Inspiration, Imitation, and Landscape Photography: Is it OK or Unethical?
Photography

Inspiration, Imitation, and Landscape Photography: Is it OK or Unethical?

Recently a few things came up that makes me ask if or when does the idea of copying someone else’s photo go too far, or is it just a form of flattery derived from a source of inspiration via the route of imitation? In the commercial photography world, this can have an impact in real dollars and sense (yes, that’s the word I meant to use), especially if you get caught deliberately copying someone else’s work. This was brought up in a recent article on PetaPixel — When someone copies your photo for Commercial Purpose —where the question was raised whether someone who (may have) copied many elements of a photo went so far as to push the boundaries of what’s right and permissible, or was it a violation of the original photographer’s copyright? When there are things like models, props, studio lights, camera angles, etc., that gives the court leeway in deciding what elements of an image are protected expressions of copyright. There is a poll on this article where more than 2/3rds or the respondents felt what was done was unethical. But the line seems to gray a bit in the world of landscape photography, although it’s […]

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