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Old 05-15-2010, 03:02 AM
Bruno Wolff III
 
Default Releases for photographs

On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 16:15:35 -0700,
Karsten Wade <kwade@redhat.com> wrote:
>
> Paul, I took a very long time to come to the decision to relicense all
> my blog content (backward, forward) under a free content license.
> (Not quite ready to put on a CC BY SA tattoo to declare my very
> existence as free content, but this thread tempts me.)

I think the wrong comparison is being made here. People's images are better
compared to trademarks than to content.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:00 PM
Paul Frields
 
Default Releases for photographs

On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 7:15 PM, Karsten Wade <kwade@redhat.com> wrote:
[...snip...]
> Right now we're all thinking of the positive uses of our personal
> image. *Soon enough we'll all start thinking of the negative.
> Meanwhile, we never know is the endless possibilities of truly freed
> content.
>
> On the other hand ...
>
> When we chose non-free we forever close a road whose outcome we'll
> never know, good and bad. *We _could_ be more disturbed by our work
> being used in a criminal racket or a missile guidance system, yet it's
> our personal words and images where we feel the discomfort start.
>
> If we're bold enough to allow the world of good and ill that comes
> from our work on software, why aren't we bold enough to do the same
> with our personal images?

The negatives are pretty easy to conjure up. It's very clear that my
content and code are *not* me. I know people could use them for
purposes with which I don't agree. But if someone did that, I think
it's a lot harder for a third party to be confused that somehow I
condoned or agreed with that purpose. But using my face to advertise
for those same purposes is a much more personal connection to me, and
it's then much easier for a third party to be confused.

J.D. Salinger authored "Catcher in the Rye," which for some reason has
inspired many troubled people to commit violent acts. But it's
difficult to say based on authorship that J.D. Salinger condones
violence on other people. On the other hand if J.D. Salinger's face
appeared on an ad for handguns, the situation would be more confusing
-- thus, I'd assume (IANAL), arises in part a person's interest in and
rights of publicity.

> Musing done with, now some specifics:
>
> * For Fedora's purposes, having a blanket usage agreement would be a
> *must. *We cannot return to photo subjects with each remix. *Fedora
> *has so many ways it has to keep community trust with personal
> *issues, I don't think adding one's personal image is that much more
> *of a risk. *But if it goes wrong, it will be more visible than
> *anything before and really, really, really piss people off. *I agree
> *with Paul that should be sufficient deterrent. *Remember, image
> *remixers, be respectful.
>
> *Some kind of caveat or limit might be useful to create comfort, if
> *it can be baked in without making the rest of the agreement useless.
> *(For example, if a person could pull back the rights in the future,
> *it's a ticking time bomb until a few disgruntled contributors demand
> *theirs removed and cause havoc.)
>
> *These are my pragmatic suggestions. *I still don't know that I'm
> *comfortable with either choice, freedom v. perceived
> *privacy/control.

I don't know how the text would work specifically, but I think you're
right that we want the agreement to be a non-timed release that allows
us to reuse and remix, as long as it's for purposes of promoting
Fedora. So while Red Hat is the legal entity that is granted the
release, I wouldn't expect the agreement to allow Red Hat to use these
photographs for any purposes other than promoting or benefiting the
Fedora Project.

> * How does the situation work with respect to photographs taken in
> *public? *If I take a shot of people on the street, do I need their
> *release? *Is there a definition of where and under what conditions a
> *release is needed?
>
> *I ask because we've clearly all seen many photographs of people in
> *the public put up on websites, where the subjects of the photos have
> *no signed release.

Again IANAL, but my understanding's that photographs in public that
aren't intended as portraits are different. I believer there may also
be a difference for portraits where the photographer's not making any
commercial use of the photograph (like your friend taking a picture of
you and posting it on Flickr).

Paul
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:28 AM
Nicu Buculei
 
Default Releases for photographs

On 05/15/2010 02:15 AM, Karsten Wade wrote:
>
> Musing done with, now some specifics:
>
> * For Fedora's purposes, having a blanket usage agreement would be a
> must. We cannot return to photo subjects with each remix. Fedora
> has so many ways it has to keep community trust with personal
> issues, I don't think adding one's personal image is that much more
> of a risk. But if it goes wrong, it will be more visible than
> anything before and really, really, really piss people off. I agree
> with Paul that should be sufficient deterrent. Remember, image
> remixers, be respectful.

Definitely, there is no way we would ask for permission for each remix,
we need blanket permission.

> Some kind of caveat or limit might be useful to create comfort, if
> it can be baked in without making the rest of the agreement useless.
> (For example, if a person could pull back the rights in the future,
> it's a ticking time bomb until a few disgruntled contributors demand
> theirs removed and cause havoc.)

Probably we can try to limit the scope of usage, "to be used in relation
with the Fedora Project and Fedora Community", or something like that,
but then the license will not be truly Free, as the scope is limited.

> These are my pragmatic suggestions. I still don't know that I'm
> comfortable with either choice, freedom v. perceived
> privacy/control.
>
> * How does the situation work with respect to photographs taken in
> public? If I take a shot of people on the street, do I need their
> release? Is there a definition of where and under what conditions a
> release is needed?
>
> I ask because we've clearly all seen many photographs of people in
> the public put up on websites, where the subjects of the photos have
> no signed release.


I am not a lawyer, just a photographer living outside of the US and not
a native English speaker, so take my words with a big grain of salt: you
can take any shots in the public space, you are free do to that, but you
are limited in the way you *use* them. Private use is fine, public use
has restrictions.

The big NO is to use someone's image without permission to promote goods
or services (and that's what we want to use the images, to promote Fedora).

On the other hand, is a legit use to use the image if it is a noticeable
news or had educational value.

It is also important is the person is recognizable and if he/she is the
main subject of the photo.

Let me put is as a concrete example: a beautiful woman passes by the
Fedora booth an a conference, we can't take a portrait of her without
permission and use on a poster/banner and saying "we are Fedora and we
rock". But it should be OK if we take a photo of the conference floor
when that beautiful woman happens to be somewhere in the crowd (or maybe
in the second plane, being charmed by one of our Ambassadors - from the
Ambassador himself we may not need anything, since he signed the CLA).

As for the many photos with people being displayed on so many
websites... on one hand the photos there do not promote product or
services and they rely on good faith - using someone's photo without
consent is a civil offense, is between the photographer and the model
and triggered only when the model is unhappy with the model.

Some sites, like deviantART.com try to find the right balance between
ease of use and model privacy by requiring signed forms only for photos
that may be controversial, those with nudity and those sold as prints.
Other sites prefer to look the other way and make it as easy as possible
for users to submit photos - this was the case with Flickr until they
started selling photos as stock with Getty Images.

In conclusion, there is a tough choice ahead of us: we can keep the
Freedom as in CC-BY or CC-BY-SA and understand the photos may be used in
ways we can't control or we limit the freedom and feel ourselves bad for
not following one of the 4 Foundations. I don't have the perfect answer
for this.

--
nicu :: http://photoblog.nicubunu.ro/
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