No. "Fair enough" is good enough for me.
One is theft, the other isn't.
Here are two that you yourself invented:
Fact: de minimis rulings have been based on the amount of a claimed loss. You invented the irrelevance of the amount of loss.
Fact: A law is broken when a court so rules. You...
You're guessing wrong. Speaking of ethics, you're rather free with using quotation marks to attribute a position to someone who didn't use those words. Is that okay in your system of ethics? It isn't in mine.
There's a substantive difference between a minor alteration on a photo that was given...
That's pure Barney Fife. "Screw over" the photographer? How on earth would cloning out a rope "screw over" the photographer? How much money or business or reputation would he lose as a result?
Phooey. The job has already been done. At no charge. Get over it.
Looks like more cross-processing to me. In the links I gave you earlier, note how the RGB
values show what's been done. Check RGB values in the darkest shadows and brightest
highlights, and you'll see what's going on.
For example, here. Notice how high the R value is.