www.dpreview.com
www.dpreview.com

Online images and copyright infringement

Mar 6, 2013 at 20:06 GMT

A dispute between Canadian pro photographer, Barbara Ann and Ottawa radio station HOT 89.9 illustrates the problematic climate in which companies often turn to the Internet for free photographic images. The Internet fosters self-promotion by making it easy for anyone to find your images. That, of course brings the risk of someone using your images for commercial purposes without you giving consent or receiving compensation.

As part of a Keynote presentation aimed at station advertisers, HOT 89.9 used an image that was found via a Google search, without authorization from, or payment to, the photographer.

Someone at the HOT 89.9 radio station found, via a Google search, a wedding photo that was then used as part of a Keynote slide presentation (shown above) made to potential advertisers. When the station was contacted by the photographer, the image was removed but the two parties remain far apart on an agreement over compensation. You can read the ensuing (and acrimonious) email exchanges between photographer Barbara Ann and NewsCap Radio Vice President Scott Broderick on PetaPixel.

Another recent case of copyright infringement has ended on a much more satisfactory note for both parties, as reported by photographer Theron Humphrey on his Facebook feed. One of his canine images was used in an advertisement by So Delicious Dairy Free, without authorization or payment. Humphrey then asked his Facebook followers to post on the company's wall, asking that the company donate $10,000 to an animal rescue as compensation. The company agreed and is asking its own Facebook fans to recommend a suitable recipient of the donation.

After being contacted about unauthorized use of dog photographer Theron Humphrey's image, the company took the photographer up on his suggestion to make a large donation to an animal/rescue organization.

Two copyright infringements but with very different results. Which approach would you have chosen?