News is already spreading regarding the unauthorized usage of a copyrighted photo in Democratic campaign literature. Stefan wrote about it first, below, and Postman has followed up.
For soldiers at Fort Lewis and their families, the photograph will be easily remembered. It depicts Major Mark Bieger of "Duece-Four" rescuing an Iraqi girl who was injured, and ultimately died, after a suicide bomber drove a car bomb into a group of school children while they were playing. The photo was taken by embedded journalist Michael Yon.
The photo, with the Michael Yon copyright still visible, has appeared in campaign literature touting Darcy Burner and critiques incumbent Republican Dave Reichert. Alongside the photo are the words "They won't tell the truth about how bad it is." The flyer was mailed to residents in the Eighth Congressional District. It is unknown, at the moment, whether the photo is being used in other election races.
Yon's attorney, John Mason, said that the journalist was "ticked off" that his work was being used in this manner. He said that he written the "appropriate parties" regarding this matter.
The flyer was paid for by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee and the postage was paid for by the Washington State Democratic Party.
Mason said that he was first made aware of the unauthorized use last night when several individuals e-mailed him. This morning representatives from news outlets began calling the Washington D.C. attorney.
"He's extremely concerned. When Republicans approached us we turned them down. Michael doesn't want this adopted by anyone for their ideological purposes," Mason said.
He said that this was more than just a bread and butter issue for Yon. Many of the photos that Yon took are for sale at his website. This particular image, though, has achieved and iconic status. For soldiers fighting in Iraq and their family members back home it has almost achieved a stature akin to the flag raising by Marines over Iwo Jima and symbolizes the reason why U.S. military personnel are risking their lives in cities like Mosul, Tikrit, Bagdad and Fallujah.
"This photo means more," Mason said. "It's more egregious when it is knocked off."
All of the photos and articles at Yon's website are clearly copyrighted and are not for reproduction without authorization.
Currently Yon is out of the country and is unavailable for direct comment. In an e-mail that Yon sent this morning he stated that he doesn't like to see this image polarized.
"It's American, but it's not Republican or Democrat." Yon wrote. "I have no idea what political parties those soldiers, my friends, belong to. And I never asked and I don't care. I only saw what they did for the Iraqis and it was good. No matter how they vote they are my friends, and Farah's death is not something anyone should callously use as an election tool."Posted by DonWard at October 31, 2006 01:13 PM | Email This