Like a cartoon? Always ask before taking

Daryl Cagle altered cartoon
A cartoon by Daryl Cagle which was re-labelled by the user

Any professional cartoonist will tell you it’s annoying when they hear that one of their cartoons has been used without permission, but it’s doubly annoying when the person doing the taking has made ‘‘amendments’’.

So it must have been, er, triply annoying when this happened to US cartoonist Daryl Cagle because the person doing the amending was not some clichéd copyright-infringing college kid, but was retired Air Force Lieutenant General James R. Clapper Jr. He is President Barack Obama’s Director of National Intelligence.

He used the cartoon above in a presentation to staff and added his own caption to the car and labelled Uncle Sam, the visual archetype for the United States, with his own name.

The Washington Post has the story here, and Daryl Cagle vents his spleen here. See the latter for some staggeringly ill-informed comments in relation to copyright law and the licensing of images, which is how reproductions of drawings are traditionally sold.

Bloghorn admires the fact that Lieutenant General James R. Clapper Jr. knows that cartoons are a great addition to any presentation, but does think he might have asked permission first.

If you like a cartoon, you should always ask before using it. There may, or may not, be a fee, depending on the use, but it’s only polite to ask. And as for ‘‘amendments’’, let the cartoonist do those!

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