News and Views from Dave Wilson

Tag: theft

Unpleasant Surprises

by on Jan.27, 2011, under Photography

Wow - talk about blatant IP theft! These guys will be receivi... on Twitpic

Most of my images are licensed under a Creative Commons license which allows non-commercial use without people having to contact me to ask permission. This has worked pretty well but occasionally I have to send letters to folks who are using pictures for commercial use – real estate agents and come to mind. In most of these cases, the infringer decides to remove the image rather than pay for a license and in all of these cases so far, the infringement has been on a web site. Tonight, however, I experienced my largest and most blatant example of image theft.

On arriving home from work, I picked up a telephone directory that had been left at the end of the driveway and was amazed to discover one of my pictures on the front cover. At no point had I licensed this image to anyone for commercial use – it’s been sold as an art print a few times but not as a stock license. Looking through the directory, I found the same image used twice more in advertisements for the directory company. I have to assume that they found the image on Flickr and decided to use it in the hope that the owner would not complain. They made no attempt to contact me prior to using the image despite the fact that my contact details are clearly advertised on Flickr. Tomorrow, I’ll give them a call to check the circulation (probably around 100,000-150,000 given the number of households in the 4 counties they distribute the directory to) then invoice them for the usage. If they choose to ignore my gentle reminder, we’ll see where it goes after that.
Hamilton Pool near Austin, Texas

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