Amoral copyright infringement

A very interesting article about the use of a marriage photograph of a happy married (gay) couple by an anti-gay marriage organisation for a campaign. As (of course) no approval has been given for the use of the photo to the organisation the photographer has filed a lawsuit against this organisation. Moreover, the couple is arguing appropriation of likeness or personality.

A clear copyright infringement case, whereas probably everybody wants that the photographer and the couple will win this law suit. It is just not right to use a photograph that celebrates love for a campaign against marriage. But that is the main question of the article: should copyright law (or I.P. in general) be used from a moral perspective, i.e. as a stand in for moral rights (which do not exist in the US)? According the writer this could lead to situations where everybody who do not support a particular viewpoint are thrust into a debate on it.

MarkMatters.com agrees with the anxiety of the writer. On the other hand, this issue is not particular new. Bands do not like when their music is used for political commercials, especially by the Republicans. Works of art are most of times created with a certain background idea where the influence of politics or other influences put the works of art in a different perspective. This is in principle handled my moral rights but in the event these moral rights do not exist we see some justification to use a copyright instead. At the end, the creater / owner of the work has the last say how and what he wants to do with his work.

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