Bulent Ozgoren published an apology on the LF forum at lfphoto.info.
I believe the saying is "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"..
Whether it's sincere or not is debatable but in this hobby or profession of photography, we are the definitely the largest group of imitators around. Copying, in my opinion is what 99% of what photographers do until they develop their own style. Some never do develop their own style and just move from one copy job to another. Very occasionally someone is an original. Not often. There are hundreds of thousands of photographers and millions of photographs taken and the similarities are present in most.
As for copying, what we spend a lot of time and effort to create, it's obviously annoying, but it is also a form of flattery. Lazy as it may be. Cheryl's case is a case in point. However if the person changes a few lines, you would have a hard time suing for copyright infringement and also you have to prove loss of income to get any money back.
In the wider scheme of things, I would guess that since we copy from someone previously, there is a pretty good chance that someone will copy from us as well. There are just so many ways to see, say, and present something and that's why when we see something original we are blown away and usually say, "why didn't I think of that."
As for the original case presented, you are right, I would stay away from this person as a teacher or instructor. They are obviously offering nothing new.
In our everyday lives, we spend most of our time copying. The clothes we wear, the way we wear our hair, the cars we drive, the homes and furniture we have, the way we dress our children. If we were to follow the beat of our own drummer, we would be called strange, or worse, by our peers. We are species of conformers and copiers.
On the rare occasion that we meet an true original, is a special moment indeed.
Just an observation.
Last edited by blansky; 05-28-2004 at 11:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
As a photographer and teacher I encounter the blatant stealing of images all the time. My sixth graders were taught to do it this year. It was aquite the argument between me and the principal and the teacher. They ignored me. They honestly beleive they were doing nothing wrong. I let my dad use one of my images as a screen saver at work when he was a teacher. Next thing I know someone steals the image and passes it around. Totally pissed me off. him too. If they would have asked it would not have been a problem but everyone looked at me strange when I got mad. I really think it is a matter of ignorance. That does not make it right but it does explain a lot.
In technology professional development classes teachers are taught that it is alright. When I say "No its not!" the instructor argues with me. I have been told "it is a picture not a book, not music there is no problem?" or I get "their just kids" No one seems to understand that it is theft, plain and simple. No different than walking out of the store without paying for a candy bar.
I have yet to hear anyone but me explain that it is not a problem to write a letter and ask permission to use an image. In fact, when I have students do things that need images they have to write a letter. Not a single request has been turned down, and no one has asked for payment. With E-mail it is almost as easy as a phone call. Teachers ignore this part so they send the wrong message. They say it is alright to copy the image. They fail to mention that it is alright as long as you have permission.
If the students are being taught this then it is clear that the adults honestly beleive it is not a problem. Ignorance is depressing.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Umm, no, I would not have a hard time suing for copyright infringement. The font, format, wording, order, and everything else about it was the same on 18 slides. Two slides had slight changes. Not difficult to prove in the least, particularly since I know this person and have documentation that she viewed mine and intentionally copied. Quite easy, in fact. As far as proving loss of income, that wasn't the route I took. I gave her until the end of the day to remove it from the site, or I would begin charging her a daily rate for the use of my marketing materials. Additionally, since this person is accredited through a professional organization, she would have been stripped of her certifications and membership, which would be quite a damaging blow.
However if the person changes a few lines, you would have a hard time suing for copyright infringement and also you have to prove loss of income to get any money back.
There are ways of dealing with it.
Painters "copy" the Masters all the time; this is done to learn technique.
To take that technique and sign the painting as the "Master" is illegal.
To learn photo techniques by copying; or tying to copy is very common, and signing a copy as the "master" would not be to cool and perhaps is also illegal (i would think so).
IMO, it is not the copyig to learn with that is wrong; it is passing that work off as your original process. How many times have we all seen a photo that was set up exactly the same as (fill in the blank) and at no time does anyone even mention the original photographer; i.e. "in the manner of......."
I would love to take a shot of an eggplant i.e. edward weston; but don't,not only can't I find an eggplant that shape it would be very hard to re-create the lighting, etc.
Someone else took Cheryl creative ideas and substitute her photos, which is certainly ugly and yet a lot of us would love to take lovely photos of children ala cheryl and most of us or even any of use can't. But does that mean we can't try her technique?
I don't know the answers. What i do know that taking someone else work and putting your name on it is stealing.
I also tell my students, there is really nothing new in photography that the best we can do is try to find a new "twist" on the idea. A different approach, etc. and that is our challenge. Some do and some don't.
Earlier in the year I ran across a photo site and while browsing around,lo and behold i saw a photo so similar to something i shot in the late 50"s i couldn't believe it. Do I think someone "stole" my idea, don't have a clue; perhaps it is the collective unconsious. As Michael indicated of all the millions of photos taken there can be scary similarities
WIth all that babble; coping word for word someone else's verbiage is not an accident or a lesson in technical learning it is Plagiarism and an ethics violation.
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I do understand people trying to recreate images for the sake of learning. It's the intent and actual usage of the copy that makes it illegal, as Ann pointed out.
Because of the number and the nature of the online forums I frequent, I am constantly seeing images that are attempts to recreate mine -- VERY close copies (as I'm sure many of us on this board have experienced.) It can get annoying sometimes (extremely annoying on occasion) but it's not such a big deal to me, since usually those photographers are imitating in order to learn, rarely for profit. It's still a different image, and it will NEVER look or feel exactly like mine. However, copying text verbatim and intentionally using it as marketing is so blatantly wrong it's ridiculous.
I wrote about an assignment given by an instructor in photography: "Go and photograph something never seen before." At first it seemed to be a daunting prospect - but when one grinds really fine -- we live in a world of constantly changing images - all of which "Have never been seen before" - and in fact, will never be seen again. The light will change; the leaves on the trees and the clouds in the skies will be different; the model will never assume that precise pose again - so "copying" by working in someones else's style - in its most accurate sense - is not possible.
Emulation is defined as "Trying to equal or surpass", from the Latin word for "jealousy". Possibly "jealousy" is a little too intense - certainly I see and know of, work that I admire - a great deal - and the greatest compliment that I could give would be "I wish I had done that". I might try to emulate - that would be a logical reaction to that appreciation. I can't see that as a breach of ethics.
Linear copying - on a scanner? Well, I'm not overly sensitive to the use of my images - if someone wanted to download one from here - for discussion, or to tack on a refrigerator just to look at ... It would NOT bother me much. Someone claiming authorship - really plagarizing - or/and selling that image for a profit - would be something else .. I'd consider that as a theft.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I teach college for a living, and I see these things every day. We live in an age of the shameless ready made and the cheap simulacrum. Students hand in papers they have clearly recycled from the web - and are completely shameless about this.
They know there is little we can do. It's hard to prove: change a word here and phrase there, and it becomes their "own" work. If you point out the obvious, they'll tell you: Oh, I never wrote a paper in my life, I just didn't know that you couldn't lift entire paragraphs off of someone else's book/article (this after I had explained to them throughout the entire semester how to properly cite and attribute).
Administrators are no help either. They are solely on the side of the students. Push comes to shove, the student will go to psychological counseling and produce a document that states: Such and such has originality dysfunction disorder and cannot be taken to task for plagiarism.
Or, the dad calls. Did I mention that dad is a wealthy alumnus of this school. It's *ucking disgusting.
Lol. And this is a college that charges students 40 grand a year. No idea what the students think they are paying for. It surely isn't to get an education (in decency, for example).
Such and such has originality dysfunction disorder and cannot be taken to task for plagiarism.
Cheryl, there is your plagiarist's defense. Originality disfunction disorder. It's like insanity, it works every time. A good lawyer and they're off the hook.
You're lucky she didn't sue you for thinking of something original and then tempting her with it. Flaunting it all over the internet like that. Shame on you.
It's not her fault. It's not. It's not. It's not. It's your fault and society's.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
Or they blame the parents, in particular the mother for not teaching them better. Only so much you can do, then they have a mind of their own.
Originally Posted by blansky