(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
dmca, photoshop, takedown

Companies:
ralph lauren



Ralph Lauren Admits It Needs Photoshop Help... Doesn't Say Much About DMCA Help

from the could-go-a-bit-further,-you-know... dept

Following last week's hubbub over Ralph Lauren and its lawyers sending bogus DMCA takedowns to sites who posted a Ralph Lauren ad that appeared to show an inhumanly skinny model, the company has put out a statement confessing that the ad was terrible:
"For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman's body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."
That's nice and all... but it doesn't address the question of sending bogus takedown notices to both the Photoshop Disasters' webhost and Boing Boing's webhost. The fact that the company later admits that its photoshopping was done poorly actually makes the situation seem even worse -- as the company, rather than admit that at first, used a bogus legal proceeding to take down legitimate criticism -- criticism that the company itself is now admitting was perfectly legitimate.

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  • icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 12 Oct 2009 @ 11:13am

    Caliber?

    "We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."

    Hire an editor with half a brain?

    How could any editor look at that picture and not see something wrong? Or at least get a hint to maybe look at the original?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Hulser (profile), 12 Oct 2009 @ 11:29am

      Re: Caliber?

      How could any editor look at that picture and not see something wrong?

      My guess is that the editors themselves have such a warped sense of what is normal that they themselves didn't see a problem with the picture. "Looks great! Ship it."

      Is it any wonder then that an industry which foster disassociation from reality wouldn't see a problem with sending cease and desist lettters to sites who were using the picture which was exactly in line with fair use?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      me, 13 Oct 2009 @ 3:12pm

      Re: Caliber?

      Like the horse veterinarian who advertised the highest caliber of care?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2009 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Caliber?

      Daym but her hips are boney, and her waist is waspish.

      That's too skinny. Girl needs a sandwitch. I mean damn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    R. Miles (profile), 12 Oct 2009 @ 11:36am

    Wha? Did my comprehension skills just fail me?

    will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork
    Artwork?

    Caliber?

    While I've no problem with people using technology to create artwork, I have to draw the line at photo manipulation being deemed on the same level.

    To each their own, I guess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2009 @ 11:48am

      Re: Wha? Did my comprehension skills just fail me?

      To answer your question, yes, photo manipulation is art. Maybe it doesn't fit your narrow definition of art, but it is as valid as drinking paint an pissing on a canvas. Maybe not your cup of tea (or pee?), but maybe someone elses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Infamous Joe (profile), 12 Oct 2009 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re: Wha? Did my comprehension skills just fail me?

        but it is as valid as drinking paint an pissing on a canvas

        So we are in agreement that it isn't art then?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          A Different AC, 12 Oct 2009 @ 12:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wha? Did my comprehension skills just fail me?

          So we are in agreement that it isn't art then?

          And cheerleading isn't a sport then, right?


          Regardless of one's cheerleading opinions, the point being that different people have different definitions and interpretations.

          Especially when it comes to such a subjective and abstract concept as art. People can find art in quite literally anything.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Dark Helmet (profile), 12 Oct 2009 @ 1:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Wha? Did my comprehension skills just fail me?

            "And cheerleading isn't a sport then, right?"

            No, it is not.

            "Regardless of one's cheerleading opinions, the point being that different people have different definitions and interpretations."

            Completely agree, and I tend towards being fairly inclusive when it comes to opinions. Sports/athletics is one of the few areas where I enjoy strong, black and white opinions (hence the above). As best as I can tell, lively debate is just about the only thing left to GET out of sports anyway, so i embrace it. There certainly isn't honest competition, so that's out. And it's not about city pride/loyalty anymore, since today's home hero is tomorrow's free agent acquisition. And it isn't about the gambling, since that's all rigged from some high school sports to the Olympics and Pro's.

            So all that's left is heated debate, which is born out of over the top, highly personal opinions.

            So again, no, cheerleading isn't a sport, and neither is hunting, Nascar, auto-racing, poker, or synchronized swimming.

            Curling on the other hand, now THAT is a sport...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        R. Miles (profile), 12 Oct 2009 @ 12:48pm

        Re: Re: Wha? Did my comprehension skills just fail me?

        To answer your question, yes, photo manipulation is art.
        Maybe I should clarify. Nah, no bother.

        The photo manipulator could have saved thousands of dollars by drawing a stick figure wearing a pair of jeans.

        But I get your gist, in case you think otherwise. I guess I should have been more specific to the image mentioned.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AC, 12 Oct 2009 @ 12:40pm

    I'm curious...

    If the crazy skinny ad was indeed created by the people at Ralph Lauren and not parody, would posting the ad on Boing Boing still be under fair use? I didn't read the Boing Boing post so I don't know the context of the ad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, 12 Oct 2009 @ 1:12pm

      Re: I'm curious...

      I don't think you get it:

      The crazy skinny ad *was indeed* created by the people at RL. It was (most likely) not parody.

      That ad was then taken by others and posted with commentary that was either parody, criticism or both.

      This is where the parody comes in, and it's perfectly legal to parody someone else, even if they were serious. In fact, I would imagine it somewhat odd for someone to parody a parody. Not impossible...but you start running into diminishing returns with that kind of redundancy, so I don't think you're gonna see that too often. Much more common to parody something "serious".

      So yes, the reposting and parody of the RL ad was fair use, and always is.

      Where it would *not* be fair use is if the bloggers reposted the image and then tried to sell their own jeans or flannel shirts using the ad to get attention. This would be brand-dilution at very least, and probably a bunch of other stuff.

      But you're free to comment on and critique/parody anything pretty much and you're covered by fair use.

      CBMHB

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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