Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do you want your work Pilfered?

Here's an idea to think about, that is also stirring up a bit of trouble.

A magazine made that is based on the idea of "a place where artists, photographers, designers, and the inspired can submit their favorite visuals pilfered from the web to share with one another." It's called Pilfered.

The trouble I mentioned is from the lack of permission for use of images by their creator and a lack of credit given. Maybe people don't understand that these images are people's livelihood? There is a "Credits" page but it's more than a little unsatisfying. On the flip side there are a lot of interesting images on this site and it seems like a good way to gather inspiration. I just don't think I'd be happy if I came upon an image of mine there that was uncredited, and I don't think many people I know would either. There's a lot of dialog about the site and its concept on the "About " page, some of the wording is a bit strong, but the debate is interesting. I didn't read through all of it but here's two responses I liked:

David Says:

Dear Patrick, Nate and Mia,
A credit byline is not a license fee. Everybody in the publishing business (online and offline) knows this. That’s why If I see that you use/publish one of my images here I will instruct my agent to invoice you accordingly. If I see that you use images taken by any photographers that I know I will ask them and their agents to invoice you accordingly. In the same way If I see that you use any images that are stock available from photographers or agencies that you should be licensing from them, I will report the usage and suggest they invoice you accordingly.
I strongly encourage everybody who reads this to do the same. The only thing that I have a problem with, is that to check the published images I’ll have to browse and click through this website, and therefore I will increase it’s traffic, which I believe it doesn’t deserve.
Also, if any photographer, after being consulted, is fine with no fee and accepts the credit byline, I suggest that this credit byline is published as a hyperlink to the photographer’s website adjacent to every image. I also suggest that if any photographer kindly let’s you publish the images with the credit byline, you stop branding them with the word PILFERED printed across.
Think Human Rights, think Intellectual and moral rights. Especially you.

Aaron Says:

I love the idea of random collecting stunning images, and the design aesthetic is excellent, but why would you not credit the photographers? It’s hard enough to make a living as an artist these days without people taking your work and not acknowledging you. It’s not about democracy, it’s about supporting the creative community so we can continue to do what we love — create more art.
I work damn hard as a photographer and I struggle to support my family. If you used one of my images without any credit or recognition, how could I not be upset? Would it hurt to give me credit and boost my work? Creatives should be supporting, not undermining, each other.
The internet is great in many ways, but the use of unattributed images is hurting photographers and artists everywhere — if you truly value art and photography you won’t do it.

What are your thoughts? I find that I'm siding with the opinions in the quotes above. I guess we had to see this coming with the internet, an amazing tool but there's less accountability, everything is viewed as open game.

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