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THE SNOWDEN ULTIMATUM

Where does Bourne end and Snowden begin? Where’s the line between truth and fiction? What’s the difference between copyright infringement and fair use parody for the sake of satire?

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After thinking about the scandalous NSA manhunt for Edward Snowden, I realized there are a lot of similarities between the news right now and the Bourne trilogy movies. I tweeted this a couple of days ago.

https://twitter.com/scotttroyer/status/348805858991423491

The next day I thought it might be fun to photoshop Snowden’s face onto a Bourne movie poster. The Bourne Ultimatum promotional image seemed like the best for trying to match up with the photos I could find of our dear whistleblower. (Shout out to the original artists of The Bourne Ultimatum image! See update below.)

The gun in Matt Damon’s hand didn’t really fit the Snowden plot line, so I replaced it with my own hand holding a USB drive (actually an iLok 2). It was a fun little project that only took a few
minutes.

The day after I posted the image to Twitter, Andy Greenberg, a tech reporter for Forbes, saw it and asked if he could use it for an article he was working on. I was a bit surprised. Here’s the great article he wrote: Take a Break From the Snowden Drama For a Reminder of What He’s Revealed So Far

I wish Forbes wouldn’t have cropped the image, because I think the USB stick really makes the image. But oh well. It’s entertaining to see something I made get spread around a little. And hopefully the image gets people thinking about why nearly everyone considers the fictional Bourne identity a hero, but so many view the very real Snowden otherwise.

Let me know if you see the image out there in the wild. 😉

Update 2013-06-26 11:44am: As you can see in the comments section below, a guy named Jasin Boland, who appears to be the photographer of the original image, has contacted me. I’ve emailed him with some questions. Whether he is the sole owner of the copyright or not is still unclear. Perhaps it belongs to Universal Pictures or other digital artists have claims on it as well? Regardless of original ownership, my manipulations of the image for the sake of satire are considered “fair use” under copyright law. Furthermore, I claim no ownership or copyright of my manipulated image and have received no compensation for its usage anywhere.

Update 2013-06-26 12:35pm: I contacted Andy Greenberg at Forbes about the situation. This is his reply:

…I checked with our editorial lawyer, who says that it’s “quintessential parody use. There is no actionable claim for infringement.”

She says she’s even planning to use it as an example in a law school class she’s teaching next semester.

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A Boy & His Kite

Dave Wilton makes great music. Period.

photo of Dave

Dave is as charming as he looks. Photo by Shannon Kaple.

I love when good things happen to my friends. Recently, my friend Dave Wilton, who writes and performs under the name A Boy & His Kite, had his song “Cover Your Tracks” selected to be included in the upcoming The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 2 movie. The soundtrack is out now (available on iTunes) and his full album (which is sure to be amazing) will be out soon November 20th.

candid shot of Dave & Scott

A blurry “vintage” photo from the age of flip phones of Dave and me at The Recording House working on Rudisill tunes.

Dave is a very talented songwriter, musician, engineer, and producer. He’s also one of the nicest guys I know. So if anyone deserves the attention that a Twilight soundtrack attracts, it’s certainly Dave. He makes incredibly beautiful and complex music. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years.

We met through his brother Dan, bassist and one of the three singers/songwriters in Rudisill. Dave was a tremendous help and positive influence over us as we were getting started as a band. He helped guide a few of our recording sessions, bestowed some of his songwriting and musical wisdom with us, and even lent us his gorgeous Tele a few times. (Side note: Dave, I’m going to steal that guitar from you someday. Just FYI. 😉 ).

I’m really excited for Dave and hope everyone can pick up his record when it comes out. Make sure to follow Dave / A Boy & His Kite for all the latest news about his music! If you can, help spread the word about his music too!

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