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  • Saturday, December 06, 2014

    It's Getting Sticky

    Cell Phone Or Otherwise ?
    and, just how are they used ?
    .. Dozens of images from this blog have been used across the web and in print media of various sorts. Each image is non-commercial and carries a Creative Commons License, (see bottom of sidebar.) Some have even been purloined by unscrupulous shagnasties in their pursuit of filthy lucre to line their pockets. It's in the nature of marketing and marketeers to do what ever they can to make a buck.
    .. Recently public lands managers have jumped on the permit process to enhance their revenue streams and regulate the use of images taken on public lands. A few years ago Yellowstone National Park implemented a permitting process for "Film, Photography, and Sound Recording."  We've mentioned it in passing a couple of times.
    .. Now, the United States Forest Service has initiated a rule-making process about commercial photography in wilderness areas of National Forests. It may seem like an insignificant bit of bureaucratic nonsense but; it could affect just about anyone that takes a snapshot on public lands of the National Park Service or the United States Forest Service.
    .. We've been informed that the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation are also considering rule-making and permitting procedures.
    .. Hatch Magazine recently ran a piece about the impending USFS rule-making procedure.
    .. Action was taken by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and Hatch Magazine to clarify the proposed rule and it's implications for photography and photographers.
    .. If you've read this far you probably think that this is just stuff and nonsense. It certainly can't affect your standard hero shot that you take of a gasping fish that is oxygen starved out of the water in the park or in the forest. That's true unless it's used in a commercial publication.
    .. That commercial publication can be a motion picture, a published print book, on-line-magazine, or blog that is monetized with advertising from commercial ventures such as tackle makers, apparel purveyors, or feather merchants, etc. Advertising posters, product catalogs, mailers, and leaflets are not exempt from the commercial standard.
    .. This is where the law gets as sticky as flypaper. It's going to take some court cases to sort it all out. Resolution may eventually center on the original intent and circumstances of the original image and it's original purpose. Lawyers are about to have a field day.
    .. Recent events in Missouri have shown how ignorant of the law some police officers appear to be. Photographers have rights that are constitutionally protected in the taking of pictures. It's the use of those pictures that bothers officials of all stripes. It is incumbent upon anyone that snaps a picture to understand the law regarding their actions and the use of the resulting image.
    .. A couple of interesting definitions come into play in this legal morass: Is the use of the image in the service of "NEWS" and the precept that "THE EYE CAN COMMIT NO TRESPASS."
    .. For example is it "news" when a monetized blog illustrates and extolls the virtues of an advertisers' new product? Is it news when an outdoor writer in the "newspaper" praises a travel trip to an exotic destination and uses images from the trip of a lifetime ??
    .. So then: where was it taken, for what purpose was it taken, how is it used?

    Some resources that you may find useful:
    >> Yellowstone National Park Permit and Process,
    >> Hatch Magazine Article,
    >> Smokey Says, Get A Permit, Shutterbugs,
    >> Know Your Rights: Photographers,
    >> You Have Every Right To Photograph That Cop,
    >> Go To Jail In Arizona For Linking To Photos,
    >> Photographers Rights,
    >> Discussion Of Cops, Rights, and Homeland Security.