In recent years an ongoing debate has brewed over advertisers and fashion magazines using photographs, particularly photographs of women, that have seemingly been altered, or “retouched,” by airbrushing and photo editing software such as Photoshop. The latest such image to cause an uproar is one featured in a new Ralph Lauren advertisement that shows a model, Filippa Hamilton, so emaciated that her waist actually appears to be smaller than her head.
On September 29th, Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin posted the ad, which originally appeared on a blog dedicated to pointing out suspected retouched images called Photoshop Disasters, with the comment, “Dude, her head’s bigger than her pelvis.” Ralph Lauren responded by filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint against Boing Boing and Photoshop Disasters, claiming that their use of the image was a copyright infringement that fell outside of the Fair Use laws which allow the media to reproduce creative content for the purposes of commentary and criticism.
The Internet service provider hosting Photoshop Disasters (Google Blogspot) deleted the post containing the image, while Boing Boing’s (Canada’s Priority Colo.) did not. In response, Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow issued a stern warning to Ralph Lauren yesterday on the website, saying that the company’s attempt to silence their criticism…
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