OMG ponies.

I’m a fan of the Geograph project (in case you’ve not seen it, the Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland).

It seems lots of people on the Horse and Hound forum are getting upset over pictures of horses.

For some reason, they seem to think that it’s not acceptable for photographs of horses to be on Geograph.

Um, I think they need to read up on photographer’s rights (PDF) – it’s perfectly acceptable to take pictures in and of a public place, including other people’s property. It would be an offence if the photographer was trespassing on private property without permission, but if taken from public land, it’s fine, which appears to be the case for the vast majority of photos on Geograph.

Some choice quotes:

I’ve just found a pic of the lorry park at at EC, about 20 wagons and trailers on full view!!! How are they getting away with this and how do we complain???

Have just sent an email,and will be contacting the police over it.
It is so stupid of them.
Surely they cant be putting peoples horses etc,with address on for everyone to see.surely there must be a law against this??
I am now in a panic,makes my horse an easy target.She is coloured and a sort after type,along with a few others here.

Assuming that the photographer wasn’t trespassing, the horse is visible from public land, and can be seen by anyone passing, so I don’t see that a photograph on a website is a big deal.

Even better, in a response to a perfectly rational and helpful response by Paul Dixon, a user said:

Cheeky little sod. I would ask him how he would like it if we took pictures of his child with details of where to find them so pedophiles could find it or a picture of his house with address and details of how best to break in!!!!

Ah yes, the time-honoured "won’t someone think of the children", the main support of so many irrational arguments :)

On a related theme:

I’m sure the security services would be very interested as there is pictures of the MI6 building up there! Its a terrorist’s HAVEN!

Someone posted the developer’s email address on the forum, and someone else said:

How tempted am I to spam-bot his email?

Ah yes, what a rational and sensible response.

They’ve even gone as far as creating a Facebook group to protest.

5 thoughts on “OMG ponies.”

  1. It seems like an overreaction. There must be plenty of easier ways for horse thieves to find targets, e.g. hanging around horse shows. The fact is that horses are there in fields where anyone can see them and they are vulnerable. It must be terrible to lose one.

    What’s more, some people on that forum have pictures of their horses on their posts and a location. Isn’t that a risk?

  2. Do they realise that sites like Flickr include geotagged images? So you can find horses in your area using that too, possibly with more accuracy than Geograph.Or just play around with Google Image Search.

    Does Geograph have any system for taking down pictures if someone complains?

  3. @Steve – I think if you contact the photographer in question and explain your fears politely and rationally, most will probably consider removing the image to be nice, or at least explain why it’s not a problem.

    The impression I get is that these Horse + Hounds people have been going off on one at the photographers and at Paul, which is never the way to get what you want.

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