Response to On the Rights of the Molotov Man

In this magazine, Joy agreed to give Susan credit for the photograph, but was unwilling to seek Susan’s approval for any further reproductions, which inspires many potential questions for us to think about: At what point could a derivative work be considered an original piece? What kind of freedom do artists have as far as adapting works of others?

Joy contends that a photographer’s job is, in part, “to provide the public with a record of events of social and history value,” which, in a way, strips away the connection between a photographer and his/her work.

How we define the role which photographers play in this society?   Do professional ethics to them is really much more important than their human nature?  What ethical parameters are embedded in capturing photos and sharing them with the public? If we think of photographers in the way Joy defined, we could think of photographers as reporters – who present the news and often raise awareness to various issues and ideas. Reporters are artists too, and have their own styles of presenting the material, just as photographers are mindful of their inspiration, photo composition, post-production, and a myriad of other nuances that contribute to their work. But perhaps we could just appreciate the pieces that derive from others’ — especially when the intentions are good.


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