Event: Protecting Creative Rights in the Age of Social Media – UNC

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This is a followup to our coverage of Justin Cook‘s trouble after a University of North Carolina department used one of his images without permission. After much public outcry and some behind-the-scenes pressure, Cook and the University reached a settlement. The University acknowledged the misdeed, paid for the usage, and agreed to hold a public forum on copyright in the digital age.

The forum, Protecting Creative Rights in the Age of Social Media will take place next week, March 17, 2015, at 7pm at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication Freedom Forum Conference Center at Carroll Hall. The event is free and open to the public and will include a panel discussion on the rights of creative professionals moderated by UNC School of Law assistant professor Deborah Gerhardt, photographer Justin Cook, and National Press Photographers Association general counsel Mickey Osterreicher.

If any of our readers are near UNC, you’d do well to attend this. It should be an informative event and it’s good to show support for these issues. Freelance photographers’ livelihoods depend on copyright protections.

If You Liked Humans of New York

Someone was clever and cheeky at Strand Books in New York City. I saw this sign yesterday tucked inside Antoine D’Agata’s book Antibodies.

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If you’re not familiar with Antoine D’Agata’s photographs, have a look. His work is a nice antidote to the clean-cut banality of “Humans of New York”. And it would be a lovely surprise for someone genuinely interested in HONY to open up this book of harsh, intimate and graphic images. I hope that it does shock some folks browsing the photo book section at Strand.

We’ve been trying to write something about “Humans of New York” and our aversion to the work on dvafoto for months, but this photo will suffice for now.

But as a teaser, start with this brilliant critique on Warscapes of Brandon Stanton’s project. And for some discussion of the discomfort some of us in the photo community have for the work see this article in the New York Times from last summer.

Scott and I keep coming back to this phrase, from the NYT article: “Mr. Stanton professes to be apolitical. “I purposely and pointedly try to avoid infusing any meaning in the work,” he said.” This is a huge problem for this project, and we’ll discuss it later.

“Antibodies” looks like a terrific book, by the way, and I’ll grab a copy for myself soon.

Melissa Lyttle reflects on judging POYi

What is this picture saying? Is it truthful? Does the photographer have a voice and a vision, are they moving photography forward with their image? It’s not enough to simply show up (f8 and be there), point, and shoot. When everyone with a camera phone fancies themselves a photographer, we have to set ourselves apart by approaching situations skillfully — photography is, after all, a craft.”Melissa Lyttle

Recently on tumblr, Melissa Lyttle reflected on her experience as a judge for this year’s POYi contest news division. She writes about the overall experience of judging the contest and gives more fine-grained observations about specific categories and trends in submissions. It’s well worth a read.

POYi is remarkable in its transparency. The entire judging process has been available as a livestream for the past few years (though there were some hiccups this year due to technical issues). You can watch and listen to every “in” and “out” and the debates over images, editing, storytelling, etc., as the finalists are determined. While we’re all left wondering which images were disqualified or lost out this year in World Press Photo, POYi lets you see behind the curtain.

Judging for all of the still photo categories has been completed, by the way, and you can see this year’s winning images on the POYi website.

Two sad notes this year, though. Neither POYi Cats nor POYi Chatroom Heroes seem to be active any longer.

Follow dvafoto on tumblr, by the way. It’s a bit different from what we do here.