Can You Plagiarize A Photograph?

TechDirt, Feb 09, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

You stand in the same place as someone did once before, point your camera in the same direction - usually at something obvious, like the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House - and you take what amounts to the same picture as your predecessor. Is it plagiarism? The answer is not so obvious as you might think. Certainly, there is a premium for originality - I was really pleased in 2004, for example, to have been able to take this photo of the opera house from a different angle than the thousands of shots taken before mine. But there are other cases where you - and all those thousands before you who have worn the same trail to the same pinnacle - have to settle for the one obvious angle.
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