Levels of Transformativeness


General Photography

You know you’re in trouble when you have to deal with levels of transformativeness. Levels of what? But - and this is a huge but - that’s a must-read article for anyone interested in photography, copyright, and fair use: “There’s lots of interesting issues there, but one that caught my eye is one that has been bugging me more and more […]: the seemingly infinite manipulability of the transformativeness inquiry of the first fair use factor. Much seems to depend on how broadly or narrowly the purpose is defined, but that categorization is almost never accompanied by any discussion of the proper level of generality.” (my emphases) I’d like to point one more thing out here, namely the fact that in all the recent cases I can remember the courts have decided in favour of the photographers. That’s great news for photographers (maybe all the complaining about how copyright supposedly still is not severe enough can stop now?), but not necessarily good news for art making in general. I wrote about this before, I’m not going to repeat my arguments here.