Today, C. wanted to take some pictures at the local shopping centre/plaza in a non-professional way and for her personal enjoyment, the way she often does.

Hell, the way everyone I know does, half of my friends are photogeeks anyway.

As she started taking pictures of the poster for a film festival in the entrance to the arcade's cinema, a girl behind the counter told us we “couldn't do that”. C. put the protective cover back on her camera's lens and we started leaving. Yet, this seemed like copyright abuse to me, so after checking with C. if she'd mind if I asked the girl to explain, I headed back to the counter.

I asked the girl for what reason we weren't allowed to take pictures, and, lo and behold she told me it was because
“The posters are copyrighted. And it's against cinema policy.”.

Interested and clearly sensing copyright abuse, I started answering.

“Look, this isn't against you, but…”

“This is cinema policy, it's the way it is. I don't want to discuss this anymore with you.” she cut through, and she just left me there.
Obviously, as I was the only person in the cinema's hallway, this clearly was movie rush hour and she had highly more important things to do than answer a customer's question.

Reasonably, I was left rather pissed as an other human being had basically just refused intelligent conversation and hid behind corporate policy to justify stupidity, and more importantly, done it in one of the most blunt and rude ways I've experienced.

What's annoying is that the cinema is actually nice, has reasonable pricing and a nice selection.

So, I've checked, and though I am not a copyright lawyer I think this shows one has the right to take pictures of film posters : Australian Copyright Act of 1968, section 65.
For the lazy ones, here is what it says : The copyright in a work to which this section applies that is situated, otherwise than temporarily, in a public place, or in premises open to the public, is not infringed by the making of a painting, drawing, engraving or photograph of the work or by the inclusion of the work in a cinematograph film or in a television broadcast.

So there, from what I make of it, a copyrighted work displayed in open premises does not see it's copyright infringed by a photograph, especially if the picture is for personal enjoyment. And by definition, a film poster is a public work of art, as it's entire point is to be shown to the public and therefore displayed publicly.

Needless to say, I think the obsessive dickhead I am is going to drop by and give her a print-out of that section. She probably doesn't care (she actually made that clear by being deliberately rude), but whatever. %% It is noble and just to dispel myths, falsehoods and untruths, right ?

The worst bit is this : copyright is supposed to help protect artist's rights and avoid spoliation. By being obnoxious and abusing copyright, this girl makes me not want to go to the cinema she works at again. I find a cinema I like and and a stupid policy and worker makes me want to not go there anymore. How is that good for artists?