Fair Use

“They look awesome!”

It was a struggle for Dinny to keep his voice low. Not that there was anyone else in this part of the gallery, but as with libraries, being surrounded by works of art that were hundreds of years old made him want to whisper.

“You should calm down,” Cari said at the other end of the phone line. “I don’t want you fainting with excitement in the middle of London.” She paused as a bus roared by. “So what do you want to do to celebrate?”

“I don’t know. Maybe a bottle of wine and an early night?” His suggestion was met with laughter. “Well, your husband might now be an independent card designer, but he still has to turn up for the day job.”

Cari let out a sigh. “Yeah, I know, and I’ve got a meeting first thing, so getting drunk wouldn’t be the best idea.”

“I thought we could go out on Friday night,” Dinny suggested, “see if the guys want to join us.” What he really wanted to do was get working on another range.

“That sounds like a plan,” Cari agreed. “Now one of us has to go back to work. Enjoy the rest of your day off. I can’t wait to see the cards.”

Dinny shifted on the bench in the middle of the gallery. “Okay. See you then.”

The call cut out just as another burst of traffic was building in the background. Dinny realized he had let his voice rise and glanced around the now silent room. It was still empty; Tuesday mornings were not the most popular of visiting times. Laid out next to him were the proofs of his five new cards. He picked one up and felt the gloss of the metallic paint. It was all the better because it was his and not work he had done for someone else. He wanted show Cari right now not wait until the later. If the truth be known he wanted to show anyone and everyone.

A new wave of excitement caused his stomach to knot up and he decided he would text Cari a photo and then post it on Twitter.

He fanned out the range, turning two of them over so the text ‘Designed by Dinny Bartolli’ and the little Peanut Cards logo were visible. Then he made adjustments to avoid the reflected glare of a spotlight. He framed the shot on the screen of his phone. The first two images were not as good as he wanted so he stood up and took a picture from another angle, followed by one from around the opposite side of the bench.

“Sir, you need to stop that.”

The gruff voice made Dinny jump and he turned around to find a pair of security guards staring at him. Both had the stocky physiques of doormen which filled their blue uniforms to near bursting.

“Oh, yeah, sorry.” Dinny let his gaze fall and quickly stooped to pick up the cards. “I was just taking some pictures of these.” He waved his work at the men, then felt foolish when they seemed unimpressed.

“We know what you were doing,” the larger of the two said. “The software on the cameras picked it up and alerted us.” There was a distinct note of satisfaction in his voice at being able to mention the high tech security system.

“Okay. Right, I’m sorry.” Dinny repeated.

“You need to delete the pictures you took.” The guard indicated towards Dinny’s phone.

“And show us while you’re doing it,” the other man added.

“What?” Dinny was more surprised than confused

“We need to see you deleting the photos from your phone.” The larger man stepped forward. “The rules of the gallery are posted at the entrance; members of the general public are not allowed to take pictures of the works of art.”

Dinny pulled himself together. “Well I wasn’t taking shots of the gallery, just my cards.” He started to show them his proofs again. “Sorry if that was a problem, but I won’t do it again.”

“The computer said you had pictures of the art.”

Dinny was beginning to feel anger rise up from the pit of his stomach. “How? I only pointed my phone at the bench?” He held it up to the face of the security guard.

The uniformed man ignored the image and looked directly at Dinny. “What the system tells us is what we act on. Please delete the pictures otherwise we will confiscate your phone.”

“Seriously?” Dinny started to back away. “Look, I’m just going to leave.” He slipped the handset into a pocket and turned to head towards the exit.

“Sir, if you don’t stop we will have to restrain you.”

“Yeah. Right.” He said the words quietly, but they sounded loud in the empty gallery.

There were no further warnings. A strong grip clamped over Dinny’s shoulder. The sudden stop made him stumble forward and he lost his balance. Both he and the security guard landed on the cold stone floor. Dinny’s cards spilling out in front of him. In the background he could hear the other man calling for the police.


25 March 2011
The artist John Prince was ordered to destroy a number of his art works after a court found in favour of the photographer who’s pictures he had used.

Google have been instructed by a judge in Manhattan that they are not allowed to continue with the digitizing of books due to concerns about the copyright of such works.

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