Saturday, 5 July 2008

Plagiarised photos

I found an interesting post at PDNpulse about Blog readers catch Plagerizing Photographer.

It was quite interesting as the readers of the blog identified that a photographer was copying photos taken by other photographers.  there was an uproar (maybe an overstatement) and the photographer has taken the photos down.

Makes you wonder about microstock.  Do a search for jumping fish and you will find photos taken by Yuri, G Cohen, khz, velychko, K Brown, mikdam, lisagagne (I stopped looking but I am sure there were more and that was only searching shutterstock and istock).  Did anyone notice two of the biggest names in microstock in that list. 

None of microstock versions that I linked to above are exact copies like the ones listed in blog above, but they are very close.  So how far can you go with derivative works?

Royalty Free Images


R. Kneschke said...

Another question could be: You many different shoots of cut-out fruits with a white background can you make?

Tassach said...

There is a lot of misunderstanding about copyright. The general rule is that you can't copyright an idea - only the particular expression of an idea. Just because you took a picture of a goldfish jumping out of a bowl doesn't mean I can't take the exact same shot.

There are very, very few original ideas.. just about anything you can possibly think of has been done before.

CJPhoto said...

Tassach - I agree that it isn't a breach of copyright. That is the reason the microsites allow the photos.

But that doesn't mean that it isn't plagiarism.

Definition from wikipedia: "Plagiarism is the unauthorised use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work".

I don't believe plagiarism is illegal. In most cases it is just an ethical question.

microstockinsider said...

We can all go and photograph fish jumping, but only one of us will be able to put our hands on our hearts and say 'I did it first', or more often have the satisfaction of thinking your idea was original until finding out otherwise (!).

There is little satisfaction in copying the idea of someone else unless you have developed and improved on it; to some extent every artist takes inspiration from somewhere, natural or man-made.

CJPhoto said...

Here is another example of plagiarism:

Tassach said...

Plagarism is a very specific thing -- taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own. Quoting someone verbatim in a paper isn't plagarism. Quoting someone WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION is. This is pretty clear-cut in academic circles; less so in artistic ones.

Making a new original work that is inspired by, draws from, or builds upon someone else's work isn't plagarism -- it's a natural part of the creative process. Unless you spend your life locked in a basement, you are naturally going to draw inspiration from the things you see.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.