Hugh Mann's comment is the best here. I mean, imagine if every artist tried to be Girl Talk? It's just untenable. Yes, some critics laud this young author and Girl Talk for their work, but to promote their methods as the new model for creativity is foolish. These works can only have value as a commentary on works made through more traditional methods of creativity. Don't get me wrong, it is important commentary (though to be honest, I don't think Girl Talk is all that important, but I'm talking more generally here). But if this becomes the artistic norm, that value will be lost, and I fear we won't be left with much else.
@nastybutler77: Neither the aboriginal people nor Harold Thomas can be considered a non-profit group like Red Cross or Amnesty International, so to me your analogy seems ridiculous. Harold Thomas isn't even a group, he is a person. And in both examples you gave, you can bet that Google would ask the permission of the organization to do so. Google asked Harold Thomas and he said no. I really don't see where the outrage comes from.
Refer to monkytypist's comment above for a clearer explanation of the context and meaning of the flag. As you can probably glean from both the article and the comment, it is not simply about money. You can disagree with Thomas' decision all you want, but this is actually an example of what is good about copyright law, rather than a reason to scoff at it.
@nasch: I was responding to the implications made by Mike and some comments, where it was offered that this copyright claim was superfluous and Google should be allowed to show the image. Of course, Google did not infringe, it was a failed business transaction as you described. I have no problem with what occurred, I just was surprised that other people did.
The only issue I see is Google's presumption that they should receive creative content for free (as they initially offered), which is awful presumptuous for a corporation. It makes sense why they would try, but that still doesn't make it right.
Exactly, this is one of the points I was trying to make made more clear. Put aside the stuff I mentioned about colonialism (but still think about it!), this makes sense as a simple artist vs corporation story.
I can understand why people commented harshly about the artist, as Mike's original post accuses this man of keeping the flag all for himself. But the article clearly states that he allows its use for non-profit/non-commercial purposes, and the Australians who have commented have corroborated this. Google doesn't fall under that umbrella. Sounds like a basic Creative Commons license to me.
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