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Author Topic: Sunday morning column: right on spot!  (Read 9318 times)
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« on: May 06, 2003, 04:53:40 PM »
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Peter,

Don't look now but the government of the province of Tuscany in Italy has copyrighted the landscape (yes, they have... just like the Lone Cyprus tree near Carmel CA), and one needs a permit to photograph the landscape for commercial purposes anywhere in Tuscany.

It's a brave new world.

Michael
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2003, 07:15:22 AM »
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How exactly would this be enforced? If Joe Nobody Tourist goes to Tuscany taking vacation photos that happen to be outdoors, are the camera police gonna bust him if the odd shot has no people? And when the photographer goes back home to the US or UK or wherever, how is Tuscany going to sue him if the shot shows up in a magazine article? Stupid laws like that should be violated as often as possible; they are almost as dumb as laws against defecation on holy days.
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lexvo
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2003, 10:01:51 AM »
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Thanks Rainer.

Luckily, uptil now, I never had any problems photographing buildings on the outside.
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Lex van Oorspronk
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2003, 05:43:43 PM »
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Even worse: I've read that you may be into trouble if you mount a L-type (gray) lens on your Canon.
All you need to fix that is a black Magic Marker and the testicular fortitude to use it on the lens barrel. Use the permanent, metal-marking type, and it will at least last long enough to monkey-wrench the mental processes of the photo-nazi gendarmes. Colors are so easy to change...Of course if the lens is attached to a 1Ds, that might render the exercise moot.  Sad
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2003, 11:30:50 AM »
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But did the government of Tuscany create the landscape? I think all the farmers transformed, not created, the Tuscany's landscape and now who is making the profit of it?

It isn't the landscape itself that's protected, but commercial reproduction of images of it.  To be honest, I think they've got an arguable case. The Tuscan landscape is a natural resource, and, as Iraqui Oil is for, er, who..oh yeah, Iraquis, the Tuscan landscape is for Tuscans, and being a highly popular tourist area tourism is a key part of the economy.  You can go into any touristy town in Tuscany and find stacks of photo books, usually from clearly local sounding names like "John Smith" or "Jurgen Fotograbber".  To be honest, I cannot see that it is _so_ unreasonable that some part of the revenue from such publications should not go to local coffers.  The devil is in the details - "how much", "who gets it", "yes but what about European Commission Directives on Competition in Landscape Photography (Non Digital) Section 37 Chapter 2" etc....   but it principle, as I say, it isn't quite as black & white as some of the more outraged opponents make it sound. IMHO as always.
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2003, 05:12:48 PM »
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I feel the need to defend myself.

The issue of Uluru is indeed a complex one. But there are two issues and they are not linked. When the ownership of Uluru was transferred to the current owners, they stated that they would prefer us not to climb the rock and not to photograph some sacred sites on and around the rock. Although I find the photography thing a little strange I can respect it. I do not believe they asked us not to photograph the whole rock as we see in the postcards. In fact they sell the postcards. I would not climb the rock and I would not knowingly photograph the sacred sites around the base of the rock.

However the commercial use fee has only been introduced recently (last two months) on the back of other examples world wide. This is blatant revenue raising, on top of all the fees we pay to enter the park in the first place. They're not banning photography, or charging all photographers a fee. This is not a fair or even handed approach.

Recently a friend of mine got of a courtesy bus with a bunch of other tourists to take photos of the sunset of Uluru. When he pulled out his 70-200 2.8L he was immediatly accosted by the operators and "fees" were demanded and access denied. He stood his ground. He was the only person out of about twenty who had a "L" lens and the only one treated this way. Firstly this was not legal. Secondly it had nothing to do with any sacred sites or respect. I feel sorry for other photographers, not a certain of their legal rights who travel thousands of km/miles and take no photos while others snap away, all because they own the wrong lens.

As for the "real job" comment you seem to feel I apply this to the entire aboriginal people when I only meant it for the specific people who are imposing this "fee", regardless of race or religion. I feel that this type of extortion from anyone, anywhere, is a way to steal income from another who invests in their time, equipment and skill to get a great image. As has been said, what of the great skill on the photographers part. A great shot is made, not taken. If they want an income go out and earn it. If you want to make money from photography go out and take some saleable photos. I don't care who you are where you come from etc...etc... living of the hard work of another is not a real job and you should go out and get one. This is not a race issue. It is one of decency.

This of course is only a personal opinion and others are always free to disagree.

Gordon
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lexvo
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2003, 03:49:36 AM »
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This weeks sunday morning column ('Land of the free') is right on spot.

Last november we were visiting Chicago to do some street shooting and also shooting architecture. I was suprised that it was almost never allowed to shoot inside an interesting building. Sometimes there were signs (No photography), sometimes not and in one instance we were sent away. I have made several trips to the US the past 12 years, but I can't remember that the regulations were so severe.

In the architecture visitor centre we were told that all has become more restrictive since sept 11.

I've read in an article that Paris (France) is even worse. When you set up a tripod OUTSIDE an interesting building or monument, chances are you will be sent away.

I understand that some regulations are necessary to get a certain level of security, but isn't it all a bit overreacted yet? What about freedom of looking at and shooting the things you like? How do you go along with this issue?
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Lex van Oorspronk
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2003, 04:05:18 PM »
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I believe architects are seeking to enhance their earnings by requiring payment for photographing their buildings.  The Flatiron Building in NYC does this.  

That's why I love photographing landscapes.  TAX THIS!  :p

Peter
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2003, 06:31:52 PM »
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I was wondering about one thing in the article. I believe one of the stories was about someone who was shot at (with a gun, I mean) while trying to photograph trucks for his son.

Is being shot at in public a normal occurrence in some places? Is there something in the water?
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2003, 11:32:31 PM »
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" one needs a permit to photograph the landscape for commercial purposes anywhere in Tuscany"

Unbelieveable!  I'm going to copyright British Columbia.  Cheesy

Peter
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Rainer SLP
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2003, 08:10:54 AM »
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Painter behind the canvas = Artist (pays no taxes, at leat here in Mexico)

(starving of hunger, his painings will reach millions after he is death, how bad for him )

Person behind a camera = Terrorist ? Evel and scrupulous photoseller ? (pays taxes, is not that what the politicians do want)

Strange world we are living in.

Maybe a little bit overdone from my side but, is this were we are going?

How do those people take this type of decisions, who came to this positions by the people, turn against them and do not even show the slightest amount of remorse?

and for that we pay so many taxes?

If this would happen in the private initiative maybe the politicians in the first time of their live would have to work!
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lexvo
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2003, 08:13:48 AM »
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Peter,

Don't look now but the government of the province of Tuscany in Italy has copyrighted the landscape (yes, they have... just like the Lone Cyprus tree near Carmel CA), and one needs a permit to photograph the landscape for commercial purposes anywhere in Tuscany.

It's a brave new world.

Michael
As I remember it right, the same was true for certain buildings in Paris (where I was talking about in my first post ) and maybe in other cities in Europe as well. For this copyright reason you are not allowed to set up a tripod. Even worse: I've read that you may be into trouble if you mount a L-type (gray)  lens on your Canon.

I even understand that a specific train in Germany has this 'Photo copyright'.

I agree with Jonathan that these laws are a bit ridiculous. But what can I do (as an amateur) to avoid these things?
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Lex van Oorspronk
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2003, 10:01:01 AM »
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Its improbable to copyright a landscape. However they can restrict photographic access to it.
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Rainer SLP
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2003, 01:56:12 PM »
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I forgot to say

There are 2 ways to see things

The legal one

and as we see things

the logical one or common sense

and this is what politicians and lawyers seem not to have (common sense)  :p

Law is interpretation or who has the most amount of money to go to court and stay there
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Rainer SLP
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2003, 12:49:16 PM »
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Hi Dan,

You are right, you created something and you own the copyright, I suppose, unless you sold it to the People who ordered it, if that was the case.

Using my common sense. I am no Lawyer.

But did the government of Tuscany create the landscape? I think all the farmers transformed, not created, the Tuscany's landscape and now who is making the profit of it?

HuhHuh??
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chrisso
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2003, 04:30:13 AM »
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This has come as a shock to me.........I'm off to Provence and Tuscany in a couple of weeks.
I'm surprised nobody seems to have mentioned the artistic role of the photographer in all of this. This is the area where the photographer should be allowed to make an income and where the government of Tuscany has no leg to stand on in my opinion.
Millions of photographs are taken every year of The Empire State Building, The Grand Canyon and the Tuscan landscape. How many are good enough to be commercially sold? What is it that makes the good shots great? The artistry of the photographer......not the location per say.
Who would suggest copyrighting the flower of a lily? And yet a Robert Mapelthorpe image of one might fetch thousands at auction.
Finally to comment on two previous contributions;
The design of an ad should be copyrighted, therefore if someone makes a painting of it that would be in breach IMO. On the other hand, if I had a fabulous house or garden and someone took a picture of it to make money it would not concern me in the least. Everyone seems to be so uptight about others making money these days.
The issue of Ayers Rock (or Uluru) goes a lot deeper than copyright. The indigenous people believe it to be a sacred site and ask tourists not to climb it and NOT to photograph it. Yet in our (western) wisdom we continue.
It may well be an excuse for a free lunch. Having been invaded by the English (my ancestors) who can blame them.
Comments like 'go out and get a real job' though are insensitive and not appropriate for a photographic forum in my opinion.
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chrisso
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2003, 02:45:34 AM »
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I don't disagree with anything you've said in principal. In fact, in my initial contribution I agreed that it was probably a way to get 'a free lunch'. I merely objected to the add on statement of 'go out and get a real job' which is a comment I've heard thrown at aboriginal people many, many times in my travels around Australia. Maybe it was therefore an unfortunate choice of words. IMO, there was no need to throw that comment in, you had made a perfectly good point previous to that.
By the way, how many 'real jobs' are there around Uluru?
No one has suggested that the people of Tuscany or the architects of New York 'are living off the hard work of others'.
Finally, as I said although I don't disagree with your basic point, how much would the photographic fees be?
I visited Uluru and found the park fees to be extremely cheap, especially from a European perspective. I was happy that I was contributing something to a very poor group of people.
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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2003, 12:50:56 AM »
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Here in Oz the indigineous tribe that now owns Uluru (ayers rock) has copyright restrictions on commercial photography of the rock, and the use of images of Uluru in profit making or commercial activities. Thev'e been here 60,000 years. The rock's been here 60,000,000 years. I'm pretty sure they didn't make it. In fact traditionally they believe they belong to the land not the other way around. It's a simple matter of wanting a free lunch. Go out and get a real job.

The whole thing makes me sick. If you come at me sprouting copyright of a natural formation or a public place you had better like the taste of Canon lenses.

Gordon
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2003, 10:47:16 AM »
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Ranier: I guess the argument being made is not who created the landscape, but who "owns" the rights to it. I can see this making sense in some cases (I think its fine if the Aboriginals profit from their landscape), but in general this whole thing gets as creepy as baseball parks adopting corporate names for the profit. Arghhh! thank god I am not a lawyer!

Lexvo: Yeah, that is tough. If the guards want to be a pain in your neck, they can. Maybe you should get yourself a really tiny Minox camera, and make a game of it. :-)
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Erik M
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2003, 05:21:36 PM »
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To be honest, I cannot see that it is _so_ unreasonable that some part of the revenue from such publications should not go to local coffers.<<

Well, why stop with photographs? Why not demand a cut of the revenue from travel book writers and then sue them if they don't turn over the royalties? I think it's quite odd that I could write an unauthorized biography of anyone and make as much money off it as I wanted without having to give the subject of my book a cut. But take a photo of them without a release and . . . well, you're in for trouble. Or how about tour operators who make money by showing people the homes of movie stars. The stars have no right to demand a 'cut' of the tour operator's revenue. But if you take a photo of the star's home and sell it . . . well, trouble again.There should be no double standard for photographs.
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