Questions about Plagiarism and Copyrights

This is my first day of down time in a LONG…LONG time! Its nice in its own way, but I like being busy. Being busy is an excuse for me to not fulfill my obligations, hee,hee! No seriously, when I have down time I get the chance to catch up on emails, blog posts, comment, like, and respond to pictures & messages on facebook. I also get the chance to watch some documentaries and write reviews on them. :) I enjoy that. Now it will be easy for me to get my 30 day photo project done. This way if I come up w/an idea that doesn’t pan out after the photo is taken I have time to take more photos w/a different idea. I have kept to the 30 days so far and not used old photos. Each photo was taken the day of the project.

My mind has wondered off a little lately into the case with Chad Love-Lieberman. If you haven’t heard, this douchebag stole massive amounts of work from Deviant Art and sold them for hundreds of dollars each. He stole work from over 300 artists and claimed them as his own works. The full story can be found all around the web, just google or Bing the name “Chad Love Lieberman” and it will all come up.

Where my mind wanders is into the copyright debates… Clearly Lieberman STOLE work COMPLEATLY illegal, rather he sold pieces or not, it is completely illegal what he did. No bones about it. You hear so much about copyrights and such, that information is easy to come by. But what about plagiarism? I mean simply copying an idea? One reporter that wrote a little on the Lieberman subject brought it up. He pointed out that Deviant Art website its self is in violation of copyright laws.

See, there are tons of artist over on that site that do “Fan Art.” Most of the time that is illegal. You can’t go out and draw up a picture of Micky mouse and slap it on a t-shirt and sell it, that’s illegal and Disney will come after you over it. Even if it only kinda sorta looks like Micky, they’ll get’cha. Deviant Art makes millions, tons of millions each year by the commission off the artist’s work. You buy a poster over there, Deviant makes x amount off of it. They very rarely bust their own artist for plagiarism. They ignore it unless a company complains, makes reports against, and threatens to sue them using well know images and icons such as Micky mouse. (I am starting to wonder if I am in violation of their rights by using Mickey’s name in this blog, LOL)!

My Q would be, What about situations like Rosie Hardy? Or the Harper Collins vs Nathália Suellen case?
What I found most interesting about the Harper Collins and Suellen case is that over on Deviant Art under the post from Suellen about the situation, most fellow Deviant-Art-ens felt that she had a case against Collins, but in the post at boingboing, where the two pictures/illustrations/artwork were placed SIDE BY SIDE, people clearly, overwhelmingly felt as though it was different enough so it was NOT in violation of copyright infringement. I certainly felt that way too. You shouldn’t be allowed to copyright an “idea” for a picture/artwork. In other words, I shouldn’t be allowed to be the only person that is allowed to take a photo of a flower with water droplets on it. I should not be allowed to copyright that as an idea. I should be able to copyright my, MY WORK, but not the idea of it. That would be ridiculous.

However, my opinion differs on the Rosie Hardy plagiarism situation. The reason being she copied photos a strut for a strut. The one that sticks out the most to me is the black and white photo of her next to a chair with a cat on it. That photo has disappeared from the web all together, but there are plenty of examples. Plus the original photos she copied were very unique and different. I definitely think that it hurt Rosie Hardy’s reputation in the long run. Especially this being a few years later and I am sure no one knows who I am talking about. I liked Rosie.. I still do, but I am not a fan of her work.
I guess my question is where do you draw the line between plagiarism and inspiration? What does the Law say about it?If your not sure who I am talking about with Rosie Hardy and Harper Collins vs Brazilian illustrator Nathália Suellen, here are two links:

http://boingboing.net/2011/08/18/did-harper-collins-rip-off-brazilian-illustrator-nathalia-suellen.html

Rosie Hardy below. The links in the post are deleted. Google or Bing Rosie Hardy Plagiarism under images to see the pictures that were stolen inspiration.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157614107820734

What is your opinion?
[On a side note: My Dark Carnival photos were completely inspired by Todd Lockwood's Carnival Painting.]

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