06 July 2013

Fair Use - Magnum-Style

I cam across this set of excerpts from a symposium on the 'State of Photography' or some such thing offered in conjunction with the Magnum annual meetings. Much of the piece is a banal. There is no reason to think that just because someone is astute and talented behind the camera that they have much to say of interest on broader social or philosophical matters. There are important exceptions, of course. No need to get into that here. But here, in any case, are  revealing statements from a couple of the photographers:
On copyright...
Christopher Anderson: “If you want to download my pictures, please go ahead. As a photographer trying to reach an audience, [if there are lots of] bloggers who are interested in my photographs, that’s great. Do I want Time Magazine online to be using my pictures for free? No, of course not – that I want to control, as a copyright issue."

Abbas: “At this AGM we decided to sue institutions who use our pictures but we decided collectively that individual blogs or [people] downloading the images for their own use is legitimate.”
Setting aside my own selfish reasons for thinking so, these seem like sensible sorts of distinctions to make. And, largely, they are already written in to the fair use provisions of copyright law - in the US, at least.

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