This propaganda email from Gov. Lingle’s office from last month touts an upcoming Honolulu Advertiser editorial — hmmm, how are they seeing newspaper editorials in advance? — and it uses the classic Star-Bulletin image of Star-Bulletin newsboy Chester Kahapea selling copies of the Star-Bulletin in 1959. However, the picture is cropped to removed the Star-Bulletin logo and it is credited “Honolulu Advertiser photo.” It is not. This is just one of dozens of copyrighted Star-Bulletin images stolen by the Gannett newspaper in the last month to mark the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. The Advertiser owns prints of Star-Bulletin photographs, but they do not have copyright, nor did their photographers take any of the photographs. They do not have the right to republish them, and to claim they are Advertiser images is simply a whopper. (If this is their attitude toward creative copyright, then you are certainly free to buy a copy of the Honolulu Advertiser on the street, and then use their stories and photographs and claim them as your own.)
The annoying thing about this email is that the Governor’s office has facilitated this particular violation of copyright law, making her a partner in crime. Notice in the upper right-hand corner that her office has even used the Star-Bulletin cover as an element in her statehood logo. Was permission granted to do this — and by whom?