When the interviewer asked me what this flickr thing was and how was it spelled, I resisted the urge to say “well, it’s sort of like The Google.” This “interview” went on for about 10+ minutes. How does one answer questions like “how many pictures did you take of that building?” Which one is “that building?” “Why would you take a picture of a water outlet?” Well, it was interesting and perhaps useful to someone who wants to portray the idea of “letting go of resources.” I have a better question(s): Why did I have to have this conversation in the first place, and does this gentleman have to call every tourist in D.C. who snaps a shot of their reflection in a window or a fire hydrant or an interesting doorway?
I’ll say it again: the “0” in 2.0 should not have to be a hoop (as in “jump through this hoop before you have access”).
After reading the ordeal Michael Casey has gone through by posting an image on his blog (after he jumped through the hoops of giving permission to the source), I started thinking about all the images I use (or would like to use) in presentations or on my blog. What if everyone received the same amount of heat by pulling off interesting images and using them in presentations or posts? Eeak! Thinking about the types of images that I usually use (or see) in presentations, they are generally images that capture a thought or a certain idea in a sharp way . I tend to use images of signs, angles, odd objects. Wait! I also take pictures like that (or at least try with my point and snap digital camera). While at the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington, DC last week I thought, hmmm–I could share some of my own images and take even more, put them on my flickr account in a set and allow anyone to use them, no permission needed. After lunch I started doing just that. Snapping away images of signs, benches, buildings. Then I was stopped by the military and asked why I was taking so many pictures of buildings, signs, benches…you get where this is going. After some explaining, I went back to my hotel room and downloaded pictures I think could serve presenters and bloggers well. Not the most polished, but you’re welcome to use them! And please do. Free is good, so snap up some of these Free Use Photos. I’ve added more since DC and will continue. Here’s to freedom!