Needlessly abject

I am not a teenager. I play one on the Internet.



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Amusing Ken Rockwell Quotation

A friend of mine sent me a link to a few months ago when I was beginning to shop around for digital SLR camera. In the last couple days, I finally got around to taking a look at Ken's site.

Ken is clearly very experienced, talented, and opinionated. He's great at what he does, from everything I've looked at. For that, he's entitled to be opinionated, to me. Do good work and your opinions about that work become important.

Having said that, I found this bit on Ken's page that was rather irksome. Quoth Ken:

Why is it that photographers with ... the exact GPS coordinates of Jack's or Ansel's photo locations ... hike out there with the image in hand to ensure an exact copy (illegal by US copyright laws and common decency) ...


If you're not copying Ansel or Jack's photos, you're not infringing on their copyright. It may be repugnant, from a 'common decency' perspective, for someone to make photos that are inspired by, or even emulating, the style of another photographer, but it's not copyright infringement unless the original work is copied. The copyrighted work isn't the scene being depicted-- it's the photographic image.

Ken's opinion confuses me. He seems to exude a very "go out there and take some pictures" attitude throughout most of his site, but then he goes off and says things like the above. All art is derivative, and all artists get their inspiration from somewhere. It may be amateurish, even gauche, to draw so directly from the body of work of another photographer, but it's hardly copyright infringement.

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