Space Shuttle Endeavour Rises Above the Cloud Deck

After Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on its final mission, a woman named Stefanie Gordon snapped a photograph of it from her Delta airlines seat using her iPhone, sharing it with friends and family through TwitPic. Though it quickly went viral, and was shared all over the media, Gordon was only paid by five media organizations for licensing rights to the photo. The Red Tape blog over on MSNBC wrote a great post a couple days ago bringing the issue of copyright infringement to the public’s attention:

In a world where social media users, bloggers and even some professional journalists are increasingly comfortable simply copying the work of others and republishing it, can intellectual property rights survive? Can original content survive? And what should the world do when an amateur photographer takes a newsworthy photo and shares it on a social network?

We didn’t share Gordon’s photo here on PetaPixel because we never got her permission to do so (she never responded to our requests). Luckily for us, NASA just published this awesome (non-copyrighted) photograph of the launch that you can freely share and republish.

That famous space shuttle photo: When is sharing stealing? (via The Online Photographer)

  • Gus

    What I don’t understand is, what is the difference between this photo and the hundreds of other photos and videos that are reposted on this blog? Does PetaPixel get permission for every post? If you give the author full credit when is it wrong to repost a picture? (Just using this bog as an example)

  • Michael Zhang

    For videos, people usually upload them to YouTube or Vimeo with sharing enabled, allowing anyone to embed the videos into other websites.

    The difference is the licensing rights. For most of the photos we display here, if we haven’t first asked permission then it was probably licensed under a Creative Commons license. The issue between commercial/noncommercial is somewhat of a gray area, but here’s a helpful post on it:

    Check the “image credits” line at the bottom of posts that we publish. If it says “used with permission”, then we first asked permission from the image owner.

  • Kgilbert

    interesting that you have edited NASA’s photo.

  • Anonymous

    Um, looking at the 2 photos,it looks like nasa just reposted the image for free – unless the plane Nasa was on was in the SAME EXACT location as her plane, the angles, clouds and plume are all in identical locations..
    NASA – You got some ‘Splaining to do!

  • Pingback: Why I abandoned Twitpic photo-sharing | ZDNet()

  • Maura

    The NASA images were taken by a training aircraft.  Please look at the photos side-by-side.  It is obvious.

  • Slvrscoobie

    I did, they look identical to me.. rockets in the same position, same angle from plume to shadow, how are they different. point out 3 things that are different other than the processing (color, range, contrast..)

  • Anonymous

    Two different pictures Scoobs.  You are comparing the picture here with the one on astronomy picture of the day.  Those are the same (with the exception of a color balance shift)  Her picture is a completely different height, distance and angle

  • Slvrscoobie

     ah, so to avoid problems, they blogged about 1 photo, and showed another.. no wonder it looked identical..

  • Michael

    The two pictures are totally different.  The Twitpic one is clearly taken after the NASA one….  

  • Gus

    Thanks Michael- I appreciate the reply!

  • Pingback: Why I abandoned Twitpic for photo-sharing()