Governor facilitates Gannett theft

Written by Burl on September 14th, 2009

Governor Lingle, partner in crime.

Governor Lingle, partner in crime.

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?


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Primo Kimo says:

    Creeps. Advertiser. Lingle. Corpoorate Bullies and Politicians.

  2. Primo Kimo says:

    For those unclear on the concept, it would be kinda like if I owned a giclée of a Picasso painting. And I reproduced it to sell a product of mine. And said “A Kimo StJames Painting” near it.

  3. gigi-hawaii says:

    So why hasn’t Black taken the Advertiser to court?

  4. Primo Kimo says:

    gigi. you know the answer to that.
    Burl, do you have a big size of the orig paperboy pic?

  5. Vicki Viotti says:

    On the secondary point of how the gov got the editorial in advance: Tiser Sunday edits are posted online Friday evening in the “breaking” section for a few hours. Then it disappears again until the Sunday final posting. All our daily edits appear in advance at the end of the day.

  6. Vicki Viotti says:

    And on the primary point: I believe the gov’s people chose this photo to dress up their email, and erroneously credited it as an Advertiser photo. I will contact them to check. It did not run in The Advertiser, as far as I can tell — certainly not with the editorial, at the very least. When I did a text search of the cutline in our archive, I couldn’t find it at all.

  7. Vicki Viotti says:

    OK, just to finish up: Gov’s spokesman tells me the Statehood Commission put together that release, which was disseminated through the Gov’s office — the cutline written by someone who miscredited the photo.

  8. Burl says:

    So the Governor’s office DID facilitate what appears to be a Gannett theft, but the blame falls on the Statehood Commission — who should know better than anyone the source of the image?
    Many Star-Bulletin photographs were used by the Advertiser in the statehood anniversary stuff. No wonder the Governor’s office is confused!
    And so it goes.
    Thanks for checking up on this.

  9. Vicki Viotti says:

    I don’t know about any other photographs that were used in the Tiser. All I’m saying is that, as far as I can tell, THIS ONE didn’t appear in any edition. So I don’t understand how the gov’s office facilitated any Gannett “theft.” Other than the commission getting the photo credit wrong, where’s the theft? I don’t have time to hunt through the statehood stuff, but since you’re more familiar with the photos, perhaps your blog could show those SB pix that actually appeared in Brand X.

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