After years of searching for a set of vintage nightstands, Clint and I hit the road last weekend to Louisville, KY, to buy a pair he found on Craigslist. Yes, we did drive 4 hours to Louisville, because there were 2, count 'em, 2, matching, vintage nightstands, in beautiful shape. We have been on the lookout for these for at least 5 years—vintage nightstands seem to come in 1s, and not 2s.
Once we'd procured our purchase, we wandered Louisville for a while, then drove back towards Nashville, Indiana for the night. On Sunday we leisurely meandered our way home, pulling over or turning around when something caught our eye.
Somewhere in Indiana, something did catch my eye: a spectacular old car—not sure what kind, but think Model T—in front of an antique shop. The owners had covered the car with all kinds of fun stuff. A sink faucet sat atop the radiator. Floorboards are covered with house keys, and the dashboard had old wrenches mounted all over it. There were flower pots and antlers and gears and fan blades—it was a sight to behold!
We browsed inside and out for awhile, and I stopped to take a photo of the car before we took our leave. While I did so, the owner quickly stepped outside and asked me "What are you going to do with your photos? Are they for your own personal use?"
On the spot, I could only think that I'd probably have sent the pic to my son, but that seemed like personal enough use, so I said, "Um, uh yes," whereupon she retreated back inside.
I am still a bit curious at what she thought I might have done with that
phone-photo. Print it and make millions, without giving them royalties?
I work in publishing, where pirating and copyright infringement is rampant. I have signed cease-and-desist letters. I have a reasonable understanding of plagiarism, and have spent a fair amount of time trying to decipher the often-blurred lines of intellectual and creative property.
I understand that when we take a photo of an artist's work, we do kind of walk away with something that was theirs. I could never afford this so I'm going to take a picture of it for free and keep that instead. That's offensive. You shouldn't do that.
Perhaps that's the category this old car fell into, but I still feel like I'm missing something—why on earth would the owners lure you into their shop with this spectacle, and then verbally police the photography? How exhausting for everybody. A better tactic might be a sign reading "Take a picture with our Jalopy—$1" or even "By God, No Photos!"
In all honesty, I probably would have posted my photo on Facebook, along with the name and address of their business, and I would have encouraged about 700 of my friends to pull over and check it out for themselves. If it were my junky little antique store, I would surely capitalize on my spectacular creation and ask you to tell everybody to come out and see it.
But that's just me. The bottom line is that the owners have their reasons, and I am absolutely not entitled to take any photo I want to.
I respect that.
Here's a photo of my nightstand.*
*Image of this nightstand Copyright 2015, Lori Stewart Weidert. All right reserved. No form of reproduction of this image, including copyrighting or saving of digital image files, or the alteration or manipulation of this image is authorized unless accompanied by written permission granting specific usage rights for an agreed-upon fee of a hundred million dollars. This image may not be legally reproduced without prior written authorization from Lori, beyond the screen you are currently viewing. This photo is not freeware. For information regarding commercial or personal use, contact Lori at this blog.