Monday, June 02, 2014

Barbwire.com Has An Image Problem

(Screenshot, today.)

I've written before about how I'm kind of obsessed with Barbwire.com, Matt Barber's ludicrously anti-gay, anti-secular, anti-... well, everything, website. It's such an inspiring hate-read, it has become a cherished part of my morning routine: I eagerly await 6:00 AM, when they batch-post their new articles for the day.

Now, when I say that Barbwire has an image problem, what I mean is that they literally have a lot of trouble with the images they use for the site. As you can see in the screenshot above, they use a lot of stock photography, and sometimes they seem a little... challenged to find appropriate illustrations.

What went through the mind of the person who chose that picture? "Hey! Two redheads pulling each other's hair! That... works."

They also seem to be baffled by the rules which are generally followed by supposedly professional organizations when it comes to image use and permissions. And, look, photographic services and permissions are what I do for a living, so I'm speaking from a position of some authority here. A great example can be seen here, where they use a picture from The Oatmeal, completely uncredited and with its satirical intent totally, hilariously strangled in the bathtub, as it were. They seem to think that a key part of copyright law is "if it's on the internet, it must be public domain." More often than not, the stock photographs they use come not from the owners of the photographs, but from other web sites who used them previously*. At least, you can tell that when they provide image credits.

So blah blah blah, yes, everybody does this (so do I!). My point is that this is somewhat surprising behavior coming from a website supposedly run by lawyers. Honestly, that site is a festival of copyright infringement.

So good.

*UPDATE: Here's a good example. Barbwire credits the image used for this post to "communities.washingtontimes.com" when, in fact, it's an Associated Press photograph which can be seen properly credited and paid for here. The image of Obama Barbwire uses here is credited to the Washington Post; it is, in fact, a Reuters photograph.

7 comments:

Muscato said...

It's ludicrously addictive, isn't it? A colleague caught me browsing it at the office; at some point, i'll have to make sure she knows I was there purely in the spirit of malice and bemusement..,

pat1755 said...

I still go occasionally just to check how many comments there are. Most articles get zero, which warms the evil cockles of my heart. If someone would shoot This Old Spouse, the whole site would collapse.

ETA: Jeez, is it just me or are the captchas IMPOSSIBLE today?

Michael Strickland said...

And lots of fuzzy stolen photos, since quite a few of them have been resized by somebody who wasn't paying attention during their Photoshop tutorials. My favorite was the baby in a diaper waving a rainbow flag illustrating some post about a Psychologist Who Says Hairdressers Are Not Born That Way.

Still, it's way too creepy for me, and I salute you for your 6AM fortitude.

The Cat's Meow said...

I want to hack their site and take down the picture of The Cowardly Lion. I think Bert Lahr would want me to.

Comradde PhysioProffe said...

Are those two women supposed to be implementing a mutual suicide pact? Because they seem to be smiling an awful lot for that.

Alex said...

Did you drop a line to Matthew Inman about the "gayroller" image? He seems like the sort who might actually be inclined to issue a very strongly- (and amusingly-) worded cease-and-desist letter.

samael7 said...

I was thinking about what Alex said as well. Might drop him a line myself.