Amateurism, theft, ripe at Etownian

I received news today about a little bit of theft and a little bit of crying at Eliziabethtown College's newspaper, the Etownian. It turns out some chap died and the paper decided to dedicate some print and web space to his passing. Unfortunately the Etownian lacked any proper pictures of the diseased. Written by the ever crafty electronic generation they quickly turned to Facebook for pictures. There’s nothing wrong with using social networking sites to find pictures. It's a great tool for the lazy reporter. These days who has the time of day to contact relatives for a proper photo? Apparently they're also too lazy to credit the photographs they used. The pictures published by the Etownian in their print edition and online were not credited to their photographer. Nothing screams amateur like journalists who don’t credit media. Nothing screams pathetic like journalists who refuse to credit media. How awful are these people that, when presented with the decision, chose not to provide any respect? No respect for the rights of the photographer, no respect their fellow students, no respect for the diseased. Somehow I doubt he would want personal photographs of himself with his friends to be stolen. Not only did they make a mockery of their newspaper but they also opened themselves up to copyright infringement lawsuits. Those who took the photographs in question retain the rights. To use them without asking is theft. Sure, some might argue that their use is protected under fair use, but that's really stretching it. These were personal photos displayed to family and friends. The news paper had no necessity in using so many photos. It did not provide any meaningful reporting. People die from cancer every day. Perhaps instead of creating a crappy collage of images the space could have been used for something useful, like raising cancer awareness or information on how to donate to research and care funds. I'm not going to enter a lecture on fair use and the many different interpretations over the years. I will, however, say that using it in this situation is a load of bullshit. Whatever, I'm not the irresponsible journalist here. Just a dickhead with a blog and an opinion. Since using images from Facebook without asking permission is okay there should be no issue with the following scenarios... Like criticism or parody...
Grinning so loud might cause people to think of famous figures such as the animals from a short lived Quiznos ad campaign, the Cock Mongler, or super villain The Joker.
Or teaching…
The above photograph demonstrates fundamental failures in creating a compelling photograph. Karate Kid appears to be standing too far away from the subject. Because of the distance the presentation pose makes one wonder if the tree really was the subject and there’s just some random completely uninteresting person who happened to wonder into the shot. If this unremarkable person was the subject it would do her well to express something more than mild enthusiasm. Less she was disappointed that the tree behind her warranted more attention.
Simple moral of the story? Don't use someone elses work without giving proper credit. It's dishonest and disrespectful. Fair use is meant to protect creative works not justify theft. Even in most lawsuits the content being fought over was sill credited. Most authors would rather not avoid a confrontation that could lead to a lawsuit so consideration of others efforts is a must. Of course, I won’t be a cunt and not provide proper credit. Photographs used in this article via Aimée DiMichele's Facebook page, Wikipedia, some fucking horrible MySpace page, and 4chan.

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