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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Why the Digital Rights exchange matters - right now!

Photographers and anyone else with loads of images (or any other form of digital media for that matter) on the internet and in particular on social media sites, should take heed of the recent Instragram terms of service mess as this kind of "greed" is now coming from unlikely places...

The UK government (in particular the Conservative / LibDem coalition) is about to introduce legislation (the Business and Enterprise Reform Bill) that would automatically opt your "orphaned" work into what they call a "extended collective licensing" scheme where it could be used for commercial exploitation. Basically if your image doesn't include your name in the metadata (which can easily happen), it can be classified as "orphan works". In reality a company or individual could copy your images from the internet and if it doesn't include your name or explicit copyright information, it could use it without risk and without compensating or recognising the creator. The new law will explicitly protect these companies and not the creator of the images under the auspice of "making it easier to trade on the internet".

There is an alternative. It is called Digital Rights exchange - a type of "copy right hub" - and it would allow image creators to deposit their work to the hub for others to use. It's almost like an iTunes for images, but it would link up existing and future exchanges of all digital media - not just images.

Act quickly people, the government is currently rushing the new legislation through Parliament before the European orphan works law preventing it kick into action.

Write to your MPs and urge them to vote against it. The photography industry is already in turmoil due to the deflation of image prices - this change would be a death blow for many in the photography industry.

More background:

What the big players are doing:

Progress of the bill:

Thursday, 3 January 2013

iPhone 5: Westminster Bridge

Westminster Bridge by
Westminster Bridge, a photo by on Flickr.
A retake of the old bridge view of Big Ben trying out the iPhone 5's camera and post processing capabilities. I'm seriously impressed with this little "wundermachine"!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Moulin Rouge

My travels keep taking me back to Paris; to Montmartre in particular. Since my first visit about 10 years ago it has kept changing at its own steady pace; like all European cities do. But I love going back there and I love being a passerthrough taking touristy snaps.

Moulin Rouge by Petrus van der Westhuizen (fotoshoota) on
Moulin Rouge by Petrus van der Westhuizen

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Fish River Canyon at sunrise

I've just returned back to the UK after another amazing visit to my motherland, Namibia. Every time I go back, I am reminded at the pure natural beauty of this country. I always feel inspired and refreshed after a visit. All my best wishes for 2012!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Shortlisted: Battersea Power Station

My photo, Battersea Power Station, has been shortlisted for inclusion in the Sense the City digital display at London Transport Museum. The display will go on show at London Transport Museum from Saturday 21 January 2012.

The exhibition explores how emerging technologies are transforming the way we live, work and play in our cities. It poses questions about mobility, society and work in the Capital over the next decade, and compares this with past visions of the future. The exhibition closes on 18 March 2012.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The New Original Little Fish Paper Club Handbook - essays of a rock'n roll band

Ben and Juju by
Ben and Juju, a photo by on Flickr.
I've had the opportunity to see Oxford band Little Fish perform live a few times. These guys are really passionate about making music and about sharing the journey with their fans. They are writing a book about that journey and need support to get it published through

Read all about how to make it happen here:

And please pass on the message...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Why the industry needs certified public photographers

Amateur photographers will want to break into the professional market - that is just a reality. We can continue to debate how this is making life more difficult for established pro's and how they now have access to the same relatively affordable technology. Or we can think of a way how to make that path more acceptable and recognised by the industry.