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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 16th September 2016 > A GIF-WRAPPED PRESENT


Properly attributing every internet image is about to get less daunting


SEA OF SEE: Stealing images found on the internet is shamefully easy, because metadata can be stripped from a file.

ON JANUARY 8, 2015, in celebration of David Bowie’s 68th birthday, British illustrator Helen Green posted a GIF of the musician on Tumblr. A little over a year later, Bowie died, and Green’s animated portraits of him changing his appearance over his career spread across the internet. Many versions of the file have been shrunken, some have been stretched, and others cropped to remove Green’s signature from the lower-right corner. Fans must search out the artist to credit her when sharing the GIF, and Green must vigilantly track down people using it for commercial purposes if she’s to get paid or even acknowledged.

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