Today on Slashdot there’s a discussion about a web log authored by a guy who found a digital camera memory card in a New York City taxi. There are 277 pictures on the card, spanning the course of exactly one year. So, in a fit of creativity, this guy decided to create an online photo album with the pictures, including fictional stories about the people and places shown. From the beginning, the web log is clear that the project is pure fiction, and even discusses its roots.
However, in this age of copyright fascism, there are of course legal issues surrounding the project. By posting photographs taken by someone else, this guy is technically violating copyright law. Any pictures you take or words you write are immediately and automatically copyrighted by you– and this is no exception. So, is he liable for damages under copyright law? Moreover, could he be charged with libel or slander because he’s inventing the people in the pictures (“This is Susan, from Amsterdam…”)?
Two points of interest have arisen: first, at least a few of the people in the pictures have been positively identified; second, no one has come forward to say they’re the owner of the card. It’ll be interesting if and when that happens.
In the meantime, it’s a pretty funny idea. Too bad we can’t just enjoy a good joke sometimes.