There are many times when we do things we are aware of and sometimes we are not aware of.
Taking pictures is one, where we are not constantly aware of the legalities but we see beauty, framing, composition and we click. Later on, we add value to it by trying to put it on the wall or sell it for few quids, basically see a motive for our action. That is however generally POST capture.
I make it sound simplistic but the problem is only a problem because we make a huge thing of a simple issue, then drag in lawyers. Who wins?
One ideology over the other. One might get some satisfaction that one is doing the right thing but on the other hand the 2 quids you made on the picture and 200 quid lost to lawyers.
So who wins again. You or the lawyers?
Its pretty simple. How far do you want to push that button.
I'm not at all saying one should be passive about ones work and have every man walk on your carpet. But common sense is the best judgment and it appears to be least common when really called upon.
If I were to see a child eat a ice cream cone that has in bold letters McDonald written over it. (Not that I would encourage anything like that to anyone)
In the background, you have a statue of Ronald MacDonald sitting on the bench.
You call it a product placement or branding when both parties are paid.
The child happens to be sitting on the same bench as the clown. I snap away because the emotion of the child is compelling. Do I care if Ronald just happened to be sitting beside the girl?
Now someone see that picture and says great shot.
Are they talking about Ronald being there or the ice cream or are they interested in the picture of the girl.
The publication puts it out and Ronald decides to show up at the party with his lawyers. You think common sense will be present at the table full of lawyers?
No! then its one view over the other. No one is listing and profit is the only motivated goal.
Can I ask the team of lawyers wait a second sure I have taken the picture but what about the free press it has generated for McDonald. Are you going to pay me for having used your products, location and have given you free press coverage.
Clearly at that point it would be a completely deluded activity. The knife cuts both ways. But the initial thought or idea was purely shaped by emotion and not the end product per say.
We just have to be a little graceful and appreciate each other rather than fight tooth and nails over something that clearly has sucked out all the joy the picture would have given to anyone.
I don't see anyone queuing up to buy that stock picture after this.
So the loss here is, the talent, the picture and the consumer.
The photographer might not want to shoot anymore after this, that is one less person taking pictures.
I know this borders on the morally and philosophical aspect of our lives but at our very core we are all sensitive people, each one of us.
Anyways I have nothing against the McDonald group or any other franchise. It was a just an example used in my illustration and I wont be happy if they come knocking at my doorstep.
cheer up :)