Corrugated City

Monday, 18 February 2008

Firefighters and Internet Piracy

Whilst following a link back to how a reader found this blog, I came across a US university library website that had a load of old photos from the 1860s of Valparaiso, Santiago, the north of Chile and the south of Peru (which would become the north of Chile a couple of decades later of course). Now, apparently, I have to submit a handwritten request to the university to be allowed to publish the photos but I say nuts to them-a university library should be willing to freely share its resources without limitations. So I downloaded the lot. I also downloaded Knocked Up, so I'm a real internet bad boy.

Anyway, one of the photos was of the First Company of Firefighters, the Bomba Americana and taken in 1861.

I think it was taken just off Plaza Sotomayor, a few metres down from the big blue Naval HQ is now but I could be wrong. I love the old wagon and the uniforms are pretty cool as well.



Anonymous said...

A friendly heads up, Matt: don't be a dickhead. The least you can do is link to that University. If by doing so you allow them to track you down, and then they actually pay a lawyer to send you a C&D, which they obviously won't, then that's that.

But in the meantime NO, a private university library should NOT be expected to give up its content any more than you would. I'm not saying you should remove the photos. Neither am I saying that you should send that perfumed missive to them. But come on. The least you can do is be a Man and link back to them.

After all, you're the one who put up that bitchy photo policy on the top right of your own blog. I mean, why should you expect anyone to ask for permission for your photos or link back to you when they use them?

FYI: if it were a .GOV site then yeah that content is free for anyone (or at least US citizens, prolly anyone).

But anyway, dude, you're only as good as the sites you link to. That university library site is a quality resource and linking out to it is good for your blog. Trust me I know what I'm talking about. And why not share the resource with the rest of us? I honestly want to see the site!

Again, just a friendly heads up.

Anonymous said...

One more thing, I just watched that anti-piracy spoof and that's great but has absolutely nothing to do with what you're doing. A University Library, while its "send a hand-written letter" policy is dumbfuck, is not at all comparable to RIAA et al. It doesn't have the resources to send out lynch-mobs like the evil corporations do.

So taking their content without attributing them does not make you look cool. In fact it's just as counterproductive to the spirit of Internet openness as the corporate, lawsuit-happy fucks.

Also, again, not attributing your sources is annoying as fuck to your readers, especially those who would like to see that website and their photos.

I've made my case. Do the right thing.

Matt said...

1. The photos were donated to the library. The library did not go out and take the photos itself. The family that donated the photos did so with the desire that they would not get lost and that they would be available to the public.

2. You could have just emailed me to ask for the link, as several other people have done. Instead you come on here calling me a dickhead, acting all high and mighty and then you expect to get what you want. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.

3. If I shared all my sources from the get-go, there'd be nothing left to blog about. There's so little information about Valparaiso beyond the usual regurgitated rubbish that it takes a lot of effort to find photos and info like this, even if, in this case, it was pure luck.

4. Please let me know if you need a ladder to get down off your high horse.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter where the library got their photos. It's their property. I'm not on a high horse because I'm not even saying you should do what they say, but just abide by your own photo policy and link to them. It's the least you could do. I'm being reasonable, not high-horsing. This is constructive criticism that you'd be wise to take.

Like I said I know what I'm talking about: linking out to quality resources is healthy for your blog.

Now, when you say:
If I shared all my sources from the get-go, there'd be nothing left to blog about.

Matt, that attitude goes against everything that makes the Internet great. Linking shit up and webbing it together promotes access to information.

By stifling that flow, it makes you look stingy. I'm just calling it like I see it.

And furthermore, your previously-unstated policy of "you could have emailed me for the photos" makes you look miserly. It doesn't even make sense. If you're gonna share the resource anyway, why not just link it? It's kinder to your readers, not making them have to go through that bureaucratic hassle that echoes the library's own stupid "hand-written letter" policy.

Again, this is a friendly heads up. I don't mean this as a public tongue lashing, but friendly advice. My use of the word "dickhead" was more warning you "not to be one". I don't think you're inherently a dickhead but possibly more than anyone I'm aware that we can all fall into dickheadery occasionally, nobody's perfect and so it's the friendly thing to do to nudge you in the right direction.

I'd expect the same if I was being a dumbass about a real estate question. Actually I wouldn't expect it. I would be overwhelmingly grateful for free advice from an expert like you.

Matt said...

My photo 'policy' is not really a policy at all. At the end of the day, i couldn't care less if someone nicks one of my photos but by asking for a link back, other readers can get to know about Valparaiso, which is the aim of this blog. I'm trying to raise awareness of this city as virtually nobody else, including the incompetent city council and even more incompetent tourist board here is doing the job.

I work along the same lines a drip-irrigation. If you chuck a load of water onto a plant, it'll most likely drown and die. If you feed it water slowly, it stays healthy and alive.

If i simply provided a list of where I find all my info, this blog would be pointless really, it'd be a load of photos with no context-pretty but ultimately quite boring. Throwing a ton of info at people, especially if it has no context, like a bunch of old photos, serves no purpose in the greater scheme of things. It's better to keep people's interest by offering up the information in more palatable small bites. Simply giving out all my sources of info would be like reading the last page of a book before reading what comes before.

Stingy? You could look at it like that. Or you could see the bigger picture and understand why i'm not just sending you all out to the wolves to fend for yourselves against an overwhelming, shocking lack of information about Valparaiso.

Please count how many cheap and crappy metaphors and similes I managed to cram into this response: it's an impressive amount.

Anonymous said...

Your conciliatory tone tells me we've averted nuclear war.

Stingy is the impression one gets. That's all I've been saying. Your assumption that you would be nothing if you 'revealed' your sources - well, it's insulting to yourself. It's an admission that you're really irrelevant and unnecessary. I'm not saying that. You are.

But you're also saying the opposite, showing that you're spacing the photos out providing your interpretation as we go, adding value if you will.

But like any credible work that pulls from various sources, you should cite your source and if people wanna go see the whole kit 'n kaboodle let them. Otherwise it's kinda patronizing. I know you are giving the source to people who request by email, but that just seems silly. Why not cite it on your blog. After all, the foundation of the internet is academic, based on the research paper model, links being citation. If you play in that spirit you will be rewarded to some extent.

Matt said...

My finger is hovering over that big red button...

Matt said...

And once i'm done with the Valpo photos, which won't be long, all shall be revealed as has been my intention all along.