Eye Plus

© 2012, Peter Marshall

A few weeks ago I saw the large sphere in this image being installed on the pavement by the Shell Centre in York Road and immediately thought of a picture rather like this, but there was too much clutter around it at the time. But a week or so ago, as I was rushing to catch a train home from Waterloo, I took a few seconds to take it.

In my haste, I didn’t quite get it right, though it looked pretty accurate in the viewfinder. It was actually very difficult to find exactly the right position, and even slight movements of the camera got the two arcs out of alignment. It’s one of the very few pictures I’ve taken this year where a tripod would possibly have helped, although I’m not sure I could have got one in the right place.

It isn’t a great picture, but I thought just a little different view of the London Eye, and one that perhaps amused me more for the intellectual property issues more than as an image. The London Eye is a protected design and although this doesn’t stop you from photographing it, places restrictions on the uses to which images can be put. Fortunately editorial use – such as the above is not affected.You can also  freely use images which contain the Eye but are not actually pictures of it, for example the view of the Thames downstream from Westminster Bridge where it is only a part of a wider panorama.  However because the design is intrinsic to the picture above, this might be a difficult picture to argue that point.

There is also the spherical object, which I suspect is an art work of some kind,  and is likely to be covered by Section 62 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (which had a few minor amendments in 2003.)

62 Representation of certain artistic works on public display

(1) This section applies to—
(a) buildings, and
(b) sculptures, models for buildings and works of artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public.

(2) The copyright in such a work is not infringed by—
(a) making a graphic work representing it,
(b) making a photograph or film of it…

So on that the image is probably in the clear. One important exception is that this generally does not apply to 2D works. So all those photographs you and I have taken with graffiti, murals, advertising hoardings, posters and so on in them could be in breach of copyright, though you only need to worry about such things if you are thinking of supplying them for commercial use (generally meaning for use in adverts, packaging etc.)  For editorial usage – and that includes fine art (and pretty coarse art like this site) – there are few things you need to worry about.

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