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To me the best thing about all this web 2.0 fanfare is the push towards open information. RSS, mashups, Google – all made possible because of information sharing.
The tricky bit arises when drawing the line between sharing and stealing. In his latest post, <a href="http://airbagindustries.com/">Greg Storey from Airbag</a> calls theft on <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/92497900@N00/">Flickr user Allig8torx</a> for poaching photos from <a href="http://filemagazine.com/">File Magazine</a> (see FM's <a href="http://www.filemagazine.com/thecollection/archives/2006/04/untitled_84.html">Untitled</a> by Byron Barett</a> and Allig8tor's <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/92497900@N00/463266509/in/set-72157600178841216/">astica3</a>). Several Airbag readers defend Allig8tor (the nick is becoming such a pain to type), as it is possible that he's just using Flickr as an online repository, rather than passing the photos off as his own.
Regardless of intention, the publication of someone else's photos are a violation of intellectual property rights, unless permission is sought and obtained.
But what of aggregation? Surely there is added value when these individuals scour and collect the best resources out there and compile them for the rest of us. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/splat/sets/981332/">Patrick Haney's Web Design Inspiration</a>, also hosted on Flickr</a>, is an invaluable resource. The works displayed aren't his. I doubt expressed permission was sought in these cases as well.
The main difference is that Patrick attributes his sources. The URL of every site is listed; nothing was done to obscure the brand of the website. Not only does Allig8tor not name his sources or attribute the creators of the photos, he renames them in his set. It's not exactly claiming them to be his own, but it removes all trace of ownership.

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