A Blog

Kind of Screwed - Devil's Advocate Edition

June 23, 2011

Andy Baio’s 8-bit version of Miles Davis’s seminal album is pretty interesting. Not really my style, but it’s very well done. Unfortunately, he has hit a really big legal snag. Jay Maisel, the photographer who took the cover shot of the original album, sued Baio over the altered cover he used. In order to avoid a drawn out and expensive legal battle, Baio settled for $32,500. The Internet has collectively flipped out. 

Here’s what I wrote on the Hacker News story about it:

What would the reaction be if, for the sake of argument, EMI took a photo that a small independent photographer made, ran it through what looks like a basic Photoshop filter, and slapped it on the next Coldplay album? Internet outrage right? And then what would happen if the photographer sued EMI and Coldplay, and won a $32K settlement? I’m guessing the Internet would either be satisfied or angry that $32K is too little for such deep pockets. I understand and agree that Jay was too vicious in this, but how is he in the wrong again?

Scott Williams

Written by Scott Williams who lives and works in sunny Phoenix, AZ. Twitter is also a place.