A few years ago somebody played a cruel joke on Flickr’s DeleteMe group, where a photo is posted and self-appointed critics decide whether to keep or trash the image. A picture of a cyclist was posted and condemnation was quick. “Soft”, “grey”, “blurry” were among the criticisms as the judges decided the picture was, well, a bit crap. Then it was revealed that the photographer was Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The incident was a small but telling illustration of a modern truth: there are now two photographic worlds, one on Earth and one in cyberspace, each largely unaware of the other’s existence. The last two weeks have provided a spectacular demonstration of what happens when those two worlds collide.

Down on Earth Jay Maisel is a very big name photographer. With a 55 year career, multiple high-end awards and work scattered in museums and private collections around the world, Maisel seems a reasonable candidate for that much overused term “legend”.

Likewise, up in cyberspace, Thomas Hawk is a very big name photographer. With his stated ambition to publish a million images before he dies, and tens of thousands of followers across various social media, he was recently named 4th most influential photographer blogger. Yet a lot of professional photographers are now scratching their heads and asking: who the hell is Thomas Hawk? I know this because last week I ran a poll at a mailing list for pro photographers. The poll had two questions: firstly, who here knows who Thomas Hawk is? And secondly, do you know who he really is? The pros did spectacularly badly. Of over a thousand only two had even heard of Hawk; none could answer the second question.

So in the web photo world Hawk is a very big deal; yet back on earth it’s as if he doesn’t exist. And there’s a very good reason for this: Thomas Hawk doesn’t exist.

Andrew Peterson by Thomas Hawk
Andrew Peterson by Thomas Hawk, used under Creative Commons license
The name Thomas Hawk is a pseudonym employed by one Andrew Peterson, a stockbroker at San Francisco investment company Stone & Youngberg. Peterson / Hawk’s stated rationale for the pseudonym is that US financial regulations mean that if he were to publish his website under his real name everything he writes would have to be vetted by his bosses. On recent evidence this would be a very good idea, for Peterson / Hawk is one very angry stockbroker.

Peterson / Hawk gets angry at a lot of things. Apple. Canon. His phone supplier. His phone handset. He gets periodically very angry at Flickr. But recently he’s mostly been angry – very, very angry indeed – with Jay Maisel.

Ostensibly his fury is over Maisel’s action against tech entrepreneur Andy Baio, who heisted Maisel’s photo of Miles Davis and settled for the alleged infringement out of court to the tune of $32,500. Baio is a reasonably wealthy young man, having sold Upcoming.org to Yahoo in 2005; figures aren’t available, but pitch between 10 and 20 million dollars and you’ll be in the ballpark.

However that hasn’t stopped Peterson / Hawk and others from painting the story as “millionaire photographer crushes poor young artist”, and with very predictable consequences. Maisel had to pull his Facebook page after it was inundated with abuse from Baio supporters, but it didn’t stop there. Anywhere Maisel’s name appeared on the web was considered fair game for attack; juvenile memes were produced smearing the photographer; and Peterson / Hawk published two lengthy and legally questionable blogs savaging Maisel – “a hack photographer” – in just about every way imaginable.

Art inspired by Andy Baio
Finally, and inevitably given that Baio’s supporters were circulating Maisel’s address, some self-appointed freetard revolutionaries plastered the front of the photographer’s home with posters of the infringed image and the slogan “all art is theft”. This seems to have unnerved at least a few of Baio’s supporters, one describing it as a “lynch mob”. That description, however, is not strictly accurate. Lynch mobs usually have some ideological basis, motivated by political, religious or racial hatred. In contrast the mob at Maisel’s house were paid to be there by Baio supporters: in the organisers’ own words it was a “contract art hit”.

The ferocity of the Peterson / Hawk attacks led some to wonder what the stockbroker’s motives really were. When Scott Kelby claimed on the Grid that Peterson / Hawk and Baio were former roommates that seemed to answer the question: Peterson / Hawk was standing up for an old friend. But that only led to further speculation of a business relationship: had Peterson / Hawk, stockbroker, been giving investment advice to his room-mate Baio on what to do with the millions the latter had made on his sale of Ucoming.org to Yahoo? Eventually Peterson / Hawk moved to deny all of this, claiming to have met Baio only once at a press conference, and accusing Kelby of libel.

In fact the real reason Peterson / Hawk got so worked up over the Baio-Maisel affair is much simpler. In March last year Peterson / Hawk decided to get his rocks off – photographically speaking – at the World Erotic Art Museum in Florida. Neglecting to mention to the museum what he was up to, he posted some 350 photos of museum exhibits to his Flickr account. The World Erotic Art Museum was not amused by this unexpected exposure, and hit Flickr with a DMCA takedown notice; Flickr duly removed the images from Peterson / Hawk’s account in December.

When Baio was accused of copyright infringement by Maisel the former consulted lawyers. But Peterson / Hawk is more of a direct action kind of guy; so in his case with the World Erotic Art Museum he launched a blog barrage accusing the museum of fraud. This genius move backfired very badly; the museum regarded the blog posts as libelous, and on January 10th filed suit against Peterson / Hawk in Miami federal court for $2M damages plus attorney fees and litigation costs. Shortly afterward Peterson / Hawk caved in, reached an out of court agreement with the museum, removed the allegations of fraud from his blog, and replaced the offending Flickr set with an abject apology so humiliating it’s practically a Private Eye parody.

So it’s no surprise that Peterson / Hawk should side with Baio against Maisel, a dispute that the stockbroker repeatedly characterised as an example of a wealthy individual or corporation exploiting intellectual property law to crush the little guy: in a very real sense, he could feel Baio’s pain. But it seems Peterson / Hawk has learned little from his recent brush with the intellectual property and libel laws. Here are just a few of Peterson / Hawk’s recent descriptions of Maisel:


“Maisel’s a dick.”

“He’s the worst sort of artist who tries to inflict pain on other artists.”

“He held his feet over the fire and tormented him and hung him upside down to shake $32,500 out of his pockets.”

“I doubt Spielberg’s as big as an prick as Maisel.”

“Apparently thinking it’s bad to extort $32,500 out of someone gets you blackballed from the high-powered Zack Arias / Jay Maisel elite blue ribbon good old boys photography club.”

“People are not extorted by Disney in the same way that Andy was extorted here. They wouldn’t risk tarnishing their reputation in quite the same way that Maisel has tarnished his.”

Talking of reputation, as one of the country’s most respected investment firms Peterson / Hawk’s employers Stone & Youngberg take certain principles seriously. Here’s what they have to say on their website:

“Integrity — At Stone & Youngberg, integrity is paramount to maintaining our corporate culture and our reputation in the industry. We expect our employees to meet the highest standards in both their professional and personal lives.”

Does anyone else see a massive disconnect between the behaviour Stone & Youngberg publicly expect from their employees, and that delivered by this particular employee? Worse, Peterson / Hawk’s website is registered to Stone & Youngberg’s corporate headquarters. To the casual observer – or a lawyer – this makes it appear that the company is associated with and endorses the content of the Peterson / Hawk site.

In one sense the antics of Baio, and Peterson / Hawk especially, are just funny. Despite his supporters’ description of him as an artist, Baio was unable to produce the 8bit version of Maisel’s image himself – he had to pay someone to do so. Likewise the rent-a-mob who turned up to decorate Maisel’s home were paid to do the job by Baio’s supporters. As for Peterson / Hawk’s claims as an artist: well, you be the judge.

But let’s be clear: Andy Baio, a man with a history of breaking and encouraging others to break intellectual property laws, made a considerable amount of money selling his intellectual property to Yahoo under those same laws. His account of his dispute with Jay Maisel provided an ammunition dump for those who wished to attack the photographer for defending his work under the same laws that allowed Baio to profit. And Andrew Peterson / Thomas Hawk has gleefully raided that dump to conduct a campaign of defamation and vilification against Maisel, neglecting to disclose his own recent history of being caught out for copyright infringement and libel.

There’s nothing very funny about an 80-year-old photographer being abused and defamed across the web for the supposed crime of protecting his own life’s work. And there’s definitely nothing funny about a bunch of paid thugs committing criminal damage to the photographer’s home.

Baio – irony alert! – doesn’t allow comments on his own blog that set this witch-hunt in progress. It would take a very brave person to venture into the comments at Peterson / Hawk’s blog, where anyone who supports Maisel – and the law – risks branding as a fascist and a “fucktard”. And unlike Maisel, both Baio and Peterson / Hawk keep their home addresses secret. That really only leaves one place to respond:

Stone & Youngberg
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
(800) 447-8663
(1-415) 445-2300

Their email contact form is here.

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158 Responses to “The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob”

  1. justin leighton justin leighton says:

    Bring the noise …

  2. Freeman Freeman says:

    Sweet. Justice will be served. Good research JN.

  3. sky sky says:

    Dear Sir:
    Reading this post was equivalent to a rainbow roller-coaster ride on the unicorn.
    I take my hat off and bow to your investigative summary.
    Brilliant, simply brilliant.

  4. Carl S. Carl S. says:


    Excellent Work! I gave up on writing in Mr. Hawk’s blog as logic and clear thinking had given way to hypocrisy and childish rants into the ridiculous.

    Again, great research, great writing! Thank you for being a most welcome voice of fairness and reason.

    Kind Regards,


  5. Michelle Michelle says:

    Great article. I had never heard of Thomas Hawk before the Maisel thing, but was unimpressed with his childish name calling and rants. I’ve sent this link to other photographers who had tried to post reasonable comments on Hawk’s blog defending Maisel.

  6. Jake Jake says:

    Hey, you quoted me, awesome! Seeing as my fucktarded comment was also picked up by Techdirt, it may have some legs http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110701/18072314938/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt.shtml

    Copyfascist is some glib coined by Jayel Aheram, but the more refined fucktarded is my own invention (while acknowledging there may have been other independent inventions of that high brow phrase). I really prefer the less inflammatory copyright maximalist, but that’s a lot of letters and the more obnoxious copyfascist seemed to fit the tone of the conversation.

  7. Graham Trott Graham Trott says:

    Brilliant – concise and well researched. Let’s hope this dick and all his cronies get their come-uppance.

  8. Very interesting stuff, had never heard of Hawk before now, and now really don’t know if I want to again.

  9. Dave White Dave White says:

    Blimey Jeremy, Good work. Fascinating. You’re not a bad photographer for a writer 🙂

  10. Spot on Jeremy, as usual. Thank you.

  11. Tom Tom says:

    Fantastic blog piece and investigative work Jeremy.

    Better than watching a film!!

    Kudos to you sir.

  12. Debs Debs says:

    Excellent article! I wish it was in the NYTimes, or somewhere else where more people could see it!

  13. PJ PJ says:

    Excellent article. I have written to a certain company to express my concern over one of their employees.

  14. Andre Friedmann Andre Friedmann says:

    Anyone who thinks Andy Baio is poorer than Jay Maisel got played. Anyone who thinks Andy Baio earned his wealth from *not* selling his intellectual property got played.

  15. MarcW MarcW says:

    It is very, very Amusing to me that so many people claiming to be for “artists’ rights” object to the statutory damages provided for by the copyright law and cited by Maisel. THE WHOLE REASON THEY ARE IN THERE IS SO INDEPENDENT ARTISTS HAVE SOME CLAIM WHEN IT’S HARD TO DETERMINE THERE WAS MUCH ACTUAL DAMAGE TO THE ARTIST. In other words, they’re not in the law so Disney can shake down artists: they’re in there so Disney, which spends more on coffee and donuts for its legal department than Jay Maisel will make in his whole life, has some tiny reason to be AFRAID of artists.

    Do these airbags really think that Disney couldn’t come up with some theory as to how the day care center at the church cost them fifty g’s by putting up a Mickey Mouse on their sign? Or that they even care about the money so long as they get their restraining order and cost the day care thirty grand in legal fees to Teach Them A Lesson? Big Companies HATE these provisions. They use them, of course, since they’re in there, but they cost big companies WAY more than they benefit them. The only people who would like to see them removed from the law more than Jake and his ilk are the “copyfascists” he so despises.

  16. Chris Castle Chris Castle says:

    I agree, too bad it’s not getting reported in the New York Times but also wonder if it’s getting reported at the NYPD or DHS given the government contracting connection.

  17. Heather Heather says:

    If you really want to Blint Hawk, it’s a good idea to make sure his name is in the title.

  18. justin leighton justin leighton says:

    just read the Blint posts … Hawk is a one man car crash of a person … 3 years worth of bile in every direction … you have to give him some credit … He must be the angriest person in the world … No wonder he has such a following … it’s like rubber-necking at a photo RTA … the words Chill the Hell Out.. do come to mind … or Grow the F up … Just who is listening to him and why … Maybe it’s the same reason the National Enquire outsells Aperture … He’s the Rush Limbaugh / Littlejohn of the photographic world…

  19. Daniel Daniel says:

    This post is at least as poisonous as anything Thomas Hawk has written. He may be an asshole, I don’t know, but if he is then you’re an even bigger one.

  20. […] Nicholl in The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob on his Russian Photos blog has yet another of his excellent pieces of research and reporting about […]

  21. You rock Jeremy! Incredible work on outing these cyberthugs. When I grow up I’m going to have a blog just like yours.

  22. Googledearth Googledearth says:

    Wow. That is a fairly fearsome article. Why so much anger and an attempt to get a guy sacked when you aren’t personally involved? That’s not a great article, that’s just more of the same tripe.
    So what if this Hawk guy is a windbag? Posting all those details about him and where he works stinks of either revenge or vendetta. Neither are nice.

  23. Jake Jake says:

    Yeah, so what if this Hawk guy is a windbag?

  24. Cuervo79 Cuervo79 says:

    I, as others have written only got to know about this guy because of the blog posts he wrote about meisel. Most of his examples where like “I’ll write this even though it doesn’t make sense” and “yeah the little guy is allways taken advantage of” I read some comments on a couple of articles he wrote about the meisel topic (from what I saw he wrote 3) and his responses to guys talking about the reality of what happened and that baio was wrong didn’t make any real sense just that he’s against what happened.
    Very interested info you found and its nice to read something that isn’t written by someone blinded with whatever this guy is filled with

  25. Caroline Caroline says:

    I was badly harassed in an “uncensored” group on Flickr that Thomas Hawk administers. A bunch of men I didn’t even know called me a whore, bitch, slut, cunt, slack, dry vagina, and saggy breasted, repeatedly, and referred to my recently (the week before) buried late husband, Lars Hauglie, in mockery of his appearance. One man, a firefighter, said, “I’m sorry about your loss, puta [whore], I really am, but you are nothing but a fucking bitch whore…” It went on for days.

    Hawk did nothing to quiet these men; he could have banned them from the group. Well, of course he didnt; they were his closest friends on Flickr.

    I quit the group and began blogging about the abuse, which continued even after I had left. One man said, “My favorite [post] was, ‘Whose troll is the saggy breasted Petunia Clark [me] guy?'”

    Because the abuse did not stop, I then clicked around Flickr and got enough information to google the work or home addresses of the three worst offenders. I posted them on my Flickr blog. Within hours, my Flickr account was nuked.

    After the furor had died down and some of the men had apologized, I rejoined the group. However, I was then harassed by “trolls,” people using fake accounts to hide their identities. These trolls would appear out of nowhere and make my new screen name, Harbor Lit, into obscenities like “Harder Clit,” call me a cunt, and diatribe about getting me banned from the group.

    The most vocal troll used an expression that sounded familiar. I searched the groups threads and found it was one the Hawk’s friend firefighter favored. I found a few more phrases in the troll’s diatribe that again mapped onto the firefighter.

    I posted a new thread saying, “The troll is Johnny Firefighter!” I was ecstatic and very proud of myself.

    Within ten minutes Thomas Hawk had banned me from the group.

    He then locked down the group so only members could see the threads or the pool, and declared that it was no longer to be an uncensored group. In the Flickrverse, I am regarded by some (two, exactly) as a hero for bringing this resounding exposure of his hypocrisy about.

    I wish I could show you the abuse threads, the ones where they called me a cunt and mocked my late husband…but I just noticed they’ve been deleted.

    That’s the Thomas Hawk I know.

  26. Peter Masso Peter Masso says:

    Excellent article, Brava!

    Mr. Hawk has now taken to deleting entries in his blog he doesn’t like. He’s deleted 2 of mine. Caroline, I did read your piece before Hawk deleted it. I had written you a reply expressing my sadness for what you went through, but Hawk deleted that to.

    Now, as for Hawk and his integrity, here’s an interesting piece – from Thomas Hawk himself and on his blog:

    From Thomas Hawk:

    (Hypocrisy at its’ best)


    Recently I posted a large number of photographs of works of art housed at the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami Beach. I also posted blog entries accusing the World Erotic Art Museum of fraud in defensively responding to my unauthorized posting of the photographs. After discussions with the World Erotic Art Museum, I have decided to remove all of the posted photographs and to retract all of my prior blog entries that may have caused World Erotic Art Museum and its owner Naomi Wilzig embarrassment. I commend the World Erotic Art Museum for the collection it has compiled over the past many years. Its efforts have resulted in a collection that will hopefully be available for enjoyment by generations to come and I encourage everyone to visit World Erotic Art Museum and discover it for themselves. I took the photographs for my own private use and posted them as an individual without authorization. I was not asked by the World Erotic Art Museum to take the photographs or to post them on its behalf nor was I authorized by World Erotic Art Museum or any representative of World Erotic Art Museum to do so. I formally retract all of my prior posted blog entries related to World Erotic Art Museum and accusing them of fraud. I sincerely apologize to the World Erotic Art Museum and its owner Naomi Wilzig for any embarrassment, negative light or bad press that my posting of the photos or blog entries may have caused them.


    Seems Hawk has no trouble stealing, hurting or defaming others. In fact, appears to enjoy it.

  27. Bryan Kendricks Bryan Kendricks says:

    This guy disagrees with you and Jay Maisel on copyright and you decide to savage him on your blog, harass him at his job and bring in an unrelated third party, his employer, in order to try and get him fired? For daring to disagree with you on the internet? Really?

    Jay Maisel pulled his facebook pages before this guy ever even wrote his blog posts. And you blame him for that?

    What a sad commentary on you Jeremy.

  28. Caroline Caroline says:

    Hawk/Anderson refers to “torment” Andy endured at the hands of Maisel et al.

    But when a woman was sexually harassed by Hawk’s friends on his watch, she was supposed to just suck it up.

    No impassioned blog posts about my ordeal.

    Oh, but Hawk did write one about his poor firefighter pal…whose Flickr account had been nuked earlier for… posting the contact information of another person on Flickr.

  29. Jake Jake says:

    Damn. Looks like fucktard has been around for a while. So much for my hopes of licensing revenue.


  30. Joseph Joseph says:

    I do not recall there being a rent-a-mob on the side of Thomas Hawk. I recall the comments on Hawk’s site aimed at him. I know Hawk has a large following, but I would find it hard to believe everyone who follows other photographers would be like minded.

    As for the question to the professional photographers: it is obvious that the second question would not be answered because the first already proved it. I am only an amateur photographer, but the professionals I follow have atleast heard if not interviewed him. It is difficult to become the 4th most influential blogger without people knowing your name (even if it may not be your real name, but that is still undecided). Thomas Hawk (if that is his real name) is not a professional photographer, and even if he was the same professionals would still not know his name. It is all relative because I had never heard of you until this piece, and i know you have never heard of me.

    I understand the reasoning of this piece, but I do not know what your objective is. Are you exposing the real or fake Thomas Hawk, or are you putting pressure on the company Andrew Peterson works for to silence ThomasHawk.com? I do not always agree with everything Thomas Hawk does or says, but I am having a hard time seeing the difference between this article and his.

    As for Caroline. It is true that there was malicious fighting in the Flickr group, but no one involved was innocent. I was repulsed by the comments that were made and the lack of maturity that was on parade. I came very close to quitting the group, and I have not fully engaged myself like I had. I do not have knowledge of Hawks evolvement or lack of in the incident, but I do not think he was or is the blame for it. I want to let you know that I am sorry for the way you were treated, and I should have voiced my thoughts on the matter when they had occurred.

  31. Peter Masso Peter Masso says:


    Hawk has enticed others to hurt Maiesl (defamation to vandalism) for the simple reason that Hawk was upset that Maisel protected his copyrighted art. It appears that Hawk may be bitter has he was sued once for violating regulations and chose to settle. Hawk was hurt, so now he wants to hurt. Read this case:


    Hawk seeks out attention, thrives on conflict and does not care who he hurts or what rules he disrespects for his own selfish or perverse reasons. I mean really, a large number of photos from World Erotic Art Museum he posted to flickr. He’s ill.

    Maisel pulled his facebook page after the attacks came.

    Baio has kept his piece online but has disabled comments so no one has a voice.

    Hawk is selectively deleting entries on his blog to support his view while hiding critical facts about his character.

    Bryan, please read all of Hawk’s posts and then research what Jay has been through, an 80 year old man and icon of the industry who has worked hard his entire life for his craft and livelihood. How terrible that a couple of rich punks can just come along and paint a false, damaging and harmful portrayal of the man – now resulting in property damages.

    Honestly, have you read what Hawk has written? Have you read what our respected artists, teachers and photographers are saying about Hawk? Of course you may side and agree with Hawk, but that’s not where those most in the know are putting their reputations.

    Hawk set out to hurt someone, it may come back to hurt him. He cast the first in a series of stones.

  32. Peter Masso Peter Masso says:


    With the absolute respect and as a fellow semi-pro photog and graphic designer, you’re buying into Mr. Hawks own self promoting hype.

    Most professional had never even heard of him until his latest campaign of attack and self promoting agenda. He shoots a lot, but his work is hardly of a true professional nature or quality.

    Hawk has written 3 terribly damaging pieces and has indeed contributed harm with malice towards Maisel. Hawk has embarked on a cruel campaign and as he is editing his blog, Baio not allowing comments, there must be a place for the other side of Hawk to be brought to light.

    Hawk hurts people! Regardless of opinion, that’s wrong and it’s time he gets called on the carpet!

  33. Joseph Joseph says:

    I understand your points about Mr. Hawk’s opinion pieces, but I still do not understand why syllc.com was dragged into this article. I understand that it is under the registry of the ThomasHawk.com site, but I find it just as distasteful as why this article was written. The author tried to qualify the article by using professional photographers when he could have made the point simply by stating the obvious, that not very many people know the real Thomas Hawk. I also have to disagree with the quality of work he produces. I’ve seen his work. Right or wrong, he is not qualified by his status or work, but by the content of his articles.

    I am curious to see how this all plays out.

  34. Peter Masso Peter Masso says:

    Thomas Hawk is just a trouble maker and hypocrite.

    Check this story about Forbes magazine and Hawk.


  35. Jake Jake says:

    This is pretty damning, “He contacted Forbes who apologised and removed the image before Hawk told them they were welcome to use it free of charge provided he got his name alongside.”

    Oh wait, it isn’t.

  36. MarcW MarcW says:

    As a very wise man once said:

    “Order need not stand defenseless before disorder. Fire can be fought with fire. But when the angels fight, they fight because one must fight to win. When the demons fight, they fight because they are demons from hell, who were born in fire and will love it for ever.”

    Hawk has a chip the size of Nebraska on his shoulder, held on with cobweb and hope. Sometimes the chip falls on those who deserve it but he continues to demonstrate that when he smites the wicked it is basically a fortuitous accident.

    While no one seems to be arguing that he should be fired, if he is going to spew his vitriol it is going to splash back on him and those close to him. A few letters to his employer *might* get him in trouble, though frankly it will likely be ignored. But once somebody who has a good cause of action and a full mad on goes after him for something he posts on his website, the fact that he’s registered his domain to his employer’s address at the very least means they’re getting subpoenas and doing depositions and that kind of thing looks very, very bad.

    I won’t claim that letters to his employer are actually a noble effort to help him avoid the abyss, because obviously they are not. But when you play with fire, you get burned. The last time he got burned it didn’t seem to make enough impression – he’s not as smart as Mark Twain’s cat, apparently. He will continue to get burned, because decent people are under no obligation to act with decency towards those who will not do the same. For a time, they will, but everything has a limit. It is not required, nor is it doing him any favors, for people to avoid responding to his venom, because eventually he’s going to tick off the wrong person and then the whole cartload will fall on his head.

  37. Peter Masso Peter Masso says:

    Jake, respectfully, I think you might be missing the point. It’s the constant pursuit of attention, getting in trouble, causing trouble – but when tables are turned, he cries foul. He then debated alternatives to giving the photo for free. Hawk wants it both ways and that’s wrong. As is hurting people.

    I have no issue with you at all, but Mr. Hawk is hurting people while trying to paint himself, Baio, et al., as poor victims. The hypocrisy is also upsetting.

    MarcW, very well put! And agreed!

  38. Richard Maturkis Richard Maturkis says:

    The fact that Thomas Hawk lists his employer address within his website domain info is a potential for that firm to be linked to hawks online liability and he is really putting himself out there. Really, i think he’s a joke. His own parody. Pathetic.

    Registration Service Provided By: SingleHop, Inc
    Contact: sales@singlehop.com

    Domain name: THOMASHAWK.COM

    Registrant Contact:
    NA N/A ()

    One Ferry Building, Suite 275
    San Francisco, CA 94111

    Administrative Contact:
    Andrew Peterson (apeterson@syllc.com)
    One Ferry Building, Suite 275
    San Francisco, CA 94111

    Technical Contact:
    Powweb Admin (sysadmin@powweb.com)
    Fax: +1.3102785401
    2168 S. Atlantic Blvd.
    Monterey Park, CA 91754

    Status: Locked

    Name Servers:

  39. Jake Jake says:

    Hawk may be a gasbag, but he’s certainly not as dumb as you apparently think he is. I mean, really, online mobs are an unruly bunch– when they are out they are out. And TH is well aware of the phenomenon. If you really think you’re the first detectives to coyly encourage harassment of his employer, well, I’m certain you’re wrong because I know it’s happened twice before.

    So really, I don’t think S&Y will give a rat’s ass that a few dozen “real” photographers call to report on TH’s shenanigans, which are obviously (well, to any thinking person) well known to his colleagues and bosses in SF.

    Really, none of you are nearly as clever as you think you are, not even the guy that claims to be “one of the most versatile photographers working today.”

    Now I feel dirty sticking up for Hawk. But I’ll consider that I’m doing all these professional photographers a favor by dissuading them from wasting collective hours conducting your investigations, writing harassing emails and making obnoxious calls to his employer.

  40. Googledearth Googledearth says:

    So… having now gone and read all of this, it’s a bitch fight isn’t it? Handbags at dawn. Clearly ‘Thomas Hawk’ is an opinionated ass, I even found a Thomas Hunk pastiche! But I thought he was allowed to have an opinion, isn’t that what blogging is about?

    It might be brash, not brilliantly written, but it is an opinion.

    For what it’s worth, my opinion is that the more I read this particular article the more it sounds like the writer has gotten very angry, very quickly and has tried to google death a twit, giving the target more coverage than ever whilst making himself appear something of a pretentious, elitist blowhard.

    Oh no! Someone is wrong on the Internet! That must be a first.

    Are you really so naive to think that turning into some, I’m more professional than thou scrap is going to get anyone anywhere?

    As an aside, did you also complain so vehemently about the Obama image being used for ‘art’? Did you post private details of the people that supported that? Maybe you did, maybe I just missed it.

    Thomas Hawk is an ass, but that’s ok, that is allowed. You should remember that next time you decide to try to destroy a mans living just because you got your knickers in a twist.

  41. Bob Croxford Bob Croxford says:

    Thomas Hawk / Andrew Peterson is a stockbroker. To work as a a stockbroker one needs to pass two exams and then find a sponsor. Its a very protected industry.

    Photography has no entry barriers at all. The ONLY protection professionals have is the law of copyright. Andrew Peterson attacks copyright by advocating Fair Use for what is quite obviously commercial projects. He advocates the Creative Commons licence which is another attack on professional photographers. His argument against Maisel was not only a personal attack it was an attack on all talented professional photographers with integrity and the laws that protect that integrity.

    Thanks to Jeremy we now know a bit more about our enemy.

  42. justin leighton justin leighton says:

    jake … do tell more … when has it happened twice in the past … links pls … Any other bits of Hawks past you want to share ? Pls don’t be shy … We’re all ears … what were the best moments for you … again thanks for sharing…

  43. MarcW MarcW says:


    None of this makes a speck of difference and in a hundred years you’ll all be dead. (I am hedging my bets on me.) Looked at with any sense of perspective at all, everything is pointless.

    Given that, a person might as well use the time they have in a way they find Amusing. Poking fun at airbags and petulant thieves is just exactly as good a use of it as any other.

  44. ruan niemann ruan niemann says:

    Right, so a distasteful article filled with bile and righteous anger was written by a wannabe. And that article led to a internet mob hurling abuse at a photographer. and the mob’s reaction was angry and bitter and totally out or proportion to what actually happened. Then others with their own axe to grind piled on and created an unseemly mess.

    The question is who is the wannabe the I am referring to?
    Hawk, or this clown who’se name i cant remember.

  45. christian kee christian kee says:


    It is very funny how different this same story can be made to look like, depending on the view/side the writer wants to take. I’m sure all of you have heard the original story behind this all? Or more likely, what was the ‘photograph’ Baio used in the first place; an 8-bit pixel graphics look-a-like of that famous photograph..

  46. Chris Castle Chris Castle says:

    While I commend Jeremy’s work on this, the difference between this case and the usual “Metallica-ization” of artists who challenge the anonymous but loud few is that it resulted in an assault on someone’s home. That certainly sounds like good old garden variety crime to me for which the DMCA will not help anyone.

    While YouTube, et al, would like you to believe that there is a fundamental tenant of jurisprudence that pronounces that he who gets caught need only promise to be a good boy and can avoid punishment, that is not the law anywhere but the DMCA, not when someone’s home is vandalized.

    Until there is a police investigation and criminal prosecution, we do not know conclusively if a law has been broken, who broke it and what to do about it. But what I do believe quite strongly is that if there were a real possibility of going to Rikers, these “artists” would sing, sing, sing sing. And then everyone would find out.

  47. steeltoad steeltoad says:

    Facts ? You want to use facts ? You’re new to this internet thing aren’t you ?

    (very well done)

  48. ummmm... ummmm... says:

    I think this Jake guy is actually Thomas Hawk, or is it Andrew Peterson? (shit pot, consider yourself stirred) 0_<

    In all seriousness though, the one thing none of these blogs, comments, etc will fix is the fact that there are now hundreds (possibly? Maybe it's just tens) of misguided people who have already taken this fight off the Internet and directly to Jay Maisel's home. That is wrong, wrong, WRONG!

    I, for one, hope Jay finds them all, gets them arrested, then sues the everliving poop out of the online instigators, starting with the idiot at Gizmodo who started this whole shit-storm and including Mr. Hawk. Wanna sue somebody for slander? look no further. I bet it could be easy to prove that the one-sided postings on Gizmodo and Mr. Hawk's blog have led to the attacks on Mr. Maisel.

    But let's remember this too. When all is said and done, 50 years from now, the name "Jay Maisel" will still be in the hearts and minds of true photographers everywhere. His legacy will live on through his masterful, iconic work. The name "Thomas Hawk" will probably be associated to some future cartoon character yet to be created and there will be no one around who will know that it was once some stockbroker's nom-de-plume, and no estate of Andrew Peterson will bother to sue for copyright infringement.

  49. rather not say rather not say says:

    Cherie Larson, VP for Human Resources clarson@syllc.com

    Kenneth E. Williams

    President and CEO, Stone & Youngberg LLC kwilliams@syllc.com

    L. William Huck

    Chief Executive Officer, S&Y Capital Group LLC lhuck@syllc.com


  50. Jake Jake says:

    Justin, nice try, but no dice.
    ummmmm, seriously? I’m Hawk. I bet he lolled over that. Or should I say I lolled over that one. I mean both of us, not just us.

    Crime? Vandalism? If they need to illustrate “grasping at straws” for a new dictionary, then surely arresting someone for vandalism for the “crime” of taping 3 posters to the side of a graffiti covered building would be a good candidate. Blinded by the hatred is a nice term.

  51. justin leighton justin leighton says:

    cumon Jake … you’re dying inside, let it out, You know you want to really … we would all listen to you and you will be at the center of all our attention … you know deep down you want to come clean … Come out of the darkness and into the light Jake … You keep coming back here you must like us … best wishes we all hope to hear your confessions soon … You get a lot of crap for being your online self … that’s not the real you is it … Bet you’re a really nice guy

  52. 01101001 01101001 says:

    Jake is Thomas Hawk. I have never seen them both at the same time.

  53. Jake Jake says:

    Let me prove once and for all that I’m not Hawk.

    That WEAM lawsuit was a ridiculous abuse of the judicial system, Hawk is in no way guilty of breaking any law or violating anyone’s copyright, and it’s quite clear the only reason he settled is because he’d rather post an apology than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring lawyers to defend him. WEAM engaged in transparent abuse of the DMCA takedown process by claiming copyright on works of art in which they held no copyright. In a sane world, that would be subject to the same statutory damages as copyright infringement, in which case WEAM would never have filed their frivolous lawsuit as it would have opened them up to damages on a scale similar to what they were trying to legally extort from Hawk.

    Now, if you think there’s any way Hawk would write that AFTER he’s settled his lawsuit, you’re dumber than even I had imagined.

  54. Jake Jake says:

    Keep in mind there is no law against being an insufferable blowhard.

  55. MarcW MarcW says:

    Why on Earth would anyone think Hawk wouldn’t write that under a deniable pseudonym?

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any reason to think Jake is Hawk, and I don’t think he is. But the attempt to disprove it is just silly.

    And as for WEAM’s copyright claims, while they may have overstated them by implication, they did in fact own copyrights in several of the works, which were commissioned by the originator of the collection.

  56. Jake Jake says:

    Surely you’re not suggesting that taking a photo of a copyrighted work of art & posting it on a noncommercial photo sharing website is copyright infringement? Granted, WEAM would at least have a good faith claim on those DMCA notices. But the others– completely & wholly fabricated, a sham of a travesty and should’ve been punished with deterrent fines. Alas, they puffed their chests up real big and won the day. For they had no fear– even if guilty, there are no statutory damages for malicious, false claims of copyright infringement under the DMCA. Where’s the balance?

    If I could go back in time, I’d recommend Hawk only file counter notices for those artworks whose copyright had long expired. Alas, my time machine is on the Fritz the Cat.

  57. Jake Jake says:

    Runnyman, you betray your amateur status if you don’t know who Jeremy Nicholl is. After all, he’s been described (by himself, granted) as being “best known for classical photojournalism, in recent years Nicholl has extended his interests to medium format portraiture with considerable success, making him one of the most versatile photographers working today. ”

    Surely any REAL photographers would know the names of all the most versatile photographers working today.

  58. ruan niemann ruan niemann says:

    Sorry Jake. i should have known better. as most “real” photographers were asking who Hawk is, i was asking who this living legend is. (dammit i know its james or something) that clearly makes me a amateur. but wait. i’m not actually even a photographer.

    what this “hatchet job” needs is a jakeroll.

  59. Jake Jake says:

    Nah, they’d probably sue me for vandalism… seems they have quite the low standard.

  60. Caroline Caroline says:

    Just to put it to rest: The Jake posting here is a Flickr member, like Hawk/Anderson. Jake appears to be on, Flickr, a “real Person,” and not Thomas Hawk.

    For the record, here is “Thomas Hawk” defending the right of his friend, the Washington State firefighter, for having posted the name and address of another person on Flickr.


  61. another photog another photog says:

    From the SYLLC website – where Thomas Hawk aka. Andrew Peterson works -really??

    Integrity — At Stone & Youngberg, integrity is paramount to maintaining our corporate culture and our reputation in the industry. We expect our employees to meet the highest standards in both their professional and personal lives.

  62. Mark Mark says:

    I’ve met Thos. Hawk on several occasions via Flickr meet-ups in San Francisco several years ago. In my interactions with him (and in my opinion) he was socially awkward, egotistical, self-serving and very ill-informed about photography, photographic history, copyright and the realities of earning a living from photography. In short, I found him to be naive in outlook, aggressive in action, and disturbingly two-faced in his interactions with people. He’s not to be trusted in my opinion, and he’s done a lot to damage the reputations of businesses, people, and photography in general. He may have a goal to publish 1 million images, but he largely gives away his images for free, thus damaging the ability of others to earn a living.

    I used to think that people were inherently good, but I don’t think so with this guy. In my opinion he’s angry, vindictive, and gets off on being mean to people. If that’s not evil and pathetic, I don’t know what is.

  63. Caroline Caroline says:

    Hawk/Anderson’s “HBU” was the first group I joined on Flickr. In that group, he received about 95% sycophantic comments, and 5% that dare to criticize.

    It wasn’t until he banned me that the scales fell from my eyes. Not for the banning, but for being able to see the group for the lair of psychophants they mainly are.

    This morning I received a Flickr Mail from MarkW, whom I don’t know, who says he is now the third person to regard me as a hero for upsetting Hawk’s [crab]apple cart!

    Momentum is growing.

  64. TH TH says:

    Let’s also remember that I got a flickr group nuked after bullying and generally harassing another member and then posting that persons contact details in the group. But free speech should allow to do so. It’s my right as a US citizen to be a complete cunt.

  65. Caroline Caroline says:

    Oh no, a THroll in our midst!

  66. justin leighton justin leighton says:

    Not Jake the runner …
    and your friend from SA Ruan

    Welcome both

    Your wasting your time trying to fire JN up … The only time I’ve ever seen him pissed is when someone shot him in the back …

  67. Caroline Caroline says:

    What type of vandalism took place at Mr. Maisel’s home?

    What did the alleged posters that were allegedly attached to his wall say?

  68. ruan niemann ruan niemann says:

    i couldnt really care less anyway. i was on the fence in the initial matter anout the pic, disgusted by how the fallout spiralled out of control, and now see the same pile-on happening here. and find it equally vile.

    a amateur blogger and a photographer is one thing, but a trained, award winning journalist should certainly hold himself to higher standards?

  69. ruan niemann ruan niemann says:

    speaking of balanced stories, Caroline, you told the kind people here the heart wrenching story of how you were attacked and taunted.

    i dont assume you’d care to tell them the full story of what actually happened, would you?

  70. Jake Jake says:

    Good job Sherlock Leighton! Google’s new image search feature is nice, innit?

  71. Peter Masso Peter Masso says:

    I’m truly stumped by those supporting Hawk. Thank goodness there is a great blog here with followers who are able to see through Hawk (Jake? either Hawk, or one of his mislead flock) and read the facts, pull out the hypocrisy on Hawks’ blog, posts and his personal past run-ins.

    I think he’s just a spoiled brat, out to make trouble and bring attention his way.

    Those sticking up for his photography, please! My 9 year old niece gets perfect exposures everytime with her Nikon coolpix. Hawk is a clear case of quantity over quality and an out of control ego.

    Hawk is defending those who are breaking the law, hurting others and causing senseless turmoil and pain. Jay Maisel is a good man, earned his way and worked hard to be where he is. He has every right to defend his copyright and property, it’s a original content creators duty.

    Hawk and Baio are just restless bullies who want to take what they aren’t talented enough to create.

    Jake, Hawk – give it up. Time to go on damage control as you’ve made a lot of enemies. Why? How senseless.

  72. MarcW MarcW says:

    “Surely you’re not suggesting that taking a photo of a copyrighted work of art & posting it on a noncommercial photo sharing website is copyright infringement?”

    I’m not suggesting anything, and don’t call me Shirley. *cymbals crash*

    It certainly *could* be. There is nothing in “noncommercial,” “photo-sharing,” or “website” that automatically defeats a copyright holder’s rights. It might be. It might not. But it’s certainly strong enough for a DMCA claim in good faith. I haven’t any idea of the format of the claim: if they claimed individual infringements in works they didn’t own, then frankly I agree that some sort of sanction would not be unreasonable, and I would be fine with the copyright law providing for same.

  73. QT Luong QT Luong says:

    I found most of the article provided an interesting perspective, however I find it unwarranted, disgracious, and eventually probably counter-productive to try to involve TM’s employer and implicitly try to get some to complain to them.

  74. Caroline Caroline says:

    The situation in Hawk/Anderson’s Flickr group was so out of control that his firefighter pal said he was going to send my Flickr photos of myself with marijuana to the Los Angeles Police Department. He knew that I was a medical user of the plant with a history of Stage 4 cancer, but such were the times…at the time…

  75. IS IS says:

    No matter what one thinks of Maisel or Thomas Hawk, posts like this do no good to anyone. In all that I’ve read of the story, this post is the worst of them all, trying to ruin the personal life of Thomas Hawk / Andrew Peterson.

    Immature and uncalled for.

  76. Jake Jake says:

    I think my post is in queue because it has two many links. Let’s try it with one many. Feel free to delete either.

    Hey Pete,

    Funny enough, most of those you think are in Hawk’s flock don’t even like the guy. So there’s that. Meantime, there’s this whole wide world outside of “real” photographers who see this copyright clampdown for what it is– an attack on artistic freedom. Heck, check out what the more enlightened think about it– they even picked one of my postings as comment of the week from the post titled, If Jay Maisel’s Photograph Is Original Artwork, Then So Is The Pixelated Cover Of ‘Kind Of Bloop.’ You won’t like this article, and you’ll likely chalk it up to another sheep in Hawk’s flock, but sad for you Masnick is a great writer & his blog probably has 100 times the audience of this little thing.


    (the comment of the week post was on Sunday. removing the link b/c I think I’m tripping the filter)

    Now where was I? Oh, I’m making many enemies? Really now, all the enemies I’ve made I’ve never heard of and never herd of me, so I doubt our paths should ever cross. And you really think someone has developed an enmity for me based upon a few comments on this 2-bit blog? There’s lot to make one enemy, but surely this doesn’t rise to that level, and if it does they’re not worthy of me bother with them. That makes no sense, so read the Techdirt post, those guys can write!

    Moving along to MarkW, ah yes that’s the crux. For if it’s a copyright violation to photograph any copyrighted material… well then, you better stop taking photographs because each of us is in violation early every time we click the shutter. Read my — that’s right, MY– comment of the week. It’s the whole point! This attitude that creativity stops with the creation of new art is absurd. All whole culture is built around remix & sharing & transforming old works into new. Where would be jazz in this day, surely not for sale in record stores, as surely as 3 notes from a record are enough to dock 25% of the proceeds from a 40 minute album. That’s where it is so far, fortunately photographers have yet to feel the sting.

    But with the copyright clampdown coming, and attitudes like MarkW’s coming to prevail, the freedom to photograph and share those photos– with friends, online or even in art galleries– is at risk. The massive chilling effects created by the possibility of a $150,000 fine would soon ensure that no one dared photograph The Bean or the Eiffel Tower in the evening lest they be bankrupt a fortnight hence. Can we not see the folly of this attitude?

  77. Jim Felt Jim Felt says:

    What a stinking pile of poo you’ve uncovered here. Jay has always presented himself as a freelance photographer as well as a member of organizations like ASMP that exist simply to promote both cordiality, business knowledge and ethics within the pro shooter realm.
    He would have been totally remiss NOT to go after the scumbag who boosted his copyrighted image.
    Why shouldn’t he? His career was and is based on the concept of ownership of images by the artist who created them.
    Good for him!
    And, maybe even better, GOOD FOR YOU, for outing this crap to those of us who actually work in the field and have never before heard of Hawk/Peterson.

  78. Dan Dan says:

    Those posters who say you are terrible for posting this article are right. You are terrible for pointing out the truth. You are terrible for making this understandable. You are terrible for showing us who the whining parties really are.

    If you would only stick to lies, name calling and whining it would be so much easier to believe the story of the ‘poor starving artist’ being picked on by the big mean guy with a Nikon.

  79. Googledearth Googledearth says:

    Huh, how does being a farmer make you an expert?


  80. justin leighton justin leighton says:

    Can we pls stop feeding Jake Rome … he is a bit of a angry young man … Wouldn’t say his was a photographer/artist/anything to do with anything really … He says his day jobs an engineer and he’s single so must have lots of time to sit on forums…

    Just looked at his blog/twitter/flickr accounts etc … So you don’t have to … Looks like no one really has any interest in what he has to say or do with photography or anything…

    Thought the way he was banging on he might be interesting … No… just a bit daft

    First time I’ve looked at the cyper world of photography … wow there’s some angry people out there with cameras …

  81. Jake Jake says:

    Since Justin can’t seem fit to follow his own advice, I’ll see fit to take the bait. Additional links to follow in next comments, since I’m only allowed one link per.

    I’m in angry young man! But I do have a bit more notoriety than that, c’mon Sherlock. I mean, without me there would have been no Day of the Donut: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2008/04/flickr-quells-v/

    After that, I led a bunch of fake photographers to create a humble book to raise funds for a humble cause: Lots of anger went into that one.

    We shan’t talk about my political activism too much, but suffice it to say that I helped reopen a neighborhood park. Oh, and I must claim my share of credit for organizing a small marathon. If you look close you can see me twice! Proud my “anger” helped raise $20,000.

    Of course, that’s the same photographic cesspool that has churned out the looks of Jonas Peterson, although I’m sure he’d disclaim all association at this point. You can see many of the cohabitants in these amateur shots.

    But yes Justin, if it makes you a big man to dig up “dirt” on someone who has done you the wrong of disagreeing openly with your bullying opinion, then fire away. Me, I’m not much bothered by your chest thumping. Is this a plan to scare me off, do you next plan to post my work info and encourage your “real” photographer friends to call my boss in some misguided attempt to get me fired? Seems to be all the rage, engaging in the systematic real-life harassment of folks that you falsely perceive are forming some internet mob to attack you online.

    Or we could just forget about all that, you could stop worrying about who I am and address the issues raised by myself here and by Mr. Masnick in Techdirt in a calm & rational manner. Your choice.

  82. Jake Jake says:

    After that, I led a bunch of fake photographers to create a humble book to raise funds for a humble cause: http://wide-farm.flywheelsites.com.flickr.net/en/2011/04/26/the-icebox-group-made-a-book/ Lots of anger went into that one.

  83. Jake Jake says:

    We shan’t talk about my political activism too much, but suffice it to say that I helped reopen a neighborhood park. Oh, and I must claim my share of credit for organizing a small marathon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hw66FtSUhY If you look close you can see me twice! Proud my “anger” helped raise $20,000.

  84. Jake Jake says:

    Of course, that’s the same photographic cesspool that has churned out the looks of Jonas Peterson, although I’m sure he’d disclaim all association at this point. You can see many of the cohabitants in these amateur shots, http://wide-farm.flywheelsites.com.flickr.net/en/2010/05/07/show-time/

  85. Caroline Caroline says:

    Jake, welcome to “Who Cares?”

  86. 01101001 01101001 says:

    I would just like to say again that Jake is 1000% Mr Hawk.
    This “jake” character is a made up person.

  87. Susan May Tell Susan May Tell says:

    Excellent blog post! Appreciate the posting of the contact link for the company Hawk/Peterson works for. When I wrote them I pointed out the irony that on their website they include the Emeryville Festival of the Arts, Escondido California Center for the Arts, and LACMA as their “community.”

  88. SF Lights SF Lights says:

    Sorry, but any sort of comments towards someone you believe to be a horrible person or a disgrace to society that should have their rights restricted in the form that this article has taken don’t make sense to me. If you really hate him for being so low, why be just as low yourself to prove him wrong? If you can do it without doing that, then you really do have a point.

    But I don’t think you can.

  89. Butch73 Butch73 says:

    I don’t ever remember seeing anywhere that Masel described Baio, Honan or Hawk/Peterson using terms anything like a “dick,” “prick,” “extortionist,” etc., etc.

    Justin has simply shared the true facts behind who Hawks/Peterson is and how to contact the owner of his web site registry … I will concede, I am not happy Justin chose to use the term “freetard” … I think there are many other worthy and socially acceptable terms that could be used instead

    Sharing the true identity of Thomas Hawk or that Peterson’s employer actually hosts Hawk’s blog … or that the truth that Hawks/Peterson and Baio have both had their own problems with infringement in the past is important to the discussion … or that Baio likely received millions from the sale of IP (the term hypocrite comes to mind) … and really didn’t have to tap into his kids’ college fund to pay Maisel … or that considering the cost of living and taxation in NYC, Maisel is not likely the extremely rich fat cat some would have us believe …

    I contend, that even though Justin and others have uncovered many more details than Honan and Hawks/Peterson either were not aware of, or chose to ignore to make their point of view more sound to the ininformed … there is likely much more in the way of details as to why Baio wrote a check to Maisel to settle this issue rather than launch a Fair Use defense … I really have a feeling expense could have been a secondary issue in the decision to settle … if we indeed had ALL the facts … and not merely speculate based upon what Baio has shared … after all that IS all we know for sure about the Maisel infringement … Jay has not shared his side of the story and there are no public court records with the details …

    At least Justin did do his homework as to many on the facts that others glossed over and he offered information based upon logic and research, not like Hawks/Peterson and Honan who offered half truths, unfounded charges and distortion of the facts using the guise of opinion (opinion) so they would generate an emotional response and not reasoned thought …

  90. MarcW MarcW says:

    “For if it’s a copyright violation to photograph any copyrighted material… well then, you better stop taking photographs because each of us is in violation early every time we click the shutter. ”

    I didn’t say that, and it’s a good thing I didn’t, because it’s not true. First of all, I rarely take pictures that include copyrighted objects. Secondly, even if I did, the vast majority of images that are made which include copyrighted objects, when used for the purposes which the vast majority of images are used for (i.e. not much) are not a problem, copyright-wise. If for no other reason than nobody cares. So everybody should feel free to keep right on a-snappin’.

    If you don’t like the law, I repeat, you should talk to your Congressman. Civil disobedience is all well and good when addressing blatant repression of fundamental human rights. But the law already provides reasonable protection for the exercise of freedom of speech related to copyrighted articles. It’s not like the second you include a set of Mickey ears in your twelve-square-foot magnum opus of collage Disney’s lawyers are allowed to set dogs and fire hoses on you. If you disagree with the *level* of protection you are afforded, that’s certainly your right, but it doesn’t give your claim any particular legal, ethical, or moral superiority. The Constitution recognizes *both* the claim of the artist to their copyright and the claim of the speaker to there speech. We have a dynamic tension. That’s how our legal system works. You don’t have to like it, and you’re allowed to criticize it and lobby for change. Until you get it, though, you’re obliged to abide by its restrictions.

  91. Ria Rojek Ria Rojek says:

    Jake is Hawk!

    Look at the rambling, babble and numerous posts. Jake = Fake! I pretty much disregard any posts by “Jake” his posts are useless.


    As for the, perhaps uninformed (facts are easy to loose in the noise) Hawk followers, your perhaps unaware of all the facts of the issue as a number of detractors here are trying very hard to blur what Hawk and Baio have done. He broke the law, got caught, was facing a $200,000 suit and settled for just over $30,000. I’d say he dodged a huge $200k bullet.

    Agree with it or not, Baio broke the law as it exists today! Pretty simple.

    The dumb thing, Baio missed a great opportunity to do something original and achieve recognition, he chose to steal from an elderly man without even the sense of common courtesy to ask. He asked about the music, but not the art. ??? ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law.

    This is the website for the U.S. Copyright Office. Check it out; http://www.copyright.gov/ and another site clearly outlines copyright law here, http://thecopyrightzone.com/ (In fact, Ed G. said Jay should have sued for more!)


    Baio and Hawk began an online campaign of slander and ridicule and set the tone with foul language, unfair characterizations, outright lies and scorn. If Hawk supporters think it’s unfair that his business address and work are available, he should never have attacked Jay Maisel as that is his business. His address is his home, gallery, studio, etc. It is his everything, his entire world! How heartless and cruel must you be to do this to a senior citizen? Now that Hawk has got this terrible ball rolling, well he should not have, as someone else said here, cast that first stone nor should they have attacked Maisel with such evil that others would attack Mr. Maisel the way they have.

    I personally find it ironic that Hawk works for a firm involved in finance and stocks, look at what the wall street world has done to us. While I don’t live in CA, I am alarmed that a firm like S&Y would have such a sleezy man like Hawk working for them. There’s such a hypocritical twist here, google Thomas Hawk and the erotic art museum in Miami (mentioned in a previous post). Yuck! What a scum. Hawk took scores of pictures of an adult exhibit, then uploaded them to his flickr account – violating the museums’ policy. Blah! And regarding S&Y, knowing Hawk is an employee, a mean spirited, unethical, nasty, pervert, well, if I were in a position to do so, I would never do business with them! No Ethics! As if they need be more unethical!

    Hawk and Baio, both very well off, not struggling artists; Yet tried to color the case as class warfare. A rich man unjustly attacking a poor man. Hardly the case.

    The seemed oddly fixated on his home? A building he bought half a century ago in a lousy area in NYC. It is his world, home, business, etc. He made a wise investment before the two bullies were alive, but wow, I’d hate to pay the taxes or heat on that old building.

    They purposely or not reached out to their blog readers to spread the word. The angry mob was born out of the biased, unethical and irresponsible rants and lies that baio and hawk began to spread with great zeal.

    Now, Mr. Maisel who has established himself as an icon in the industry after a lifetiime dedicated to the arts and photography (long before any joe doe could take a silly digital image an upload it to flickr to be ooo’ed and ahhh’ed). He is 80 years old. Likely no more wealthy than Baio after his $2m deal. He made original copyrighted art that, like it or not, Baio copied, stole! Now, this 80 year old man who has spent his life behind the lens is being harrassed, ridiculed, tormented – his property defaced, his facebook page attacked in such numbers he had to take it down.

    This is/was Mr. Maisels’ livelihood and no one has the right to just copy his iconic photograph (steal) then when caught, try to wreck the man! This is his life’s work, his source of income (which no one has the right to question, he’s earned every dime).

    I am no Maisel, but I am a studying photographer and part time model. I copyright every image I take (it only costs $35.00 per upload), I obtain proper model releases for nearly all my shots if I believe I might someday use it commercially. When I modeled with Zox Photography I had to adhere to the same rules with them – it protects everybody. And I saw Zox defend and go after a few images being used illegally on various sites. Infuriating and expensive as they gave up so much studio time to defend their property, this is why there are suits and why they favor the original content creator! This is why copyright laws exist! I praise Mr. Maisel for going after Baio or anyone, who tries to steal his work, his craft, his livelihood!

    What incentive is there to be original and create if some bully is just going to come along and take it?

    To “Jake”, Ria Rojek is my real name and my real email address was used on this form, I have a feeling you’re just hiding, wanting to stir up trouble and watch the action. You also seem to have a lot of time on your hands, look at all your posts. ???

  92. Paul Murray Paul Murray says:

    The article was very informative, well researched and clear. The situations that it describes are amazing. While digital media and the Internet have created new challenges and adaptations for intellectual property law, the underlying concepts and protections remain the same.

    Jay has a well earned international reputation as a professional photographer. He is honest, reasonable and approachable. His protection of his intellectual property is his right, and is an important to all of those who would assert or rely on their IP rights.

    Often six year-old children demonstrate a better understanding and appreciation of ownership, sharing and wrongful actions than do some of those who have been critical of Jay. Apart from the dialogue on the issues, behavior that was libelous and/or offensive in the pre-digital/Internet era remains reprehensible today, and detracts from the credibility of those who engage in it.

  93. Ria Rojek Ria Rojek says:


    Thank you for posting your thoughtful comment! 🙂

    You and all others’ who ‘understand’ what’s happened / happening here have restored my faith that there are good and honorable people out there!



  94. Ellis Vener Ellis Vener says:

    Several months a very successful and prolific blogger told me his secret for making his blog successful “About every six weeks say something outrageous. It makes your google rating go through the roof. More often than that and people see you as an angry ill mannered jerkoff. Less often than that and the the trainwreck gawkers start forgetting you exist.”

    Mr. Petersen follows that blueprint to a tee.

    You just have to wonder though: If you live in the Silicon Valley, SF bay area or in Los Angles area would you trust a stockbroker, presumable one with at least a few clients who are involved in high tech businesses where intellectual properties are the jewels in the crown, who attacks someone who defends their intellectual property? Wouldn’t you be concerned about the leadership of that stock brokerage firm?

  95. Ria Rojek Ria Rojek says:

    Hello Ellis,

    Wow, spot on I think you are. Great observation and what an eye-opener. How sad that one would go to such trouble, hurting another, for a… blog!?! It does look like Mr. Hawk or whoever he is, would do just what you describe.

    His other posts have few to no comments and Mr. Hawk has illustrated his lust for attention and his disregard for others.

    Regarding the brokerage firm, ack! Again, spot on. Although, these days of corrupt banks, wall street antics, shifty firms, etc. I’d be super cautious of any. A firm that employees characters like Mr. Hawk, Petersen, Green Goblin, whoever; I would avoid by a mile!

    I’m very upset to see how Jay Maisel has been defamed and attacked for defending his property; so your post and others like it are great to see! Humanity and Integrity do exist.


  96. John Richardson John Richardson says:

    Good work. After many years working under International Copyright Laws, I support Jay 100%. It is very sad to see an Investment Company support their criminal employees in this matter. Good thing I don’t use them for my investments, if I did I would yank them immediately.

  97. J-Bones J-Bones says:

    Heh… this is funny stuff.

    For those who really don’t know any better… Jake’s not Hawk. 01101001 knows this. Several of the people posting here (including me) know each other via flickr. Most of them (as Jake pointed out) do not like TH. On the other hand, many of them (including me) think that Maisel’s lawsuit against Baio was BS. Now, I can’t speak for them, but I don’t really give a rat’s ass about that one lawsuit… the broader issue is that of the laws themselves and the way they smother creativity. Unfortunately, a good nuanced discussion of -that- issue seems to be out of question with the group assembled here.

    But thanks for the laughs.

  98. Caroline Caroline says:

    One has to wonder if Andrew Peterson is a pseudonym; if “Anderson,” too, is a pseudonym of one of the owners of the investment firm.

  99. sandelion sandelion says:

    Jake is th……lololololololololololol. TH followers………..lolololololololololololol

    I despise th but encouraging people to try to get him fired is low pool. It was actually th posting personal information and calling for ruination of person that made me despise him. This is no better.

    Oh and if someone could kindly call me a th follower, inwould really like a screen shot of that.

    As for jake, i once had a donut with him and broke his couch. He is also about as sweet as you can find a person. He didnt even getmad that we broke his couch.

  100. ruan niemann ruan niemann says:

    Ria, do you honestly not get that people can disagree with you and your opinion without being in some unholy alliance with your “enemies”?

  101. Jake Jake says:

    Ria accused me of rambling babble. That’s rich.

    Ria, not only are you wrong, but badly so. You think I’m Hawk? You’re convinced of it, so certain that you’re right! I take that flailing attempt at an outing as indicative of your general ability to engage in rational deductive logic. I only have enough time for a touch of snark, so I’ll have to restrict my clever wit to destroy the fundamental point of which you are so proud. And, I may add, the only intelligible point in your post.


    That was back when we liked each other.

  102. Caroline Caroline says:

    Just sayin,’ this thread is now close to 100% disgruntled Peterson acquaintances from Flickr!

  103. Rhys Rhys says:

    Really thinking everyone involved in this should take a step back and chill…

    Respected photographer’s (real or virtual), are losing alot of credibility over this – which is the worst thing in my eyes.

  104. Mark Mark says:

    IF anything, you’re the one trying to incite a mentally retarded internet mob. Even though thomas hawk may suck, You’re a way bigger tool than he’ll ever be..

    gtfo of the country. you’re part of the reason we get so many idiots elected to office, just go to mexico or something and help them with your crazy ass diatribes there.

    Then again, when you want to top one of the biggest tools on the internet, the only thing you have to do is act like you’re 12.

    “I found most of the article provided an interesting perspective, however I find it unwarranted, disgracious, and eventually probably counter-productive to try to involve TM’s employer and implicitly try to get some to complain to them.

    “No matter what one thinks of Maisel or Thomas Hawk, posts like this do no good to anyone. In all that I’ve read of the story, this post is the worst of them all, trying to ruin the personal life of Thomas Hawk / Andrew Peterson.

    Immature and uncalled for.”

    “Sorry, but any sort of comments towards someone you believe to be a horrible person or a disgrace to society that should have their rights restricted in the form that this article has taken don’t make sense to me. If you really hate him for being so low, why be just as low yourself to prove him wrong? If you can do it without doing that, then you really do have a point.

    But I don’t think you can.”

    You couldn’t be more of a tool if you tried. Seriously, just get out of the business and stop giving a bad name to every other “real” photographer like you make yourself out to be. You’re worse than any internet blowhard.

  105. Jim Goldstein Jim Goldstein says:

    Great recap. I had written about Andrew several years ago and have since moved on to other priorities namely work. Sadly not enough people took note but I took solace in knowing that he’d be his worst enemy. As predicted that is what happened/is happening as he continues to dig a deeper hole for himself. By the way search “renegade photography” in googles cache of his blog and you’ll see why he settled with the sex museum.

  106. Thank you for writing this, and just as much, thank you for writing it well. I had read about the Baio v Maisel stuff, but I hadn’t read about what was actually causing the big stink …

  107. SF Lights SF Lights says:

    “You couldn’t be more of a tool if you tried. Seriously, just get out of the business and stop giving a bad name to every other “real” photographer like you make yourself out to be. You’re worse than any internet blowhard.”

    That’s weird, I don’t remember ever telling anyone that I was a photographer.

  108. QED QED says:

    I have followed this story from the UK with some interest. The laws over here are a little different from the US although copyright is copyright. I have not heard of this Hawk chap prior to this story but he does seem to be a very ‘angry’ individual with a ‘bee in his bonnet’ about a lot of things. I am afraid that the nonsense he spouts about Mr Kelby’s comments being libel (which were corrected in show I might add) would just not hold water here in the UK in a court of law – I doubt it would in the US either.

    If some of the facts of this article are true then a picture was painted of Mr Baio which was somewhat skewed by Mr Hawk’s lack of information in his blog posts.

    The fact of the matter is regardless of the wealth of an individual, they have the right to protect their property. If it were anything other than a photograph this would have been a different story (I wonder if the music industry would have been so forgiving!)

  109. Mark Kalan Mark Kalan says:

    I stand with Jay. ‘Nuf said. Thanks for the concise wrap-up.

  110. Shannon Shannon says:

    Very well said. Free speech is one thing but I believe Thomas Hawk has gone too far. He viciously attacked a photographer who was trying to protect his life work. I wonder how Hawk would react if the shoe was on the other foot and someone ripped him off.

  111. carl carl says:


    This is an excellent article. Like many, I wasn’t familiar with “Thomas Hawk” until this matter was written about by TH … but I did read TH’s posts and virtually all of the comments/responses to comments and came away with the very clear idea that TH is mad about something — but that “something” probably has very little to do with Maisel or copyright law or the inequities of the world.

    I was not aware of TH’s erotic museum problem and it potentially explains a lot about his Maisel reaction (not the least of which it explains how hypocrisy and inconsistency is no bar to TH making his “impassioned” pleas) … but this controversy has ballooned because it’s another example/reminder of how some people respond to the Internet. Internet anonymity or quasi-anonymity, as we all know, encourages some people to act in ways they wouldn’t otherwise (or encourages them to indulge their most selfish and self-indulgent personality aspects) … and on the Internet, if you’re loud enough and a reductionist and not willing to adhere to any sort of logical consistency then you, too, can become the one-eye king in the Land of the Blind (it also helps to use Wikipedia as one’s source of authority because that’s the only authority in the Land of the Blind).

    I suspect that TH thinks he’s driving this train, that he’s in control of the debate and call of millions of his troops to carry the fight and defend the homeland. But perhaps he’s about to find out that the Internet is bigger than he thought.

  112. Caroline Caroline says:

    Oh well. Hawk/Anderson is still at it. He’s attacked me in the message threads of the group from which he banned me:

    “Also interesting to see Caroline in [Nicholl’s blog] spewing her typical unstable hatred and somehow blaming me continuously for not “defending” her. Like I had some obligation to “defend” her.”

    [Emphasis added.]

    (There was more.)

  113. dafrank dafrank says:

    I’ve been a professional photographer, earning my entire living for nearly 40 years working for both national news media and corporate/agency clients. I clicked a link to this blog and read the piece by Jeremy and the long list of posted replies. Despite keeping up with quite a bit of photo-related news on the net, I had never before heard of this controversy, had never heard of this Hawk fellow or his apparent vendetta against Maisel, with whom I was familiar, by reputation alone.

    I am familiar, however, with the vaguely internet-related, touchy-feely, “open-sourcey” drive to drastically limit the legal basis, value and validity of the copyrights of professional photographers and other working artists. Despite the fact that so much of the cant and babble about how evil and selfish are the holders of copyrights – and how unfair is their enforcement of same – comes from people who would describe themselves as for the “little guy,” the little guy is exactly the person that such copyrights and their enforcement protect. Huge, multinational corporations and their symbiotic, mostly unconscious and unaware abettors would benefit the most if the self-styled reformers of the free-use or copyright limiting movement were to succeed. Just as in the case at hand, the people at legal issue with Maisel are neither the “little guys” or people who make a living creating and selling photo images. I wonder where Hawk would stand on a website established to advocate for an end to, or curtailment of, the paying of commissions or any other remuneration from the sale of securities of any kind. Would he hail it as, at last, the freeing of the average investor from the tyranny of the selfish hangers-on of an old and outmoded system? Something tells me the answer would be no. His ox should, of course, be left untouched, while his neighbors’ should be free to be gored, depending on the nature of Hawk hobbies and avocations. Hawk and his allies have a sometimes naive, always wrong-headed, short-sighted and ignorant view of the proper value of copyright protection for society in general and for the economic rights of the holders, more often small economic actors opposed by bigger ones than in the opposite scenario envisaged by copyright detractors.

    Amateurs. Not photo amateurs; they are a storied and sometimes wonderfully talented cohort. These people are amateurs when it comes to understanding the Constitution, individual rights and the actual workings of a free economy. They are dangerous to the economic foundation of the ability of independent actors to earn their living from the sale of their own hard-won work and incredibly hypocritical in their easy dismissal of the basis of other people’s economic advantage. Oh, how interesting it would be for the tables to turn on their own self-interest and see how much they would be for others to clamor for their own industry to have its ability to barter its value determined by the whims of disinterested know-nothings or those to whom the absolute destruction of their livelihood would bring unearned benefit. If the campaign to curtail and even destroy the value of photographers’ copyright succeeds, it will be just one more marker on the path to the destruction of individual rights and liberty, as property rights are much the basis for so many other of the rights we have always held as intrinsic to the American system of governance; their limitation and destruction will only hasten the same to all of our other rights.

  114. Jake Jake says:

    And in other news.. photographer sued for offering photograph for sale of someone standing alongside public artwork.


  115. […] you’re any good, it will happen to you. There’s a big drama going on over here at the moment about stealing photographers work, changing them slightly, and using them as your […]

  116. First off, what’s important is that Jay stood up for his rights. Hooray! Not enough people are willing to. The internet allows too easy access to image theft and there are too few people who have a clue about what © means – or even care to know. It’s easy to steal by screen grabbing – and how many photogs will catch it? That’s the thought I’m certain. At least let people be straight up and contact the photographer to ask permission! Curious that Baio knew to ask permission to use the music, but didn’t think the photographer was important. what a surprise……. not
    A larger problem in the world is now that “everyone is a photographer”, we who work at the craft are given less respect. The time, energy, skill, and eye behind any professional photo is given less value. Few of us who have been around long enough (30+ yrs on my end) know how it used to be vs today. A sad state of affairs. But that’s the way it is.
    That said – we must stand up for our rights and thankfully Jay does. I’m amazed the settlement wasn’t larger but at least attorney’s fees were added on top.
    Never heard of Baio or Peterson/Hawk, but unfortunately now too many people have. What’s the old adage – any publicity is good publicity. In a few years most people won’t remember why we know the name, only that we recognize it. Too bad, they’re not worth even one brain cell of space. (one last thing – the claim that we pros should know all other pros, with awards or not, is absurd – and nearly impossible – especially if time is spent working at our craft)
    ‘nuf said. Good piece, Jeremy.

  117. […] The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob (jeremynicholl.com) […]

  118. Mike Mike says:

    I’m not familiar with the fine details of the case, but who the hell would call Jay Maisel a hack?

    Hate him all you want, but Jay Maisel is one of the best photographers on the planet. If Maisel’s a hack, then what are the rest of us?

  119. Whew, read all of that even though I don’t know who you are talking about. With that being said, it seems like people are being very childish and hypocritical. Never knew about the underbelly of the photo industry 😛

    Take care,

  120. Debs Debs says:

    Thank you to the poster who published this link about a supposed show: http://wide-farm.flywheelsites.com.flickr.net/en/2010/05/07/show-time/

    On the wall in the background is a friend’s photograph. If someone there printed it and exhibited it as their own, it’s stolen.

  121. Jake Jake says:

    Which photo Debs?

  122. Jake Jake says:


    Drop me a line if you can. jakerome at yahoo dot com.

    Not sure what you mean by “supposed” show, mostly just interested to find out which of your friends was in our show, and which photo he or she submitted. Thanks.

  123. Jake Jake says:

    And so it continues… Tuscan town wants to copyright its landscape. Leave your cameras at home!


  124. Debs Debs says:


    I just heard back from my friend and she was invited to be in the show and gave them permission to put her picture in. Sorry for the confusion. I should have waited to heard back before posted but I was so startled to see it there I got carried away!

  125. alexander antonis alexander antonis says:

    i watch this thread from the internet cafe and see the many unhappiness from the fight why artists cannt own what they invision from mind or recognize to unique an dont undertsand why people feel is good and permissiblr to take artist vision for there own. i see a lot of yell and fight but if my art to be stolen i would anger and fight all for my art. why so hard to understand and why so much fight is sad. so much disrespect for art i heard jay masel, but no other voices here. yet all fight.

    alex antonis

  126. Jake Jake says:

    No problem Debs. I knew that all the photos were from amongst our many members.

  127. sandelion sandelion says:

    @jake-hey that link looks familiar… 🙂

    @Deb-which photo? Who do you call a friend?

  128. rolf hohlfeld rolf hohlfeld says:

    simple alrx, americans only know to fight and make noise. no respect each other, no respect others. just make noise.

  129. Jake Jake says:

    The very talented Vicky Slater, known as Sweet Distin on Flickr, took the photo of her daughter and was very proud to be an active member of the show. Although she didn’t make it stateside for the event, Sweet D joined in via webcam over tinychat several times over the weekend.

    She’s probably as talented as anyone posting in this comment thread, despite being more a part of the cyberspace photography world rather than the one on Planet Earth.

  130. Dshalock Dshalock says:

    I find this whole concept of cyberspace photographers being some how less talented than those on planet earth a bit annoying. Never mind the fact that we all reside on the same rock circling the same nondescript star in the same unremarkable solar system. The internet is nothing more than a communications channel that one can either choose to embrace or ignore and has zero impact on whether or not you have an ounce of talent for recording light on a medium in a way that is aesthetically pleasing or commercially marketable.

  131. Bill C. Bill C. says:

    Well, good story. However, I never really cared for Maisel’s work & really, it’s still all just about the money isn’t it?

  132. Rick Freschner Rick Freschner says:

    To Bill C. –

    No, it isn’t all about the money. Rather, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong. Whether you like Maisel’s work is irrelevant.


  133. Jake Jake says:

    What’s wrong about drawing what you see?

  134. Fenriq Fenriq says:

    I’ve run across Thomas Hawk before, dealt with his censorship issues and, as a result, have no interest in his crusades or his art.

  135. Yaz Photography & Design Yaz Photography & Design says:

    Jeremy, great work. The gang at Spun Photography, Yaz Photography and S. Modeling applaud you!

    I’ve read how some say Mr. Maisels’ suit and defense of his property inhibits creativity. I believe the defense of his hard work is paramount to true, original creativity. If an individual may simply come along, see an image they like/want and just take it with a weak alteration, how is that creative? It’s lazy, often sloppy, not too unique.

    It seems that those upset here by the laws in place are simply not talented, inspired or driven enough to be original. However, if knowing that if you’re going to face legal action for stealing somebody elses’ work might just force some original thinking, true creativity and innovation, then the copyright laws have forced creativity even where the individual was stuck. Rather than putting some imagination, original thought or creative thinking into a design and doing something unique, from within yourself – people would rather steal or copy something else? How can that possibly be rewarding?

    After reading scattered post, I’d make a quick distinction; Maisel is a professional photographer. This is how he pays his bills and provides for his family. Mr. Hawk is not. Hawk ‘works’ at his day job to support his amateur pursuit of photography. Absolutely inexcusable that Maisel’s property was attacked at his place of work and his home. I do not condone action against Hawk at his place of work, but I’m certainly not surprised that this has been mentioned as Mr. Hawk has hidden behind his firm with no personal address or contact information. It appears that this may be by design as Mr. Hawk appears to have a past with something to hide. Jay is right out there. Mr. Hawk appears to seek out confrontation, one day that will cost him. I read Mr. Hawk has a goal to publish a million images before he dies. He would do a much better service to himself to focus on quality. The million image mark by an individual was met and surpassed several times over. One notable professional example, Japanese photographer, Takanabe Wananrk passed 2 million at the age of 47 in 2009 and continues to shoot great editorials. Having traveled the Pacific rim, the adoption and digital shooting was in it’s infancy here while in countries from Thailand to India, they’ve been capturing and compiling for much longer.

    dafrank! Perfect, brilliant post and highlights the importance of copyright law and defending one’s intellectual property.

    Barbara, agree completely!

    I find it so odd, why people would resort to theft? Be Inspired and create something new, unique – your singular vision! You’ll find it a struggle, but hugely rewarding!

    Jake, I see you have quite a few entries, you appear to be very angry with copyright laws. Like any laws / rules out there, there will be mistakes, misjudgments and errors. (I’m not saying this case is an error, I feel Jay did us a favor, even if it appears harsh to the many new comers into this creative, digital capture world.) Errors, well this is true in all areas of life’s “rules.” But I can reassure you, the copyright laws that exist are in fact designed to protect folks like us, the little guys. Corporation and big business have crushed and stolen dreams, ideas and art from many individual visionaries. Regarding your comment above, it’s perfectly fine to draw anything you see, but if it is copyrighted – no commercial use without consent, beyond that it varies, but always wise to inquire. Foolish to assume you may just do so and sell. Are all copyright laws fair? No. A state, town region trying to copyright a landscape? That’s absurd. An artist who photographs, paints or writes about that landscape and copyrights their work (an artists work is protected the moment it’s begun) is different. No individual can copy that work to reuse for commercial purposes. The laws may seem sketchy, and I’ve seen references to wikipedia, that is not where to find accurate and clear rules. The easiest thing for everyone, it’s a huge, ever changing world out there, be original!

    Best –

    Derrek Yaz

  136. Rocco79 Rocco79 says:

    Jake can suck it and so can Hawk. Unless their sole source of income doesn’t come from photography they will never understand. For that the y should hate on the likes of Disney WB etc etc when licensing and copyright suits come up.

  137. Anonymous Anonymous says:

    Hawk has “relations” with sheep by the way.

  138. Jake Jake says:

    Rocco, you’re as eloquent as Yaz is brief.

    Yaz, I appreciate your answer with respect to is my question, “what’s wrong with drawing what you see?” It was a a response really to a previous poster that claimed it wasn’t about money, it was about right & wrong. And of course your answer, “but if it is copyrighted – no commercial use without consent” certainly suggests that it is largely about money.

    My point on the landscapes is that the standard for what can be protected by copyright is ever evolving, generally in the direction of making it easier to assert copyright infringement & sue for damages whenever a bit of copyrighted material is included. Witness the near total death of sampling in hip-hop music due to large damages for inclusion of elements of earlier records– sometimes as short as a 3-note sequence. Book publishers that won’t use even a line of lyrics in their author’s books for fear of lawsuit. Photographer’s being sued for tens of thousands of dollars– and settling– for including part of a derivative sculpture in a photograph offered for sale.

    Who will stand up for the photographers when some Tuscan town sues a photographer selling his work commercially? I certainly will. But if he can’t afford a lawyer, it may not matter.

  139. […] excellent synopsis of this story on Moscow-based photographer Jeremy Nicholl’s blog here:   The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob » The Russian Photos Blog Facebook actually took Jay’s page down after it was deluged with vicious comments such as […]

  140. Anonymous #2 Anonymous #2 says:

    And Jake has relations with Hawk! (the sheep won’t have him!)

    Jake, until you’re in a position where you’re paying your bills with your (cough) creativity, you don’t know what the hell you’re talkin’ bout. Funny how you just knock people…. ‘ya dumb woman hating POS! Ha – ‘ya laughable troll! …Quick, hawk’s callin’ grab your KY and run!

  141. Caroline Caroline says:

    Hawk’s entire life seems to be based on how many sheep he can herd into his contacts, circles, and FB friends, near as I can tell. So there is possible Hawk/Sheep affinity.

    Mind you, this is just my personal opinion. Please don’t sue me.

  142. Tsing Tsing Tsing Tsing says:

    “Meantime, there’s this whole wide world outside of “real” photographers who see this copyright clampdown for what it is– an attack on artistic freedom.”

    Meantime, there’s this whole wide world outside of non-teenagers who see this shoplifting clampdown for what it is– an attack on candy bar freedom.


    “Heck, check out what the more enlightened think about it– ”



    You have obviously mistaken Kool-Aid for champagne. Better go have yourself another glass!

  143. Raefal Estanransa Raefal Estanransa says:

    amusing the source that so call ‘intelligent’ posters use for law and opinion for matters as this. agree techdirt is for the close mind with no resource. wikipedia to is see. that is typical lazy. i like to see jake or petersen say in court, but your honor accord to the wikipedia an techdirt, is ok to do the steal. how sad and simple.

    jake has put in the 25+ posts here like the angry child. mr. petersen is coward and thief. he would be ridicule out of the EU. to simple min to understand basic law and good or bad.

    with so much angry post to defend lawless act of cowards from jake, is remind of one word, whore!

  144. Jake Jake says:

    Sad that these latest crop of copyright maximalists is incapable of addressing the issues raised and their only retort is to engage in the fabrication of lies and the hurling of off-topic insults.


  145. […] Back.” The Russian photos blog has an excellent wrap up of the disgusting antics “The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob” followed by Doug Menuez “SLANDER, STUPIDITY & THE MINDLESS MOB ATTACKS ON JAY […]

  146. Anonomous Anonomous says:

    Jake, you wouldn’t know class if it bit you in your big fat ass. Putz!

    Your numerous whining complaints are funny as hell though – if not childish and nasty. Wah, Wah – I can’t steal whatever I want cuz I’m a talentless nobody, so whoever makes a post that I don’t like I’m going to mock them.

    You are truly a pathetic fool. Also looks like people see you as another ugly American. Way to go A-hole!

    …What a dim-witted, short sighted, narrow minded cry baby!

  147. Jack Jack says:

    Yo Jake!

    Sorry that you (copyright thief) are incapable of addressing the issues raised and your only retort is to engage in fabrication (yours have been funny as hell… twit) of lies and hurling insults to anyone who knows better than you.

    …Read a book, simpleton (tylenol for the headache your bound to feel).

  148. Jack Jack says:

    Jake, you sure know how to make friends. Looks like you’re right popular around the globe. I’d add to it but looks like the last few posters got it nailed.

  149. Jack Jack says:

    Jake, SO glad you finally got your red/blue priorities straight!

  150. Jack Jack says:

    I agree, no one should just go and steal another persons work, I see the error of my ways! I don’t want to be a thief! I want to do my own work and be original! It’s hard, I know but I can do it!

    Think I can, Think I can, Think I can, Think I can, Think I can…

  151. ummmm... ummmm... says:

    Hope you got screen shots of Thomas Hawk’s scathing blog posts… it seems he has removed them. Nary an apology to be found either. Guess he’s a Chicken Hawk.

  152. Hamranhansenhansen Hamranhansenhansen says:

    Crazy story. From the start, though, it seemed to me that “Kind of Bloop” was a parody. “Kind of Blue” is one of the top 100 most important music albums of the 20th century. The harmonies of that album changed music. It’s a cornerstone of our culture. Fair use on an album that big should be very broad. The cover is no longer just a photo of Miles Davis, it’s THE COVER OF KIND OF BLUE!

  153. Jack Jack says:


    Coward, I’ve got ’em all! (look at all those post from poor misguided Jake in there)

    And ‘ya can google all of them. Just hit the link for CACHED just under the search result headline.

    (“Would it Be Ok for Me to Sue Scott Kelby for Libel and Settle for $32,500?” will get ‘ya the last one #3)

    (“More Thoughts on Jay Maisel vs. Andy Baio” brings up #2)

    (“Photographer Jay Maisel Extorts (Opinion) $32,500 Out of Andy Baio” will get you #1)

    Congratulations on your fame Petersen (A fake name like “hawk” oh brother… He must be the Star Wars kid too!)

  154. McNonymous McNonymous says:

    Culture is evolving, the link to the Gray Album is more of a call to action to adjust the old laws to meet the new world we live in, from Wikipedia:

    “Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School, comments that “As a matter of pure legal doctrine, the Grey Tuesday protest is breaking the law, end of story. But copyright law was written with a particular form of industry in mind. The flourishing of information technology gives amateurs and homerecording artists powerful tools to build and share interesting, transformative, and socially valuable art drawn from pieces of popular cultures. There’s no place to plug such an important cultural sea change into the current legal regime.”[5]”

  155. Richard Richard says:

    This is a great blog post, one of the best I’ve ever read on any topic. Thank you for outing Thomas Hawk, an ambulance chaser and professional victim many of us have disliked for many years.

    One thing you’ve made abundantly clear is that the social internet can swing into lynch mob mode very quickly and few who form the mob know much of the back story on why they are going after someone.

    I remember the Bresson photo and the flickr group critique (however, one is entitled to not like the image no matter who made it); your list of examples of people piling on with little information is excellent.

    While its true that it shouldn’t matter that Baio made some money selling a web site to yahoo, much of the empathy for him was no doubt derived from the idea that he was and/or is a “poor” artist. Thanks for outing this piece of the story as well.

    Thanks for some great work.

  156. Jake Jake says:

    Hey Jack,

    Love the parody of my iconotar– very clever, even if a it’s not so sharp. Glad that ourfair use regime allows for such transformative creations.

  157. Jack Jack says:

    …and if it didn’t I could use your philosophy and just take it anyway – it ain’t sharp cause look what crap it’s based on. Youooorr Iconotar, ah no sir! It’s mine!

  158. roberto roberto says:

    Wow, excellent article. Thanks to you for writing it and also to John Gruber for bringing more attention to it.

  159. Chris R Chris R says:

    “It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his livelihood depends on his not understanding…” -Upton Sinclair

    Another classless move in a conflict that’s been unpleasant before this specific problem started. The name calling, the strange inability of either side to even acknowledge the barest possibility that the other has any legitimacy. This post is just another bit classlessness thrown into the pyre of a business model that’s clashing with the new ideologies of the internet age, both feeding the flames alongside the howling, faceless hordes of the land of comments. Please stop lowering yourself.

  160. Terry Prindle Terry Prindle says:

    Hi Chris,

    If you read some of the longer posts above, there are eloquent and real world accounts very articulate and well formed. It seems to be that those who are true professional creatives – making their living and paying their bills with original content. They are the pros, not an easy living.

    Then there are the hobbyists and amateurs who do not have a $60k student loan to pay off after graduating from the SVA or a life dedicated to ones’ craft, who simply wish to swoop in, muddle with somebodies original art instead of simply being creative and making an effort and calling it theirs. I’m sorry, but law or not – that is wrong and not fair!

  161. Jake Jake says:

    Oh Jack, the original iconotar is plenty sharp. Looks like you were editing jpegs instead of TIFFs. Typical amateur mistake.

  162. An English speaking expat in Russia who spends way too much time reading photography blogs. Dude, we’re soulmates!

  163. Jeremy admin says:

    I’m almost scared to intervene, but I think this subject is well and truly done. For those struggling to catch up, the latest news is that Andrew Peterson / Thomas Hawk last night erased all his blog posts on the Baio/Maisel affair. There’s no sign of an apology, but perhaps that is yet to come. Also, the Hawk blog is no longer registered to the address of Peterson’s employer.

    Accordingly I’m now closing comments on this; thanks to everyone who contributed. Since this whole fracas was started by Andy Baio’s alleged infringement of Jay Maisel’s work, it seems appropriate that the final word should go to Baio. Writing in The Online Photographer he says:

    “I read Hawk’s blog posts and disagreed with much of it. His repeated name-calling, leaps of logic, questionable grasp of copyright law, hostile attitude, and the repeated inaccurate (and irrelevant) references to each of our finances were frustrating. This isn’t a David vs. Goliath tale, and while that kind of reductionist thinking makes for a dramatic story, it doesn’t reflect reality.”

  164. […] on the Maisel/Baio situation has come out recently and what is being done to Mr. Maisel is a shame. It is, in fact, criminal in some cases, but whatever, it’s terrible that someone who did […]

  165. […] common with all Internet photography specialists I have written extensively on the recent Jay Maisel – Andy Baio legal controversy. And like other leading copyright experts I have concluded that a world in which entrepreneurs […]

  166. […] The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob » The Russian Photos Blog from: http://www.jeremynicholl.com on 6 July 2011 […]

  167. […] The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-MobJeremy Nicholl weights in with his thoughts on the buzz surrounding the Baio / Maisel fair use situation, with the thrust of the article being an attack on Thomas Hawk. […]

  168. […] ketika saya membaca artikel tentang konflik antara Jay Maisel dan Andy Baio  lalu berlanjut kepada analisa yg ditulis oleh Jeremy Nicholl, tapi inti dari tulisan ini adalah bukan ngebahas Jay, Andy atau […]

  169. […] Questions to Ask Before Donating to a Charity Photo Auction (PDN: June 2011)Jeremy Nicholl: The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob (Photographer’s blog: June 2011)NYT Lens: JR | Eyes on, and of, a South Bronx Community (NYT […]

  170. […] Why not put a giant lens on your iPhone?. . . Profile of NY Times Magazine’s Kathy Ryan . . . Jay Maisel under attack by loonies . . . Fear not! NY’s Art Vandal Underground is being covered  . . . […]

  171. […] Prix de Folie Photographie Winner: Thomas Hawk, for The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob. The judges’ verdict: This year’s winner was a no-brainer in every sense. The premier award has […]

  172. […] users – your audience – actually want you to do. So when tireless self-promoter and internet fauxtographer Thomas Hawk went on a “manic pinning episode of his own work” he was accused by one fan and Pinterest user […]

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