I’d provide a pic as I usually do, but I hit another copyright or licence limitation. No pics. Private spaces are becoming increasingly controlling. I wholeheartedly support bans on flash, which is damaging to pigments and paintings, but this is just thorough-going ban. I’m told it’s demanded by the originating institution, but I was recently in Paris, and I was happily photographing (incident light) in several museums I attended, including in the Louvre building, in open view of the guards. I can’t imagine pics of some of these paintings will do much to affect the awareness or perceived value of these painting. Or even more that there would be any influence on the industry, or that copyright claim that the creator deserves recognition and value from the creation. These creators are dead, so they won’t be affected. It’s argued that the artist’s descendents deserve to gain from the creations, but these are owned by institutions, not families. The recent extension of copyright to 70 years after death of the creator seems doubly excessive, but that’s the current law. Even if no pics, there's at least a great website for the exhibition:
In a related vein, copyright has been in the news recently in Australia. Excuse any legal or other misunderstandings by me (as a librarian, I discussed copyright with many people and the understandings often diverged, even amongst professionals with awareness and interest, so this is not easy stuff). There was the iiNet decision which found that ISPs are not responsible for the use their services are put to. That sounds reasonable, although I note that ISPs have benefited from the heavy downloads, so they may not be totally uninterested parties. But the other decision was really strange, and has caused much dismay and even anger in the music community. This is the one that found copyright of “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree” was infringed in the song “Land Down Under”, by Men at Work. It will be interesting to see what compensation is claimed for this found infringement. The press mentioned 40-60% of the profit from 5 years of sales. I find this figure quite staggering, especially given the obscurity of the infringing snippet, but this is a commercial and legal, not artistic matter. I ponder the decision for various reasons (although decision it is, and I have to accept the judgement). Firstly, no-one mentioned the similarity for 26 years until it was discovered on a rock quiz show. I heard the offending snippet on the radio 10 or more times before I heard the similarity, and even then it seemed to me to be obscure and only a short quote. I wonder how many times that string of intervals and that rhythmic pattern has appeared in the history of music - it’s a very simple line from a kindergarten sing-along ditty. I thought copyright allowed some limited quoting (for printed works, it’s usually understood to be to 10% of a work or one chapter) but this quote was obviously not allowed here. And in addition, the offending section is not in the composition, but in the performance, and not part of the tune’s written melody. Again on radio, I heard another kids’ tune (they say there are several: from South Africa and Wales, perhaps others) that was almost identical to Kookaburra, in tune and even in lyrical theme. For justice to work, we have to accept the independent judgement of our judiciary, but also we need decisions that aren’t ridiculed or questioned widely in society. I must say that this is one judgement I really find hard to fathom.