So, my buddy Jason suggested I pick up the new invincible iron man and turn to page 12. I go down to the local elitist comic bookstore and quickly find what I am looking for. And HOLY CRAP. A photo I took at comicon two years ago is IN iron man. IRON MAN! This happened to my buddy Sean Lee as well. I would have never thought in my entire photo career that I’d end up in a comic book, let alone a marvel comic, and an iron man one on top of that.

UPDATE – I have contacted Marvel and Sal (Wolverine). Further updates as they are received.



Filed under Photo Stuff

33 responses to “BERSERKER BARRAGE

  1. James

    Sue em! Get some cold hard cash!

  2. marvel

    sue the fuck out of them

  3. tim

    Whatever you do don’t leave out the subject of the photo – he’s really the creative source!

  4. Joe

    Meh – suck it up – you’ll be envied by many.

  5. commenter

    My advice would be “suck it up”.

  6. duffman

    get naked!

  7. mungler

    Are you nuts? They just immortalised you, and you want to bitch about it?

  8. WOwner

    You took the photo. Did you pay the guy in the photograph for the rights to use his image? Did you pay Marvel for the rights to use Wolverine?

    Wouldn’t it be better to just take it as a compliment, point it out on your blog, and then hope that the publicity leads you to getting paid to create new works instead of trying to milk money out of what should be fair use? Especially since, unless the answer was yes to the questions I asked above, you are using a lot of fair use with your photo.

    Copyright was designed to encourage people to create. Create more, take more interesting photos, and worry less. If you make good works you’ll make good money.

    • Bill Cooper

      “Did you pay the guy in the photograph for the rights to use his image?”

      He doesn’t need to. When you’re in a public place there is no presumption of privacy, and a public gathering such a comic convention applies by any measure. Freely documenting said event is well within his rights. Not only does a photographer, news organization or ANYONE not need to pay a single dime to a person they’re photographing in a situation like this, they don’t even need permission. This is the law.

      “Did you pay Marvel for the rights to use Wolverine?”

      Again, he doesn’t need to. As a photo journalist documenting a public event, he need not ask Marvel’s permission nor pay them a dime to photograph people dressed as their characters. Again, this is the law.

      And no, it’s not a matter if fair use. That is not what applies here.

      On the other hand, if this artist did, in fact, use this photograph without permission and the photo was not distributed in a way that granted permission for use — Creative Commons, for instance, though most CC licenses are very specifically do NOT permit commercial use — then the artist is likely infringing on the photographer’s copyright REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE PHOTO DEPICTS.

      If Paul wanted to raise a stink, he would be well with his legal rights to. The difficulty is proving his photo was the source of the comic image and not another photo of the same guy.

      The people suggesting he just be “happy” that his work may have been used without his permission are idiots. If it was in fact sourced from his photo, at the very least he is owed a credit. If he’s happy with that, so be it — it would suffice for me — but this stupid, fanboyish “oh isn’t it wonderful, your picture is in a comic!” is idiotic and immature, and is being pushed by people who likely have never been paid for their creative efforts.

      • Nathan

        It isn’t just about what the law allows you to do, it’s also what is morally correct.

        Sure you can just ignore morals and be a dick, but then don’t expect any sympathy.

        I get what you’re saying about getting paid for your creative efforts, but I don’t think that really applies to this specific case. I stand by my point that you should just feel honored and stop acting like a baby.

      • WOwner

        You are correct in that he does not have to license either of those things. I used them to point out how much fair use he was engaging in by taking that photograph.

        Marvel is also using the fair use principal of a derivative work. That is the same bit of fair use that allowed Andy Warhol to create paintings of Campbell’s Soup Cans or Marylynne Monroe without the need to pay a licensing fee.

        If Paul, as you put it, made a stink and Marvel wanted to fight him Paul would lose. Besides the fair use argument they also have the fact that there has been no monetary or reputation damages. In fact this post has probably increased both for him. I know I would not have known about his blog if this post had not made it into the Hacker News RSS feed.

        What would most likely happen is that if he sues Marvel would buy him off because giving him a little money would be cheaper than paying for their lawyers

        Of course by suing it could damage Paul’s reputation. Look at the negative heat that everyone involved with the Obama HOPE photo. Since the AP, the photographer Mannie Garcia, and the person who photoshopped the picture Shepard Fairy all look worse because of it.

  9. there’s nothing you can do

  10. I think your readers need more info. Was this photo under a Creative Commons licence? Even if it wasn’t, I doubt there is anything you can (or should) do about it.

    Be happy a photo of yours was mimicked in a comic book. Makes for a great blog post. But financial compensation is probably right out of the question.

  11. Mike

    You should kick ass.

  12. I think it depends on where they got it from because usually, if someone uses your photo without permission, that is illegal.

  13. Wow, dude. I think the best bet would be to play nice about it and ask for a large print, signed by the artist(s). And I’d choose to view it as a tribute by Marvel to a specific fan. I mean, c’mon, YOU JUST GOT IMMORTALIZED IN A COMIC BOOK.

    I’m just curious as to where Marvel found the photo. If it was on a photo sharing site, such as Flickr, you might want to check whether you’re licensing it under the Creative Commons (CC), or have a copyright applied to it. If you had it available under the CC, with the right conditions set, then Marvel’s use of it is fair.

  14. bon jovi

    Really man? You want money for a picture of a chubby dude in a wolverine costume?

  15. Harleqin

    Buy five copies for your mother.

  16. Nathan

    AFAIK you cannot have copyright over “the likes of you”, meaning that people can draw as many pictures of you as they like.

    Also, seeing as you’re obviously a comic geek, why don’t you try not acting like an American (omg, sue everything!! $$$) and being honored for the fact that Marvel turned your picture into a comic.

    • percept

      I’m trying to figure out where in his post he’s being a baby or crying. Maybe you should stop crying about his crying. How are you gonna masturbate to your comic book collection if your hands are being used to wipe your tears?

      • Nathan

        Hi there, mr. Troll,

        First, you’re replying to the wrong comment.

        Second, “crying like a baby” is just an interpretation, and in no way, shape or form a quote on anything he said.

        Third, I couldn’t care less about comic books.

        Last, two camels in a tiny car.

      • percept

        Why, hello there Mr. Nathan!

        LOL, the troll calls the troll a troll. Touche.

        First, I replied to the correct comment. It was my reply, and I am the judge and juror of what is right and wrong in terms of my reply correct-ness. There’s not a god damn thing you can do about it.

        Second, your interpretation is wrong.

        Third, fat guy in a little suit.

        Last, your forehead extends too far past your eyes. You have a neanderthalic skull structure. This is unfortunate.

  17. That’s not a likeness – that’s copy. Of course it’s a copy of you stealing the likeness of a copyrighted character.

    I guess I would do whatever these artists would do if you stole their shit to make money.

    My guess is they would sue you. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re stealing a likeness in the photo that made them thing there is no way to sue them without being guilty of what you’re suing them for?

    Might be another issue if this was just a hero costume you made up.

    • Bill Cooper

      “Of course it’s a copy of you stealing the likeness of a copyrighted character.”

      Wrong. Stop being an idiot. You clearly have no idea how the law works.

      As a photo journalist documenting a public event, neither the person depicted in the photo nor Marvel and/or the folks who hold the rights to Wolverine have ANY rights to this photo or ANY photos of this person.


      None at all.

      He can document this public event. He can even PROFIT FROM PHOTOS HE TOOK at this public event, i.e. get paid by a news organization for them, and he wouldn’t be breaking a single. Solitary. Law.

      Not one.

      On the other hand, if Marvel knowingly took one of his photos, and said photo was not in the public domain, and they used that photo without his express permission, they are infringing upon copyright protected works … EVEN IF THEY DEPICT THEIR OWN CHARACTER.

      The laws protecting photo journalism are a wonderful thing. Learn them.

  18. mb


    This is probably covered by parody; I would just ask for a panel.

  19. percept

    look what you did. you made the comic book geeks butt hurt.

  20. Pingback: Top Posts —

  21. I imagine that fat bloke in the wolverine costume pulled that pose every time someone with a camera walked past, it’s not exactly and original pose is it?

    Its a sad indictment of your society that the word sue even appears in the comments :(

    I would have been chuffed beyond belief :)

    And yes, ask them for a blown up panel.

  22. fat wolverine

    ok guys i through it would be funny if a fat guy (me) dress like Wolverine. a lot of people liked it . hope everyone got the joke .I would like a big signed print of it . thankz for taking my picture.

  23. fat wolverine

    by the way the artist gave me gloves.

  24. dude, that’s awesome!

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