So last night, I saw that John Gruber had favorited one of my Flickr photos from 2008: a screenshot of the Google Maps app on the iPhone. Hmm, what was that about?

It turns out quite a bit.

I found Gruber’s Daring Fireball post pointing out what appears to be Samsung’s alteration and reuse of a screenshot image I created in 2008.

Samsung’s alteration and reuse of a screenshot image I created in 2008.

You see, three years ago I blogged about iPhone apps I thought were a big deal — “game changers.” (The post was cross-posted on BlogHer, where it got noticed.) Scroll down to see my excitement then about the ever-useful, with screenshot in question.

Some nice sleuthing there, John! I tweeted about it and went to bed.

New details in the sunlight

This morning greeted me with more references as this issue caught on. RetweetsThe Next WebGizmodo. All the scraper sites that pull from them. (I haven’t done a thorough search.)

Embarrassing for Samsung, if true. I’ll leave judgment to you. But if it’s true, it’s also a violation of copyright and the Creative Commons license. Not that it’s any skin off of my nose. But it’s never good for image when marketing gets caught hawking apparent bulloney. (I can’t help but wonder why a marketing department would not use screenshots from its own device? Would the Samsung version of the app really so unappealing?)

“The world has infinite knowledge,” writer Jascha Kessler would tell his students, meaning that you really need to write what you know and research what you don’t know, because the readers will see your bullshit. Of course, that’s all the more true now in the web world, where search, social links, and literally a world full of readers are archiving, contextualizing, tagging, bookmarking, and remembering what you put out there. I’m not sure how Gruber found the image match. One of the image search engines, possibly?

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

Setting aside Picasso’s original meaning for the moment, I leave you with the late Steve talking about design in 1994.

Good publicity out of the bad

Oh, and by the way, Efrain’s II is indeed the best Mexican food in Boulder. I’m glad they got some free indirect publicity from all this. The green chile is to die for.