On the left is my original photo. On the right is the poster that's recently been made available for sale. That image is from a stencil and is a direct copy of my photo. Needless to say nobody ever asked me for my opinion about any of this. The attitude of at least one of the people involved is that it's an original work of art.
This sucks for several reasons:
1. The guy in the photo was killed the day after I shot it and the poster is a $4 limited edition, with a portion of the proceeds going to a memorial fund set up in his name.
2. The stencil image is an icon within the huge cycling community here in Portland. The artist knows he traced it from my photo but evidently nobody else does, since he's the one credited with the image. Google tells me he's a real, exhibiting artist too. Funny, no?
3. Doing anything will likely have an impact on my personal life. He was very well liked and his death hit the cyclocross community hard.
4. I provided a printable file to several of his friends so they could make prints for a memorial or whatever. I guess I should have included a damn license. See what happens when you try to be decent during a time of grief?
So now I have to sort this bullshit out. IANAL but I'm having a hard time seeing fair use. I haven't contacted the printing company yet. I'm still trying to calm down and don't want to send an email or make a phone call without a level head. It's a hipster Portland co-op so who knows how far trying to deal with them will get me. Maybe I need to speak with an attorney first.
Half of me wants to let it go. Nobody is getting rich and it's a memorial to a good human being whose life was cut short. The other half of me feels pretty sorely used, is pissed off about it and wants to make a point. Is making that point worth a bunch of drama, both on the interweb and probably in real life? I dunno.