The Yangon Bus Incident

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An attentive netizen e-mailed me about a case where someone called Aung reused a photo of mine. Normally I am happy for people to reuse my work, especially if it is in a creative way. I have even stated so explicitly on my copyright page:

The only thing I ask is that people provide proper attribution and that they in turn not attempt to prevent others from using the (altered) work. I don't think that's too much to ask, but in spite of that, hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people copy my stuff and place it on their site without ever providing proper attribution. I of course don't have the time to go after them all. But if I have some time I do sometimes send a friendly e-mail. Which mostly results in people correcting their error and adding attribution. Every now and then however there's a special case. Like this one.

What's different here is that other Internet users pointed out to Aung that the bus in his manipulated photo came from a picture he copied off my site (original url: ). Aung denied it and claimed that the photo was made by him or his friend (see screenshot below).

However Aung later removed all those comments from his blog.

Jokingly I added a comment stating that there was one little problem with his work, and that that was best explained in this youtube video: Credit Is Due (The Attribution Song) (made by +Nina Paley )

That post never made it past Aung's censorship.

In that case there's nothing else to do, but bring the discussion to a platform outside of Aung's control. So here it is on Google+, I've put up Aung's manipulated photo, so that you can see what he made, but removed his name and url as I don't want to give him or his site any free publicity. (Besides his claim of owning all the rights is false anyway).

But I just don't get it, the creative work he did with the photo was nice and an achievement in itself, regardless of whether he took the original photos himself. Why even bother to make these claims?

ps. If Aung or anyone else reads this and wants to comment here but doesn't have a Google+ account, just ask me for a Google+ invite:

Update: Altered image released with proper license info:
Yangon Bus Incident (3 photos)
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