Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Posts Tagged ‘flickr

Sharing Photos

with 3 comments

stephy-miehle-57842

Photo by Stephy Miehle on Unsplash location 3900 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, United States

I had not heard of Unsplash until I read this post on Medium which recommends giving away your photos for free. According to the author, he not only gets lots of thanks but also “substantial monetary gifts from people showing their appreciation for letting them use my work.”

What I do is license my photos on flickr using a Creative Commons license. And apparently I should use a newer version, but I will get around to that discussion later.

Right now I have recently been introduced to Pixsy which is also free which can track just where on the web my flickr photos are being used. A significant number are indeed following the terms and conditions set out in the license. None so far has either thanked me or showed their appreciation in more tangible form.

A couple of commercial users have actually made payments for specific uses of my pictures. But they did that some time ago, asked nicely before they used the picture and then some time elapsed before payment arrived. None of this has anything to do with Pixsy. And by “a couple” I mean exactly that. Two in twelve years.

Pixsy does also offer to help with resolutions. I have had a few hosting sites write to me and tell me that the commercial uses of my pictures that Pixsy found have been removed. Some other sites have simply vanished altogether. But there are a number of ongoing cases – and more that will not be resolved. Here are some of the replies I have had.

Case Update: Not Accepted – Unsupported Country

Dear Stephen,

Thank you for your submission to Pixsy’s Case Resolution Services.

Our Case Management Team identified that the infringing site, in this case, is located outside of our current coverage area.

…[details of my picture and its use here]

As a reminder, pages located in Russia, Africa, Southeast Asia and other select countries are not suitable for Pixsy’s Resolution Services, as we do not anticipate expanding to these jurisdictions soon.

So much for that then.

I have also had a number of responses from site owners like this one

Thank you for your email; however the URL in question [URL appears here] , is not on the [specified] network.

So that goes back to Pixsy and gets a response like this

I’m sorry your Takedown Notice wasn’t initially successful. This can happen when image users move server infrastructure. In this case it looks like they were previously part of the [named] network but are now part of [another named network].
Please try forwarding the original email to [abuse (at) new network]

Some others are still in process and they did tell me how they are doing overall

As 2017 came to a close, we celebrated a number of milestones – including passing 20,000 user signups! We are so thrilled to be helping creators from 72 countries find and fight image theft. Since our launch in 2015, your reactions, support, and trust hascontinued to energize and reinforce our mission to support your creativity and protect your copyright.

Together the Pixsy community has achieved some impressive numbers: (… and counting)

  • 21,951 users from 72 countries

  • 25,342,934 images uploaded and #ProtectedbyPixsy

  • 162,924,315 matches found

  • 35,881 cases submitted to Pixsy for resolution

  • 26 partner law firms

  • 1 dedicated Pixsy team

  • 1 united mission to Find & Fight Image Theft

So that seems like a good reason to hope that we get a bit of result now and then – although the number of successfully completed cases (i.e. where the miscreants actually paid up or took down the image) is missing from the stats.

POSTSCRIPT
I did write to one of the offending commercial sites using the contact form on their web page. Within 24 hours I got this reply

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, the image has been removed. ”

Which isn’t monetary reward but does acknowledge responsibility.

But what I want to know is if there is such a good source of free pictures as Unsplash why do people keep taking stuff which ought to be paid for?

Because I also got

Our Case Management Team identified the site you submitted as a spam or scraper site.

[image and URL details here]

“Scraper” sites aggregate pictures, articles and other copyrighted material from all over the web. Many of these sites do not host the images themselves–they hotlink from third parties– and are often operated by persons or entities outside Pixsy’s current coverage area. For these reasons, they are extremely difficult to track down and hold accountable.

Given the circumstances, the likelihood of obtaining a license fee payment in this situation is very low and we are unable to accept your case.

So when I started writing this I thought that it would help me straighten out my thinking and get me to a decision. You know, like the experience I often have of “I didn’t know what I thought about that until I heard what I was saying.” But I haven’t so I am hoping to see something useful in the comments.

By the way, I also wrote about this on my other blog but I really did not like the way Google’s Blogger handles my pictures – you just get the link not the image

Written by Stephen Rees

January 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Posted in photography

Tagged with , ,

Public Furniture | Urban Trees

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There is a sculpture exhibit on Spanish Banks at present. It is the latest manifestation of Vancouver Biennale – and the title is theirs. And that is really what has inspired this opinion piece. I think it is misleading – the furniture is not public. The artist, Hugo França comes from Brazil. This is what the signage at the exhibit says

Hugo França reimagines fallen trees in poetic ways, transforming them into beautiful sculptress for public enjoyment. The sculpting process respects the natural features of the trees, promoting minimum waste and the beauty of the natural organic forms, lines, flaws and imperfections. Their memory remains alive with their uniqueness, offered back to the community in harmony with the natural environment. This is the first time the artist is creating public sculpture outside Brazil and using a variety of of local wood species.

The pictures are all in a set on flickr which includes a Google map showing the location.

Public Furniture | Urban Trees 1
Public Furniture | Urban Trees 2
Public Furniture | Urban Trees 3
Public Furniture | Urban Trees 4
Public Furniture | Urban Trees 5
Public Furniture | Urban Trees 6

The signage also includes the warning “Please do not cross the line” (in large friendly capital letters) but as you can see from some of my images this seems to be moot. The line – a bit like crime scene tape – has been supplemented by snow fence, which has also fallen – or been taken – down. One of my flickr contacts Tom Abrahamson remarked “Elaborate and nicely done bench at the beach. Just have to hope that the usual brain dead idiots are not trying to put it on fire or damage it.”

This is an issue for all art works outside of private houses. Put something on display in public and unless you guard it night and day it is at high risk of damage. Even if the damage is unintentional. There are, of course, raw logs that end up on all our beaches. It is a feature of the remarkably careless way logs are moved around – in log booms.

River Eagle North Arm Vancouver BC 2007_0530

But also the natural erosion of the banks of streams and inlets mean that trees – or what remains of them – get cast up on beaches. In Vancouver these are carefully marshalled to provide a certain amount of amenity to visitors, who thus bring much less in the way of furniture to the beach with them. In other places, chairs, tables, loungers, windbreaks – and umbrellas – all proliferate. On many beaches around the world the provision of such amenities is a source of income.

4 poster beach bed

Yucatan Beach

At the beach in Spanish Banks near where the sculptures are placed, the city allows people to cut up spare logs for fuel or other purposes

Trunk full of stepping "stones"

The sound of chainsaws is as common at this beach as dogs barking at others. There seems to be a clear understanding of which logs are for cutting – and that people will not take the work of others for themselves. But somehow we are not so trusting when it comes to art.

Rainblossom Project

Not long ago near this location another art installation appeared. Red umbrellas hung from some trees. They did not last long. I saw some being “adopted”. Just as some people will pick flowers in public places. Though they do seem to respect the floral tributes left on benches.

bench marker and flower

I have heard of flowers being stolen from graves, and I am afraid some of my family’s monuments in a cemetery in East London were destroyed by anti-semitic vandals.

The art work benches are not actually public furniture – because they have not been provided for people to enjoy through use but merely by looking at them. Even though their very nature invites touch – they have been lovingly smoothed – and relaxation. Unlike the unfinished logs on this and other Vancouver beaches

View from the Boat House pano

The art is also not going to last very long in this state as the cut surfaces have not been “finished”. Exposed to the elements, they will decay. Indeed in their natural state trees decay and return to the soil even before they fall

Detail of downed tree

It isn’t the tree we want to preserve, it’s the work of the artist we value. But the work has potential value that exceeds that of the visual amenity. We long ago recognized that lawns – the product of careful gardening, extensive and expensive maintenance – are vulnerable when used for human activities, but we stopped putting “Keep off the Grass” signs in most city parks many years ago, recognizing the value of lawns for games, recreation or even a quiet snooze.

early tanner

The introduction of tables and chairs onto city streets was also a risky undertaking, but in New York at least, theft – or other unintended uses – does not seem to have been a problem.

I think it would be a Good Idea if we could turn the guys with chainsaws loose on some of the raw logs on our beaches to see how they could be improved. Not for firewood. Well not initially anyway: for the failed experiments, possibly. But to increase their utility – and quite possibly their beauty too. And pubic art will get used as a sitting place or a climbing frame, and needs to be sufficiently robust and secure enough to withstand that.

Art climbing

Art reduced to a bench

Art as adventure playground

Art climber

Written by Stephen Rees

April 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm