Three Colorado State Senate Candidates Called Out for Stealing and Photoshopping Protest Photo

Un-altered photo (left), Photoshopped photo (right).
Un-altered photo (left), Photoshopped photo (right).

If there’s one time you really shouldn’t steal an image and (poorly) Photoshop it, it’s probably while campaigning for a Senate seat. Colorado Republican candidates Tim Neville, Tony Sanchez and Laura Woods recently learned this lesson the hard way.

The Denver Post publicly called all three candidates out after they stole a photograph of protestors that the paper’s Eric Gorski captured on his smartphone. The photo was then Photoshopped so that the signs the protesters were holding fit with the candidates’ agenda.

Here’s the official statement from The Denver Post:

Not only does the use of the photograph infringe copyright interests, it violates other intellectual property laws by unlawfully associating The Denver Post with your campaign. It also violates basic transparency principles by altering a photograph without informing the readers. Finally, it offends the Fair Use policies in place by Twitter and creates an actionable claim by the person pictured in the photograph holding the sign.

The altered photograph did blur the protestors’ faces slightly, but between using the photo without permission and changing the text of the protestors’ signs, there’s no doubt Neville, Sanchez and Woods were in the wrong.

The three candidates agreed this past weekend to stop using the image in their campaign material.

(via Jim Romenesko)