Chris's Moblog

by chris

user profile | dashboard | imagewall

« older newer »

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Search this moblog

Recent visitors

Time Magazine Best Photos of the Year

(viewed 3724 times)
Bookmark and Share
So Time Magazine have chosen Adam Stacey's image of the London Tube Bombings as one of their photos of the year - along with a few other camera phone pictures. -

The image was first seen on Alfie's blog here; and released under a creative commons licence.

I would say something profound now about citizen journalism, this site and the changing face of the media, but I can't think of anything so I'm going to the pub instead.

daz says:

.. yeah. wow!!

19th Dec 2005, 20:55

DocD says:


19th Dec 2005, 22:39

chris says:

heh. cool eh? and I only found the Time magazine thing by chance.

*waves frantically at Alfie*

look alfie! look!

20th Dec 2005, 00:16

alfie says:

Holy crap... Well found man, and yes, the fact that a) it was used at all, couple with b) the only reason it is well known is because of b) the CC licensing, does make it a pretty good example of...something...

20th Dec 2005, 10:44

alfie says:

also very disturbing that AP Gamma are given authorship / atrribution on that image. I've just mailed both Time and Gamma about it, if they've been making money from this image they are so getting sued.

from my email:

"It is extrememly disturbing to me to see that Gamma has author/representation credit against this work on "Time, the best photos of the year 2005" ( , and I am wondering if that is because "Time" or/and others have obtained this image Gamma-presse, whether paying a fee for this use or not. I first published this image on my moblog on Adams behalf, and have contacted / Magazine directly about this matter. "

20th Dec 2005, 12:13

chris says:

i did wonder about that. hopefully they're just distributing it, not taking a fee...

as for finding it- finally some sort of benefit from having 150+ RSS feeds!

20th Dec 2005, 17:30

Joe says:

no way....thats really annoying, glad to hear you've contacted both parties Alf. I await the responses...nice find as well Chris, who'd have thought it eh?, a photo published to *this site first* in the Time magazine photos of the year....quite an acheivement

20th Dec 2005, 17:34

alfie says:

even if they're not gleaning a fee, this is a serious infringement of copyright, just having their name up against it gives Gamma ostensible revenue. at no point did Adam ask or agree to them representing his rights. I've been in touch with them all day and they're trying to pass the buck to someone who is "out of the office until Jan. 3rd". I'm trying to insist that they at least have attribution to Gamma removed from time's pages immediately.

This also means a lot in terms of Creative Commons; in a way, they're pissing all over the demonstrated legality of the licensing system.

20th Dec 2005, 18:08

alfie says:

I'd really appreciate your thought on this, it *is* important, and Im dealing with it by myself, if anyone has anything to say about copyright in this thing I'd *really* appreciate you taking the time to formulate a post.

21st Dec 2005, 13:12

mat says:

Creative Commons doesn't have any demonstrated legality. What you're dealing with here is a simple breach of copyright.. (and plain old copyright is pretty much all Creative Commons is anyway)

21st Dec 2005, 13:14

alfie says:

I agree, in that I cant find a demonstrative instance of its' legality.

Much as I'd like to, but don't you think at the very least, personal opinions aside, that it would be *good* to have the kind of protection one thinks CC provides to be attributable to this sort of thing? I do, even if it's just Flickr North American cnuts paying lip service in the main it has to be better than *i own your use*, anyone seen a legal use anywhere?

21st Dec 2005, 13:28

alfie says:

This is a good if not legal case:

"If copyright regulates "copies," then while a tiny portion of the uses of culture off the net involves making "copies," every use of culture on the net begins by making a copy. In the physical world, if you read a book, that's an act unregulated by the law of copyright, because in the physical world, reading a book doesn't make a copy. On the Internet, the same act triggers the law of copyright, because to read a book in a digital world is always to make a "copy." Thus, as the world moves online, many of the freedoms (in the sense of life left unregulated by the law of copyright) disappear. Every use of copyrighted content at least presumptively triggers a requirement of permission. The failure to secure permission places a cloud of uncertainty over the legality of the use. (The critical exception in the American tradition is "fair use..."

in what we're all doing, this is where I thknk CC is important. If badly executed.

21st Dec 2005, 13:33

mat says:

But that's what copyright law is for - if I publish something, it's mine unless I say otherwise. "Fair Use", already and clearly enshrined in copyright law, means that you can use my published thing for your desktop, or sample it into a mashup of yours (in fact, "Fair Use" can reasonably be said to cover almost all non-commercial uses). If I want my media to go free, I can say it's "Public Domain", which still requires attribution, but not my permission for non-fair (ie, payable/paid) use.

All the Creative Commons deeds do is highlight various features of existing copyright law. Ask a lawyer. :)

21st Dec 2005, 13:35

alfie says:

You're citing US law mat, ask Tabs

(Tabs is a lawyer, she's criminal, but has a good grounding in media law, dear readers)

in fact id really like to know what you think, tabs?

21st Dec 2005, 13:38

mat says:

Maybe so, but US Copyright law is much less flexible than the UK laws. So if something's OK in the US, it's easily OK over here.

21st Dec 2005, 13:44

alfie says:

absolutely, in main I agree with you, CC is kind of pointless, but this is a case study, this post, is *why* it's important.

21st Dec 2005, 13:47

stini says:

hey - i've just come into this conversation.
I want to give you the correct and full advice - considering i'm very hung over today *thanks to alf and others* i'm not compus mentus enough to give you an answer right now. I'm be home from work and inspecting police stations tonight at 8pm. I'll give youa full legal answer on all your rights and the potential infringements then if you don't mind holding off - sorry to bail right now, but am at work and currently being investigated for spending too much time on the net... ha ha ha ha ha ha!
if anyone wants to do this before i do - i won't take any offence.

21st Dec 2005, 13:50

mat says:

no, that's my point - this is a clear and simple copyright violation, nothing more. The CC deed has nothing to do with the law Gamma are breaking.

21st Dec 2005, 13:51

alfie says:

"compus mentus "

legal degree my arse ;)


21st Dec 2005, 13:52

mat says:

You said 'bail'. huhuhuh. :)

21st Dec 2005, 13:54

seaneeboy says:

*Agrees with mat, FWIW*

Lovely to see you again stini :)

21st Dec 2005, 13:55

alfie says:

Mat, you're right, to a point; the thing is I used CC, which under the terms of the license I used means they have to too:

attribution should be CC 2.5 (terms of license) / adam stacey

its stupid, but its important.

21st Dec 2005, 13:56

seaneeboy says:

It's not stupid at all - it's their livelyhood, reputation and they're building it on photos they do not own. More than a bit cheeky if you ask me.

Have you been in touch with gamma too, to ask to see their release form for it?

21st Dec 2005, 14:01

alfie says:

yeah, this was the response I had most recently from Gamma:

"Dear Mr Dennen,

As the photographer, Adam Stacey, mentionned it " I do remember them calling me at some point asking if they could use the picture, but it was after I had spoken to you and agreed to the Creative Commons license. I think they were trying to offer me money for the pic but I said I didn't want any and that anyone could use it if they wanted."
Gamma had access to this pix on the web as well as anyone, therefore we downloaded it and released it under Gamma credit as all agencies did or could have done since there was no special requirement regarding the credit. At the time when Nathalie De Besombes contacted Adam there was no mention either of any exclusive licensing through Creative Commons license,

All the best.

Sylvie Sanabria Gamma"

how wrong can you get things?

21st Dec 2005, 14:05

Joe says:

I'm quite frankly disgusted, and I get teh impression Gamma are testing the water to see if CC licensed media, is plunderable. A precedence needs to be set and fast, which shows the commercial sector that CC licensed material is not public domain.

21st Dec 2005, 14:05

alfie says:

Probably the most singular case study I've come across, and I've Looked!

21st Dec 2005, 14:06

daz says:

This sucks so hard.

21st Dec 2005, 14:10

alfie says:

pretty much, but like I said, hopefully this is eponymous to CC's legality, in a real world situation.

21st Dec 2005, 14:14


We need to fight!

Unless Adam has signed anything he still owns the copyright on the photo. The picture is in the public domain by virtue that it was published on but that does not give the right for *anybody* to use it without credit.

*throws down hat, for donations to the fighting fund*


21st Dec 2005, 22:18

chris says:

yup. I can spare a bit too if needed.

21st Dec 2005, 22:24

alfie says:

"...since there was no special requirement regarding the credit. ..."

sort of sums up the disregard and ignorance here. To be honest, I hope that Gamma is a big enough boy to take it on the chin and apologise. Thanks SFG.

21st Dec 2005, 22:30

Dhamaka says:

My understanding of copyright is that it's yours morally for first publication. From experiences I've had with copyright infringements, I believe that the fact that we can demonstrate that the picture was here first makes us easily able to demonstrate where the moral ownership lies. Then I think that the creative commons license becomes the moral owners perogative.

I'm happy to write about this and am sure I'll get it published - let me know if you want me to. I also have a friend who is a copyrights and patents lawyer - you want me to ask him to take a look?

22nd Dec 2005, 01:09

lizziepants says:

Quite honestly, I knew Time had chosen this photo quite a good while back (I do freelance for TCS and AOL Warner here in Tampa) -- it never really occured to me that they'd use it without permission.

And, just to play advocate -- aside from compensating him for the photo -- which I believe they should do since they're clearly standing a profit from it -- having the photo in a magazine with a 50 million issue circulation really isn't so bad. :)

22nd Dec 2005, 04:06

chris says:

lizzie, i don't think compensation is an issue; by releasing the image through cc adam's showing he doesn't want to make money from it.

i think the problem is the lack of any proper attribution from gamma gives the impression that the image is theirs to distribute for profit, whereas they should state that it's available for distribution according to the cc licence.

22nd Dec 2005, 08:14

chris says:

bugger. double post, will delete that later.

my worry is, that they are claiming adam gave them permission to distribute the image as they liked. from the cc licence-

"... Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder..."

but i don't know exactly what adam said when he spoke to them...

22nd Dec 2005, 08:22

lizziepants says:

ah. I was unsure. I will say this -- there are so many instances of copyright violation .. erk.. uhm.

I will not state bad things about my employer.
I will not state bad things about my employer.
I will not state...

22nd Dec 2005, 12:11

kostika says:

From what I've been able to find out about UK copyright law, its very much like the US laws in this instance. Adam never once signed over legal right for someone else to distribute or use his image for profit. The image is still his by copyright. Incorrect crediting is an infringement of who owns it. Distro for use and distro for profit are very seperate things.

(BBC website used the image for the news. No profit. Time magazine uses it in their magazine and they make profit from it)

What likely needs to happen is for Adam to kick them in the ass and tell them that his image has NOTHING to do with AP/gamma and is sole copyright to himself and can prove it given we have a paper trail of its origins.

22nd Dec 2005, 13:24

Lets take on the big boys.. And win as in all the best books..

Lets get ready to ruuuuuummmmmbbble!

22nd Dec 2005, 14:31