Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Citizen photographers beware

[Keyword: , ]. Salutary piece on Journalism.co.uk about a snap sold by Scoopt which turned out not to have been taken by the person selling it - but also was already widely available online. Here's some points from the piece:

"'Citizen journalists' - as distinct from professional photographers - don't always appreciate that content can be commercially devalued by dissemination on the web. But nor do they necessarily care. If you capture a breaking news story, you might want to share the story with the widest possible audience as quickly as possible, with financial gain a distant consideration or of no concern at all. But can you do both? Can you share and sell your content? Does a copyrighted picture that's all over the web still have value in print, or a video submitted to YouTube have value when broadcast?

"Perhaps surprisingly, our experience says yes. In the Zidane case, we licensed the images several times over in print despite widespread and simultaneous appearance electronically on blogs and football sites. Picture editors could have lifted them for free but didn't. I find that encouraging. Of course, it's in part because we made their lives easy by pushing the content to them in an industry-standard manner, but also (and I hope I'm not being too naïve in saying this) I think it's because most picture editors, so many of whom are themselves photographers, would rather spend their budgets fairly than exploit amateur snappers."

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