Plagiarism, a nice word for theft.

The world of internet photography has worked itself up into a lather of sweat this last week. All because a couple of “rock star photographers’ have been caught using other photographers work as their own. Which by the way is not something new. I remember 20 years ago, one of Australia’s leading photographers borrowing a photo concept from a well known American shooter. Reproducing it almost exactly as the original and then allowing the resultant photo to be used in  national magazine advertising.  Not long after, that  Melbourne based photographer was in  court, defending his actions. I can’t remember what the outcome of that case was but  once very prominent within the industry the photographer in question, disappeared from the photo scene.

Back the the currrent situation. The two  photographers were booked to speak at next years WPPI convention the USA. Not anymore. Such was the outrage that they have been removed as speakers. According to one of the photographers, they withdrew themselves from the event. That however is not the point. One of  the photographers has issued an apology. In it she sighted pressure of work, moving into a new home and the desire to help the wider photo community by education as the reason for her fall from grace. What did she do? Simple really, she took other photographers blog posts and posted them on her blog claiming that they where hers.

Naturally as with all things internet, she has had both supporters and critics of her actions. Much  of the criticism she has recieved is based on her young age and physical appearance. Plus her name…. Which she assures us in her apology, is in fact her real name. None of which is of any importance at all. The core of the matter is that she was quilty of plagiarism. Stealing other peoples work and claiming it as her own. Frankly it doesn’t matter a dam that she was moving into a new house. That she was busy and under pressure. Her gender, religion, skin colour or planet of origin are all irrelevant. Only one thing matters and that is she has committed the act of plagiarism against the community she claims to be so passionate about helping.

So what about the other photographer. Well it would appear that he has learnt from politicians. He is seems to be laying low.

I thought about naming these two photographers but decided not to. Why give them any publicity. If you’re going to steal other peoples work and claim it as your own. you don’t deserve any free publicity.


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