Annals of Fair Use: “Shame on Al Gore” and Shame on the State of Texas
Regular readers will know that I have pretty expansive understanding of "fair use" when it comes to photographs. I acknowledge that many cases are quite complicated. Some, however, are not. And when Al Gore and his company not only used this image by Ken Light without permission, but then appealed a small claims court ruling in Light's favor, they were well out of line. Arguably, the judge that found for Gore on appeal is totally wrong. You can find a story on the case here in The New York Times.
Even more importantly (Light would surely agree) is this story from The New Yorker, the source from which Al and company lifted Light's picture of Willingham; it argues that Willingham, who was executed in 2004 very likely was innocent of the crimes he was accused of committing.