Leigh Beadon over at Techdirt has an unconventional response to the LA Times ant story involving an artist who sketched one of my photographs:
There can be little doubt that the illustration is directly copied from the photo. But the question is, what creative contribution did Wild make himself?
...Wild's work could never have existed without the ant itself, and it seems like the primary purpose of the image is simply to document the appearance of the species. Facts aren't covered by copyright, and that's not just a legal nuance, it's a reflection of common sense: just because we observe and collect factual information about the world—even if we are the first to do so—doesn't mean we deserve any control over that information.
Rephrased, photographs of natural scenes are basic knowledge, and no one should own that.
Let's extend this argument one step further. Because photographs of the natural world are facts, and because facts serve a public good, camera manufacturers like Canon should provide free gear to anyone who takes nature photographs. Web hosts should provide wildlife photographers with free server space. And restaurants- especially the Black Dog Smoke & Ale House, for example- should give us all free lunch.
It's for the public good, after all.