you know already that you can find photos “for free” on the internet today but you should never forget:
- there are working communities.
- those who you steal photos from can make it public very easily
- you should own a spade. A good spade – because the hole you want to dig and hide in when it comes out can’t be deep enough.
The story I heard of yesterday (my friend Schoki told me about) is an other example for working communites and that stealing intellectual property can backfire badly.
Last summer German photographer Mareen Fischinger took a photo of her sister Vivien and uploaded it onto flickr. Short after an other flickr member, the norwegian post employee Kåre Sandvik, came across a photo (while sorting the mail) which looked familiar to him .
The photo was printed on the title page of XTRA, the quarterly youth magazine of the Norwegian conservative party Høyre. He took a snap with his camera phone and left a comment on Mareen’s flickr page with the original, copyrighted photo. At first Mareen overlooked the comment and for some more weeks nothing happened. When she noticed it she got in contact with Kåre.
The photo was not licensed, nobody had asked Mareen and nobody had offered money. Both, Mareen and Vivien were furious, Mareen about stealing the photo and Vivien who doesn’t want to be abused for political statements.
Mareen published the story on her flickr pages and on her blog and it made quite some waves in Norway (Here is a translated version of a newspaper article). There were blogs writing about it, a report on local tv (in german), radio (in german too) etc.. Further there is a vivid discussion in a flickr group going on now.
Høyre offered money for the use of the photo (their lawyer’s letter was a piece of impudence btw.) but the sisters wouldn’t let themselves be bought. They want justice and amends. That is the only way to give a clear sign:
Don’t steal our photos!
Those who still inted to do so: Here is an other story where the thief regretted that he had stolen photos from Kris Krug (who publishes under a creative commons license) in an infamous way. Over 53000 pageviews and an endless list of comments speak for themself. Update: Here is a good summary of the whole story.
Mareen Fischinger on:
- portfolio: http://fotografischinger.de/
- flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mareen/
- blog: http://mareenfischinger.de/textblog/
- fotoblog: http://mareenfischinger.com/
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