Thursday, May 9, 2013

Photo aggregators on Twitter - Dodgy or not?

If you follow a lot of photographers on Twitter*, sooner or later (probably sooner) you're going to see an RT of a very good photograph tweeted by an account like @Fascinatingpic or @Fascinatingpics or similar.

Now I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that perhaps not all of these photographs are taken by the actual account holders.

Take, for example, this wonderful image tweeted recently by @EarthPix...

If you drag this into Google image search, you get three pages of results, including five "Visually similar images" which are obviously the same, as well as one "ring-in". This particular one resonates with me as it is reputed to be over Corio Bay, which isn't a million miles from where I live.

Is this your shot? I'd love to credit you with it, I really would. In fact, if I knew whose shot it was, I would have emailed and asked for permission to use it in this blog.

Does that make it an "orphan" image? I believe that the UK has passed Acts of Parliament and is in the process of passing enabling regulations that change the copyright law such that anyone could use an image like this. Not just a small version used under "fair usage" to illustrate a point as I hope that I have done, but to print them as large as the pixels will bear and sell them for all the market will bear! It doesn't seem right to me.

The strange thing about these photo aggregator Twitter accounts is that they don't seem to be trying to take any advantage. Their links just link to the images; they don't try to send you to other, perhaps dangerous, websites. Some of them are very specialised in the types of images that they aggregate.

So what are your thoughts? Here are some of the accounts that I've noticed over the past few weeks.

@ vppluse

Note the similarity of some of the names.

Do you follow any of these Twitter accounts? Do you follow any other accounts that are like these ones? Do you see these accounts RTd into your timeline? Do you RT these accounts when you see them?

I'd love to hear your thoughts about these Twitter accounts, because I'm really not sure what to think about them. I'd very much appreciate your input.

And if you ARE one of these accounts, I'd really, really like to hear from you!

Good Light.

*As I do. I've filled one list to the max (500) and started on another!

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