Originally published Dec. 29, 2011
Well, here we are at the end of 2011. I thought about spending a whole blog writing about the article in Wednesday's "New York Times" about the Prince copyright (Fair Use) case, but decided it would be more interesting (and probably accurate) to read it yourself. It will certainly have some future effect on how people use other people's images for their own creative and possibly financial benefit.
If you find this interesting, here is a link to a summary of Fair Use case decisions:
It brings to mind the recent consideration of the 2008 Orphan Works Legislation. Basically, it says that a person must attempt to find the original creator of a work to ask for permission to reproduce or use, but if after reasonable searching has been done the creator cannot be located, the work is to be considered "orphaned" and can be used without permission. In this day and age, I can imagine anyone saying they tried but couldn't find the artist. I hope the government bodies step up to protect the original artist's creative efforts in this period of internet explosion and what some have called "wild west" frontier.
I thought about doing a "best of" my work review from 2011, but I have to admit the exploitation, I mean Fair Use, of French photographer Patrick Cariou's work has left me a little shaky. I have to think about this some more. Afterall, if an artist's work product is in effect, property of the public, we are sitting on the staircase of socialist behavior but without the economic structure to support such artists. It's a bold conclusion but there are some bold people out there in internet land. What artist can afford the expenses of this career without any or minimal income? It seems like collage-making would be a much more profitable venture than creating the original work. I just hope the legal system can see what is going on here and take action to stop this runaway train.
And now it occurs to me that I HAVE spent an entire blog talking about this case. I do love what I do and would much rather create great images than rearrange someone else's. What is an artist to do?
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.