I took my dinner suit for dry cleaning yesterday. It must be the first time in 10 years it will have been cleaned, and before packing it off I needed to clear out all the pockets of a decades' worth of detritus. In the main, I have to confess, these are bar bills, but each of these little printed dockets is a memory pickled in alcohol. Rather than just throw them away, I decided to scan them, frame them and hang them in my virtual art gallery.
I would have printed the resulting picture and pinned it to my wall, had it not been for the fact that I am making a determined effort to go paperless. My newspaper now arrives via wifi, most of my books are Kindle-ised, and I spend a little time each day scanning each new gas bill or credit card statement and then shredding the originals into the kind of material that provides bedding for guinea pigs.
Following up my comments yesterday about copyrighting old photos, I thoroughly agree with everything that Christine, Jennyfreckles and others said in their comments. Where people take their own photographs or where they research and explain old images taken by others, they deserve acknowledgement and protection from other people stealing their work. My complaint was with people who merely scan an old image which is out of copyright and then attempt to claim that they have established some kind of copyright over an image they have added no value to. Quite clearly, I have added value to the bar bills and therefore the image above is copyright Alan Burnett, 2012.