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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Freedom of speech, but not freedom of drawing

"Flickr really stepped in it this time. And they’ve sparked a free speech and copyright fascism debate that is unlikely to cool down any time soon.

Sometime last week they took down a photoshopped image of President Obama that makes him look like the Heath Ledger (Joker) character from The Dark Knight. The image was created and uploaded to Flickr by 20 year old college student Firas Alkhateeb while “bored over winter school break.” It was also later altered yet again by someone else and used to create anti-obama posters that went up in Los Angeles.

Thomas Hawk has a good overview of some of the other details, but the short version is the image was removed by Flickr sometime last week due to “due to copyright-infringement concerns.”

"In the past Flickr has deleted accounts of users who are critical of President Obama, but as far as I know nothing like this was done to users who were critical of Bush.

It’s clear that the Flickr team wanted to take this image down. Not only was the image removed, but the entire page was taken down with all the comments to the image. There’s nothing in the DMCA that says you have to do that, too."

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