While The Guardian in London wonders whether Beyonce’s new video is influenced a little too much by Sourth African photographer Peter Hugo’s images of hyenas, and discern the work of Ed Kashi in the shots of buffalo, sand and burning cars, Photo District News are bemused about whether there is really anything at stake at all. “If Pieter Hugo had a monopoly on pictures of hyenas, and Ed Kashi a monopoly on pictures of burning cars or sand,” say PDN, “the courts would be clogged until the end of time with squabbling artists.”
But hold the presses! Mashable showcased the video of Beyonce’s performance at the Billboard Music Awards and then followed up with a comparison of a show last year by Italian pop star Lorella Cuccarini. Turns out the production design of the videos look “strikingly similar”, which Mashable points out is no surprise because that artist (Kenzo Digital) and production company (Tribe Inc. Design) created graphics and concept for both videos. Comments from posters don’t suggest there’s a big issue here, but what’s more a sign of the times is a clash of two forces. One, the importance of copyright for artists making a living, and two, never before has imagery come under such scrutiny, from journalists, to fans to bloggers, and the focus on these kinds of issues is only beginning.