August 14th blog, we explained why just because you
can copy something from the Internet, doesn't mean you
should copy from the Internet. A case on this very issue
that has been around for several years involved the well-known
"Hope" poster of President Obama's face made during
the 2008 campaign. The poster became one of the popular images
of the Obama campaign and many copies were sold. The creator,
Shepard Fairey, eventually fessed up that he did, in fact, create
this image based upon a photograph that was taken by Associated
Press photographer Mannie Garcia.
As reported in the Wall Street
Journal, Mr. Fairey finally agreed to pay
AP $1.6 million and also agreed to get a license before ever using
any AP photographs again. Mr. Fairey could have avoided years
of litigation (and criminal liability for lying during the civil
suit) if he had just followed the AP procedure for obtaining
permission to use the photograph. As the photographer told NPR in 2009 "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." Well said Mr. Garcia. So, again, be
very careful and cautious before you copy, cut, and paste things
found on the Internet , or anywhere else for that matter.
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