So I was browsing around the usual sources and came across this cautionary tale… I
read it and frankly I was taken aback. Although I stand behind artists (of all kinds)protecting their rights and intellectual property, I think it is fair that to say that this story
highlights that there is more to be done when it comes to defining the boundary between what is right and wrong in this area. To say that it “grey” would be an understatement as the examples highlighted by the author shows.
I have certainly crossed the line on more than one occasion in this blog and elsewhere and I have even (more regularly than I care to admit) failed to properly credit the author – but I have never made any commercial gain from my any such misuse and so feel relatively safe. In a professional capacity (as publisher of a website) I have unwittingly fallen foul of Getty Images lawyers – and had to pay license fees and I think that is only fair.
But this? I don’t know – clearly the original photographer was directly involved and I can see why he might have wanted to ensure what was going on with his photo. But once he
knew what the purpose was, surely he could have seen that it was all for charity? Anyway, I think that it serves as a warning to all of us who work or play in the creative space to be mindful of the rules and laws – and perhaps just as important the legal precedence – of intellectual property and its various uses.
Be warned, and never say “I didn’t know”. It won’t help you…