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Daily Dose: Texts from Hillary photographer speaks up

With the creation of the ‘Texts from Hillary‘ photoblog on tumblr, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a massive public relations boost this past week. The images show a hip Clinton texting celebrities and politicians, from Jay-Z and
Mark Zuckerberg to Romney and Obama. However, the source of Clintons image, Diane Walker -working for TIME Magazine- was originally unimpressed by her photograph being used unsolicited. That is, until she realized just how iconic ‘Texts from Hillary” made the image, with Secretary Clinton even going so far as to meet with the two men who created the original concept for the meme, Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith.

‘Texts from Hillary Photographer’ didn’t LOL — at First

Walker, speaking to the Washington Post, had this to say:

“I’m following Secretary Clinton’s lead and being amused and taken with the idea that this picture is all over the world.”

She did note, however, that there is a conflict between photographers and the Internet, and there needs to be a dialogue about it.

Is there a feasible compromise between a photographers ownership of images and an Internet users ability to source images online without requesting permission?


“Daily Dose of the Washington Post” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with The Washington Post. If you see great stories in the Post and want to ask a question around it, please send them to [email protected].

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Hope OKeeffe

Yes. See 17 U.S.C. 107, fair use. Certainly not all online use of photographs without permission would constitute fair use, but copyright law does contemplate a compromise.

Corey McCarren

Yes, but I think the problem is that there is really very little risk of getting sued for using copyrighted content on the Internet, so fair use is taken advantage of. People do not really consider whether their specific case would actually constitute fair use or not. At the same time, I would rather less restrictions on use than more, even (if not especially) as a content creator.