I've been posting my digital pics over at Flickr since January 2005 and at the time of writing this piece I had 8,302 photos hangin there. I'm not a pro photographer, occasionally I get all serious about it and try to grab some semi pro shots. I do like to take a good shot and feel pretty good when I do. But most are just memories. 

Now with Flickr you can share your photos with others and you can determine who gets to use your photos for whatever purpose. For instance I allow anyone to see my photos and to use my photos if they so desire just so long as they ask my permission and explain what they are going to use them for, as in what publication, what article, what website etc.

I think that's fair enough as I don't want any photo of mine associated with a cause or a viewpoint that I dont agree with. So far I have photos on the back cover of a book on streetart, a soon to be released front cover of a kids book, two travel websites and one which was once used by a professor giving a lecture on graffiti in Ancient Pompeii. So fairly diverse uses nd I'm more than happy to share for free, I've never thought to charge and why would I?

That's all good and fine, I'm happy when this arrangement works out nicely. But I do get pissed off when the following happens. I was in the office this week tasked with finding a new set of sieves for one of our excavation teams, I googled a few suppliers and clicked on a few links. Then I clicked this link and within seconds I recognised that photo, they were my co-workers and that was my photo. What the f#ck?!

This is the original pic

sieve symmetry

They had trimmed the top and bottom off the photo to get rid of faces and clutter, but it is clearly still my photo. Pretty damn cheeky if you ask me seeing as I had never received a request by anyone to use that photo for anything. I just had to ring them up didn't I?! I wasn't pissed at the company, more so at the people this company hired to develop/design/build their website. The company rep was pretty embarrassed, I told her not to be and we had a laugh, I asked her who designed the website and that's when she realised that shed been ripped off too. They paid those web designers good money to design that site. Now wondering if they were charged a photo licensing fee for a photo that didn't require one. 

I've been promised a heavy discount when I next order sieves from them hehehe and an invite to their new warehouse opening here in West Oz shortly. Free drink and a sausage in a bun, can't beat that and yes folks that's about the highest price I put on one of my photos, a beer and a sausage in a bun. Show a bit of class and ask to use the photo, pretty much always gonna say yes. Just don't steal, it's so very lame.

Edit: Curious to know if any other bloggers have had their pics used without their permission. I know of one other instance.


Maja said…
Wow, dodgy web designer! It's a great photo.

I used to put all my photos on flickr but a lot of them were being favourited by weirdos (like a pic of a friend's pregnant belly) who didn't have any photos of their own so I decided to take them all off flickr because I don't really use it anymore.
stu said…
Thanks, was trying to capture the pattern the soil made as it left the sieve.

pregnant belly? really? takes all sorts I guess.

Yeah I set certain photos to private on Flickr for similar reasons. I just find it a safe back up file for my photos in case my puter dies :(
Anonymous said…
your story clearly has holes in it ... lol - Reb.
stu said…
Haaaa I see what you did there :)
Gregoryno6 said…
One of my fractals turned up on a site with a very garbled version of the original description. You know, English to other language and back to English. There was no link to the online gallery, but on the other hand they weren't trying to make a buck out of it themselves either, whoever they were.
I didn't make an issue of it, and it's disappeared now anyway, but it certainly gave me a surprise.
Lianasmooz said…
I feel you. Three times I've had this happen. First was because models in photos for some reason think that if they are in the picture it is their property and it is a pain in the arse to get Facebook to take them down. You have to go through a lengthy claim process, which is a waste of time when it is for something so small.
Twice with businesses. One was in a magazine which would have been fine if they asked. The other asked to use them for promo shots and proceeded to create their own flickr account with them and present them as their own work.

stu said…
man that last example is outrageous!