It was with interest that I read an article in the Sunday Age (8/7/12) regarding issues of Copyright. The Painter in question had copied a photograph taken by another Artist who is a Photographer. The similarities are startling and there is no way you could mistake where the image was sourced from.
It is an issue close to my heart as I have had my Artwork copied several times. I have a friend who copied one of my images from my blog and then used it to create cards. When I talked to her about this she was surprised that I found it unacceptable. Recently I arrived at the shared studio where I was studying to see part of one of my paintings recreated. I was furious - at first I couldn't believe it and then other students mentioned it to me as well. I did follow this up and the image was altered.
I know that the web and working within the learning environment does make all these issues a little harder to deal with but it is quite simple, acknowledge who created the original image. It should clearly state "Artwork by ......" or "After.........". To a certain extent nothing is totally original and this is quite simply a fact of our lives but creating Art is such a personal thing to the Artist and if they have the courage to actually put their work up on the walls of any gallery real or virtual I feel it should be respected.