How is this legal?

Josh66

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http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003692111

The record-breaking Prince image is from his untitled cowboy series – in which Prince photographed sections of Marlboro cigarette ads and enlarged the photos to an enormous size. [...]

Prince's works have been a source of controversy, with some saying that his technique uses other photographers' work without giving them due credit. But the debate has done nothing to slow the popularity of Prince's work, judging by the increasing prices and press coverage of a current exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

This guy got $3.4 million for enlarging someone else's work. WTF!?
 

Battou

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Josh66

Josh66

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When I first opened the article I thought, "wow, that looks just like a Marlboro ad", I couldn't believe it actually was one.

I don't see how that is any different than me printing out any of the many photos on here and selling it as my own.
 

Battou

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When I first opened the article I thought, "wow, that looks just like a Marlboro ad", I couldn't believe it actually was one.

I don't see how that is any different than me printing out any of the many photos on here and selling it as my own.

There is a difference, But I don't know enough about his stuff to garentee accuracy.

But assuming I am reading it correctly, basically what it is that he is doing is along the lines of say, Photographing half to three quarters of the painting "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" and calling something else with no mention of Seurat and changing it's meaning. As opposed to forging or even steeling the painting and claiming it as their own. I think, more or less.


Either way you look at it it's not right, but it may be a loop hole.
 
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Josh66

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There is a difference, But I don't know enough about his stuff to garentee accuracy.

But assuming I am reading it correctly, basically what it is that he is doing is along the lines of say, Photographing half to three quarters of the painting "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" and calling something else with no mention of Seurat and changing it's meaning. As opposed to forging or even steeling the painting and claiming it as their own. I think, more or less.
There may be a legal difference (I'm no lawyer...), but morally I think it is the same as stealing.

I understand what you're saying, but even if it's just a portion of it - I still think it's stealing... I know you're not saying that it's OK, but even in the situation you're describing it's highly immoral in the least - and criminal in my opinion.
 

LaFoto

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This Richard Prince placed himself in front of a Marlboro poster, snapped part of it, and is now making 3.4 millions from that one little snap off something someone else had photographed before him?

To me, that is ... yes: immoral (also per part of those who pay that amount of money for it!, as buying that photo for such a price adds to his believing he did immensely right and well!) and ... if illegal ... I don't know, but it sure, sure, sure does not feel right!

But on the other hand I also fail to understand the buyers!
 
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Josh66

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This Richard Prince placed himself in front of a Marlboro poster, snapped part of it, and is now making 3.4 millions from that one little snap off something someone else had photographed before him?
Yeah, I think that's pretty much how it went down.

Imagine if this was your photo... I would be pissed.

He basically just cropped someone else's work and sold it.
 

Hertz van Rental

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It just goes to show that there is, as Barnum is supposed to have said, a sucker born every minute.
If Prince can find someone stupid enough to pay him that much money for so little effort then I can only wish him the very best of luck.

And don't feel too badly for the guy who did the Marboro' add - he would have been very well paid for his work and anyway the client owns the copyright, not him. So if Prince is 'ripping off' anyone it is the tobacco company.
 

shundaroni

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I think this serves to validate a discussion in another thread about marketing being the most important element of publicly-renowned photography. There are two reasons why people buy this jackass's photos: their novel size ("oh wow! It's HUGE!") and their controversial nature ("oh wow! It's NONCONFORMIST!").

The buyers of "fine art" are, by and large, complete idiots. The artists that sell to them know this, and spend more time marketing than actually creating their work. Do you honestly think Prince thought it would be artistically meaningful to steal ad images and blow them up? Or did he simply know how the artistic buying community worked? Taking a cue from Warhol, he took a familiar image and made it bigger, and morons ate it up.

Good for him. Why not make a few million off of gullible buyers?
 

nicfargo

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I personally would not do this, probably because I have a soul, but congrats to him for making a ridiculous amount of money on someone else's work. 100 inches is still less then 10 feet, so this thing is not all that big. He probably used a digital medium format, or maybe even a large format camera, did some cropping and called it good. Talk about an easy life of work (who wouldn't be able to live the rest of their life on the 2 million he made if they invested right).
 

rob91

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Art at it's dumbest, but hey, if the big bucks are in snapping someone else's work then maybe it's worth a shot.
 

monkeykoder

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All I have to say is I wonder what kind of drugs the guy was on that BOUGHT that.
 

Neuner

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I don't see how that is any different than me printing out any of the many photos on here and selling it as my own.

I think there is a lot of gray area with what he has done. It's not the same as directly printing off someone else's work, he snapped a photo of something that was publicly displayed.

It's immediately recognizable and appealing because of marketing from Marlboro. Without them I would see this photo as even more pointless.

I see this as gray area b/c how is this different than taking a photo of part of a larger one versus photographing sculptures, water-fountains, architecture, a car, etc. Each of these stand as someone else's creation but yet there are photos out there of these things. Where is the line drawn? I guess by what the courts decide when/if someone sues.
 

jstuedle

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I see this as gray area b/c how is this different than taking a photo of part of a larger one versus photographing sculptures, water-fountains, architecture, a car, etc. Each of these stand as someone else's creation but yet there are photos out there of these things. Where is the line drawn? I guess by what the courts decide when/if someone sues.

I doubt there will be any 600 Y.O. sculptors filing suit in the near future to settle case law.
 

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