Boing Boing busts Ralph Lauren

Just yesterday I blogged about the great work Glamour Magazine has been doing to promote realistic body images. Now today, comes a related controversy. After Ralph Lauren created an ad using an emaciated model, a blog called “Photoshop Disasters” reposted it. And then the website Boing Boing reposted it with their own scathing article. This led to Lauren filing a copyright claim against the use of his ad in their article even though it clearly falls within fair use as commentary and criticism. But Boing Boing didn’t give up:

In response, Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow issued a stern warning to Ralph Lauren yesterday on the website, saying that the company’s attempt to silence their criticism has only inspired them to step up their efforts in the future:

“Copyright law doesn’t give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;

b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and

c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.”

All I’ve got to say to Boing Boing is keep up the good work and don’t let assholes get away with trying to silence critics.

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2 Responses to Boing Boing busts Ralph Lauren

  1. […] The other day, I wrote about the recent controversy over a horribly bad Photoshop job in a Ralph Lauren ad that made the model look impossibly skinny. Two websites reposted the image while dishing out harsh criticism over Ralph Lauren’s poor decision. This led to Ralph Lauren threatening to sue them for reprinting the image. But one site, Boing Boing, refused to be intimidated as they knew they had every right to repost the image in an article that criticizes it. And of course, this all only heightened the controversy and the outrage against Ralph Lauren, which led to an official company apology: “For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.” […]

  2. […] I’ve blogged quite a bit about how beauty magazines misrepresent the female body (here, here, and here) as well as several magazine campaigns that attempt to promote a more accurate female […]

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