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Is it really a new work if all you do is apply different processing?

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by Lawrence A., Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Hall of Famer

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
  2. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    In the modern music world 'sampling' of another artist's work has become commonplace. The difference is only a snippet is used and is usually taken as an homage. It is also long established in jazz to quote a highly recognisable musical passage or theme in an original composition. When the whole work seems to be substantionally copied there have been plenty of law suits instigated. So it seems the intent of the second artist is highly relevant here. With the photo to artwork example I'm not sure but I suspect it is a step too far.
     
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  3. Looks like thievery to me. Thomas stepped over the line when he failed to acknowledge the source, instead claiming it all as his own. He didnt shoot the original, he stole it. He a) should have asked and b) should have said who took the photo.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  4. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Hall of Famer

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Yes, composers have long quoted other's music as a tribute or, as with Bartok's quotation from Shostakovich's 7th Symphony in Concerto for Orchestra, to mock it. But they were quotes, easily identifiable as such and as points of reference. If someone lifted an entire movement and put it in another key with different instrumentation, it still wouldn't be his. Thank's. I like the musical analogy.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Les Klein

    Les Klein Veteran

    230
    Dec 10, 2015
    It is theft because the originator was not identified. At best, the artist should have obtained the photographers permission or acknowledgement before public display. Next best would have been to acknowledge the photographer publicly when the art was displayed. Merely claiming originality is theft/plagiarism.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    It's theft. And sadly, this scenario is becoming far too commonplace.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. donlaw

    donlaw All-Pro

    Sep 14, 2012
    Texas
    Don
    Agreed that is pure theft. Failure to acknowledge the original photographer is outrageous.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm not so clear-cut about it. He definitely stole from the original photographer, but he also created a new artwork using part of the original photograph.

    It's clearly not the same art....and it even makes a different statement. But the second one can not have been created without the first. I'd be fine with someone using aspects of one of my photos in their own art, but I'd want credit and compensation.

    So it's not straight-up plagiarism (in my eyes....that would just be regurgitating the whole thing verbatim). He has created something new, but his "ingredients" are so identifiable that there needs to be some acknowledgment.

    It would be like opening a hamburger stand across the street from a McDonald's and selling their exact hamburger and toppings on a new bun and claiming that it is not a McDonald's hamburger.
     
  9. Without permissions and acknowledgement, Luke, its still theft.
     
  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Theft, but not plagiarism. There's a thin line here that I am trying to draw.

    He fundamentally changed the work.
     
  11. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I disagree; it would be like buying a McDonald's hamburger, scraping off the topping, adding a few toppings of your own, and then claiming that you cooked it.

    It's naked theft with a side order of creativity.

    (As a writer who has had my intellectual property "misappropriated" a time or two, I'm very sensitive to these issues.)

    Cheers, Jock
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    I think the guy should not be able to profit from this. He didn’t create the work.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. BrianS

    BrianS Super Moderator

    Apr 3, 2013
    Pure and simple theft. The thief could have staged a photograph to have the "look and feel" of the original- that would have been debatable. The thief used the original photograph, and for the look of it: This thief might as well put it on a Xerox Machine set to "lighten" and claimed it was his original work.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Hall of Famer

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    He just put the original into black and white and employed a contrast mask over everything except the kids. That's changing the photo processing, not re-creating. If photographers in the digital age are going to have any kind of rights to their work this has to be viewed as a clear-cut case of copyright infringement. It's not just a reference to the original work. It IS the original work with a few tweaks. I'm with those who consider it outright theft. If you steal my gold watch and paint it grey, you've still filched my gold watch.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Top Veteran

    764
    Feb 6, 2015
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    The problem with this is that when stuff like this goes to court, there is never a cut and dry answer to what is considered "substantially changed". It is left to the court to decide that, and it is a subjective thing.

    Then we have to consider actual work versus intellectual property. If you go out and get the same location, angle, number of people, even having them wear the same or similar clothing and shoot it yourself... Plagiarism, homage, original work? Nowadays, even that is argued.

    Unless we can come up with a standard of what an art piece bring original is... This topic will always be argued.

    Then we have to determine if it even should?
     
  16. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
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