Thursday, November 11, 2010
Like many people local to an area, I have neglected to do some of the must see activities a tourist would experience. However, a few weeks ago I had family visiting from out of town and we all took a Chicago River Tour. I had heard it is a great way to view Chicago architecture and it most definitely is.
Obviously I snapped any number of photos but I had to resort to the internet to look up the names of some of the buildings.
One such pair of buildings is the Marina City Towers. These interesting condo buildings have appeared in a number of films and television programs including the Bob Newhart Show, Dark Knight and the Blues Brothers. When first I saw these buildings they seemed outlandish to me but they have since grown on me. I am always amused by the lower level parking garages. Where else can you park and get million dollar river views? I think I'd be obsessing over whether I set the parking brake adequately.
Careful what you do with your photos of this building, however. It is under copyright. In theory if, say, I wanted to turn my photo into a postcard to send to my friends, I might need to apply to the condo board for permission. Now, I am no expert on copyright but I have read just enough to be wary of violating these copyright laws. I have received a few requests for copies of my pictures from commercial interests and have always refused for fear of getting into vicarious trouble. Now, if the subject of the photo were a tree, there would be no problem unless the tree's owner got back to me. But since I take lots of architecture and city pictures and since all those buildings are owned by someone, I just have to say no.
A few years ago I took a picture of a totem pole in Seattle, Washington and some homeless people started to object to being in the shot. My thought about them is about the same as how I feel about the architecture question. Don't put yourself or your building in a highly touristy, scenic or public location if you don't want pictures taken of it or if you want to absolutely control the use of said pictures. Hypothetically speaking, if I plant my body in front of the Louvre for a month, do I control rights to all photos taken with me in it? In the article I read, sometimes film makers have to edit out certain buildings from skyline shots due to copyright issues. Imagine altering a film of Seattle with the Space Needle omitted or New York City sans the Empire State Building? It just wouldn't be the same.
Read here for more about the Marina City debate.
All right back to the photos.