Copyright, copyleft

Dave Shea has a set of images at his web site, depicting a photograph being altered in progressive stages. He asks the question:

Assuming the photo I started with was copyrighted by someone else and I wasn’t licensed to use it, at which step does the design process below does the work become ‘legitimate’?

I gather that his doing this was a direct result of one or more CSS designs from CSS Zen Garden being taken by one or more people, used as is, and the other person or people actually claiming credit for the work. However, people could not understand how something that is ‘open source’ so to speak, also be copyrighted; hence his unusual and rather clever experiment.

I was going to write more on this, because as you all know, I’m just so fond of discussions involving Creative Commons and copyright. And the comments at Shea’s were pretty damn interesting. I also have a pictorial essay I’m writing on the state of politics here in Missouri for American Street. However, I am feeling pretty beat tonight.

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