Flattery or Paid Work

Recently, here at Stuck in Plastic, we discussed the concern of commercial usage of our photos on platforms such as IG. This sparked a conversation about the artistic licensing of photographs – “Can anyone just use your photographs or content?” And for which target groups is it okay and which target groups is not okay?

Artists with Heart & Soul

As an artist, you are always busy thinking about producing unique images to showcase your creativity. These thoughts often push your imagination to places deep within you. A key point to consider, in order for an artist to create a piece of work, he/she spends valuable time researching his/her subject matter. They purchase extra attributes and invest in specialised programs to assist editing techniques. Some photographers even spend years studying the art of photography. It goes without saying. The production of one photo contains without a doubt, all of our heart and soul!

Our heart and soul goes into creating all our photographs.

At the same time, as an artist, you also want to share what you have created. Suggesting that you are extremely proud of the work or you may want to project a certain feeling or a statement, or you might want to highlight social and economical issues connected to everyday life.

You may want to put them on display. For example, you could print your images onto photographic paper or a canvas. Alternatively, you could think about hosting an exhibition. Nowadays, there is a ubiquity to photographs seen on the internet. This sea of images shown on SoMe platforms has become a chosen favourite option for many creatives. Whatever you decide to showcase creative work, to an artist is usually priceless. Then again, the displayed artwork has a very distinctive value.

Photographs by creatives usually have a very distinctive value.

Get Permission

In this case, what do you do when you see a beautiful photo and you would like to share it with others? Notably, as flattering as it is that someone wants to distribute your photograph. Nowadays, artists often need to get paid for their work. And for some, it is their livelihood.

Therefore, can you just take the image and use it onto your Facebook or Instagram without finding out who initially owns that photo? In fact, were you going to source the original owner first, before thinking of using their photo? And if you see who owns it, do you credit the name of the original maker?

“I love your photographs and would like to share them on my SoMe channels?”

Give Credit

The decent thing to do is gain permission from the original creator. The photographic images hold something known as metadata. This data is placed within the properties of the image. This embedded information helps protect the artist who created the original work. On the other hand, particular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, often recompresses the images without keeping the metadata. This in turn may force the work to become what is known as orphan work.

Orphan works include everything from World War II photographs to anonymous internet postings. This can happen nowadays when you take a screenshot and not provide attribution to the original owner, as it travels along its journey. This is frustrating, especially if you are aware of who created the original work.

Please do not to throw our images into a deadpool.

If you cannot figure out who owns the copyright, you could conduct a search. If you still can’t figure out the ownership, then you have to decide to take a chance. On the other hand, after finding the artist, the next step would be to give credit to the original Artist/Photographer. And of course, credit is very much appreciated and often seen as a compliment.

What about Commercial usage?

Consequently, what if your photographs are used for commercial purposes? And used without your permission? Yes, perhaps they mention your name. But, has the unauthorised commercial user, changed the intent of your work? And has the person aimed to make money by using your photo? You as an artist get nothing in return?

Not getting permission could result in © Copyright Infringement.

Commercial Use and Collaboration

How come LEGO use your photographs? What is important to realise and you will often notice that we review LEGO products on a regular basis. We at Stuck in Plastic, work extremely closely with our good friends at The LEGO Group. We provide them with exclusive creative photographs for their commercial usage on a professional basis. That means we have given written authorisation for our photographs to be used in this commercial context and intern, the LEGO Group share and credit us as the original artist. And we love collaborating with them.

We love collaborating with The LEGO Group

Confused about what you can and can’t use? Yep it certainly is a lot to take in and there is a minefield of information out there related to this subject. You will also find that different countries around the world, have different usage rights that apply to artists work. You should check out what rules apply if you are thinking of using specific content. In the UK the act is provided under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

There is a difference between Licensing Usage.

As you scroll through the internet and stop by to admire photographic content, you are entering into a whole array of images subjected to copyright laws, this includes Creative Commons licensing, and fair usage policies. Saying this, we love you interacting and enjoying our content. And because we love you interacting, let us briefly explain the different types of licensing usage rules.

Asking permission to use photographs created by an Artist/Photographer is the right thing to do.

What exactly is Copyright? It is a type of intellectual property, that gives its original owner the exclusive right to make copies of the creative work. Copyright protects your work and prevents others from using it without your permission. You will automatically own an All Rights Reserved copyright to that creativity.

The copyright policy also applies in connection to Images purchased from stock photo websites. These images will have a licensing policy attached. When you download a file from a stock agency, you’re usually buying a standard licence that lets you use the file for any personal, business, or commercial purposes that aren’t restricted by the licence.

However, copyright doesn’t prevent you from downloading an image on your own device. What copyright prevents is you from re-sharing it and then claiming that it is your own creation.

Fair Use

Fair Use is the legal right to copy or use a portion or all of a copyrighted work, without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. It is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose. It is intended for the purpose of education, reporting, or research.

Creative Commons

What about if you want your work to be freely shared, reused, and remixed by others without the hassle of seeking permission?

The Creative Commons copyright licences are distributed under what is known as an open license, such as Creative Commons.  You can find images providing Creative Commons licensing under the usage rights section on Google. That being said, these images under this licence are not what many people think of as the public domain. They also have certain conditions attached depending on the licence used.

Notably, this type of licence will enable you to let people know what they can and can’t use your work for. You don’t give up your copyright, you just refine it so it works better for you.

Every Artist has the right to be protected for the work they create.

Have your say!

Tell us. What feeling do you have surrounding the use of other peoples photographs or has a breach of copyright happened to you?

Back at the Elven School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

In yesterday’s post, I didn’t mention Harry Potter. It’s because my relationship with Harry Potter is complicated. I already talked about it last year. I discovered the book series as a 10-year-old and fell in love with it. But the movies disappointed me. Still, I can’t deny that, alongside the Lord of the Rings, they are the most emblematic fantasy movies of the 21st century.

Originally, we picked Fantasy as the last movie genre of SiPgoesTT as it’s perfect for the holiday season. Last year I had so much fun with the Harry Potter Advent Calendar that I thought it would be ideal to do another project with the Elves as part of SiPgoesTT.

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The LEGO Colosseum

I can tell you I was really surprised when I got the notification that I was receiving a package from LEGO with a weight of 12+ kg.

12+kg? What would that be???

So after a morning at work, I rushed home and gladly I was on time… and there it was a huge package!!!
I was thrilled to open it!!

So when I opened it… I couldn’t believe my eyes and I could only say WAUW…WAUW…WAUW!!!

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Sing a Rainbow

This week you may have all been wondering about the story behind @bevvypix’s latest series of images? Well today she reveals the story so far regarding #wheresbevvyspackage.

The Package

From time to time, we at Stuck in Plastic receive packages from our good friends over at The LEGO Group. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to build and review the products inside these packages, which are then written about in our blog and shared on social media. You can check out so many different reviews written by our wonderful team. And if you are specifically looking for a particular product then you can just use our search tool here on the blog.

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How I failed at recreating one of my toy photos

Sometimes you make an image that you love, but end up not entirely happy with it. There is a tiny detail that you think is a bit off. You might notice it as soon as you take it. Or it might be years later. Eventually, you decide to attempt to fix it by reshooting the image.

The sad truth is that this is not always a successful endeavor.

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Tell a story

Huston, July we had a problem

And what happened to our sense of humour? We do have one , saying that as a team with the exception of @herrSM, we are guilty for not joining in last month, so please accept our apologies for our absence. As a result we did not have many entries either and choosing a winner was an easier task than normal. Thank you so much to everyone else who entered. So drum role please…

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The Mt Clutchmore Winter Classic

I’m sure like me you were all glued to your TV sets this weekend watching the sporting event of the year, right?

What do you mean you’ve never heard of the Mt Clutchmore Winter Classic?! It’s the most incredible show of athleticism in LEGO City! I was lucky enough to be there this year and I even paid for my own ticket this time (last time I got one for free!).

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Around the world in 90 minutes

You may remember back in July 2019, the image I created of the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander appeared on LEGO social media. The good folks from Billund have now sent me the not yet released 21321 LEGO Ideas International Space Station to review in preparation for the official launch at the beginning of February.

The International Space Station

For those of you who do not know what to expect, here are three interesting facts about the ISS:
1. It is one of the largest single structures that mankind has ever put into space.
2. The space station was taken into space piece by piece and gradually built in orbit.
3. The ISS circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 mph.

I really did not know what to expect when I said yes to reviewing this set. I knew it would either be something else or just space junk. Once my son put it together we could see just what I had to work with for producing images for LEGO.

It’s big… And it really has to be if LEGO is going to create a replica model. Indeed, the actual space station including its large solar arrays, spans the area of a US football field. This scaled-down model spans a width of 19 inches (49 cm). The solar panel width span is 12 inches (38 cm) so you are going to need ‘SPACE’ to store it.

The International Space Station

It is fragile, oh boy is it fragile. I would not recommend you purchasing it for children to play with as it will be broken into the tiny little pieces it started off as. It is definitely a display model if you have the ‘SPACE’. The attention to detail makes it like the actual real thing and this set includes eight movable solar panels.

Three are a Team

The ISS generally holds crews of between three and six people who are responsible for science experimentation and maintaining the station. Included in this set are officially two (well actually three) Astronauts. However if you are expecting the usual size mini-figures I will have to disappoint you. These figures are only half an inch high. Nevertheless they add to the scale of the model. In addition as a nice little touch, a little Space Shuttle is also included.

Three Astronauts

The Mission

My mission was to photograph the International Space Station ready for the official release. As a matter of fact, it was a challenging mission. Firstly I needed ‘Space’ and not to mention good lighting. The model reminds me of the size of an old fashioned television aerial, remember them? Secondly, I knew I would have a few hours editing the final images. Nevertheless, the build itself took a few hours and I have created five different images in more time than the ISS circumnavigates the world. (Keep an eye out for the pix, remember to check every 90 minutes).

The question is, would I purchase this set? Personally I do not have the ‘Space’ to display it but if I did, yes I would, simply because I love the idea of this set and what technology can do for our learning experiences. I will never get close to the real International Space Station (ISS). Still this set gives me the opportunity to explore and learn. It allows my perception to envisage just what Space Agencies are achieving. The fact that different nationalities live together in harmony shows that it can be achieved. The team from LEGO Ideas has created something special and again I will say: If you have the ‘Space’ then make this station yours, too.

The Gingerbread House

A few weeks ago, Boris told me about the opportunity to review a LEGO Creator Expert set part of the Amusement Park series. I was a bit surprised as these used to be released in spring, and after the Roller Coaster, I wasn’t expecting something else in that series.

Nevertheless, I decided to accept the challenge. I had no idea what the set was, and was afraid it would be another set too big to easily transport outside. But I thought that if that was the case, then it would force me to take some indoor studio photos for a change.

Fast forward one or two weeks later, I get a shipping notification from our friends at LEGO. Two hours later, once back from work, I see on multiple LEGO news websites the official announcement for the new Creator gingerbread house. So it meant the set that had just been shipped from Billund was actually the gingerbread house.

I was partly disappointed (no new amusement ride for my city) and partly relieved (no struggle finding a place a place for it in the city). I was also partly excited (winter is coming!) and partly scared… It will take a few weeks before the first snow comes here in the North. This meant I had no choice and would have to put my (rusty) indoor photography skills to the test.

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The Best of the LEGO Jurassic World 2019 sets

I went to Denmark with a rather detailed (and long) list of the sets I wanted to buy while visiting the P-Shop. On top of that list, the complete series of new Jurassic World sets. I’ve spent my summer with all of them in my backpack. I even went on a road trip along the coast of Helgeland with them.

One of my first photo with the new Triceratops, taken during our fun challenge #ToyPhotographersDoItBetterTogether on the last day, in collaboration with @gehrkesven.

In this post, I want to share what inspires me photographically in the following sets:

I won’t go into all the details but focus on what I liked to photograph. If you’re looking for a full-fledge review, you can probably find one on Brickset which list both text and video reviews.

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