Last Friday my wife and I left the PDX zone and carved our way up the Columbia River Gorge. This is our humble travel blog.
Why is this called the “BBB Edition?” The clever reader will find three “B” words carefully hidden within this post that will illuminate. See if you can find them all.
Today a brief report from our Shitty But True newsdesk.
The place: Seattle, Washington. The story: The owners of a smallish (relatively speaking) landmark that mars and/or has intercourse with the city’s skyline are harassing people who take pictures of said skyline and use the photographs in their POD (Print On Demand) projects.
We’re talking about, of course, the Space Needle. Can you think of any other landmarks in the Seattle skyline besides Courtney Love’s medicine cabinet?
Yes, the same Space Needle as seen in the opening sequence of the television show Fraiser and in the compelling crime drama The Killing. Those people must have paid big bucks.
The crux of the argument is this: The owners of the Space Needle structure claim ownership and copyright of the structure’s design. This includes it’s shape for usage on things like t-shirts, scale replica pieces of crap, key fobs, mugs, shot glasses, commemorative plates, post cards, calendars, mud flaps, and, of course, Ol’ Spacey (an intimate bedroom device but we won’t be mentioning that on this here quality blog).
If you take a picture of the Seattle skyline for your POD project and, like a damn fool, think to yourself: “Hey, it’s Seattle. Maybe I should point in the general direction of the downtown area and include that abomination thingy with the shittiest restaurant in town?” you just violated copyright law.
Personally I say, if you want to protect your precious copyright don’t do things with it like stick it in the city’s fucking skyline, eh? Kind of makes it hard to avoid, eh? Keep it in private (always good advice for large probes) or be a tad reasonable about enforcing your claim.
I think the question is one of intent. Is someone out to steal and profit from their awesome design? Or are they merely taking a picture of a city where someone decided to jam a giant probe? “Sorry, we’re greedy assholes. You are no longer allowed to take pictures of Seattle. This is not a Kodak moment.” It’s not like a skyline picture is the same as a project like, “The 12 Sexy Sides Of Seattle’s Space Needle 2014 Calendar.”
My friend was recently impacted by their copyright hyperactivity so I decided to honor her sweet, innocent, babe in the woods photograph with the following Photoshop project:
As you can clearly see, she really zoomed in on that sucker, eh? Imagine the photograph without the obelisk. That would really scream Seattle, right?
Who “owns” a city’s skyline? Personally I vote they blast it into orbit and then charge a fee to anyone who wants to gaze upon the stars. That sounds reasonable to me.
For more about her story please read this excellent post:
Caught in a Copyright Net
A now a true story from the guru archives just because I can…
It’s weird how so many of my father’s interests became interests of mine. A lot didn’t, much to his disappointment, I’m sure, but some stuck. Things like wristwatches (he was a Rolex man), scuba diving (I’m a certified open water diver) and photography. My dad loved his 35mm SLR Pentax cameras. And no, the 35mm is not some lens spec. It describes the type of film that went in the camera.
Back then if you wanted a certain ISO, you had to buy that kind of film. It wasn’t just a setting on some fancy digital piece of electronics.
Eventually I’d have a Pentax of my own, which I still have to this day, although it’s been over 10 years since it was last used.
There was this one time we took our family vacation to Southern California. Among other tourist things we did, we visited a little place called Disneyland and that’s where this scary tale begins…
Continue reading →
A sign that caught my eye while out for a drive. I am a sign photographer extraordinaire.
This weekend I’m out gallivanting around the world. If I haven’t replied or commented it’s because I’m on a road trip celebrating an annual festivity known as “Birthday Month.” This arcane ritual requires full attention and limited internet access.
I was able to get out in nature a bit and snapped the above photo. I hope you like it.
By the time this auto-scheduled post goes up I’ll be in my car mere hours from my home base in the Abyss. When I get home I’ll plop into bed, go right to sleep, then in no time at all the crushing morning rush to get ready for work will be upon me.
Oh yeah, I’m sick again, too. I love it when a new year meets all of your wildest expectation. Oh joy.
I’m a regular participant in the Shutterboo Weekly Photo Challenge (WPC) 2011 over on the Flickr web site. The premise is simple: Each week Shutterboo throws out a random word and we grab our cameras and try to creatively interpret that word with our captures.
I’ll be sharing my weekly WPC photos here on the blog. Above is my take on the challenge word “sign.”
The story behind this image: There I was at the local chowder house enjoying some clams and chips with my wife. I happened to notice that from where I was sitting, I could literally see no less than seven beer signs. I held up my fingers and made an imaginary crop of the scene and thought it might make an interesting photograph, so I gave it a try. My goal was to get all the signs, including the one in the front window, and not get any of the patrons at the bar. Due to experience, I knew to ask permission before starting to shoot. The waitress said no problem, then together we approached the people at the bar to let them know that I’d be pointing my camera in their direction but they would not be in the shot. Not only didn’t they mind, they demanded to be in the shot! I guess alcohol is a bit of a game-changer when it comes to that.
In the end, however, I kept my word and sacrificed the window sign in the final crop. This picture didn’t turn out quite like I hoped but that’s the story of how it came to be.