[mailto:wikien-l-bounces@Wikipedia.org] On Behalf Of Steve Bennett
On 5/21/06, Peter Mackay
I was doing some research on ArbCom admonitions against personal
attacks, and I came across a photograph on a user page where the
subject of the photograph states that he is the creator.
Is "creator" well defined anywhere? If you have the idea to
take a photo of yourself against a particular background,
choose the spot, set the camera settings, frame it, then hand
it to a passerby saying "can you press this button when I say
GO", and later download the photo, photoshop it, crop it,
upload it etc - are you really saying that that passer by is
the "creator" of the photo?
I don't know. Given the often high-level debate here about finer points of
fair use and terms of free licenses, I was hoping for some definitive
answer. My own smiling user picture was removed some months ago on these
grounds and there was nothing I could do about it.
I can't ask the subject of the photograph, but I suggest that your scenario
above is rather fanciful. The image is tilted, which indicates to me that a
tripod wasn't used, and that it wasn't photoshopped and cropped. In any
case, manipulating a pre-existing image taken by somebody else doesn't give
you copyright over the resulting image, not unless you make some really
major changes which clearly has not occurred in this case.
Nor is having the idea for a particular photograph enough to give you
copyright over an image taken by somebody else. I don't know about "setting
the settings" - you may have some point here - but on examining this image
it doesn't seem to have been taken in any particularly challenging lighting
or other conditions. Depth of field, the "flat" lighting of an overcast day
- it all looks to me like the camera was set on automatic and the autofocus
picked out the subject.
It looks to me unremarkable in every way. There must be a million happy
snaps out there taken in the same location all looking much the same.
No idea if that's the case here, but I don't
think the button
pusher should necessarily get all the credit, or even *any*
credit if they've been told exactly what to do.
Point and shoot? That's about all that anyone does with a digital camera
--Peter in Canberra