Hawk’s Wings Clipped

Jay Maisel isn’t on my list of favourite photographers, but must rate as one of the better commercial photographers of the twentieth century, and there is certainly a great deal to admire in his portfolio even if very little if anything¬† I would want to emulate. We obviously think and work in very different ways.

One subject we seem to agree on is copyright and I was pleased to hear that he had reached a settlement over the unauthorised use of one of his images Рnot my favourite picture of Miles Davis Рby  Andy Baio, some sort of internet entrepreneur who made a fortune selling a web company to Yahoo a few years back. For the USA it seems a rather reasonable cost settlement for what was a clear breach of copyright.

But apparently Maisel has become the target of a hate campaign spearheaded by someone who aims to put a million pictures on Flikr. I’ve only seen a hundred or two – mainly his most ‘faved’ images – by the pseudonymous Thomas Hawk, but they do seem to epitomise the worst of Flikr, and include what look like a few third-rate attempts to emulate Mr Maisel’s work that only increase my admiration for the originals.

Jeremy Nicholl in The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob on his Russian Photos blog has yet another of his excellent pieces of research and reporting about Hawk and Baio, suggesting why Hawk should have an interest in stirring up a hate campaign against Maisel.

Perhaps what he fails to mention is what I think may really be the true motive. Jealousy. Even if Hawk/Peterson realises his million images on line there won’t be one that comes up to Maisel’s standards.

Anyway, read it and if you agree with Nicholl’s and my estimation of the integrity of this stockbroker employed by Stone & Youngberg in San Francisco – and at whose address his web site is registered – you too may want to click on their web comment form and tell them what you think.

Nice one Jeremy!

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