Digital Imagery: Legal and ethical issues Executive Summary The purpose of this report is to analyses the legal and ethical issues associated with the changes in digital image tech analogies. The analytical process used was conducting research on the issues relating to image copyright and ethical use Of images through online academic resources, these sources where used to define the issues associated with image copyright and ethics.
This report provides an analysis and evaluation of the current digital image manipulation climate; and the possible ramifications that Digital Media Designers should be aware of in order to act in an ethical and moral way. The report shows that digital manipulation creates doubt in the integrity of photographic images as it is easy to manipulate images and possible to distort an image to the point that the original subject matter is no longer recognizable.
These changes mean that it is ‘essential that users of digital images are aware of their responsibilities regarding the legitimate use Of these images for all their activities’ (Sic Digital Media, 2014). This report provides information obtained through research and analysis of the issues relating to copyright and ethical use of digital imagery and digital image manipulation. This report will pay particular attention to image copyright and how this impacts the use of images within a digital environment and digital image manipulation in relation to celebrity image.
The manipulation of images associated with celebrity has become the subject of much debate as technological developments in digital manipulation of images have advanced to the point that it is possible to have an effect on society. This report will show that digital image manipulation can change an audience’s perspective on a subject matter, this is done by examining the ramifications Of how the retouching Of celebrity images can influence an audience’s perspective of the subject’s identity and the ideals of the perfect body image.
This report will examine the ethical ramifications that all digital medial designers should be aware of and understand in order to ensure that they are operating with integrity and providing a benefit to society through the use of digital technologies. 2. Copyright Law and Ethics 2. 1 What is Copyright? Copyright Law in Australia has been influenced by British copyright law and International copyright agreements. Copyright is the right of the author (creator) of a literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works to control the way n which these works are utilized.
The period for which works are protected is the life of the author plus a period of 50 years after death, unless the author is unknown in which case copyright is implied for a period of 50 years from the date of first publication (Fitzroy Legal Service, 2014). Copyright does not require that a works be made public in order to be in effect, even literary works that are never published are the property of the author and therefore protected by copyright.
Copyright is an automatic process that does not require any formal registration in order to come into effect, once the works has been produced he author automatically is granted copyright protection of the works. Exceptions to this are when a works is commissioned, a person or organization pays for the works to be produced or the work is produced as a by-product of a person’s employment within an organization, in this case the copyright for the works would then pass to the person commissioning the works or the organization that pays the employee.
Material that can be subject to ‘copyright include: ; literary works (including computer programmers); ; dramatic works; ; musical works; ; artistic works (including buildings); films; ; sound recordings; ; broadcasts; and ; published editions’ (Fitzroy Legal Service, 2014). Copyright law does not provide much assistance in relation to preventing the unauthorized use Of your image ‘because the person who owns the copyright in an image will generally be the person that created it (for example the photographer) rather than the person who appears in it’ (Arts Law Centre of Australia, n. D. ) 2. What are Ethics? The concept of ethics and what is ethical is often confused with morality and law. Ethics are not associated with religion or what a person feels are the erect actions but what the majority would consider to be normal standards of human behavior. As Velasquez, Andre, Shanks, J, & Meyer (2010) stated in the article What is Ethics? ‘ethics refer to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues’ (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks, J, & Meyer, 2010) Jerry Ludicrous defines ethics as: … Set of rules that we invent that define what we think is good and bad. The dictionary says ethics are “a set of moral principles or values” and that ethical means “conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct” (Ludicrous, 2006). 3. Developments in Digital Technologies 3. 1 What is Digital Imagery? Digital imagery is any images created with digital technology, this includes any images scanned into a computer, taken with a digital camera etc. Digital Imagery: … S the art of making digital images – photographs, printed texts, or artwork – through the use of a digital camera or image machine, or by scanning them as a document. Each image is compiled of a certain amount of pixels, which are then mapped onto a grid and stored in a sequence by a computer (weeklies, . D. ). The creation of software for image manipulation has made it ‘possible to take the product of another’s research and use it in a newsletter, magazine article or website in a matter of seconds’ (Bulks, 2013). . That is Digital Image Manipulation? Advances in technology over the past decade have made it possible for everyday computer user to easily access and alter images, these advancements have increased the potential to which it is possible to breach copyright laws and reduced the risk of the discovered these breaches, as Bulks (2013) stated in his article Copyright Law in the Digital Age, as ‘the mount of information available on the Internet and in print increases, the chances of getting caught shrink.
It becomes impossible for anyone to effectively police all of the publications and websites around the world’ (Bulks, 2013). Image Manipulating is not a new Invention but in fact: … Has been around almost as long as photography itself, but as digital imaging hardware and software has both advanced and come down in price, the practice of digital image manipulation has become much more commonplace and faked photos are becoming harder to detect (Graphics Software, 2014).
See Appendix 1 for some examples of the history of image manipulation. Digital image manipulation has the ability to altering images in order to change the Way they be perceived, ‘manipulation is the most volatile issue surrounding digital imaging ethics. With today’s powerful image manipulation software, it only takes a few seconds to alter a digital file radically’ (Keeling, 2004). See Appendix 2 for examples of digital image manipulation. 4. Issues for Contemporary Digital Media Designers 4. Image Copyright The topic of image copyright is one that is of much debate in today’s digital GE, images are available online that ‘are easy to download onto your own computer and you are physically able to reuse them – even though it’s illegal to do so without the proper clearances’ (Australia. Gob. AU, 2007). Digital Media Designers need to be aware that the unlawful use of images should never be considered as not only is this a breach of copyright laws but also it is unethical.
Who owns an image is a topic of much contention, in Australia there are no laws to stop someone from taking and publishing your photo without your permission if it is taken on public property. This is an issue for people who are leased as celebrities and are likely to have their photograph taken without their consent, unlike other forms of copyright material the copyright of a photograph ‘is owned by the photographer and not by the celebrity’ (Stewart, 2003 up. 122). The photographer has the rights to sell this image without the consent of the subject. 4. Celebrity Image The celebrity image is a valuable commodity for both the celebrity and the media, ‘star images are sources and bearers of meaning that they have the power to “sell” commodities with which they are associated. Their economic value derives from their semiotic power their power to carry and provoke meanings’ (Meadow, 1993). The power of the celebrity is that their image has the ability to influence audiences into believing in products and/or services, it is the ethical responsibility of the celebrity and those in the digital media industry to control the use images to avoid negatively impacting the audience.
Burgeons and Schroeder (2005) describes the representation of image in marketing using the term Idealization, in order to provide a ‘broader context for recognizing and understanding ethical issues’ that can be associated with how marketing depicts ideals by using ‘young, thin models, unrealistic scenarios, or unattainable goals’ (Burgeons & Jonathan, 2005) this type of marketing can have negative effects on the public.
Shields and Henpecking states that there is ‘profound evidence suggesting that girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to particular kinds of mass media messages: those pertaining to body images, size, and appearance’ (Shields & Henpecking, 2002). See Appendix 3 for examples of where image manipulation in the media. 5. Conclusion Copyright and ethics in a digital age are not easily defined or controlled, with the advancement of digital technologies that enable faster, cleaner image manipulation it is more important than ever for digital media designers to understand the possible ramifications of image manipulation.
Digital media designers need to look at the possible impacts that the images they are creating and making available for public consumption can have on an audience. The ideal of celebrity is one that is cultivated and has as much to do with branding as it does a person’s body of work. Celebrities are protective of their images as they are how they make an income, images released that taint their public persona or are retouched to the point that it is obvious that he image has been altered, can damage the public perception the celebrity.
The ramifications of retouching celebrity images to achieve an unattainable ideal of perfection of the perfect body image are the subject of much debate in the media at the moment as links between childhood eating disorders and images of thin supermodels are raised and concern over the wellbeing of societies youth, especially young girls is raises ethical concerns in relation to image manipulation. Arts Law Centre of Australia. (n. D. ). Arts Law Information Sheet ; Moral rights. Retrieved from Arts Law Centre: http://vow. Artists. Com. U/info-sheets/info- sheet/moral-rights/ Arts Law Centre of Australia. N. D. ). unauthorized use of your Image. Retrieved from Arts Law Centre of Australia: http://www. Artists. Com. AU/info- sheets/I info-sheet/unauthorized-use-of-your-image/ Australia. Gob. AU. (2007, January 5). Intellectual property and copyright. Retrieved from Australia. Gob. AU: http://Australia. Gob. AU/about-Australia/ Australian-story/intellectual-property-and-copyright Beets, K. (2003). The Man Who Makes The Pictures perfect. Retrieved from The New York Times: http://www. Anytime. Com/2003/02/02/style/the-man-who- makes-the-pictures-perfect. HTML Burgeons, J. L. , & Jonathan, S.
E. (2005). Identity in Marketing Communications: An Ethics of Visual Representation. Marketing Communication: New Approaches, Technologies, and Styles. Retrieved from http://USSR. Com/abstract=969079 Camilla, L. (n. D The master manipulator. The Sunday Times. Retrieved from http://()-deeds. B. Obscenest. Com. Library. Newcastle. Deed. AU/deeds/ abed-37d075e5eOe [email protected]=2=105 DeDevotesD. N. , & PlPlantJ. (n . d.D). Image Manipulation and Ethics in a Digital- Visual World. Retrieved from http://wwwwwbgBugsedDeedepartments/enEnglishFitzroy Legal Service. 2014). What is Copyright.
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Retrieved from Scientific American: http:// www. scGentrification’scoComlslideshowshoto-tampering-ththeoroughistory/ Shields, V. R. , & HeHenpeckingD. (2002). Measuring up: How advertising affects self-image. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Stewart, H. (2003). Image Rights – Are They Worth the Contract There Written On. Journal of Brand Management, 11 (2), 119-123. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from http://o-eddeedsb.BebObscenestcoComliLibraryneNewcastleedDeedauAUddeedsdpetrifiedpdpetrifiedsiSideeeeb48650370-4589-a7offd2date6cockeyeesecessionlmega Velasquez, M. , Andre, C. , Shanks, T.
J, S. , & Meyer, M. J. (2010). What is Ethics? Retrieved from Santa Clara University: http://scu.USCu/Deedics/practicing/ decision/whatwhitetailsmlHTMLeWeeklies. d. )D What iS Disital Imaging? Retrieved from WiseWeekliestphttp. wiseWeekliesm/Comt-is-digital-imaging. htm HTMLendices Appendix 1 The History’ of Image Manipulation Image manipulation has been occurring in various forms since the creation of photography, the idea that images are true reflections of history is not necessarily correct and examples can be found dating back to the 1 BOO’Boob’sThe following image is a portrait of U.
S. President Abraham Lincoln, this image is not a true representation of the President but is in fact a ‘composite of LincLincolnd and the body of Southern politician, John Calhoun’ (Scientific American, Inc. , 2014). (Scientific American, Inc. , 2014) One of the most iconic examples of image manipulation is shown below occurred in 1917, the image was created by ‘Elise Wright, age 16, and her cousin Frances GrifGriffithe 10, used a simple camera to produce what they claimed were photographs of fairies in their garden in CottCuttinglygland’ (L0drLudicrous06) (LodrLudicrous06) Appendix 2
Examples of Digital Image Manipulation Digital image manipulation is not limited to using PhotPhotosremove cellulite from a supermodels thighs, image manipulating can be used to alter results in scientific findings, alter a group shot to include people who were not present at the time the original image was created, alter the colocoloringan image to change an audience perspective on the subject matter. Image 1 (DevoDevoteslatPlant d. )DImage 2 (DevoDevoteslatPlantove: These two images are of students attending Wisconsin Badger’s football game.