6 Comments

  1. I have no respect for Fairey, whatsoever. His disregard for copyright ownership and ethics is inexcusable. Even using a “snapshot” not belonging to him, without the owner’s permission, is wholly inappropriate. And then there’s his complete artistic devaluation (in his mind) of the photographic work of others, while his “work” strikes many (myself included) as nothing more than childish Photoshop garbage.

    That he is even getting publicity on NPR and elsewhere is disturbing to me. (My posting this comment only adds to it, I know. [sigh] )

  2. Dale: While I agree with some of what you say, we have to be careful not to get rid of all derivative works. Some of the most famous artworks on history are based on the work of others so while we may agree that what Fairey has done is ethically wrong, we have to be careful not to generalize it too much.

    This particular case isn’t a great one because he’s easy to dislike. He poo poos the work of others in the most arrogant way.

  3. Richard: I agree with you, and honestly, I stepped over the line by disparaging his “work” (though I spoke honestly of my feelings). That’s usually not my style. My outburst is simply the result of how strongly I feel his process exploits the creations of others, without respect or appreciation for those creations.

    I have nothing against derivative works. Painters paint scenes from inspirations found in photographic images, etc. It’s wonderful when a painter has enough consideration to contact a photographer to ask if they may paint from the inspiration found in a photograph. In some cases it’s not easy to contact the original photographer of an image (or even know who took an image), but in the case of Fairey he seems to simply troll photo sites and the like with the rightful owners clearly visible.

    One can expand on the topic of derivative works further, which gets complicated, both legally and ethically. But respecting the originator of any work to be included in one’s derivative project solves a lot of problems with those complications.

  4. Dale, the reason I don’t like to talk copyright is because I think the ethical piece trumps the copyright. Even if Fairey won in court he’s still an arrogant jerk for taking the images as he does, then talking about photography like it’s worthless and what he’s doing is adding value to it.

    If it were just a matter of simple stealing that would be one thing, but to piss on it seems to cross a line.

  5. Again, Richard, I agree. My use of the word “copyright”is more in the “human sense” rather than the “legal sense”. The law is important with regard to dispute resolution, but if one respects others, and the creative or intellectual properties they generate, legal elements don’t even need to come into play.

    Semantics may get in the way, but respecting others solves a lot of problems. :)

  6. Haha. I started the comments by stating that I don’t respect Fairey, then I ended (post #5) with “respecting others solves a lot of problems”.

    Maybe I should clarify that for me, certain actions garner forfeiture of that respect.

    Fwew! That was a close one! ;)

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