Friday, May 29, 2015

Rockville councilmember accuses Sentinel newspaper of stealing artwork

Rockville's Sentinel newspaper is coming under fire from the city councilman often the target of its political cartoons. Councilmember Tom Moore says the paper is "systematically stealing artwork" for those illustrations. Moore produced multiple examples of artwork sourced from other artists' works, then apparently repurposed for cartoons published by The Sentinel, on his blog yesterday.

According to Moore's research, the cartoons have taken material from cartoonists Jeff Parker, Walt Handelsman, and Mike Shapiro, among others.

Moore acknowledges readily in his post that he is "the target of many of the Sentinel's cartoons," but says he is "truly offended by the Sentinel’s laziness and its disregard for the intellectual property of its journalism colleagues."

At face value, the evidence Moore presents is certainly credible and compelling. If there was a licensing arrangement permitting use of the artwork, similar to stock photography, obviously only the paper or cartoonist can speak to that. At least one of the cartoonists Moore quoted, Shapiro, seemed to have no awareness that his work had been used.

If the cartoons' creator, William Charles, or The Sentinel would like to respond with their side of the story, I will be glad to print their response. Email me at robert1999 [at] hotmail [dot] com.

Photo courtesy City of Rockville


  1. It's probably covered under the Fair Use provision.

  2. Doubtful, given the wholesale reproduction of the artist's work.