Guardian cartoonist Stephen Bell, of the paper's NUJ chapel committee, told protesters:
"Comment may be free, but content is not free. This move is theft of people's work and their right to make a living from it"-- a statement which will no doubt upset many legal purists by equating the re-use by a party commissioning the taking of a photo with 'theft'. A Guardian spokeswoman is then quoted as saying:
"This change has been introduced at a time when we are cutting back on a wide range of expenditure to ensure [the Guardian Newspaper Group] has a sustainable cost base for the future and is therefore able to continue to continue to invest in photojournalism. It means that we can reuse a photo that we paid to have taken, from 1 September, without paying the photographer again. Photographers retain copyright, and after a 60-day exclusivity period, the photographer is free to resell the picture. Our terms and conditions for freelance photographers remain among the best in the industry."In the old, pre-digital days this would have generated witty comments about one or other side in the dispute having a 'negative' attitude -- but who remembers the old negatives or the mysteries of the dark room in this day and age?