Photographs in court: copyright adjudication as a contextual element of a photograph’s meaning
Oğulcan Ekiz Lecturer, Swansea University

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In this study, the courtroom is examined as a discursive space of photography and it is argued that copyright infringement lawsuits introduce a unique frame for photographs that alter the meaning of the images. As a case study, Tony Gentile’s iconic photograph of the Italian judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino is used, it was the subject of the Rome Court of First Instance’s 2019 judgment. Relying on the contextual studies of photography, the shift in the image’s spectator, its surrounding, and its significance is examined. Eventually it is argued that as the eyes that see the image change from the Italian public to the Judge, the purpose of looking changes too.

Contributor Notes

I would like to thank Andrea Buticci for helping me with the translation of the judgment from Italian to English.

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