Saturday, March 21, 2009

More on the Copyright Infringement for the Obama Hope Poster

On February 4, 2009 I blogged about a story that was in the news of artist Shepard Fairey who was being accused of using an AP photo of Barack Obama and digitally altering it and publishing it as a poster which has turned into t-shirts and many other items during Obama's campaign. My point was that just because it is easy now to steal images and to break copyright law does not mean it is ethically right or legal.

On March 16, 2009, there was an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal by L. Gordon Crovitz on this same news story, The Fine Art of Copyright, he said the same thing I did, that "the case of a photo-turned-poster of Barack Obama is a reminder that just because technology makes something possible doesn't make it right".

The photographer that took the original image that was used by Fairey is Mr. Garcia. Here is a quote from the WSJ op-ed piece:

"Mr. Garcia was irritated when he learned Mr. Fairey had used his photo. "When I found out, I was disappointed in the fact that someone was able to go onto the Internet and take something that doesn't belong to them and then use it," he said. "That part of this whole story is crucial for people to understand: that simply because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's free for the taking, and just because you can take it doesn't mean it belongs to you."

I agree with this from the op-ed:

"Digital technology complicates copyright, but technology doesn't override the importance of showing respect for the work of others."

I am surprised that the story was online on a blog on 2/4/09 and I blogged it on 2/4/09 and the WSJ is running an op-ed on 3/16/09 (pretty late if you ask me).

Maybe I should get a gig writing for the newspaper...

Related Post:

One Example of Why Blogs and Emails Are Sometimes Superior to Newspapers

1 comment:

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Very interesting. I heard on a radio program the other day about the 1930's style art, and how that poster looks like a Soviet style banner according to an art historian. But no one mentioned that there was a copyright infringement case going on. I wondered if I had dreamed reading your blog a while ago!