I am in a natural methods in communication class right now and we have a research project due at the end of the semester dealing with an online community and looking into it from and ethnographic position. The website we are dealing with currently is flickr.com. This site has a somewhat new feature entitled Commons. This is for international museums and school libraries to post images that have expired copyright. The point of this site is to allow people to see art on their own time and also comment on the them and make conversation.
is another site that shows professional photos and has room to comment. These comments are one word tags about the piece of art on the screen. The purpose of this site is to build an art community and help people be exposed to art in museums that may not be near them.
I feel that these sites are doing something good and making art more democratized and easier for people to see if not near a major museum. The only thing I worry about is how they take photos from people who have died years ago, and how people can easily take credit for tagging and describing them since the copyright is expired. I wonder if sites like this foster the “greased” internet information concept we learned about form our text. Sure these pictures are easily accessible but now they are easier to distribute too since all it takes is a simple clip to copy and save an image.
I am in support of a art for the people but my main concern is that people can take this art and make it their own through tags and stealing pictures and trying to get by the fact the copyright has expired.