The Copyrighted Public Space

The public space is important for people to have a space to live and feel free. Unfortunately with the progress of commercialism the public space is shrinking and becoming more sparse. What you can do in an open area is becoming more restricted at some places.

One example of the restriction of public space is that in Sweden (and many other places) we are not technically allowed to take pictures of what we want. I’m not sure of the exact details but I remember a lecture this spring with Staffan Teste, a copyright lawyer, that told us we were not allowed to take pictures of famous buildings (e.g. city hall) since the copyright was owned by the creator that said according to Swedish copyright law it is not allowed to publish the picture of City Hall on Internet without asking the copyrightholder (the architect) first. Not being able to use pictures of what we want becomes a small problem.

If you walk by a mural or a graffiti piece you like it has copyright by creation that limits the use and spread of the pictures. This is probably against the will of the creator but we still have to find the creator and ask if it’s ok to use the picture since copyright is automatic. Even billboards and advertisements with a hint of creativity has copyright protection. Showing the pictures in this case is important for a high diffusion where as many as possible can take part of the pictures.

Another very interesting article I found the other day is about a guy that lost an eye in a hunting accident. He replaced the eye with a prosthetic eye that doubles as a video-camera. This raises a lot of interesting copyright issues about where he can go and what he can do if he constantly records everything. There is some very interesting comments in that post as well.

[pic: CC-BY-NC-ND Xavier Donat]

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Josef Ohlsson Collentine

A transparent and kind American/Swede who likes cultural patterns and Social Media. A creative early-adopter who sports, discusses and explores. More about me
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