Category Archives: Featured Articles

Classic Post: Analysis on The Lane Hartwell “Bubble” Controversy


Note: Due to a limited posting schedule during the month of October on days where I can not write regular post, I am taking time out to highlight some of the older posts that have become pillars of the site.

Original Post

In December 2007, something of a perfect copyright storm emerged. The Richter Scales, an a cappella group well-known in tech circles for its parodies of the industry, released a song entitled “Here Comes Another Bubble”, set to the tune of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Joel. It was an instant viral video on the Web, racking up millions of view on YouTube and other sites.

However, the video used photographs and other images from various sources, none of which were attributed. One of the photos, a picture Owen Thomas, was taken by famous freelance photographer Lane Hartwell, who is known to be very aggressive in enforcing her copyright.

She approached the band with objections about the unattributed use of her work. Though the band provided attribution in the video notes on YouTube, Hartwell wasn’t happy with the compromise and eventually filed a DMCA takedown notice against the video, which resulted in the work being removed.

What followed was a controversy that deeply divided the Web. Many felt Hartwell had overreacted, filing a takedown against what was in all likelihood a fair use of her work. Others felt it was the band at fault for not providing attribution to any of the work used in the first place or, even better, seeking out appropriately-licensed material.

The controversy seemed to reach out to all corners of the Web and continued until the band released a new version of the video, with Hartwell’s image removed and a proper credit roll for the film.Continue Reading

Featured Articles: Stopping Internet Plagiarism

Though placed on the sidebar to the right and containing some of the most important articles on the site, The "Stopping Internet Plagiarism" series, often times gets overlooked. As understandable as that is given the placement and titles of the works, the SIP articles are practical must-reads for anyone interested in the issue of plagiarismContinue Reading

Featured Articles: The DMCA

One of the topics that’s come up repeatedly since I started work on Plagiarism Today has been the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The controversial law set forth the requirements for a copyright holder to submit a complaint to a host and get any infringing materials removed. There have been several critical articles dealing withContinue Reading