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Just trying to get some of that sweet, sweet image search traffic

Y’all know what you’re looking at here, right? Thanks to Pablo for the suggestion.

Speaking of nicking pictures off the internet (you don’t think I keep surplus day-old chicks in the kitchen, do you?), they set Shepard Fairey‘s trial date today.

He’s the dude who created the HOPE poster that went viral during the Obama campaign. Problem is, he pinched his photo reference from AP.

There’s much about this case I don’t get. Fairey sued AP first, to establish himself as the author of the work — why would he do that? — so this is the AP countersuit. In the initial case, Fairey claimed it was some other photo he used — but that also belonged to AP, so I don’t get why a) he used that as a defense and b) the fact he was wrong is a legal problem for him.

Incidentally, illustrators nick photos all the time to use as reference (and Photoshoppists live to nick photos). In the days before Google, most professional illustrators kept a clip file — thousands of book and magazine photos cut out and filed away for future reference.

I inherited the kernel of mine from the RISD library, which was clearing out some of its gigantic room-sized clipfile. Mine filled four filing cabinets in its final glory, and it hurt like a bastiche to throw it away.

You’re only supposed to refresh your memory from a file photo, though. If the resemblance of your final illo is recognizably close to the reference, the original owner has a case against you. I don’t think there’s ever been much actual suin’ going on, but it’s a sort of squidgy area of law.

Me, I cheerfully nick photos for blog posts, but never, EVER for something I’m going to sell. That’s not actual legal advice — unless you’re covered under parody or something, it’s equally illegal whether you make money or not — but I figure: no moneys, no incentive.

My general sympathies might be with Fairey on this one — and not just because we went to the same art school — but it turns out he’s a real asshole when other people copy HIS stuff. So I hope he gets his pansy ass kicked.

Final question: with a name like Shepard Fairey, did this guy pretty much have to go to art school?


Comment from steve
Time: August 24, 2010, 12:35 am

I’m happy to see that you took Pablo’s advice….

Chicks with dicks!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 24, 2010, 12:50 am

Ha! You saved somebody some embarrassment, steve. I was going to call the first person to ax for an explanation a grandma.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 24, 2010, 1:00 am

If those peeps have samonella (it’s all the rage right now) and you microwave those puddings –

You could title it ‘Sick Chicks with Hot Dicks’

Just sayin’

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 24, 2010, 1:08 am

i thought dengue fever was all the rage… oh well… i guess im behind the times again…..

Comment from Joan of Argghh!
Time: August 24, 2010, 2:10 am

Bleah. I see his work around Charleston all the time. He’s well propped up by the elite community here, but many think the assholery is par for his course.

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: August 24, 2010, 3:10 am

I hope the thieving little asshole gets sued down to his bellybutton lint. My job is made harder every day because of copyright infringers (and photographers that don’t have the good sense to put their releases in writing, but that’s a rant for another time), so I really really really hope he gets a good reaming.

I recall despising him before this kerfuffle, but I can’t recall why. Anyone?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 24, 2010, 3:14 am

Well, we have 380 million chicken eggs contaminated with samonella here in the states. I’d been trying to figure out how many chickens it takes to lay 380,000,000 but it made me dizzy, so I stopped.

eggs, eggs gimme those eggs, sunnyside up ’cause it’s sunny outside

Of course, I admit it would be a better story if the chicks had dengue fever but one has to go to press with the diseases one has….not the diseases one wants.

Comment from Hotrodelectric
Time: August 24, 2010, 3:55 am

Final question: with a name like Shepard Fairey, did this guy pretty much have to go to art school?

Think of it more as a finishing school, Stoaty.

Comment from gebrauchshund
Time: August 24, 2010, 8:19 am

He wouldn’t be related in some way to Harlan Ellison, would he?

Comment from Hiyu
Time: August 24, 2010, 8:58 am

I like how you said you HOPE he gets his pansy butt done.

Comment from Pablo
Time: August 24, 2010, 1:05 pm

Heh heh heh.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 24, 2010, 3:38 pm

Wow, no one has picked up on my subtle reference to the (at least for me) original “chick with a dick”.

The great Divine who debuted in John Waters movie
Pink Flamingos

The ‘egg’ quote above is from the Egg Lady – another Pink Flamingos character. I have to say that this movie scarred me for life. I was a college freshman when it came out, and the concept of tastelessness as art was new for me. Now, that I’m 50, 40, 30-something older, perhaps I’ve become jaded to tastelessness, or perhaps it’s just been done to death.

I’ve come to realize that Duchamps saw where modern art was headed in 1917 and just cut to the case with his piece Duchamps fountain and took modern art to its ultimate conclusion.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 24, 2010, 5:35 pm

We must be the same age, Some Vegetable. I saw that movie as a freshman and it scarred me for life, also. And I saw it with two scenes cut out, on account of they were illegal to film in Rhode Island.

Most of the brainal damage was inflicted in the last five minutes, as I’m sure you’ll recall.

Divine’s breasts, incidentally, were bags of lentils. Thought you’d like to know.

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: August 24, 2010, 5:39 pm

Duchamps’ Fountain is missing something. Maybe a big, stripey, O-shaped urinal “breath mint”…

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 24, 2010, 6:02 pm

Divine’s breasts, incidentally, were bags of lentils. Thought you’d like to know

You’re giving me the creeps all over again, Weasel….

The thing that I still can’t shake after all these years, is when – as a revenge move – (I think it was Divine) licked every object in someone’s house. I worry about that sometimes, on days when I’m not drinking enough.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 24, 2010, 10:58 pm

Veg, I was thinking more along the line of “Lust in the Dust”….. (that flick was funnier than hell. you just COULDN’T get a better villain than Henry Silva in those days….)

So Stoatie, how are YOUR peeps today?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 24, 2010, 11:10 pm

Fine, fine. They like to be sung to. Their current favorite is “Camptown Ladies.”

I think it’s all the doo-dah.

Comment from steve
Time: August 25, 2010, 12:07 am

You can have the chooks gather round the old laptop, listen in….and strut and cluck…


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 25, 2010, 12:15 am

Gosh, I haven’t watched Blazing Saddles in a kzillion years. My old boss loved that film…

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 25, 2010, 2:08 am


I miss Madeline Khan….. 🙁

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 25, 2010, 2:18 am

Hunh. Same age bracket. I remember college friends making a fuss over Pink Flamingos, but I never actually saw it. I didn’t realize quite how excruciatingly vile it was, but what I heard didn’t encourage me to go view it. Having read the synopsis Some Vegetable linked to I have to say I think my post-adolescent choice is vindicated. I could recite a long list of literary references that involve some pretty gross stuff, but, um, well, EEEEEEEWWWW! OK. I can actually imagine finding every bit of that meaningful. . .but it would take a lot of work.

On the other hand, Blazing Saddles? Oh, yeah! “Am I that smart? Or are they that dumb?” A very funny movie, and yup, without doubt parts of it were potentially offensive, but one did have to look at the context. I am still reduced to helpless giggles by certain scenes. . .

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: August 25, 2010, 4:14 am

I saw Blazing Saddles on my first date with my first husband (long gone to his great reward, alas!), at a drive in, summer 1974, another lifetime altogether.

I was 17 and just out of high school. He was 24 and just home from Vietnam.

Yeah, I know it’s totally off topic, but Blazing Saddles always causes me to wallow in sad nostalgia. Go ahead and sue me.


Comment from Hotrodelectric
Time: August 25, 2010, 4:25 am

Word. I say you can’t get much better than Duke Ellington to play your intro.

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