Copyrighting Public Space

This is a story about a very slippery slope.

“The copyrights for the enhancements in Millennium Park are owned by the artist who created them. As such, anyone reproducing the works, especially for commercial purposes, needs the permission of that artist.”

Read on at New (Sub)urbanism >

8 Comments so far

  1. Rob (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2005 @ 6:42 pm
  2. steven (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2005 @ 6:54 pm

    i read about this in last week’s reader. unbelievable. just tell the guards that the pics are for your own personal use. they’ll have to leave you alone.

  3. Alana Waters (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2005 @ 7:21 pm

    The problem isn’t literally this. The problem is that they’re trying to re-write copyright law to suit their needs. It sets a dangerous precedent. “Public space” isn’t a subjective term. It is what it is.

    Outside of that, if you’re a working photographer, like me, what do you do about that shot in the magazine with your name in the corner as a photo credit?

  4. steven (unregistered) on February 4th, 2005 @ 1:30 pm

    i can’t see this being a huge problem unless you’re caught by the guards at the park. the photographer whose story was in the reader was stopped and was being pushed to sign a permit right there and then, which would have cost him $50. he took care of it the good ole fashoined way – he slipped the guard $20 and the guard walked away.

  5. Alana Waters (unregistered) on February 4th, 2005 @ 1:50 pm

    My concern is the accountability the photographer and publication would have. When will the city start checking up on photo credits and making sure they link to permits for these “copyrighted public spaces”? How astronomical will those fines be?!

    You’d most certainly have to prove that you purchased rights to the image. I deal with photo permissions all the time and I’ll tell you, you might not get caught every time, but you will eventually. It’s not worth it. The only way to avoid this even being an issue is not to allow it to become a gray area.

    Photographers, pro or no, *must* maintain their right to shoot in public areas.

  6. Archie FlorCruz (unregistered) on February 7th, 2005 @ 9:06 pm

    “they can make it illegal, but they can’t make it unpopular.” Anyone have Anish Kapoor’s e-mail address? I wanted to send him a message and ask for permission to photograph his bean, hahah!

  7. Alana Waters (unregistered) on February 7th, 2005 @ 9:13 pm

    When you find it, please send a copy to me.



  8. tom (unregistered) on February 7th, 2005 @ 10:56 pm

    yeah me too. email is at my website.


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