Remember when the National Organization for Marriage Photoshopped a 2008 Obama rally from Ohio onto their New Hampshire website to make it seem like thousands of New Hampshirites support their unpopular attempt to repeal marriage equality? They’ve apparently used stolen photos in similar ways three times over and their crybaby president Brian Brown has finally stepped forward to explain why it’s totally okay. He said one of the images was “a common use photo in the public domain.” That’s great, except that it’s not true.
David Badash from The New Civil Rights Movement explains why Brown is basically full of it:
… NOM had stolen three images, one taken by Reuters photographer Jim Young at a Barack Obama for President campaign rally in St. Louis, and two, posted to the photography site Flickr under specific Creative Commons licenses requiring attribution and only usable for noncommercial works…
Let’s be very clear here.
A photograph taken by a Reuters photographer and published and copyrighted by Reuters is not “a common use photo in the public domain.”
Photos posted to Flickr with a Creative Commons license requiring attribution?—?which NOM neglected to do?—?are not “common use photo[s] in the public domain.”
But what’s just as bad as Brian Brown lying about the photo theft is his sloughing it off as no big deal.
After an entire week of silence on the theft, NOM finally responded to it. They claim that MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and the Human Rights Campaign drew attention to the controversy only to distract people from the fact that the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee voted to repeal the state’s marriage equality law on the very same day:
NOM using a common use photo in the public domain is considered a great scandal, yet [LGBT supporters] can redefine marriage—the most important social institution of society against the wishes of New Hampshire voters—and nobody is supposed to object?
Ooooh! See how Brown pivoted the blame so that NOM looks like the victims of a smear campaign instead of the perpetrators of photographic fraud and copyright infringement? They’re getting really good at playing the victim.
NOM didn’t even have the courtesy to link to Jeremy Hooper’s Good As You, the blog that first reported the theft; but that’s probably because Hooper’s site is a clearinghouse for all of NOM’s dirty laundry, including their support of psychologically harmful ex-gay therapy, their desire to leave children rotting in orphanages on the taxpayer dime, their affiliation with junk science groups that call gays poo-eating, animal-raping child molesters and their support of hate preachers that endorse the murder of gays.
Naturally Hooper also commented on why Brown’s “common use” explanation reaks of horse puckey:
Seriously?! NOM (the words are attributed to president Brian Brown) is really acting like it’s some sort of standard practice for an organization to take the historically sized crowds of one of their biggest political foes and Photoshop said crowd into the organization’s own collage, as a sort of de facto symbol for their own support base?! That’s fair and common use in NOM world?!… Can’t this organization take responsibility for ANYTHING?!?!
We already know the answer to that one… they couldn’t even answer 10 yes or no questions about their own organizational policies.
Can someone call Reuters photographer Jim Young and get him to slap a copyright infringement lawsuit on these clowns?