Although a new copyright in architectural works is created by the act, the privileges of the photographer have been preserved. The legislature (borrowing an idea, as Mr. S. P. Kerr has pointed out in his edition of The Copyright Act, from the laws of Denmark and Belgium) has given protection to the architect of a building of artistic character or design. But the publication of photographs of any architectural work of art is not a breach of this new right, unless the photographs are (and it is difficult to see how they can be) "in the nature of architectural drawings or plans."
Indeed the laws of England recognise no right to privacy. The photographer may not commit trespass in search of his quarry. But having got his victim in the open he may photograph him. A man has no copyright in his face. The snap-shotter may publish his work unreproved, except on the score of want of taste. If Mr. Alderman Jones tumbles on a slide, or falls asleep, an ungraceful lump in a hammock, he can no more prevent the local paper publishing photographs of him in those undignified positions than Mr. Pickwick could prevent the artist from depicting him in the pound. Judges by virtue of their inherent right to control proceedings in their courts do forbid the taking of photographs of witnesses and others, and disobedience to such an order is doubtless contempt of court. But less august persons have no such convenient power.
The only remedy for the aggrieved is the law of libel. The photographer may be reminded that it is libellous by picture, as well as by writing, to hold a fellow-creature up to ridicule, hatred or contempt. There have been pictures in the illustrated papers which excited all these emotions. No action for libel by photo graph appears to be yet recorded in the recognised reports ; time will doubtless supply that omission. That such an action has been so long delayed shows that even our vanity may be restrained by the fear of ridicule.
A DUTCH CANAL. Taken with the N.S. Reflex.
A WORCESTERSHIRE HIGHWAY.
Taken with the N.S. Reflex.