Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yours is yours

I don't understand copyrighting. As a photographer, I probably should Google the subject to figure out what all of the fuss is about, because a lot of photogs seem to be really in arms over it all.

Just now I was browsing through a friend's Facebook photos and came across a not-so-stunning photo of this friend and his singing group. The four men in the photo look great, very spiffy and polished, but they are standing in front of a building with wooden siding and there is a very distracting white window pane to the left of the men. I'd give the photo a C+ for effort. In the comments someone had posted to "be sure to credit [so and so] whenever you post his pictures, please".

Ugh. Really?

Isn't that the photographer's job? To put a watermark on a photo if you don't want people to use it without crediting you?

Whenever I want to print out family snapshots for the family, I have to sign a copyright waiver to allow the processing center (i.e. Walmart) to print out my professional quality photos. One time I had to write a note to the technician, sign and date it, and email my signed permission slip to him so that my son's grandmother could go to the Walmart near her and pick up her photos. They had me on the phone for thirty minutes as I tried to explain that I had listed her name as the pick up person because I wanted her to have my photos and that she was not, in fact, a copyright thief.

Maybe someday I'll understand why everybody has their panties in a knot, maybe when people start making money off of my photos I'll get more upset. But for now, it seems all too much like kids at the park yelling, Mine! Mine! instead of sharing their toys.

Let's play nice, people. Life goes on.