In 2014, curator Simon Njami engaged Ethiopian artist-photographer Aïda Muluneh to interpret Dante’s Inferno for an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art entitled The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists. Muluneh’s “The 99 Series” featured a model set against a light grey mottled background, with her body and face covered in white paint, and her hands dipped in red.
Singapore photographer and Sony Ambassador Daryl Aiden Yow was recently busted for sharing stock photos and other people’s work as his own. Yow is particularly popular on Instagram, with 104K followers at the moment of writing this and plenty of gorgeous photos. But as it was revealed that the photos aren’t his, the story went viral and even Sony responded to it.
It’s not uncommon that one artist gets inspired by another artist’s work. But sometimes it’s more of an imitation than inspiration, and pop star Selena Gomez has recently been accused of plagiarism. After launching her latest video for Back to You and a series of promo images on Instagram, many people accused her of blatantly copying the aesthetics of photographer Sarah Bahbah.
Imitation can be a form of learning, and using other people’s photos to create something new is perfectly fine. But when one awarded photographer takes the work of the other, photoshops it in their own “documentary” photo, it’s wrong on so many levels.
Award-winning photographer Souvid Datta has been accused of stealing work from another renowned photographer, Mary Ellen Mark. And the evidence is more than evident. He took a woman from Mark’s image and badly photoshopped it in one of his own photos. After the scandal broke, Datta was silent for a while, but finally admitted that he really did clone a woman from Mark’s photo into his own work. What’s more, he admitted that some of his other work contains elements of stitching and cloning as well.
It’s not the first time Kylie Jenner’s been accused of stealing other peoples ideas. She’s been accused of copying lipstick formulas form other companies. She’s also been accused of stealing a makeup artist’s eyeshadow palette for her “KyShadows”, as well as imagery from LA make-up artist Vlada Haggerty. You might remember Vlada. We featured a post of hers on DIYP a few months ago on giving credit where it is due. How’s that for irony?
Vlada is now accusing Kylie of stealing from her, yet again. This time, it’s the concept from a shoot she did in September. Vlada posted an image to Instagram in September. Kylie posted hers just yesterday. After seeing them side-by-side, you can’t deny there’s a pretty striking similarity between the two. Here’s Vlada’s image, that was posted two months ago.
For those of you who haven’t been paying much attention for the last couple of weeks, there’s been a bit of an Instagram stalking thing going on. At least, that’s the story being portrayed. Instagrammer Lauren Bullen has a very large following. She travels the world and documents her adventures. “Diana Alexa” is, apparently, following in her footsteps. Not only visiting the same places, but copying her images almost exactly.
It seems, however, that the whole thing may just be one great big hoax to promote Bullen’s Instagram account. If true, it worked. Bullen’s Instagram account has received almost 220,000 new followers in the last 11 days since the story came out. To travel around the world and reproduce somebody else’s images almost exactly is a little far fetched. Also, prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of people. But is it real? Or is the whole thing just a big promotional stunt?
Some cases of plagiarism are the usual copy-the-photo-and-present-as-their-own, but this one found by Pratik Naik and Bella Kotak just tops them all. At the base of the story are Lauren Bullen and Jack Morris two travel photographers and some of Instagram’s power couples, and Instagram’s favorite travel power couple with just over two million followers combined.
Yesterday, Lauren shared one of the weirdest stories I’ve ever seen. An instagramer is not only following the couple, but copying their every photo, down to the smallest details, like wardrobe, hards, composition, even the food. While copying someone’s work is never a good thing to do, the amount of investment needed to copy someone who constantly travels around the world is just unconsibile.
Pratik says it quite right “Ask yourself, what would you do if one of your followers dedicated their entire social media presence into mimicking every minor detail of your work? Now, they follow your footsteps across the globe in order to continue that obsession.”
And I agree with Pratik: it’s creepy.
I’m fussy today.
And it’s not because I ran out of coffee; it’s not because I didn’t get a proper night’s sleep, and it’s not because I’m worried Gary Johnson won’t be given a chance to participate in the Presidential debates, although that last one is a concern.
I am fussy because, once again, a leader in the photography industry committed plagiarism on her blog, Facebook account and website. Yes, that’s right; I said “again.” As in, it has happened before, more than once. Not a straight copy and paste, because that would be way too obvious, of course. The clever plagiarists among us know to avoid that. Instead, they find brilliant writings, sources of inspiration and motivation, and move bits and pieces around. They change a few words, add a few of their own, while keeping the structure, the bones of the writing, intact.
About three years ago, Jasmine Star was busted for copying content from various photography bloggers around the web. It was so bad that Jasmine’s speaking slot on WPPI was canceled. Jasmine issued a public apology and we all thought that the story was over. Seems like nothing has changed. Stop Stealing Photos found that Jasmine’s post about Inspiration is for Amateurs is partly “heavily inspired”, and partly verbatim copied from a similar story by Chuck Close.
A Belgian court has recently found Luc Tuymans’ painting of a local politician to be in breach of a photographer’s copyright.
The photographer whose photo was copied, Katrijn Van Giel, sued the painter leading to his conviction of plagiarism.
Originally sued for $57,000, Tuyman’s could end up paying over half a million Dollars if caught again.