[Air-L] A question of Open Source ethics

paul caplan praxis at theinternationale.com
Sat Jan 16 03:35:25 PST 2010

Hi. I'm after a bit of advice from wiser souls!

I am developing an AHRC-funded, practice-based PhD 
(http://olympicarcades.theinternationale.com) at Birkbeck, University of 

In short I am exploring Flickr as a space for imag(in)ing the London 
2012 Olympics through the development of a mobile phone App(aratus) 
using a model based on Benjamin's Arcades Project.

The question I have is about collecting the Flickr rags 'n refuse.

I will be pulling images from Flickr into the App allowing users to see 
the distributed imagery. So far so simple, no real issue over browsing 

However I also want to use the App(aratus) to screengrab those images 
and add them back onto Flickr where they will become part of the 
distributed imag(in)ings. Furthermore, following Benjamin, I want to 
screengrab/'quote' and annotate those images with textual commentary. 
Both of these sets of images would be on my Flickr page.

The App(aratus) would also allow the user to screengrab the flow of 
images and upload to their Flickr pages (which would then be pulled back 
into the flow).

All these quoted and annotated images would include links back to the 

In short, what are the ethical issues here about 'photographic quoting'. 
I know there is a long tradition of postmodern imagers like Levine 
rephotographing and then displaying images but this is slightly 
different. Obviously if I was only 'using' Creative Commons images, 
there would be no problem, but part of the issue I am looking at is the 
broader issue of network imag(in)ing and ideally I don't want to rule 
out any distributed 2012 images.

Do people think there are any research ethics issues here?

Any thoughts welcome.

paul caplan
content to be different
the Internationale

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