The Bristol Railway Archive

Main Line Steam
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Author:  the green mile [ Sun May 12, 2019 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Main Line Steam

I see in the news this morning on teletext that Network Rail are threatening to ban Flying Scotsman from the main line due to the chaos caused by enthusiasts and photographers trespassing on the lineside to secure that special shot. There will always be those out there who think that the rules are put in place by jobsworths and don't understand why they are there so can be arbitrarily ignored. The few who spoil it for the rest!


Author:  jules [ Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Main Line Steam

Quite agree Roy. Pain in the proverbial!

My personal gripe with photographers is their jealous guarding of their "work", regardless of the fact they neither contribute to nor have any interest in the subjects of their attentions.

You try using one of their photographs of one of your own locos somewhere, or getting even the smallest donation out of them for the privilege of putting your asset in their picture! Or even worse, actually suggesting they might like to spend some time coming to help with maintenance and upkeep. Impossible!!

If we had a £1 for every time one of our locos has appeared for free in somebody else's photograph, which they then go on to make money out of, DEPG would probably have a fleet bigger than British Rail's!

I might start sending small bills out every time I see any of our locos appear in a picture and see how many get paid or how many a following legal demand will turn into a picture of some empty railway line :D

Author:  horace [ Thu May 23, 2019 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Main Line Steam

As a photographer I take issue with what you are saying. My work is my copyright like it or not. That is the law and I abide by the law. As to the accusation that we make no contribution to heritage railways is in my view a personal insult to me and my colleagues who work many hours on heritage railway projects and have made many financial contributions to heritage railways and locomotives. To get the photographs I have taken has cost me thousands in equipment and many hours processing the images. I do not take snaps that's why i guard and will guard my copyright. To find myself being insulted for such photographs does nothing to encourage me to post the ones I take.
I find it staggering that you think photographers like Ivo Peters, Rex Coffin, Colin Maggs etc have not made any financial contribution to railway heritage, and what about artists such as Philip Hawkins, Eric Treacy etc. Ok maybe not they have not financed directly but to some extent you could argue that without those photographers and artists there would be no heritage railways, they are the people that have kept it alive by putting it in the public eye.
Perhaps its me that should be sending you a bill for free world wide advertising.

Author:  the green mile [ Mon May 27, 2019 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Main Line Steam

Some interesting arguments here. Do intellectual rights extend to an image of a tangible asset? When I walk along the seafront at Weston I see post cards depicting the Grand Pier. Does the photographer or publisher have to pay royalties to the pier owners for using an image of their property? I have no idea.

As regards photographers supporting heritage railways there is no obligation to do so. If I choose I can stand by the lineside, take photos and have them published while making no financial or physical contribution to the organisation and I expect there are a selfish few who do so. I'm sure the majority like Horace and myself do put something back in but that is purely by choice.


Author:  horace [ Mon May 27, 2019 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Main Line Steam

Strictly speaking taking photographs on stations for personal use is permitted by Network Rail. Photographs for commercial use carry the requirement that permission is needed from Network Rail.
Photographs taken from a public place do not carry that requirement unless the photograph is purely of a tangible asset. In other words a photograph that shows nothing other than a network rail asset needs permission. If that asset is a part of a greater image then it does not. Put simply a close up photograph of a signal needs permission, a signal in photograph that is part of the landscape does not. As to where the line between the two falls is unclear.
The same could be argued for a locomotive, a close up of the locomotive that has nothing else in it strictly speaking requires permission. A photograph of that locomotive which is part of a bigger photograph, such as with coaches and within a landscape does not. Again so long as taken from a public place.

Network rail requirements can be found here. ... -stations/

I would imagine that most locomotive operators take the view that having photographs of their trains on websites etc. is free advertising and as long as the photographer is not making a fortune from that photograph why should they complain, after all if there were no photographs around of their trains then there would be no way of gaining income. Why would people make contributions to something they cannot see as a lot of those that contribute are not in a position to stand lineside to see these trains.

A lot of these rules are open to interpretation. Lets take the example of street photography. A photograph of someone lets say sitting on Weston sea front that is filled with a background showing the Grand Pier in all its glory can be argued to be a photograph of that person and not the Grand Pier. A photograph of a train spotter stood in front of their favourite locomotive which fills the whole background can be argued to be a photograph of the spotter and not the locomotive.

The whole subject is full of smoke and mirrors and fuzzy interpretations.

But I go back to my original point, why is it being seen that photographers that take photographs of trains are supposedly not making a contribution to the operations of those trains. Magazines such as Steam, Heritage Rail etc. would not exist without photographs and where do most of the train operators raise their funds, from the readers of such magazines, that's why the train operators don't chase the photographers and magazines for copyright fees.
They mutually benefit one another.

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