Avoiding Copyright By Being Flippant!

Gherandini Lisa
Gherandini Lisa

Ten years ago, I purchased a very expensive CD containing 100 ‘Royalty Free’, high-resolution images of some of the greatest paintings in the world.

A month ago, I created a 3D rendering of a virtual art gallery, imported the images and uploaded the video to YouTube.

My objective, for this laborious exercise was to give the viewer a unique experience; a chance to see these masterpieces, in one place, whilst sitting in the comfort of one’s own armchair.

Just think about it. No queuing at the gallery door, no crowds, no noise and the unique opportunity, to enjoy 100 incredible pieces of art, from the comfort of your own living room.

I uploaded my video to YouTube, added a lovely sound track by a group of Benedictine Nuns and rejoiced in the knowledge, of the pleasure, this video would give people.

A couple of days later, I checked to see how many people had viewed the 3 galleries and saw the phrase ‘copyright infringement’.

Needless to say, I was confused. I have tried to ascertain the nature of the infringement and I am even more confused. The originators of some of these images, died hundreds of years ago.

The digital imaging files are sold as ‘Royalty Free’. I was not selling them as pictures. When you convert a JPEG to an MPEG file, I thought that the nature of the file has been altered and the resulting rendering was totally different to the source material.

I deleted the videos as I deemed it wise to do so. Nevertheless, I think it is a shame to keep these wonderful images archived on a disc or anywhere for that matter.

Therefore, I have taken 50 images in portrait format, flipped them horizontally in Photoshop and created a beautiful gallery at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzckBF2btvc

You may say what is the point. The point is, that if you like one of the images, you may feel inspired to visit the real gallery, housing one of these wonderful masterpieces. It is also my way of keeping the name of these great artists alive, even though the images I have created, have no connection whatsoever to the original work of art.

If you have any comments about copyright, this article, the video or the works of art portrayed, I would be delighted to hear from you.

One of the images has not been reversed. If you know which one, please let me know. I will send you an A1 of this image printed on Endura Metallic Digital Archival photographic  paper.

My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the digital circus.

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