Posts Tagged ‘derivative’

Street View Screenshots: Photography or Plagiarism?

In 2011, photographer Michael Wolf was awarded Honorable Mention in the World Press Photo 2011 contest for screenshots taken from Google Street View. It immediately sparked a debate regarding whether or not the work should even be considered “original photography”. The Independent has an interesting article about a different Street View “photographer”: Jon Rafman, whose work we’ve featured here before.

At first, [Rafman] would spend eight to 12 hours at a time traversing the globe from his desktop. “It was destroying my body,” he says. But when the images he’d collected went viral online, he began to take submissions from other users, too. Some had collected images of prostitutes at work, others presented car accidents, even dead bodies left by the side of the road – and, presumably, ignored by Google’s drivers. Many of the images in the exhibition have now been wiped from the web: the perps lined up against a wall by the São Paolo police are gone from Google Maps. A man sitting with his legs splayed strangely around a lamppost in Toronto has been blurred into obscurity.

Rafman’s images, by contrast, are almost entirely untreated. He even leaves the Google Street View navigation tool in the top-left corner of each photograph. “The work is connected to the history of street photography,” he explains, “but also to the 20th-century ready-made movement. So leaving those artefacts in the image is extremely important. In the bottom-left corner of each picture is a link that says, ‘Report a problem’.

His work, titled The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, will soon be exhibited at London’s Saatchi Gallery.

Google Street View photographs: the man on the street [The Independent]

Jim Marshall Estate Sues Thierry Guetta and Google Over Copyright Infringement

If you’ve been following us for a while you may remember the Hope poster lawsuit we reported on in January of 2010. The case pitted artist Shepard Fairey against the AP and Mannie Garcia over a photograph Garcia had taken of President Obama. Fairey, who ultimately lost the case when he admitted to having destroyed and falsified evidence, was claiming that his poster fit the definition of fair use.

Today we have a similar issue of photographs that have been altered artistically, only the players have changed to music photographer Jim Marshall’s Estate vs. Thierry Guetta (Mr. Brainwash) and Google.
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Everything is a Remix Explores the Derivative Nature of Creativity

Everything is a Remix is a fascinating four-part video series by filmmaker Kirby Ferguson that explores the concept of creativity, and how everything created has some degree of copying, transforming, or combining of old ideas. While the series isn’t specifically directed towards photographers, the ideas are quite relevant to the discussion of “original” work.
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