Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fair Use?

If I make a photograph of the Eiffel Tower or the Vietnam War memorial or let's say a mural on the side of a building--all of which I have indeed done (see examples below)--should the artist whose work I'm recording get a cut of any income I might make? Or do you think maybe a vindictive law suit is in order? Apparently, this is how some asshole "artists" think.

I, of course, find it a completely absurd proposition. Because, well... it is!

See this (over at Bob Krist's place): Photog Fragged By Fair-Use-F**king Footprint Artist...


  1. Mike,

    This is an interesting topic, and one I would like to explore more. I think that public spaces are, and should be "fair game"...

    Art, and certainly other people photographs...that become tricky. I seem to remember an argument that if a certain percentage of your photographic expression is organic than it can embody the "art work" of others without an infringement on the original artist...but as your link clearly expresses, not everyone is on the same page about this!

    To each his own...I am all for artistic interpolation.

    Cheers, Jeremy

  2. Yes. Street photography and "travel" photography would take a huge hit if every work of art was completely off limits, which is what that lawsuit would suggest. People enjoying the work of a photographer or painter in a gallery would be impossible to cover.

    This of course is not the same thing as Richard Prince appropriating Sam Abell's cowboy photograph and making it his own. That takes some balls!

  3. I think this falls under derivative works. Has this happened?

  4. This will never fly. Unless, the image was sold for a commercial use. Any editorial use should be covered under a fair use provision.

    Basically though, the artist is being an asshole.