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The Dead Tree DINOs Roar On

From Hot Air, word that the AP is suing the creator of the iconic Obama poster that defined the “unified message/diffused effort nature of the campaign. By their account, the court will likely come down on Fairey’s side:

The nature of the copied work is simple documentary photography of a press conference, not something fictional or highly creative. And the poster doesn’t reduce the value of the AP photo; if anything, it greatly increases it. The only factor that cuts the AP’s way is number three, the fact that Fairey swiped pretty much the whole image to make his poster — but then, that’s what Google does to make its thumbnails and everything’s copacetic with that. Verdict: Fairey wins in a walk. Rock on, “rebel” establishment hagiographer!

Some might expect me to express schadenfruede over the lawsuit, but really, I’m on Fairey’s side with this one. (Plus, however creepy and Che-esque the image may be, it really helped coalesce Obama’s strategy, and you can’t argue with success) With the explosion of the availability of images, sound and video over the internet, there has been alot of discussion over copyright, and with good measure. I respect AP’s copyright and the work they do; however, when they ferociously defend their copyrights in such a manner and almost seek to limit their relevance to the professional newsmakers, they’re actually harming their reputation. With freely available material, news websites have made possible an explosion in citizen activism. Whether they like it or not, the challenges bloggers make to the mainstream media actually help bolster their position, as they will always be a need for “reputable” organizations with the resources and reach of traditional news organizations. Markets thrive on choice, and we’ve already seen the value of competition. However, when news organizations such as AP want to make themselves available to only one player, they’re sealing their destiny in the dustbin of history.

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