The following photos from the official U.S. White House Flickr stream vividly portray the stress involved in the recent military operation which resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. This first photo particularly captures the stress and seriousness of these hours. From articles I’ve read, it sounds like our national command authority (the folks in this room) were watching a live video feed of the Seal team operation.

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I originally saw the first image in this series in a CNN article. The following paragraph is included on each of these images on Flickr, in an effort to dissuade people who might want to remix these for their own public purposes.

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

I’m sure in part this paragraph is used because of the Barack Obama “Hope Poster” photo and copyright incident. For more on that, see my presentation from 3 years ago, “Copyright 101 for Educators” on SlideShare. (Slide 8 specifically.) It’s remarkable that SlideShare preso (which includes audio as a “Slidecast”) now has been viewed over 17,000 times.

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2 Responses to Visually Capturing Stress in the White House During SEAL Operations Against Bin Laden

  1. Ryan Collins says:

    I saw that warning, but I thought anything produced by the government is public domain? How can they enforce any copyright restrictions on these pictures, especially since they say they are official White House photographs?

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_status_of_work_by_the_U.S._government it looks like they could get away with it if the photographer is a contractor…

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    I’m not sure, that’s a good question. I’ll pose that to an intellectual property lawyer / specialist next time I have an opportunity. Maybe they are putting that statement out there to try and deter abuse, but it’s not actually an enforceable mandate?

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