At what point does inspiration turn into plagiarism? That’s the question that popped up last year when Rhianna was sued by David LaChapelle over scenes found in one of her music videos, and it’s the same issue with a lawsuit recently filed by photographer Janine Gordon against photographer Ryan McGinley. Gordon claims that 150 of McGinley’s images — including some used for a Levi’s ad campaign — are “substantially based” on her photos. In the three pairs of disputed images shown above, the ones on the left are by Gordon and the ones on the right by McGinley.
Turns out turning photographs into stencils isn’t transformative enough to be defended as “fair use”. In a case that has many similarities to the Shepard Fairey vs. AP legal battle, a judge ruled earlier this week against graffiti artist Thierry Guetta after Guetta (AKA Mr. Brainwash) had used a “stencil-ized” photo of Run DMC by Glen E. Friedman to promote an exhibition, concluding that Guetta’s piece didn’t differ enough from the original image to be considered fair use.
What are your thoughts on this issue? How much does a photograph need to be transformed before it is considered a new piece of art?
(via Boing Boing)
Image credits: Photograph of Run DMC by Glen E. Friedman
In November 2010, Talking Points Memo published an article that included a wire photo taken on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. Yesterday they received a cease and desist letter from the NYSE claiming that photos of the trading floor cannot be displayed without the NYSE’s permission, and that it owns trademark rights to images of the floor:
NYSE has common law and Federal trademark rights in and to NYSE’s name and images of the Trading Floor […] NYSE owns Federal tradmark rights in one depiction of the Trading Floor and common law rights in the Trading Floor viewed from virtually any angle […] Accordingly, NYSE has the right to prevent unauthorized use of its Trademarks and reference to NYSE by others. [#]
You can read the two page C&D letter here. What are your thoughts on this?
(via Boing Boing)
Image credit: NYSE trading floor (tilt-shifted) by champura
With its photography-related businesses struggling and no end in sight to its stock’s free fall, Kodak is turning to patent infringement lawsuits as a way to generate revenue. The company is currently in a patent dispute with Apple (iPhone) and RIM (Blackberry) over a patent it holds for previewing image on camera phones, and hopes to generate over $1 billion in royalty revenues if it comes out victorious. Previously Kodak had used this same patent to win nearly $1 billion from Samsung and LG.
Of the $7.2 billion in revenues Kodak generated in 2010, $838 million was from patent royalties. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a sustainable strategy for the company to stop being “Apple in reverse”.
Image credit: Fight Night Punch Test by djclear904
Earlier this year photographer Daniel Morel was shocked when a photograph he captured during the devastating earthquake in Haiti and posted to TwitPic was distributed by Agency France Presse (AFP) and published on the front page of newspapers around the world — all without his permission.
To add insult to injury, he was then sued by AFP when he sent cease and desist letters in response to the copyright infringement. The dispute has turned into a legal battle over whether images uploaded to TwitPic and shared on Twitter can be freely republished by third parties. In what might be an indication of things to come, a federal court has denied AFP’s pre-trial request to have the case thrown out.