Photographer caught using someone else's public domain photo to win awards
Swiss photographer Madeleine Josephine Fierz has been stripped of two photography awards after it was revealed that she'd won them using someone else's photo.
The contest-winning image, seen above, was taken by Thai photographer Sasin Tipchai, who had uploaded it under a CC0 license to stock photography website Pixabay. Fierz submitted the image as her own, ultimately receiving first place in the Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA) and second place in the Fine Art Photo Awards.
The deception was discovered after Sasin posted on Facebook about Fierz's use of his images, and someone else shared it with the Moscow International Foto Awards' Facebook page. That brought it to the attention of officials who, after looking into the matter, revoked Fierz's award and removed the image from its website. The image has also been removed from the Fine Art Photo Awards website.
In a statement to Khaosod English, MIFA jury member Hossein Farmani commented on the matter, saying:
[Fierz] claimed since she bought these photos, she thought that she could manipulate it a little and claim it as her art. As a jury of MIFA we take these allegation very seriously and we investigate and delete images in question as soon as we can verify the facts. It’s almost impossible for us to know which images belong to whom unless photographers let us know, like you did.
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