Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 1, 2013, 8:23 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
zig-123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,031
Default Photographer wins a lawsuit-is he right?

Here is in interesting article regarding exactly what is the definition of limited edition prints. In this case, the judge ruled in the photographers favor.

I don't think he got it right

zig

http://www.petapixel.com/2013/03/31/...-edition-pics/
__________________
http://scortoncreekgallery.smugmug.com/

So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 1, 2013, 8:52 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 3,895
Default

Hooray for the photographer! I am all in favor of finding new ways to bilk pretentious morons out of their ill-gotten lucre. This really brightens up my day.

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 9:32 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 12,969
Default

What's of value in this instance is the image, not the medium.

This isn't like Picasso creating an image using charcols and then recreating the same image in watercolor, or even someone using Ansel Adams' negatives to create new prints without the benefit of the extra effort Ansel Adams made in the darkroom to enhance the images. In this case, Eggleston printed his photos on one printer, sold them as "Limited Edition", and then printed them again on a different printer.

The image didn't change. What did change is the processes involved in creating the prints, and no doubt patented by the manufacturers of the two printers, and thus that Eggleston can not claim as his own.

Without the benefit of all the testimony, I conclude that the judge got it wrong, and the photographer was a liar and a cheat.

What's keeping Eggleston from doing exactly the same thing a few years from now? Whoever bought the new prints at grossly inflated prices can only be described as suckers.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • A good camera helps a good photographer; it doesn't make one.
  • If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one.

Last edited by TCav; Apr 1, 2013 at 9:38 AM.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 11:16 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Wizzard0003's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Aberdeen, WA USA
Posts: 1,085
Default

I'm with the Judge on this...

In the linked article there are two images - one of the original dye-transfer print and
one of the new digital pigment print... They are two completely different processes
and look very different... It's the same as a sculptor selling a limited edition bronze casting
of his original marble sculpture and then later selling plaster castings of the same sculpture...
As long as he's not selling more bronze castings exactly like the previously sold limited
edition bronze ones he's not breaking any laws...

Remember, the photographer owns the copyright and unless he sells that copyright
it's his legal right to profit from it anyway he can within the law... The buyer of the limited
edition dye-transfer print still has a limited edition dye-transfer print as the artist has
not produced/sold additional prints using that process, they are still limited/unique...

Anyways, that's how I see it...
__________________
William

D7k with old/new glass and a few other things...
Wizzard0003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 11:34 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
kazuya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 937
Default

i agree with the photographer and judge, when people look at the pictures or try to sell them they will say, are they the pigmant or the dye prints and the value will be set accordningly.
i see nothing wrong with that at all.
kazuya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 11:52 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 12,969
Default

Whatever there is that's different between the dye-transfer print and the digital pigment print didn't come from Eggleston. Therefore, he can't claim that they're different. When someone creates a bronze casting and claims that it's a limited edition, they break the mold so that more can't be created. Eggleston didn't break his mold like he should have after he made the original limited edition prints.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • A good camera helps a good photographer; it doesn't make one.
  • If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 12:37 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 1,716
Default

On first consideration I am tempted to compare this to lithography, etching and wood block printing. All of these are methods of making several copies of the same image that usually is then sold in limited edition sets. The thing is when you do this over time the plate, etching or wood block degrades to the point where it can no longer be reused. Thus even if the artist did not smash it after creating the limited edition there is a degradation in quality that makes subsequent prints less desirable. If you watch pawn stars sometimes they get Picasso lithographs and etching prints and it is always a question whether it is signed and has the highest level of detail since unscrupulous individuals reused his blocks and etchings to print new versions of limited editions (that would not be signed and have less detail).

Applying that to film may have made sense at one time as the film negative may deteriorate to the point where later prints will be lower quality. This is however not true of a digitized image, once it is digitized it is forever encoded into a perfectly reproduce-able result.

This case is somewhere in between purely digital and analog art. We have an original series of analog prints and a re-released digital series of digital prints.

I think this is what bothers people the most is that the image can be reproduced over and over without loss of quality. There is no telling the first editions apart from the latter editions.

One can argue that when an artist sells something as limited edition they are in effect entering into a contract not to produce any more and from that stand point I agree with the collector. However in this case the artist has produced new work using a different method from the original edition.

For that reason I think the judge did get it right. There is no confusing the original editions with the subsequent editions. Collectors will know the difference and make a decision as to whether or not they value them the same.

This is like the difference between an original Shelby cobra and a reproduction Shelby cobra made with the original molds. Yeah it means there are more in existence which affects price but the first one with matching serial numbers will always be first.

Buying art always has some risk, additional work can always be found or the style may go out of favor. Buying it as an investment produces a return precisely because there is risk that other works could be found or other works could be destroyed making yours more rare.
__________________
in my bag: e-m1 and three 4/3 Zuikos 9-18, 14-54, 70-300
ramcewan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 12:46 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 3,895
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
What's of value in this instance is the image, not the medium.

What's keeping Eggleston from doing exactly the same thing a few years from now? Whoever bought the new prints at grossly inflated prices can only be described as suckers.
The value is not the image, it is the public perception of the image as produced by a 'renowned photographer'. IOW, they are buying his reputation, and the expectation that the prints will appreciate in value. It is genteel gambling, and typical of the whiny, litigation-prone society we have become, that the case even made it to court. GO JUDGE!
It would do my heart good to see this decision send the whole 'limited edition print' market into a tailspin.

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 1:06 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 12,969
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
It would do my heart good to see this decision send the whole 'limited edition print' market into a tailspin.
Perhaps, but the decision comes one generation too late for the purchasers of the new set of limited edition prints who have also been defrauded.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • A good camera helps a good photographer; it doesn't make one.
  • If you're going to use a filter, make it a good one.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 1:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 1,716
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Perhaps, but the decision comes one generation too late for the purchasers of the new set of limited edition prints who have also been defrauded.
Defrauded is a strong word. It's not as if he sold 200 prints of 200 and then started selling 201-400 of the exact same image in the same medium.

Each edition is it's own set, and the two editions are distinguishable from each other.

You have stated that the image is what is of value and not the medium. I would argue that is not true. Only if we strictly define the image as the negative or the RAW file does it exist without the medium, and in this case the image was never for sale, just prints made from it.

Once it is printed the resulting artwork is the product of the image plus the medium. The artist printed it in different ways and on a different medium. The artist still owns the actual image.

I'll use the example of the Pink Floyd album The Wall. Roger Water's wrote it and owns the songs. When I buy The Wall I am buying a piece of art that is the song plus the performance of the song by the artists that performed it originally. After Pink Floyd broke up Roger Water's performed it with an all star cast in Berlin after the wall fell and has subsequently gone on tour and performed the work with different artists, does everyone who bought original album The Wall have a right to sue him to stop performing it? how about everyone who saw it the few times in 1980 when the band was still together?
__________________
in my bag: e-m1 and three 4/3 Zuikos 9-18, 14-54, 70-300
ramcewan is offline   Reply With Quote
0
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:18 AM.




SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2