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Photographer Says Artist Stole Photo for ‘Remix’
Old 09-17-2018   #1
PKR
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Photographer Says Artist Stole Photo for ‘Remix’

Photographer Says Artist Stole Photo for ‘Remix’
Sep 17, 2018 Michael Zhang

South African photographer Graeme Williams was attending the opening of the Johannesburg Art Fair earlier this month when he was shocked to see his own photo on a gallery wall with credit being given to African American artist Hank Willis Thomas.

Here’s what Williams saw on the wall of the Goodman Gallery:

Go to PetaPixel and look at the photos. I'd be interested in any comments.

https://petapixel.com/2018/09/17/pho...oto-for-remix/

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Old 09-17-2018   #2
Steve M.
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Do you have a link?
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Old 09-17-2018   #3
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Do you have a link?
Hi Steve, I'm in a bad place for good connectivity today. I had a bit of a failure for a time. The link is up. Sorry for the delay/error.

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Old 09-17-2018   #4
Dan Daniel
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I like the original photograph more than the copy... uh, sorry, the 'remix.'

Geez, what a pretentious word for ripping off other people's work. 'Remix.' Like a so-called DJ I worked with once, called himself an appropriation artist (meaning he played other people's music and got paid for it).

As to the issue itself, I think that if the artist had the decency to contact the photographer and ask permission or for rights (and paid for it), then I'd not have any issue. But the kind of person who calls himself a remix artist and who has a dealer who wants $26,000 (or so, not going back to article) for a piece of wall hanging is playing games of so many types that it's not reasonable to expect decency from him.

Each age gets the artists we deserve, and we deserve works based on theft and deceit and kissing the rear ends of people with disposable income and no taste.
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Old 09-17-2018   #5
Corran
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Fair Use (in the US) covers transformative works. My personal opinion, which is irrelevant, is that the image is no where near transformative enough for that kind of defense. Ultimately, it would be up to the courts to decide. Being in South Africa, there would be some hurdles to overcome with regard to international law, but the person in question is an American so I don't know. I am not that knowledgeable about international copyright claims.
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Old 09-17-2018   #6
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I am all for fair use, for the re-purposing and re-contextualizing of of images and symbols. But this is just an image run through a Photoshop filter. It's not presented in a new context, nothing of substance has been added, and it doesn't say anything (in my opinion anyway) that the original doesn't say.

There's been a whole rash of artists in the past few years who're just stealing art, who've nothing to add, just see something they like and want to get paid for finding it.
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Old 09-17-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
I like the original photograph more than the copy... uh, sorry, the 'remix.'

Geez, what a pretentious word for ripping off other people's work. 'Remix.' Like a so-called DJ I worked with once, called himself an appropriation artist (meaning he played other people's music and got paid for it).

As to the issue itself, I think that if the artist had the decency to contact the photographer and ask permission or for rights (and paid for it), then I'd not have any issue. But the kind of person who calls himself a remix artist and who has a dealer who wants $26,000 (or so, not going back to article) for a piece of wall hanging is playing games of so many types that it's not reasonable to expect decency from him. Each age gets the artists we deserve, and we deserve works based on theft and deceit and kissing the rear ends of people with disposable income and no taste.
"Geez, what a pretentious word for ripping off other people's work. 'Remix.' Like a so-called DJ.."

That caught my eye too. Makes it seem commonplace and the norm. The term migrates to "today's photo world".
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Old 09-17-2018   #8
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Simpler here in the UK. We don't have "transformative" fair use. Copyright for us is more black and white (pun intended!) because fair use is limited to pretty defined and clear instances such as news or review.
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Old 09-17-2018   #9
Dan Daniel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
"Geez, what a pretentious word for ripping off other people's work. 'Remix.' Like a so-called DJ.."

That caught my eye too. Makes it seem commonplace and the norm. The term migrates to "today's photo world".
Oh, there is a use of 'remix' in the music world- a musician or group will give access to their audio tracks (meaning individual instrument recordings) used to make a song. Sometimes this access is to one or a few artists. Sometimes musicians will make tracks more widely available, or make individual tracks, such as one drum pattern, available (stems).

The people who have been given these tracks then add more tracks, change tracks, etc. And then they create a 'remix.' This is a lively and quite viable practice in certain types of music these days.

And it is ALL done with explicit permission of the original creator of the work. The creator is the one who puts the work out there for this purpose. And the person using the tracks or stems will CREDIT the source. I don't know what happens to any royalties or other moneys.

I think Mr. Remix decided to skip over a few pages in the contemporary artistic sharing practices' manual. He also must have been out of his art school class when they went over the Koons' Puppies case-
https://cpyrightvisualarts.wordpress...vs-jeff-koons/
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Old 09-17-2018   #10
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Sampling they call it. In this case it is no sampling imo...outright lifting without asking. Despicable. Even more despicable is this take my sample home for a year and get back with me...wtf?
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Old 09-17-2018   #11
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Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
Sampling they call it. In this case it is no sampling imo...outright lifting without asking. Despicable. Even more despicable is this take my sample home for a year and get back with me...wtf?
Actually, sampling and remixing are different. Although there isn’t a hard line between the two in production, a remix is a specific use of an original song to make a remix of the same song, while sampling is using a track as part of a new song. Enter an artist name and ‘remix’ on youtube or such and you’ll see how they are titled, etc.
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Old 09-17-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
Oh, there is a use of 'remix' in the music world- a musician or group will give access to their audio tracks used to make a song. Sometimes this access is to one or a few artists. Sometimes musicians will make tracks more widely available, or make individual tracks available (stems).

The people who have been given these tracks then add more tracks, change tracks, etc. And then they create a 'remix.' This is a lively and quite viable practice in certain types of music these days.

And it is ALL done with explicit permission of the original creator of the work. The creator is the one who puts the work out there for this purpose. And the person using the tracks or stems will CREDIT the source. I don't know what happens to any royalties or other moneys.

I think Mr. Remix decided to skip over a few pages in the contemporary artistic sharing practices' manual. He also must have been out of his art school class when they went over the Koons' Puppies case-
https://cpyrightvisualarts.wordpress...vs-jeff-koons/
Jeff Koons has deep pockets like Prince. He can afford a team of lawyers to hamstring most contesters of intellectual property theft. Look at how long Richard Prince got away with stealing images, before a judge, who wasn't bought off, stood up to his legal BS.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/artin...b_4108626.html

It seems to me that, these artists, who are massively wealthy, should be creating their own art and not stealing work from others. Often others, who can't fight them in court, because of the expense.
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Old 09-17-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
Actually, sampling and remixing are different. Although there isn’t a hard line between the two in production, a remix is a specific use of an original song to make a remix of the same song, while sampling is using a track as part of a new song. Enter an artist name and ‘remix’ on youtube or such and you’ll see how they are titled, etc.
Picasso and a million others stole and borrowed and furthered the science. This guy monkeyed a 26k big lie steal. PT did that a million years ago and with style that had value. Even Warhol would be confused by this nothingness.

It is an insult really.

SA apartheid era is some touchy stuff and to use it this way...some damn American black cowboy who thinks his story echoes some other mans. Pure D bs! Sue that grifter!!!
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Old 09-18-2018   #14
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Jeez, the solution to this was simple. Get permission, dammit.

Personally I like the Thomas' art more than the original photos. But the attitude that you can just take something because it's there is a justification for theft. Ask first. Get permission. If you don't get permission, move on.
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Old 09-18-2018   #15
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Fair use and fair dealing in common law jurisdictions: https://thelawtog.com/fair-use-copyr...r-photography/

All this said, you'll need, either deep pockets, or a lawyer willing to take your case on a 'no cure, no pay' basis. Good luck with that.
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Old 09-18-2018   #16
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Yet another reason not to post stuff on the internet. That won't cure all the problems - I had an insurance company steal/copy a photo from a newspaper and use it until I called them on it. In the U.S., fair use seems to be legally flexible and, as pointed out above, difficult and expensive to prosecute. I don't know what happens if a photographer were to send an artist a bill and then sue for non-payment. Depending on the amount and the individual state's limits on amount, that could be done in small claims court without involving a lawyer.
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Old 09-18-2018   #17
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I wonder if this business will have a serious effect on his future as an artist? It's in the two big Art news sources. So, public and the Art world are aware of the issue.

"Artist Hank Willis Thomas Pulls Work From a South African Art Fair After a Photographer Levels Plagiarism Charges
The artist says he hopes to have a debate with the photographer who cried foul."
https://news.artnet.com/art-world/ar...harges-1347710

South African Photographer Accuses Hank Willis Thomas of Plagiarism
https://www.artforum.com/news/south-...agiarism-76635
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