Friday, June 29, 2007

Virgin Mobile is Bad

So Virgin Mobile is taking people's photos from flickr to use in a major billboard promotion here in Sydney, Australia.

The photo on the left side has a creative commons 2.0 attribution licence. Which means:
Virgin Mobile is free
- to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
- to Remix — to adapt the work

But that they must
- attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

While the photographer presumably doesn't care that virgin mobile is using his photo. I think that Virgin is using the photo that suggests an endorsement by the photographer.

The other problem with this advert is the fact that you can see the model's face. Is there a model release for this photo? How do we know that the model doesn't hate Virgin Mobile. How do we know that the model is ok with being the butt of a masturbation joke? If I were the model I would probably sue Virgin Mobile for using my likeness in a advertisement. One thing companies have to remember is that just because the photographer gives or even sells you a photo doesn't give you the right to use the person in the photo to advertise your stuff.

The photo on the right has a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 licence. This means Virgin can
-copy, distribute and transmit the work as well as adapt the work.
-They must however attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). not use this work for commercial purposes.
-If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar licence to this one.

So Virgin is blatantly breaking the licence on this second fact, not to mention the fact that there is likely no model release for the person in the photo. Another thing is the whole "If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar licence to this one." thing. They put their company logo on the resulting work. Are we to believe that Virgin Mobile is licensing their logo under the creative commons? I doubt it.

This seems to me like a lawsuit waiting to happen. I find myself hoping that one day I'll be riding the subway somewhere and see a billboard of myself so that I can get a $15.6 million settlement.

These aren't the only photos Virgin Mobile has used without proper authorisation, just the two closest to me before I got onto the train.
-Gary Milner

Monday, June 25, 2007

Please Step Inside

Attention everyone!

Saying, "Excuse me" to someone exiting an elevator as you are trying to enter it doesn't make any sense. There is no where for them to go except off of the elevator.

Saying, "Excuse me" doesn't make the person suddenly take up less space on the elevator.

What you should be saying is, "Excuse me for being monumentally stupid" because that is what you are.

It is much faster *for everyone* involved to just get out of the way and let people vacate the elevator.

Oh and by the way, the same thing goes for entering and exiting public transit. I am a fast walker, I want to get out of your way, I really do.

In the words of Jerry Macguire, help me help you.


"I looked it up on google, but couldn't find anything."

"You were probably using Chinese google. It's censored."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back Up Your Files All the Time

A while ago I learned that backing up your files is important. I learned it the hard way.

While working on my old desktop computer I had come to the conclusion that the best way of proceeding would be to format and re install Windows 2000. I figured that it would make things on my old computer better, and besides, I had copied all my photos onto my laptop anyway.

Well, a few days later, my brother-in-law Dan called to ask for a copy of the pictures I took of his lizards. I looked for them on my laptop and what did I find? A big hole occupying the space of what I thought was supposed to be 2003, 2004, and the first half of 2005. Oh crap! I was pretty sad about this but resigned myself to the error.

Learn from your mistakes. I backed up the rest of my photos over the next few days.

Then yesterday, I was telling Jeff, my brother, that I had lost all those particular photos and he asked me if I had checked my parents computer because I had copied all my photos onto their new computer before I went to Australia in 2005. Apparently, I was worried about the state of my desktop computer for a while and wasn't sure if the hard drive would live.

Jeff was right I had copied all my photos onto their computer. I was sure that they had had several hard drive issues on their computer but they never did. Talk about a pleasant surprise. I copied them back onto my desktop computer (it has a new 200gig hd) over the network, just because it is a good idea to back up your files.

It took about an hour over our network, which surprised me but I guess over those two and a half years I had accumulated 10 gigs or so of photos. I'm sending them all to flickr now, but I don't think I will get through them all before I go to Australia.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Climber

I went to Drayton Valley over the weekend to photograph a wedding with my sister Jackie. It was a really fun time. I was acting as her assistant. I took pictures of the guys getting ready at the groom's house while Jackie took pictures of the girls back at the hotel. We shot the ceremony together then I helped Jackie with the lights and group formals at the hotel. Once the family shots were done, we took turns shooting the bride and groom.

I really like working with Jackie a lot. We have very complimentary skills and styles. I think that I'm a lot stronger with the technical side of shooting and equipment as well as controlling and posing larger groups, while Jackie is a lot stronger with more artistic posing in small groups and individuals.

Jackie wants me to open up a studio with her a lot and I think that it would be pretty fun.

While I was there, I had a good time visiting with Jackie and playing with the boys. Those kids are so fun, but a lot of work too. Ryker is a star with the Wii, he plays bowling, golf and boxing. He does pretty well at boxing, I think he randomly flails his arms at pretty much exactly the correct speed to do serious damage to his opponents. Eric likes to grab the other controller and wave it in the air like his brother. He doesn't even care if the Wii is turned on while he does it.

Those boys are really cute. I had a really good time visiting them.