This text’s significance lies in how it contributes to the ongoing conversations regarding intellectual property in the digital age. What the conclusion yields is that to every story, there are multiple sides, each with a specific point of view. This was made evident as I found myself overwhelmingly inclined to side with Joy Garnett, who in this case, appeared a bastion of freedom of expression and champion of the intellectual property debate that rages in the digital age. Expressly, when confronted by Susan Meisalas, who opposed the use of her image “Molotov Man,” Garnett’s resolution to defy this demand appealed to my own sentiments. Thus, within the first two pages, I was already on Garnett’s side, and against Meisalas.
But just as I was firm in my convictions of Garnett’s righteousness, Meisalas too was firm that her initial picture contained was a very specific “essence”. That is to say, the original “Molotov Man” image was more than a mere photograph, as it embodied a specific moment in time, a plethora of unique emotions, and a symbolic presence; Meisalas felt such sentiments were represented only by the original photograph. In her opinion, all of the reduplications were to her mere bastardizations, copies that not only “decontextualized,” the image, but also stripped it of its significance. Furthermore, the more this picture is recreated, the actual man depicted along with the reality of that event, lose the reality.
After considering this side of the story, I was no longer sure that Garnett was right and Meisalas wrong. Rather, I appreciated bot sides, and understand that such discussions must be heard and considered in today’s digital age, where the already fine line that separates originality form copyright infringement has become finer. Moreover, I believe both parties are correct. It will be interesting to see how this conversation evolves within the next few years.