Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Of media, FM waves, photographers and copyrights

I stole this image from here

The fact that the media controls most of our day to day activities is fairly old news. It controls the way we talk, the way we dress, and even the way we behave. In this context it’s disheartening to see the media acting irresponsibly. We have heard them lament on numerous instances of various cases of acts of violence aimed towards them, and in fact we have even been sympathetic towards them.
This post is aimed at the so called youth FM radio stations operating in Sri Lanka, particularly towards one. The commentators on the morning shows go on blabbering and making statements which are not only out of context but simply wrong. In one of the shows, the commentator or DJ goes on to unsuccessfully explain an old sinhala verse. It was clearly a wrong interpretation. If this is what our youth listens to, then we should be really worried about the future of our culture. Even though cultural change is acceptable, misinterpretation is not.
On the theme of media, I recollect an interview I was listening to, of a presently famous “Composer/musician/singer” He was accused of nabbing an old sinhala song and making a modern interpretation of it. The musician justified his act by saying the old sinhala song had also been copied from an old Indian song, and that he had obtained rights from the Indian party.
On the theme of copy rights I would like to express some views since it effects my profession as well. Once I nabbed a photograph from flickr.com. The picture that I stole was from a project that I was very much involved with. I did not ask the photographers permission to use the image, which I obviously should have done. In a matter of days the photographer contacted me via email, and went on to educate me on the issue of copyrights, and that he will sue me, take me to courts etc&etc. I asked him whether he obtained permission from the designer or the developer of the building to take the photograph, which was followed with some more verbal abuse from the other side (on a professional level of course). Ultimately I took the image off and informed the photographer and that was that.
The point that I wish to stress is that these photographers are given too much credit for their efforts, after all with the photographic equipment presently available; my nephew could probably do a better job than most of the so called photographers out there. I do acknowledge that photography requires talent and it is indeed a very matured art form, and it also requires a large amount of financial backing. My point is that the Designers/Architects should be given proper credits by the photographers, since we too have intellectual property rights towards our designs.