Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Copyright controversies affect Instagram photos, car repairs

Jessica Contrera reports in the Washington Post that some Instagram account members have found their photos digitally reproduced and sold to art galleries, link here
The application of copyright law in these circumstances seems a bit ambiguous.  It’s more acceptable when there is some kind of “transformation”.  But it can be very difficult for the original photographer to protect his rights in practice, if he cares.
CNN discussed the problem today, May 27, mid afternoon. I don’t think this is likely to happen to most people in practice.  CNN (art critic Jerry Saltz) says that the Instagram pictures are in public domain, and that transformation happens by adding comments.  Most of this happens with portraits of celebrities.  Taylor Swift might have an issue.  Saltz made a comparison to “drone warfare”. 
Pictures including existing photos have a potential to run into problems, although usually they don’t in practice (except in an area with a no photography sign, like some museums).

But on Vox, Tim Lee writes that copyright law can hamper tinkerers from repairing their own cars when software is involved, or may hamper independent auto shops and shoot more repair business to dealers. 

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