Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

This story comes from the Consumer Champions page in The Guardian this Saturday:

Why can’t we use Google images on our website?
I set up my sister’s website and used two Google images. It said nothing about copyright – but now Getty has billed us £950.
In August 2010 my sister asked me to design a website for her hair and beauty salon.
We found two striking images on Google and used them. We rejected those which had “copyright” or similar words, or where the identity of the model was obvious.
Three months later, Getty Images wrote claiming the photos were subject to its copyright. She was asked to remove them immediately and to cease and desist from further use. She was also billed £950 for “unpaid licence fees”, an enormous sum for a local business.
As I reckoned the images were worth about £50 at most, and were only on the site for three months, I ignored this demand. Getty sent a heavier letter in January 2011. In June, she received a “notice of case escalation” and the fee demanded was now £1,149.50, an impossible amount to pay.
We heard nothing more – I thought Getty had realised there was little point in chasing this – until December 2012 when debt collectors sent a threatening letter. Is this a big organisation trying to beat up a small business? BF, Shrewsbury

Getty Images collects fees for photographers whose work is used.
They have to earn their crust – and pay models, make-up artists, lighting technicians and others involved in a shoot. Using their images for free is copyright theft. But Getty Images acknowledges that when non-professional web designers try to find artwork through a search engine, it can be unclear what – if any – fee there is to pay, and even more unclear how to pay.
Phrases such as “These images may be in copyright” could apply to all, or none, of the images viewed. In your case, you selected two pricey images at £475 each to use for six months.
Getty accepts that you would not have taken these had you known the cost. These images were “digital rights managed” and their use is easily detectable.
You could, however, have chosen “royalty-free” images which would have given you a lifetime’s use for £10 to £20.
There are a number of websites to consult before using images [and here the left-leaning British newspaper The Guardian provides links to two American-owned websites].
Getty accepts “that there are many small businesses and image users that are new to licensing content” and says “it is not our core business to chase hairdressers”.
And while it called in debt collectors, it has not sold them the debt – it remains a matter between Getty and you.
Following our call, it has reassessed the situation. It says it is unfair for those involved in the shoot to be unpaid, but it is willing to cut the bill to £500 as a compromise solution.
We feel that this is reasonable.

Ah, poor dab! A big organisation trying to beat up an ickle-wickle image thief? The ‘compromise solution’ is more than reasonable, I’d say. I  wonder what the complainant thought of that?

“As I reckoned the images were worth about £50 at most, and were only on the site for three months, I ignored this demand.”

So that’s all right then. This ignorant, selfish, greedy web designer is complaining because her theft has been uncovered. And by complaining, she has managed to get her bill reduced by £450. Result, I’d say.

The Internet is a wondrous thing, God wot, but it has led to a number of unforeseen situations. Firstly, the value of a photograph has plummeted. Secondly, previously honest, trustworthy individuals now feel no qualms about stealing images, music, films and games on the basis that “if I can see it on my screen it’s mine.”

It’s interesting, but hardly surprising, that the people who have commented on this complaint on The Guardian’s website have all been critical of the complainant.

VictoriaLuckie writes:

Photos cost photographers to take. The photographer will probably have had to pay for equipment, studio / lighting hire and models. What you thought the photos were worth is irrelevant. As is the excuse that you were not professional. It saddens me that the Guardian would run an ill-thought out and unbalanced piece like this that completely undermines an industry that has it tough enough already.

And Baldur McQueen comments

“….I reckoned the images were worth about £50 at most…”
I love that 🙂
I do wonder if I could do the same at the Hair & Beauty Salon?
“…. I reckon this haircut is worth a fiver at most, so I’ll pay you nothing…”

Good on you both.

I’m thinking maybe we should have a Copyright notice on every fotoLibra page. We should never overestimate the intelligence of users.

fotoLibra is to Getty Images as plankton to a whale, and we do not have cadres of sharp-suited lawyers we can order to jump at our command. And obviously we can’t police illegal image usage around the world.

But we are prepared to go to law in the UK on behalf of our Pro and Platinum members in good standing who can show us proof of UK commercial usage of any of their images which had earlier been uploaded to fotoLibra. This is strung about with conditions, alas, which is not as good as we would have liked, but it is a strong gesture of intent. Where we have had sufficient evidence to go before the Small Claims Court on behalf of our Pro and Platinum members, we have done so — and we have won every time, and got the money.

What we can’t do is sue private bloggers who use watermarked fotoLibra Previews, or organisations based overseas. Any Previews they may take have all got big fotoLibra watermarks, so everyone know’s they nicked the image, and who they nicked it from. In the UK we can certainly send them take-down notices and demand payment and a link through to the photographer’s page on fotoLibra, but the threat of having a County Court Judgement against them seems little deterrent to bloggers, who are often pseudonymous.

On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.


Leave a Reply for Charles Henderson


67 Responses to “Why aren’t pictures free?”

  1. Nick Jenkins says:

    A short while ago someone posted a breakdown of the costs involved in securing a professionally crafted photograph. Can’t find it now but it was telling!
    The more we put out there to establish what we do as professional like any business, the less difference it will make, I fear!! Canute failed…

  2. It’s not just photographs, I’ve found entire chapters of one of my books online with the site owner claiming he wrote them! His answer was that anything on the internet was free to take and re-publish and anyway, he’d typed it out himself.
    Six months work, fact checking, editor, artist… why do I bother ?

  3. MJP Media says:

    The bottom line is that every image is copyrighted unless it specifically states otherwise. Deal with it before you steal other peoples work! You wouldn’t dream of stealing my car or my dog, but they are not stamped “property of”. Damned cheek.

    Unlike Getty and the guardian I wouldn’t back down to what is copyright piracy. Try copying a Disney film and using it for your own commercial purposes. My images are no less protected than theirs.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      The trouble is that if everybody does it, most will get away with it. And it’s seen as a victimless crime. After all, it’s only a photograph, “worth about £50 at most” — and yet she described them as “striking images”.

  4. John Prior says:

    Sorry but being in the business you should have known better, professional looking images means that there is a high chance that the images come from a copyrighted source. As an art director as well as photographer I know how careful you need to be. A copywriter colleague was stung by Getty for showing an ad image out of context of the original ad on his promotional website. It’s OK to show complete advertising work for self promotion, but don’t separate the image from layout or copy

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      As MJP Media says, assume every image is copyrighted. More people — indeed, everyone — must realise that UNLESS it says it’s freely usable it WILL belong to someone who must be paid for his work. Even Creative Commons licences, which largely allow free usage, have their restrictions.

  5. Gordon says:

    We do have to be careful here because the law is not wholly on our side. The legal case of Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre co v New Garage and Motor Co Ltd (1915) laid down the commonlaw in this area and which still applies today:

    i) The sum is a penalty if it is greater than the greatest loss which could be suffered from the breach, in other words, if it is “extravagant and unconscionable”.

    ii) If it agreed that a larger sum shall be payable in default of paying a smaller sum, this is a penalty.

    Also, in addition, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999) Schedule 2(e) – Indicative and Non exhaustive list of terms which may be regarded as unfair states that “requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation” is an unfair term.

    So although your friendly solicitor may well be able to send a ‘heavy handed’ letter we need to justify the costs if we stand any chance of getting recompence; I do hope Nick’s article comes to light.

  6. brijo says:

    No matter where people lift pictures from, they have to be either extremely unintelligent, or they are simply out to save some money.

    And we need even more no gain no pain lawyers in the industry, that can sue the pockets empty on the shoplifters.

    Do these people also steel from the shelves in the stores? Don’t think so, because there they would be caught immediately.

    Unless a photo has written all over it, take me, I am free! – it is owned by someone.

  7. A timely post, as I’m currently creating a website. It uses my own photos mainly, so no copyright problems there, but I was thinking of including a map or aerial photo or two.

    Now, who provide the means of creating your own web site, show you how to embed a Google map in your site, and there’s no mention of copyright there. (But I don’t want to go that way, as I want to show an area as it was a couple of years ago, not now. In fact, the current Google map suits my purpose, but it might be updated in future. I suppose I could grab a screenshot of it instead..?)

    There are maps all over the web, but the Ordnance Survey is keen to sell you its maps, either on paper or digitally, so presumably they would enforce copyright. (But you can also access OS maps via Bing maps, who presumably pay OS for them, so who holds the copyright there?)

    In fact I did find an aerial photo on Bing maps which I could also use, but a similar question applies to that.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      If it’s the UK you want to map, then the wonderful Ordnance Survey now provide OpenData maps of staggering detail which you can use for commercial or private use for free under the Creative Commons licence. They are as detailed as you want them to be, but you do need a mapping program like Magic Maps or QIGS to open and manipulate the files.

  8. Ian Kydd'Miller says:

    A very clear case of copyright theft and anyone who builds a website using images found on the web that they think are FREE needs to beware. I think they are very lucky to have got away with the theft. Photographer spend lots of money to produce images that a valuable and usable and should expect payment accordingly, I wonder if she gives FREE haircuts.. ??

  9. Charles Henderson says:

    I have over 5,550 images of Scottish castles covering around 1,800 properties. Several people have maintained all these pictures should be available free on the internet! Maybe they would like to spend 20 years and a load of money doing this for free!

  10. Toni Allen says:

    Recently via Facebook I clicked through to an online gallery the artist I follow was selling his work through. I was horrified to see a photo of paint brushes with the watermark of a well known online photo library (not Folotilbra I hasten to say) I raised this issue on Facebook asking the artist why he thought it was okay to steal someone else’s image when he expected to get paid for his paintings. I became everyone’s whipping boy! I became the bad person! I explained that the photographer would like to get paid and the artist’s response was ‘the web deveopers did it’ and it was ‘only’ a photo. Theft is theft and I’m glad that Getty Iamges chased the hairdresser for payment.

  11. Alex Bradley says:

    I remember a little while ago you published on fotoLibra
    a very clear and concise article on copyright. I saved this and will include it here ( with your permission ).

    Information for image users

    Virtually every publication, every website and every television programme uses images. Copyright law stipulates that the author’s permission is required for this. That permission is usually linked to a financial payment: image creators must, after all, live on the income from their creative labours. 
Apart from a couple of exceptions, publishers and producers are obliged to trace the creators of the images in order to ask permission for publication. The fact that this is not always easy does not detract from this obligation.

    Asking permission is compulsory

    Users are often confused as to what they can and cannot do under copyright law. The golden rule is: anyone who wants to publish someone else’s image must ask permission for this from the creator or their heirs. This obligation only lapses 70 years after the death of the artist. Hence the work of Rembrandt is rights-free, but that of Picasso is not. Anyone who publishes a picture of a painting by Picasso in a book or leaflet without permission runs the risk of having to pay damages.

    That’s nice and clear and straightforward.

  12. Barry Hitchcox says:

    Staggering that the ‘Grauniad’ was seen as a sympathetic ear by this thief. Tony Levene’s reply is fair and balanced. Well done Guardian, my faithis restored! But why has Getty caved in to this wingeing and halved the fee?
    Thanks Gwyn for posting this, although I fear artists’/creators’ rights are not respected, and this nonsense will go on.

  13. Ian Hooker says:

    Unfortunately, most people do not have the understanding that most of us Fotolibra contributors have of copyright law. Many websites almost invite “theft” by the way they fail to watermark their “freely available” images. No watermark and no clear indication of copyright should be regarded as not copyrighted. Why else did they invent the copyright mark???

    Also, £500 for using 2 photos on a small business website for six months is totally out of proportion to the value the small business would have gained from the images.

    Sure, the “thief did wrong – but not £500 wrong.

  14. Michael Reed says:

    The Profession of photography is undergoing hardtimes nowadays, it is no longer a real skill to produce a decent enough image to sell. A mobile phone can produce images which are used by newspapers, and sadly folk are happy for their pictures to be published without a fee being paid. Having worked as a Freelance in the 1980’s and 90’s
    I know how things have changed and I am glad that I am not now trying to earn a living from photography, all photographs are the property of the photographer and all usage should be paid for. M.Reed

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Alamy, which used to publish a list of the only makes and models of cameras from which they would accept photographs (my Instamatic 126 was somehow omitted from the list), now accept photos taken on phones.

  15. Brian Murray says:

    There’s a strong belief that anything on the Internet is free. And also, “how will they know?”

    This includes not only photos, but text, ideas, software…..

    Finders keepers. It seems most people have no notion of copyright even when it’s in huge letters.

    Digital photography also fosters the (wrong) notion that since it’s digital, and hence no film was used, then it costs “even less” to create a photograph.

    My landscape trips out cost me a fortune in sandwiches, coffee, cigarettes and dog biscuits. It will go hard for whoever steals my photos when they get a bill for these.

    But I feel sorry for those with more expensive pictures to take.

    • “Finders keepers. It seems most people have no notion of copyright even when it’s in huge letters.”

      I’ve been wondering whether to put some kind of Copyright notice on my embryonic website. I could point out that the images on the website are all under 1,000 px, while my original copies of these particular pics are up to 4,000 px, so I should have no problem proving ownership of the images.

      On the other hand, I’m happy if people copy any of the website images for private or educational use, and the pics would probably be too small for commercial consideration anyway.

      It’s all probably no big deal, as my website will only be of interest to local people, local historians, and maybe civil engineers, but I’d still be interested in any comments on the copyright issue.

      • Gwyn Headley says:

        Put a line at the bottom of your template (so it aappears on every page created) “All content and images © copyright Roger Downham 2013”. Update it annually.

  16. Mark Goodwin says:

    Interesting post Gwyn thanks.
    One thing that immediately popped into my head was as this was a Google Image and the user got a bill from Getty, I wonder if this comes under the new Getty-Google’s deal. If so the lucky photographer would get the princely sum of a one-off payment of $12 per image. Nice profit for good old Getty!!

    • Mark Harris says:

      I think by “Google Image” she meant ‘an image on the internet that was found by using a Google search’.
      Reminds me of a blogger for our local paper who credited images as “borrowed from Google”. When I asked if she meant ‘stolen with the help of Google’, she said it wasn’t theft because she would happily remove the image if the owner found out and complained.
      I said ‘Great, so I can come and take your car, label it “borrowed from The White Pages”, and will happily return it if you can find me’.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      I don’t think Getty would have chased so assiduously if there hadn’t been an irate photographer on their backs!

  17. John Chambers says:

    If the image did not have the Copyright sign, then how would the guy in the street know it had one. I understand British and American copyright laws to a certain extent,,being an artist, so I would know that it was copyright, as are all images, photos or paintings or prints. ,sign or not. I have in the past asked the photographer for permission to use a photograph. But there are many who do not know the facts. Surely all images should be required to carry a copyright sign,or mis-use will be the owners fault.The other problem is that the Copyright laws are some of the most complicated laws ever to exist, and even many Lawyers dont fully understand them, let alone anyone else.They should be more simplified for everyones benefit.including me. I recently read in print a well known artist say that he had no problem with anyone copying his work on a one off basis,and even selling it providing the artist signed it as ” After Joe Bloggs”.(Real artist name witheld). He did go on to say that it would be a different matter if loads of prints were made of it for sell.
    In the field of art there are hundreds of instuctional books and DVDs encouraging the user to copy the work. Often there is nothing to indicate that selling the work done would be in breach of copyright.So even though the book or DVD itself may carry the fact that it is coyright it is still confusing to the user of the publication.

    He also added that if the artist made 500 prints of it,then it would be a different matter.

    • frrp4914 says:

      Well, by law, every photo has copyright, from the moment it is taken. It subsists in the photographer or, less often, in his/her employer. OK. That’s the legal position which not everyone might be expected to know. But, I would contest, common sense of even the dullest peson would inform that anything which is of value to them must surely be of value to the person who created it. Those ‘web designers’, and others, who protest innocence are either criminals or monumemtally stupid. The choice is theirs, but either way they are culpable.

    • Ian Kydd'Miller says:

      Images do not need to have a copyright sign to be subject to copyright and any reasonably intelligent individual would understand that. Theft is theft.

      Mark Harris says:
      2013/03/11 at 15:50

      I think by “Google Image” she meant ‘an image on the internet that was found by using a Google search’.
      Reminds me of a blogger for our local paper who credited images as “borrowed from Google”. When I asked if she meant ‘stolen with the help of Google’, she said it wasn’t theft because she would happily remove the image if the owner found out and complained.
      I said ‘Great, so I can come and take your car, label it “borrowed from The White Pages”, and will happily return it if you can find me’.

      Well said Mark

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      As I said before — many times — that’s the reason copyright lawyers are rich. And I’m not.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      As I said before — many times — that’s the reason copyright lawyers are rich. And I’m not.

  18. John Chambers says:

    Its strange how people look at the cost of a work of art.For instance a garage owner will ask you to pay £500 (including parts) for the cost of a repair which took him 10 hours to complete at £25 per hour but look agast if you ask him for £150 for a painting which took you 30 or 40 hours.

  19. B Northmore says:

    It’s a shame that she didn’t consider that her own work was good enough to photograph ! If a photo is only worth £50, then why on earth didn’t they take a snap of her own work using a phone and use that on their website ? Could the answer be that her work isn’t up to scratch ?

  20. John Cleare says:

    Small Claims Court is all very well, but try to enforce the judgement !
    Some years ago a picture user disappeared owing me £500. By chance I came across the miscreant five years later and obtained Small Claims Court judgement with no problem. But he was a private individual and living in Scotland where the law is slightly different. He still refused to pay, the baliffs were ordered in but would have charged me £400 to restrain nothing worth restraining. It was a moral victory.

    How many companies over the years have owed me money but gone bust while the principles started up again under a new name. I’ve even bearded them in their office and been handed a cheque that bounced.

    A freelance worker stands little chance against a business intent on not paying – After 50 years in business I’m very cynical.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      In my last job I won £12,000 from a guy in a court case. When he didn’t pay I employed a debt collector for £1,000 to get the money. He’s walking around scot free and I’m £13,000 poorer. But fotoLibra has won all its cases, so far.

  21. Mike Mumford says:

    I too use Google Image Links, a great place to find images and web site links. I agree with BF, Shrewsbury Getty Images should be Watermarked, otherwise it is entrapment.
    We are beginning to see more watermarked images. This can only be a good thing for the author and the public. Copyright is like the stamped “Lion” on the egg, once scrambled, then always lost.
    I would like to ask a question if copyright is to protect intellectual property, why can the so called owner be given “in perpetuity” the right to charge large permission fees outside their normal copyright life?
    By holding large quantities, often gifted and some bought, they assume a copyright hold of their collection indefinitely. For example I know a rare historical photograph the Getty Images are charging a large permission fee, I also have a copy. Should I put mine into the Public Domain, and Getty do the same? MumfordBook & Guides.

    • matt says:

      what if Getty Images, like me sell to newspapers or other editorial providers who simply do not watermark images or have credits below the image… people still use them without authorisation and when an image is sold exclusively it is up to the photographer to ensure the exclusivity of an image. Therefore the photographer is in his right to charge as much as he wants. Anything that is authored – music, words, images are protected under the copyright act. One of the ten commandments is DO NOT STEAL. If anything the law needs to be TOUGHER

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Love the scrambled egg simile!

  22. Sadly, it seems the only way to educate image (ab)users is to bill them a hefty sum as and when they step out of line and do something naughty. There will always be some who are going to take the risk though.

    Fortunately Google image search, Tin Eye etc have made it pretty hard to hide unauthorised online usage.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      And people do NOT like getting court summonses. It never looks good to the staff. But we need an enforcer in each country. Australia, Simon?

  23. I have never seen an image on Google without “Image may be subject to copyright” written underneath. Why then would anyone presume that they were free to use.

    The creator is free to charge whatever they want for an image – if a customer is not willing to pay that, they are under no obligation to buy. It is not for the copyright infringer to decide the “value” after they are caught!

  24. Chris Chavasse says:

    Fascinating! The times I rue opening my mouth and having simple ideas become another persons dreamboat to fame and riches I cannot count, for my stupidity is as fathomless ocean crisscrossed with ripples of an occasional brainwave that some might call Intelligence.
    I get it very well.
    If you really like something someone else has created, pay up, and use the material because it will most likely be very good for your business, but give credit, with your credit card or pay the person for their creativity.

  25. Ian Hooker says:

    If I didn’t watermark my images on the web I would deserve to have them lifted.(If I left my door open and someone stole my grandfather clock I would blame my own stupidity).

    And, just because I say my images are priced at £450 does not mean they are worth £450. (Unlike physical property which can have a real value – and it can be sold only once. Once physical property is sold, the seller can no longer benefit from it. Intellectual property is really only worth what the “buyer” gets from it, not how much it costs the author to create – and it can be sold over and over again. Once intellectual property is sold, the seller continues to benefit by selling it again).

    Get off you high horses guys and secure your own assets. Make sure they are watermarked.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Never confuse price with value. On the other hand, years of experience have proved to me that you get when you pay for. I still have the same watch, the same lighter and the same pen that I had 40 years ago.

  26. Manuel Goncalves Jr says:

    The majority of people nowadays think it is just too easy to take a decent picture and because of that, they feel they should not pay for using it.

    Well, for these lazy people I would just say: If it is that easy, why don’t you do it yourself?

  27. Derek Metson says:

    From part time freelancing in late fifties, own studio through the eighties, bankrupt (thanks John Major!) and cameraless, now digital, I’ve had a few experiences with payments and copyright. Some good some bad.

    Successful freelancing crashed when the NUJ decided they wouldn’t allow local papers to use non-NUJ work. NUJ membership was open only to full timers, not serious part timers. Closure of a number of mags using good pics didn’t help.

    Payments for pictures used in magazines and for calenders, etc was good and worth gambling on submission on spec. Calendar pics sold recently on fotoLibra brought in less per shot than our last successful sale through a an old style picture agency way back in the late seventies. Times have changed. Too many people can take ‘good’ pictures now. When I started it was ‘good’ if it was in focus and properly exposed – and that ruled out 95% of all pictures!

    In 1980 we were the first winners of a Kodak Portrait Award in our area. The local papear headed the story ‘KOJAK Award’ (remember Telly Savalas?) along with our pic of the little girl with a cute hairstyle. BBC East were running a series on newspaper boobs and used our pic with their story. We received a cheque for nearly £20 – not bad with the publicity as well! Nowadays all TV stations plead for viewers pictures and mugs are happy to see them used for free.

    When I first did wedding photos we reckoned that, on average, whatever the cost of the original album for the couple, the reprints order would be about the same. By the time we went bust we reckoned we were lucky to get a reprint order. Some of that was down to colour copies from high street stores who should have known better. Much was due to people shooting groups over my shoulder. Work fast and walk into the shot was myu method, but who was bothered about a picture of a photographer’s back if the picture cost nothing. No wonder hundreds of high street studios were closing down at the same time as ours. Where actual copies were the problem, you don’t sue customers as a small town trader, even if you know for sure they’ve done it – and wasn’t the real problem with fellow shop traders willing to copy obviously professional work? The general public just don’t have clue on copyright!

    Our worse experience, however, was with an agency we used for many years. They sold pictures for us at good prices and we trusted them. We informed them of change of address when we opened our studio, but a few years later when we travelled to visit them they weren’t where we thought. Searches for the name didn’t find them, either online (later) or otherwise. Then out of the blue we had a call from someone clearing up a backlog of getting pics back to owners. A couple of small batches – out of thousands of prints and trans – showed at least one transparency clearly marked as used which we hadn’t been paid for. When we mentioned this, we heard no more from the person, though we had talked about possibly visiting their storage lock-up to help spot ours pics among the thousands. What was Gwyn saying a while ago about £300 a time in the old days if the seal had been broken on a submitted transparency? We don’t even know where ours are – or even where the people we used to trust are.

    I don’t like copyright theft and wouldn’t do it, but it’s here to stay and modern technology will make it easier than it was in the late eighties. Sad but true.

    Lastly, regarding County Court – we never liked doing commercial work from the studio because it was always slow paying and too many pernickity clients. We couln’t afford to turn it away, though. A very small job for a local cafe owner resulted in one or two extra prints being ordered. What can you say to an eight year old when his dad has sent him to pick up work but not to pay for it? Pam visited ‘dad’ a few days later and was sworn at and abused in the cafe in front of their customers. The County Court judge said the case depended on whether the man had been given a copy of our commercial price list. He believed he had and found in our favour…….then proceeded to add that he would, however, reduce the amount to the original bill without the extra prints! Last we heard of our ‘client’ was he had gone missing and was being chased for business rates.

    Very few photograpahers will ever make it to millionaire status – and that’s not just because of copyright theft!

    • Chris Chavasse says:

      I am compelled to respond to such an interesting post as you have reminded me that I once won a prize for a photo I submitted to Kodak of a ‘Seabird’ class racing yacht, almost becalmed and with perfect reflection of her upon the undulating water. 5 pounds! Plus a roll of film for my Brownie Box camera.
      Thereafter I never lost my love for photography. I still love it, but after I lost several thousand negatives and slides of my travels through Africa and elsewhere during the 1960’s and 1970’s – to an old flame….who informed me they were all swept away in a flood! (A flood that doused any residual warmth in that little rub.)after that, and to remove myself from a theater of war, I sold all my equipment.
      Only after many years, I return to a new era of digital photograph which has so much to offer, although I miss the stark and the softness of black & whites.
      Having experienced both the wonderful and nastiest sides of humanity it is a very odd to feel how affected one can be when people are so rude!
      The proliferation of copyright theft is, I agree Derek, not the limiting factor for a successful career.
      To me, this discussion is answered best, because it’s just another sign of the cultural disintegration within our societies, in education which is a key factor in establishing what More our companions on this planet espouse in their adult life.
      I feel very sorry for the poor kid who picked up the photos for the cafe, I imagine he copped the same abuse your Pam did, a lifetime’s worth.
      Such are the watermarks of life, and as Ian Hooker suggests, Watermarks,may be the best way forward in preventing these outright thefts. I have to agree, very good advice. However, If the photographers are unable to do create their own watermark, (and how difficult is that?!!) they could be legislated. YUCK!

  28. matt says:

    if you find a stolen image being linked in to a few blogs, simply re-upload a new file with the same name with an image saying “Im a thief and dont understand the copyright law”

  29. Carlos Guardia says:

    What if the user is a popular TV program,
    And even though the attorney filling the case for the court finds them guilty of wrong usage, the judge declares them innocent.
    The picture in fact was taken from a publication and it appears with my credit in the book and in the video.
    Comments please.