I hate shopping for Christmas.
You might ask, “What does this have to do with fair use law?” – patience grasshopper, I am getting there.
So when I hear someone that I know say or write, “I would really love X, my ears tend to perk up.”
A friend of mine blogged that he liked a particular photo by Thomas Hawk of the sunset over San Francisco and pined that he would love to have it on a black T-shirt. How easy is that, a perfectly formulated wish? One problem, there is no such T-shirt.
Enter Cafe Press. I just uploaded the picture (after adding a ThomasHawk.com address to the bottom right corner) and made a T-shirt and had it shipped in less than 20 minutes. I did not sell it, and I did not publicize it.
My friend was happy, I was happy that I found something appropriate without having to go to the mall, and I went along my merry way.
“But what about the rights of Thomas Hawk as the original owner of that image,” you ask?
Again good question.
It turns out that Hawk has a pretty open policy when it comes to the use of his images, and today he reiterated that again in a comment string on Tech Crunch today, “Fair Use Vs. Free Speech in the Internet Age: The Lane Hartwell Problem.”
- December 20th, 2007 at 9:55 am If TRS want to use any of my photos of Mike Arrington instead feel free. Here’s a link to a set of my images of Mike. http://www.zooomr.com/photos/t…..ets/26479/
- December 20th, 2007 at 11:12 am Hey check this out. Someone used on of my images to make a friend a T-shirt on Cafe Press. And I didn’t get a red cent! http://lagesse.org/a-wonderful…..iful-view/
Share the love, share the art!
Was the Bubble Video a Violation of Fair Use?
The hub-bub is not over the T-shirt that I made (though it is being used as an example in the comment string); but over the furor of the Richter Scale's “Here Comes Another Bubble” video that made its rounds a few weeks ago. If you haven't seen it I have included it at the end of this post.
However, the T-shirt has been used in the string as an example of the issues around credits and payment for professional photographers. And even deeper about what all of this means for consumer generated content.
With its more than 1 million views, the Richter Scales video has gotten a lot of attention and several of the photographers whose photos were used (some that came from Flickr) have cried foul. The Richter Scales have since added a credits page to the front of their website.
As someone who heavily uses Flickr photos to illustrate this site, I am very concerned about making sure that credit is given. No photo is used here unless it links back to the original source. Plus, my tool doesn't even pick up a photo unless is has been marked public. But is that enough? Do I have to get permission every time?
If so, the site would most likely go unadorned as I don't make money from this site. However, it is being argued that the Richter Scales aren't making any money either, so what gives here?
Fair use is something that I studies as a part of my training in public relations, and it seems the classic definition of fair use applies here:
Limited circumstances under which it may be allowable to reference or sample works without seeking an express release from a copyright holder. The circumstances under which fair use may apply include criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Four tests are involved: purpose and character of use, nature of copyrighted work, amount and substantiality of portion used, effect of use on potential market for copyrighted work.
I imagine that soon this will be tested in court, maybe not over the Bubble Video, but if not, certainly over something else.
What do you think, should fair use extend to images and audio files?
tags: Bubble, Tech+Crunch, Thomas+Hawk, Fair+Use, Richter+Scales