Stick at 359 degrees?

If you are in or have ever photographed in Slovenia you need to know it is now illegal to publish 360 degree panoramic images with recognisable faces unless these are pictures of events published as news.

You can read more about this apparently bizarre legal position on Dliberation, which kind of blames the situation on Google Street View’s decision to blur faces in its imagery, although Google wasn’t able to comply with Slovenia’s demand that they carry out the blurring of Slovenian images in Slovenia so Street View does not yet extend there.

Although the decision is bad news for Boštjan Burger, a Slovenian who is one of the pioneers of immersive photography, it actually seems pretty good news for the rest of us, as the deliberation by the Slovenian information commissioner clearly recognises and validates street photography.

I’m not a great fan on 360 degree panoramas, or really any that you need to use viewer software to see rather than viewing as a flat print (or on a screen) although Street View certainly has its uses. Although I have occasionally made 360 degree views I don’t think I’ve ever shown or published one. As I found a month or so ago photographing the Olympic site from the View Tube and earlier in the year on the gardens project, anything over 180 degrees or so seems to lose interest.

© 2011, Peter Marshall
Roughly 240 degree view
© 2011, Peter Marshall
120 degree view – My London Diary has larger versions of these and others made in the same area on the same day

But for those people who want to go the whole hog in Slovenia, couldn’t they stay inside the law by simply incorporating 1 degree of blank non-photographic space into their images?  Given suitable colour, tone and texture it would hardly be noticeable.

Thanks to a Facebook post by EPUK for bringing this Slovenian story to my notice. Another recent post is to an authoritative and very useful article on their own site, Stolen Photographs: what to do? though I think it is more an answer than a question.

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