AIG fails again

Stephen Mallon, a New York industrial photographer took some remarkable pictures of the recovery of the US Airways Flight 1549 from the Hudson River for the crane company that lifted it out of the water. It was a great opportunity and he got full co-operation from everyone involved and took 5000 images, which his client was happy to allow him to publish non-commercially on his blog or anywhere else.

On The Online Photographer you can read as I did a story with many long comments about the letter he received from one of the largest rercent business failures, AIG, who apparently have used some of the massive support they are getting from the US taxpayers to get their lawyers to write a letter forcing Mallon to take the pictures off-line.

You can see some posts about this by Mallon on his web site, and the hole were they were is currently filled by a short notice about their removal. Elsewhere on the web you can see many sites with comments about this fine set of pictures, and at the moment there are still some of them on line so you can see it was indeed a pretty remarkable set of work.

On Eric Lunsford‘s blog there are two large images, one of the actual plane body being lifted. This is also on Stellazine, Stella Kramer‘s blog. It’s worth reading what she says, both about this as an attack on free speech and on the pictures themselves: “Stephen Mallon¬ís photos are a thing of beauty, and show not only the fragility of such large machines, but the truly heroic work done by those who pulled it out of the icy Hudson.” She is after all a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo editor who has worked with publications including The New York Times, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and People magazine.

Doobybrain has another six images, and on PDN, who have also covered the story, you can still see the picture they published as their picture of the day in February. I suspect that the lawyers might well try to get some of these removed also, so don’t wait too long before looking at them. I think all of these sites are based in the USA, and it might be good to see as many of his pictures as possible posted on sites in other countries.

It isn’t at all clear what AIG are trying to do, and why they are using their immense legal clout to try and hide this fine work. But I think all of us involved in photography need to speak up and oppose them.

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