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As NOM Swipes Third Photo, Right Wing Allies Label Actions “Unethical”

by David Badash on October 26, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Legal Issues,News

Post image for As NOM Swipes Third Photo, Right Wing Allies Label Actions “Unethical”

NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, has now “swiped” three copyright-protected photos, and used them, apparently without proper authorization, in apparent violation of U.S. copyright law. All three photos have been used on NOM’s new website, New Hampshire For Marriage, and used in an apparent attempt to show, albeit falsely, that huge numbers support so-called traditional marriage to the exclusion of same-sex marriage equality.

National Organization for Marriage rally against same-sex marriage. (Image by Fibonacci Blue. Click for details.)

The photos, one taken by Reuters photographer Jim Young at a Barack Obama for President campaign rally in St. Louis, and two, posted to the photography site Flickr under specific Creative Commons licenses requiring attribution and only usable for noncommercial works. Of the two Flickr photos, one was from the Barack Obama for President campaign of another campaign rally in 2008, the other from a Progressive activist at a NOM rally. The two Flickr photos were digitally combined to make a speech given by National Organization For Marriage president Brian Brown appear to be attended by tens if not hundreds of thousands. The most-recently discovered swiped photo is the one at right, depicting NOM president Brian Brown.

The inappropriate use of all three was discovered by Good As You blogger Jeremy Hooper, who has a strong track record uncovering deviant, unethical, and sometimes illegal acts perpetrated by the religious right.

Screenshot of NOM website showing combined images

Hooper also note today that others, even those on the right, see this as an issue of ethics, not a marriage equality debate.

“[T]he “pro-family” blog for the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values (i.e., Prop 8 proponent witness David Blankenhorn’s organization; Maggie Gallagher’s former employer; major NOM ally), has decided to call out NOM for its Obama rally photo fakery, I realize there’s still some capacity for shock left in the ol’ boy:

“Aside from the obvious deception regarding the size of the crowds at NOM rallies, isn’t it wrong to use a photo of people who, it’s pretty safe to guess, overwhelmingly oppose NOM’s goals?
NOM’s Unethical Swiping of Obama Rally Photos [FamilyScholars.org]“

As The New Civil Rights Movement noted yesterday, in “NOM Rips Off Obama Campaign Photo To Suggest Hundreds Of Thousands Rally To Oppose Gay Marriage,” the National Organization For Marriage, is well-​known for misappropriating the work of others, and that inappropriate use of copyrighted materials has been well-​documented several times. (Not to mention NOM’s penchant for republishing scanned copies of web content, like they did here, and here, and here, in clear violation of copyright norms.)

(Image, top, by Barack Obama)

 

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