Monthly Archives: octombrie 2011

Some people just won’t accept free content

Posted by on octombrie 28, 2011
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That WLM has enemies, we knew. Right here in Romania, we had some guy with a problem against RLUG which decided to write daily articles calling us idiots.

But a French photographers’ association decided to up the stakes a little, putting out a press release that says, among other things:

„Presented as a philanthropic operation, this initiative looks more like a commercial action. Indeed, the participation is conditioned by the acceptance of a CC license allowing the commercial reuse of the pictures.

Private or public entities can therefore use this pictures legally as postcards, posters, books or as illustrations in the press.

The professional photographers living from the copyrights are worried by this initiative […]”

As somebody put it on the WLM list, this means either: „some of our members didn’t bother to read the rules of the contest and discovered too late that people could reuse their work” or „There are some really good photographers out there who share their work for free so how on earth are we going to charge a lot of money for a bunch of good photos?”

What I want to point out is that in Romania, the jury is composed of members of an equivalent organization, the AAFR. We also had pictured sent by serious photographers who understood that the CCBYSA license was not a threat to their rights. It took some tedious explaining at times, but we made it.

I think it is important for all parties to understand that content contributed gratis by volunteers will never fully replace professional photographers. Fashion magazines cannot just call some volunteers to make the photos for their next cover simply because of the time constraints involved.

On the other hand, some news websites do use free content, often without attribution. This is usually resolved easily by email, as demonstrated by the recent appearances of OpenStreetMap content in Evenimentul Zilei and Hotnews, 2 very popular websites.