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Saturday, 15 September 2007


I share your disgust. Here in The Capitalist Paradise, ends have become FAR more important than means (just look at consumer debt for confirmation). I think we're going to see a lot more of this on the road ahead.

This has gone beyond plagiarism to theft or at least conversion.
He was selling these photos after all.

I think plagiarism has extreme connotations about the perpetrators. If you love art and intelectual work in particular, plagiarism is the single most self denigratory act, it's admitting you can't do it, and accepting honors that you didn't earn. Hence, for a true artist, plagiarism should be nearly impossible, because the creative drive in itself is not compatible with plagiarism, a sane ego would reject it.
On the other side, the regular plagiarist is a fraud who has no appreciation for the discipline he profits from. Being a plagiarist doesn't hurt his ego because he's not interested in creativity in the first place. Even fuirther, he could be a con artist, closer to an actor if you please, that gets a kick from a well executed scam.
In short, plagiarists might be artists, but not in the discipline they pretend to be.

Interesting! Today shame on stealing photos. A few day ago instructions on how to steal, oh excuse me "unlock", music.

Interesting moral standards. I guess it's ok we are photographers not musicians.

"Interesting! Today shame..." (etc.)

What an asinine thing to say. DRM obstructs fair use. Defeating DRM does not imply or encourage any crime against the copyright owners of music. It merely restores to the purchasers of the music all of the exact same privileges of fair use that they have enjoyed at all times in the past--the same basic rights of fair use that you have with any CD you purchase in a store. Any postulated crime would be a further step, for you, or me, or anybody, for storebought music, or for downloaded music. There's no crime implied or inherent in removing DRM from a music file.


I certainly wouldn't support O'Donnell's theft. I do have three thoughts about it:

1. I would like to know if he did this out of greed (either monetary or psychological, in the sense of getting a buzz out of the credit), or out of desperation. If it was the latter -- if he was sick, or someone close to him was, and he desperately needed the money, I still wouldn't approve it, but my reaction would stop short of disgust.

2. I'm astonished that he got away with it for so long. I mean, these are famous photos. John Jr. saluting his father? One of the most famous photos of the 60s. I'm surprised he wasn't selling Vietman photos, like the 'Napalm girl.'

3. And I thought, Hmmm, there may be an opportunity here. If he was making a living doing this, why doesn't somebody set up a reprint agency and market unlimited edition reprints at reasonable prices, just like he did. A lot of these guys who were surprised to hear what he was doing don't seem to be marketing their very-famous photographs. I wonder if they even own the rights? Was O'Donnell stealing from them (and let's face it, stealing was what he was doing) or from some giant photo agency?


I believe in most cases the photographers don't own the rights.

I had steam coming out of my ears while reading this story. It's bad enough that Mr. O'Donnell did what he did, but to blame his mistakes on illness is infuriating, especially the comment by his son. In my mind, I can't distinguish the severity of his crimes, and the unsavory cover-up, from O.J.'s. Rot in hell!

Just for setting the record straight, Mr. Stoughton's first name is Cecil. Nixon had him fired for wearing his trademark bright red plaid coat at an outdoor event. He's lived in nearby Cocoa Beach for decades and is surprisingly humble about his remarkable body of work--a true gentleman.

Dear Player,

OK, you've got to be kidding. You really can't distinguish between a nonviolent theft of property and the murder of a human being?

If that's not mere hyperbole (and in poor taste at that) you need to develop a sense of perspective.

As for the son's comments, what would you expect him to say? Suppose you beloved father had recently died and suddenly everyone as telling you he was thief and a fraud? Mightn't you try to find some way to rationalize it in your mind? It's wrong and it's ignorable, and it's very human and it's entirely harmless.

Move on, bro'.

pax / Ctein

"Do your own work. Give credit where credit is due. Claim no glory that isn't yours. It's something that every schoolchild is, or should be, taught."

If only it could be so. Unfortunately, there remain few schools where such a thing as personal responsibility is taught or encouraged. As a result, plagiarism is rampant.

Ctein, before I "move on," I just want to point-out that O.J. is someone who would do anything to NOT be held accountable for his crimes, and it's happening again with his recent denial about his lack of guilt regarding his robbery escapade/ "sting operation." And yes, you're right, brutal murder and "intellectual theft" are not comparable.

Having recently lost my mom, I can sympathize with O'Donnell's son, but using "spin control" to publically distort the truth is, to me, disgusting and spineless.

Movin' on . . . .

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