Ethics: Copying a Photograph

zulu42

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Not as in putting a image on the Xerox machine, but copying a technique. Here's the scenario:

I found an image on The Strobist blog that I really like, and I have the opportunity to re-create a very similar image. This one here:
Strobist: On Assignment: Night Chopper, Pt. 1
I'm mindful of the great skill and years of experience that were required to get this shot, and appreciate that David Hobby has provided step by step instructions that enable somebody like me to have a chance at producing something similar.

It would be mostly as a learning experience. I really have no problem ethically with that, trying to re-create somebody's image with the intent of learning and practicing, but...
What if the image turns out great, and the company wants to use the image on their website or as part of a brochure? Will I have crossed the line at that point?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.
 
Thought #1: Everything you shoot has already been photographed hundreds, if not thousands of times.

Thought #2: If you ever go to Mt Rainier National Park, you can see places along the road with a sign and yellow (or white) "uprights" on either end. These are for tourists to take the "postcard" photo without having to think about it - just line the uprights with the edge of the frame and you, too can take the same photo as thousands of others have taken.

Go for it.
 
Thank you.

If I ever go to Mt Rainier, I'm going to be a rebel, an artiste. I'll shoot between the uprights, but I'll do some awesome technique, like an instagram filter or something, so my shots will be like, totally unique.:cool-48:
 
Thanks tirediron. I prefer to have my own ideas naturally. Again, my goal is primarily to learn from the experience. This is a helicopter training company that offers a course for pilots on the use of night vision goggles. I think this type of image would be perfect for them.
 
Artists draw inspiration from drugs, alcohol, and other artists. Pick one or three.
 
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False analogy. Rod and that photo was iconic. The copy was also of Rod and that photo. Property laws give way to creativity. OP's situation is different from your cited case.

Additionally, that case went no where in the courts. Rod's team probably settled because they knew they were in the wrong. In any event, it's not relevant to OP's post.
"Iconic", "well recognized", etc., are not relevant in copyright law, unless and until determining damages. Whether it has been a copyright violation is not determined by popularity or recognizability of the images in question. It either meets with the standards lawfully defined as protected under copyright, or a violation of it.

And by the way, NOBODY pays out $2.5 MILLION if they actually think they can win the case against them.

Just thought I'd mention one of many cases that contradict the notion that this practice is A-okay. Do with it as you will.

And to the mods, relax. I'm done trying to reason with the armchair copyright attorneys around here who deem to be experts without experience. Putting this thread in my rear view...
 
Actually, you are wrong. Absolutely, everyone has rights to publicity, but you've been fallacious in comparing the Rod case to OP's situation. I see you've conceded to another poster, because you fear confrontation. I never said that plaintiff would not win. Rod was in the wrong, but that is not the same situation as OP.

Once again, you've referred to fallacy and have attacked me when I have only attacked your argument. I am not an armchair. Your poor rhetoric and attitude was not invited, and I did not mean to offend your person but your argument. You attacked my person. I respect you as another TPF member. Can we keep it that way?
 
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I remember a case similar to what the OP mentions. The original photo was of a couple walking along the street. A company later made an ad for one of their products and the agency that made the ad used a photo that was ruled by the court to be a recreation of the original and therefor violated the copyright.
In the case of the OP, it seems the plan is to recreate a photo that was presented for learning and there is a possibility that it could be used for commercial purposes. I would look at just how similar the images could be. I think that recreating the process itself would be more of an issue if there was a patent on said process.
 
I remember a case similar to what the OP mentions. The original photo was of a couple walking along the street. A company later made an ad for one of their products and the agency that made the ad used a photo that was ruled by the court to be a recreation of the original and therefor violated the copyright.
In the case of the OP, it seems the plan is to recreate a photo that was presented for learning and there is a possibility that it could be used for commercial purposes. I would look at just how similar the images could be. I think that recreating the process itself would be more of an issue if there was a patent on said process.

There are realms where an artist can infringe on another. I mean, what is property law for if it isn't to protect your copy and moral rights? If your photo was to be picked up and publicized, then yes, I agree with Buckster. You may find yourself on the bad end of property litigation. If you are simply using a technique, I'm not so sure.
 
I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. For the most part, recreating artwork is a great practice to strengthen your skills and creative inspiration. I'm sure your result will differ from the end result.
 

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