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Comment Back to stone age food? (Score 2) 361

"The Scottish Government will shortly submit a request that Scotland is excluded from any European consents for the cultivation of GM crops, including the variety of genetically modified maize already approved and six other GM crops that are awaiting authorisation."

The rest of the world calls that corn. We've been genetically modifying it for all of recorded history.

Comment Different middlemen, same story (Score 4, Interesting) 172

It's sad really. The promise of the web was that would be a tool for democratization, it would empower the individual, level the playing field. It was finally a chance for the individual to stake out a piece of ground and speak dirrectly to his or her audience. It turns out, however, that we all just handed the power over to different middlemen who now use more sophisticated tools to squeeze the artist back to a position of bare survival. So far this has been true in photography, music, and books. Probably more.

Comment Re:Rights vs immunity of Fair Use Defense. (Score 2) 172

You sound like a lawyer, so I want to give the benefit of the doubt here, but I don't understand where you get the idea that fair use is just immunity.

Copyright infringement is unlawful. Fair use is not an infringement of copyright. So if it's not infringement, how is it unlawful?

Submission + - Can you commit copyright infringement by using your own work. (

Mrs. Grundy writes: Nortorious appropriation artist, Richard Prince, has been in the news again with his show consisting of screen shots of other people's Instagram photos printed as large inkjets on canvas. These prints have reportedly sold for $90,000. In 2013 Prince successfully defeated a lawsuit for a previous appropriation by convincing the court his work was 'transformative' and it's likely this new work would also find a sympathetic ear in the court. Among the photographs whose work he used this time were several from the Suicide Girls Instagram feed. In response, Selena Mooney, cofounder of Suicide Girls, began offering exact replicas of Prince's pieces that used her photographs for a mere $90. Photographer Mark Meyer looks at the bizarre possibility that if Prince's use of Mooney's work is transformative and fair, Mooney's might be copyright infringement.

Comment Re:They should be doing the opposite (Score 3, Insightful) 309

The article makes is sound like this is a totally senseless, random act with no explanation, but that's a little misleading. While it's easy to argue that 50 years is already too long, Canada's 50 year term is also an outlier on the low end in the international community. Most other countries have a 70 year copyright term for recorded music, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, etc. The US allows for 95 years. Having copyright terms that uniform across international boarders is useful.

Comment Photographers? (Score 5, Interesting) 66

This looks like a trojan horse to allow Getty to gain a wide foothold around the web in a way they can control. There is nothing to stop them — in fact it's in their TOS — from adding ads to the iframe at some point. They will then be in a position of monetizing their images in a different way than licensing them, which mean they probably will not need to share revenue with the photographers.

Getty is currently owned by the Carlyle Group, which makes me wonder if this is part of a grand strategy to break the company up into sellable pieces. Having a segment with a internet-friendly, sharing, youtube-esque, business model and no existing liability to contributors is probably pretty attractive to them.

But my guess—nobody wants their nasty embedded frame on their site and this will be a dud.

Submission + - When did transformative use become a defense against copyright infringement? ( 1

Mrs. Grundy writes: Almost every major copyright case in the last twenty years has hinged on whether the accused infringer has used the original work in a transformative way. Transformative use has been especially prevalent in cases where technology creates novel uses of existing work such as Perfect 10 v. Google. But neither the word "transformative" nor the concept of transformative use is found anywhere in the U.S. statute that defines copyright and fair use. Photographer Mark Meyer outlines the legal history of transformative use as a defense for copyright infringement tracking how the idea started from a short journal article and became the law of the land.
Open Source

Submission + - Modeling Color Spaces With Blender (

Mrs. Grundy writes: When creative professionals want to visualize colors in three dimensions, they often use dedicated and sometimes expensive software. Photographer Mark Meyer shows how, with the help of its Python scripting interface, you can create graphics of color models in Blender, which is free, open-source, and much more flexible than software dedicated to specifically to graphing color. He demonstrates plotting in XYZ, LAB, and xyY space, and also includes the Blender file to show how it's done.

Submission + - Orphaned works and the requirement to preserve metadata ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Orphaned works legislation promises to open older forgotten works to new uses and audiences. Groups like ASMP think it's inevitable. But it comes with the risk of defanging protection for current work when the creator cannot be located. Photographer Mark Meyer wonders if orphaned works legislation also needs language to compel organizations like Facebook to stop their practice of stripping metadata from user content in order to keep new work from becoming orphans to begin with. Should we have laws to make stripping metadata illegal?

Submission + - Photographers, you're being replaced by software (

Mrs. Grundy writes: CGI software, even open-source software like Blender, continues to improve in quality, speed and easy-of-use. Photographer Mark Meyer wonders how long it will be before large segments of the photography industry are replaced by software and become the latest casualty to fall to outsourcing. Some imagery once the domain of photographers has already moved to CGI. Is any segment of the photography market safe? Will we soon accept digital renderings in places where we used to expect photographs?

Submission + - Arizona Law Would Require Disclaimers on Retouched Photos (

An anonymous reader writes: An Arizona state representative has proposed a law, H.B. 2793, that would ban digitally enhanced images in advertising without a disclaimer alerting consumers to fact that the image has been changed. Although the text of the bill targets all advertising images, proponents of the bill say it is aimed at unachievable or unhealthy depictions of women, which they claim negatively impacts the self image of young women. Photographer Mark Meyer has pointed out some of the folly in adding disclaimers to something as ubiquitous as digitally altered images in advertising.

Submission + - Crayons under the Spectrophotometer (

Volhav writes: Like many as a child, the photographer Mark Meyer wondered what the difference between Yellow-Green and Green-Yellow was in that Crayola box of crayons. Using a monitor calibration tool and the Argyll 3rd party software he evaluated a box of 64 color box of Crayola crayons, and plotted them out with sRGB values. He even included a nice printable poster size version of the chart in his blog post. For the geek or curious this was a pretty interesting plot.

Comment Re:Does this fall under Public Domain? (Score 5, Interesting) 169

Kathy, I am a photographer and I am very familiar with copyright. I have also done a lot of work under federal contracts so I'm familiar with copyright in that context as well.

Your post has a headline, "White House Makes Full Copyright Claim on Photos." This is very simply untrue. Think of the ways people assert copyright: using the © copyright symbol, registering works with the copyright office, filing an infringement suit, etc.. I don't mean to say you need to do this to have a copyright, but to say that the White House is making a claim to copyright without doing any of the things we normally do to claim copyright things is misleading at best.

Claiming that works like the ones on Flickr cannot be used for commercial purposes is not claiming a right, but rather stating a fact. The statement is unnecessary, but it seems the White House decided it would be a good idea to remind people of the facts in light of recent events.

The only part that is a little baffling is the statement that the images may not be modified. It's also strange that this is not on the page but only under individual images. I'm not sure what they are basing this on, but is certainly does not constitute a "Full Copyright Claim." It seems that the headline and article is written, not to illuminate or inform, but rather to garner attention and be provocative regardless of the facts.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce