Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bob Englehart Editorial Cartoon Plagiarized

(Above: the plagiarized, altered cartoon.)

From the June 28, 2015 Facebook page for Bob Englehart, editorial cartoonist for The Hartford Courant:

Many of you have seen this cartoon circulating around the Internet. Somebody took my cartoon "Going...Going...Gone!," stripped off my caption and my name and altered it. This is in complete violation of copyright law and respect for an artist's work. In the spirit of new beginnings, I won't call whoever did this any names or what they might do with themselves. Use your imagination. This appeared on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. If they are lawyers, they're not very good ones. They certainly don't know, or care, about copyright law.

The next day, the Southern Poverty Law Center apologized. They even said "We screwed up." 

Here's the text: 

On Friday, we posted a cartoon that seemed to perfectly encapsulate a tremendously emotional week. Five panels depicting the Confederate battle flag going down a flag pole, representing the political conversation following the horrific events in Charleston, South Carolina, and a rainbow (LGBT pride) flag going up in its place, representing the Supreme Court’s decision to make marriage equality the law of the land.

And did it resonate. At this moment, the post has nearly 260,000 Likes and over 190,000 shares.

The problem? Well, we got the credit wrong. And the cartoon was modified from its original form. 
On Sunday we learned that the first three panels of the Confederate flag going down was the work of Hartford Courant editorial cartoonist Bob Englehart, who originally posted it on June 22nd (see here: http://sp.lc/OXaHP).

Someone had added the last two panels of the rainbow flag being raised. In doing so, they removed the original caption “Going…going…gone” and, even worse, deleted Mr. Engelhart’s signature, which also included the date and the Hartford Courant copyright.

We screwed up. We found the image on Twitter and credited the editorial cartoon syndicate Cagle Cartoons, which appeared in the doctored cartoon.

Thankfully for us, an editor at the Hartford Courant generously asked that we only correct the record here, which we were eager to do.

In sum: We apologize to Mr. Englehart and his colleagues at the Hartford Courant. Everyone here who liked that post should go over and check out his work. If that cartoon resonated, you’ll be pleased to know Mr. Englehart publishes multiple times a week.
- SPLC digital team
Below is the original cartoon, which is copyright the Hartford Courant:


Kurt said...

I see this frequently: reputable websites using content from Twitter, YouTube, etc. that hasn't been vetted for copyright violations. Rolling Stone Magazine, e.g., often links to YouTube videos of performers in their online articles, some of which are probably copyright violations. I'm not sure they appreciate that many people "share" things they don't have the rights for.

W Rand said...

I actually had a web editor tell me that anything posted on the web was free to reuse.