Thursday, November 29, 2007

When is Photoshop unethical?

Posted by T. Michael Testi

When is a photograph a lie? According to Roger Sinclair, legal consultant at Egos Ltd, a contract, commercial and media law specialist, “If you use photo editing software to produce a piece of art, [then that’s] fine.

“But if you're using it to make material changes to a picture which you are using to report an event, and to make it seem something different to what it in fact was, then there's a technical term for that which you'd better get to grips with: it's a 'lie'.”

This all stems from an incident last month when British Culture Secretary James Purnell was unable to make it on time to a photo-shoot with other MPs to promote a new development at a hospital in Tameside, he said that instead of ‘letting anyone down’ the MP gave his consent for the hospital to doctor the image so it looked like he was actually there.

As Mr Purnell did eventually turn up, Photoshop was used to add his pose to the original image, giving the impression he had attended, when he hadn’t.

You can read the original article entitled “James Purnell in fake photo row” or you can read the new article “When is Photoshop unethical?” and you decide.



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