Life through a lens

Imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

This coming Saturday is the first Menergy club night of 2012, and has had some publicity in the Scottish print and online media. This is a club I’ve been associated with since it’s humble beginnings in 2009. Even then, one of it’s most distinctive features was the striking flyer designs by Gregor Laird of Mutate Design. (Here’s the flyer for the debut night.)

But thanks to the Menergy Blog, I now know that also happening this Saturday is the debut of a new club night in Detroit. It’s also ‘a gay dance party’, it also plays ‘synth-heavy dance music of the early 80s’, and it’s also called ‘Menergy’.

Coincidence? Well, maybe. Oh, and by the way, here’s one of the flyers for their debut night.

Let’s compare and contrast:

(Original) Menergy debut, Nov 2009

(Detroit) Menergy debut, Feb 2012

Hmmm….

Now, it might conceivably be a coincidence that they were inspired by the same Tom of Finland image, but how likely is it they they also stumbled on the same colour wash effect? (And the font’s not too different either when you look at it.)

It’s things like this that make me wary of how accessible my images are. Last year, I discovered one of my on-spec shots for Nightwalk AW10 up on a website. It must have been up for months before I found it. My surprise was tempered by the fact that I was credited, but what if I wasn’t?

Luckily by this point I had been watermarking my images for some time, and so my copyright notice and name was on the photo already. (I had learned the hard way about watermarks after I put up some club images on Facebook and then found that other people could add those images to their own photos without crediting me.) I’ve also added copyright and website information in the EXIF data of shots, disabled right-clicking on photos on my own website (So you can’t easily save the images.), disabled downloading of images on Flickr, insisted on people giving credits, and many other ways to make sure my effort’s recognised rather than ripped off. I don’t think I can completely stop people from the latter, but at least make it difficult enough for some of the people to come to their senses whilst trying.

One final thing about the Detroit Menergy: in their list of influences, they mention Den Hann, which is rather ironic, given that the same group played Menergy in Glasgow last year!

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