Worth the Conversation: Screenshots of Instagram Pics/Art/Law/Money

Worth the Conversation: Screenshots of Instagram Pics/Art/Law/Money

Reporter, Jessica Contrara, published in the Washington Post’s Style Blog:

This month, painter and photographer Richard Prince reminded us that what you post is public, and given the flexibility of copyright laws, can be shared — and sold — for anyone to see. As a part of the Frieze Art Fair in New York, Prince displayed giant screenshots of other people’s Instagram photos without warning or permission.

Apparently, photographing other’s work is Prince’s “thing.” In 2008, he was sued, lost, but in his appeal won the case as the ruling deemed his work “transformative.” Imagine a student citing this case as justification for their slightly altered creation.

After having written a post about @instagram last week and after having had a recent conversation with my son about using pictures found on a Google search without permission or credit given, I feel my argument for abiding by the laws of copyright is outdated. I also feel my argument for respecting and honoring the work of others is necessary.

This article is worthy of reading and worthy of continued conversation. Reporter Contrara explores and explains the legalities of this incident. The issue addressed is controversial and raises important questions about law, privacy, and protection. Too many of us forget how posting makes public our post, too many of us forget/ignore the terms of agreement we agreed to when utilizing our chosen social media sharing space, and too many of us find a false sense of comfort in privacy settings.

I doubt Prince will find anything in my @instagram feed that is gallery worthy, but if he does…I hope he chooses something like the image below. Please note, I am sporting my #rednose while carrying my newly designed marshmallow shooter. Screenshot 2015-05-27 14.25.35While Prince financially benefits from the screenshots of the photos taken by @instagram users, I wonder if his “models” will benefit. Perhaps an expensive good gesture…just as I hyperlinked the article, Prince could honor the original with a significant portion of his selling price.

Honestly, Prince, I am not impressed. Not at all. Nor am I impressed by anyone who would purchase a screenshot of someone else’s photo. Instead of the buyer supporting the Screenshoter, I imagine there are worthy causes in need of funding. For example, the very reason I am wearing a #rednose.