On Gods & Photographers in Second Life

Goodnight Photography (moderate)

Every now and then a photographer I enjoy will decide to get their own sim. When that happens, as in the case of Goodnight Photography, those of us who love to capture inworld images are treated to a landscape that offers visual beauty and also takes our peculiar needs into consideration.

For example, I completely understand the presence of shadow prims. However, if you’ve set up your windlight at say 3 pm, and those fixed shadows represent noon, then you do a lot of derendering.  Goodnight’s sim didn’t cause me any of those issues – my only problem was sticking to 5 photos for this post. :)

Goodnight Photography (moderate)

There was news this week that could affect photographers in all realities. You will have trouble believing this, but Amazon was awarded a patent for taking photographs (or making videos) in front of a seamless white background.

No really! The patent number is US 8,676,045 and it was awarded on March 18 of this year.

I understand your confusion. After all, it’s not like this is a brand new idea. A few articles I read pointed to the concept of “first entity to file“- which simply means, if you’re the bright spark who files the patent application, you might get it.

Goodnight Photography (moderate)

Although the patent application specifies a number of things (lens, distance, etc.,) there’s a cool paragraph near the end that says other configurations would be considered part of this patent.

Why would they do that? Corporations like to make money and this would certainly have great potential, but another theory I saw might be the answer. Some seem to think this is Amazon’s way of making fun of Apple and their incessant need to patent everything (for example page turns).

So, a benign view of this bizarre development is that they’re just joshing …. poking fun …. like a giant practical joke that is aimed at another corporate godzilla.

Goodnight Photography (moderate)

Here’s my problem with that. The idea that it’s a patent application designed to point out the folly of the patent process and, at the same time, allege unreasonable exploitation by Apple, reminds me of something else.

You might be old enough to remember those movies about the Gods on Olympus playing board games with pieces that were actually mortals down on earth. They’d get so focused on beating their opponent that they’d forget (to be generous), or just didn’t care, that their actions had a far reaching (and often devastating) impact on real people trying to live their daily lives.

I have enough difficulty accepting that Corporations are people. This kind of self-indulgent game is far too much like roleplaying superhuman divinity. They all need to be sent to their rooms without supper.

Goodnight Photography (moderate)
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8 Comments

  1. Regarding Amazon’s patent, the answer to this plague is easy, but needs cojones:

    1. Invalidate ALL patents.
    2. Abolish patents.
    3. Sack ALL patent office personnel
    4. Send said personnel out for psychiatric rehabilitation and then back to elementary school.

    Reply
  2. Patenting using a white screen for photography. My, my, what will they think of next?
    This whole thing is disturbing enough, but what really gets me is the “corporations are people” gambit. That. Is. Ridiculous. Corporations are MADE UP OF people, but they are not people. No. They are impersonal shells that hold people and their ideas – created to cover said people and said ideas in case they don’t work out (the ideas, especially, but the people too). They are like prisons, in some instances – cold and dark and inhuman (and inhumane). When they are prisons, they are stolid and stone-faced and impenetrable. Who knows what goes on inside!
    On the other hand…gatherings of people CAN be wonderfully generative – creative and warm and alive with ideas and compassion. These gatherings – consortia, collaborations, etc. – don’t need to be officially labeled as being people. That. Is. What. They. Are.
    And never the twain shall meet.
    Interesting post (with a lovely place to visit!). Sorry for the diatribe. (Not.)
    xox

    Reply
  3. Has anyone patented taking photo’s of people, yet? What about photo’s of sunsets? Wonder how soon they will? What about taking photo’s while listening to music?

    Reply
  1. On Gods & Photographers in Second Life | Se...
  2. On Gods & Photographers in Second Life | Se...

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