Forbes Thinks Web Photographers Don’t Matter

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See update below.

The Web Celeb 25 – Forbes.com It was interesting for me today to see an article out from Forbes celebrating the Web Celeb 25. I like the article a lot and several of the people that I think deserve to be on this list are (Robert, Mike, Om, Cory Xeni, and many more) but it’s interesting to see how Forbes handled the photos for the article. Forbes of course is a for profit venture and makes money with their content.

As expected where they used photos for their article from Getty Images, they credited Getty as the source of the photos. I assume that they also paid Getty to use these images. If they didn’t of course, Getty would sue them because, well, that’s what they do.

On the other hand, where they lifted photos from the amateurs they used photos in violation of their licence. Of the all of the non Getty photos that they used not a single credit was given.

In my case, a photo that they lifted (some might say stole) of Om Malik is licensed creative commons non commercial with attribution. So while a blogger, or any non commercial entity can feel free to use it assuming they credit me, a for profit can’t use it without permission.

Personally it doesn’t bother me so much, but I also recognized several other photos that were lifted from the web in their same article by other photographers.

To me it’s interesting that in an article about the Web, they still really don’t get it, at least the concept of Creative Commons, etc.

Also, it’s one thing if you ask. Yesterday I had a reader ask me if it was ok if she used one of my photos of Florence on the Regis and Kelly show on Friday. I said sure, no problem. And I would have said sure, no problem about the photo of Om as well. But whether they lifted the photo from Flickr or Zooomr they are certainly violating it’s terms of use.

This wouldn’t even bother me as much except for the fact that they bothered to credit Getty on their photos. Which just shows that even in an article about the internet leveling the playing field that they still believe that our content is somehow second fiddle to the pros, not deserving of even a credit or byline when used for free.

By the way, that is a pretty kick ass shot of Om, if I do say so myself. ;)

Update: Just got the following email from Forbes:

“I am writing to apologize for the improper use of your photo on Forbes.com
as part of the Web Celeb 25 listing. It is Forbes’ policy always to
attribute photographs and respect intellectual property rights, and this
photograph was posted in error.

Forbes.com has a very high regard for Web content creators and photographers
- we are a content creator ourselves, and we apologize for this mistake.

We have removed the photograph from the site.

We’re very proud of the Web Celeb 25, and would still like to use your
photograph in it. I hope that you will give us permission to re-post your
photograph. Please let me know.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, don’t hesitate to call or
email me.

Kind Regards.

Paul Maidment
Editor, Forbes.com”

So I responded back to Paul that it was fine for him to use the photo with credit and all is well that ends well, kind of…

For those of you who suggested I make Forbes pay money to use the image, reparations, etc. that’s just not my style. I like sharing my photos with the entire world. I make a little money on them from time to time but that is not the primary motivation. For me this issue was more about educating the mainstream media on the appropriate use of creative commons licensed images and the need for approval and credit.

Pro-am photographers are going to increasingly become a source of content for the mainstream media going forward. Today it’s still in an awkward stage. My pal Scott Beale over at Laughing Squid and I have had conversations about this in the past. His photos get jacked without appropriate credit all the time and it frustrates him. He’s very clear about how he wants to be credited. My friend Aqui-Ali and I were talking about this issue on Sunday at our photowalk. He mentioned that an architectural magazine wanted to use one of his photos and that he gave them permission but asked for a subscription to the magazine. Personally I’m not interested in a subscription to Forbes Magazine but I’m sure if I’d asked for one in return that they would have gladly given me one.

Longer term though what needs to be built is a formal structured way for pro-am photographers to market their work and a large repository of excellent photos for marketers and people like Forbes to tap into. This is one of the things that we are working on at Zooomr. We hope to have up in the near future a Marketplace section where Pro-am photographers will be able to put their photos up for sale and while participating in the social network also be able to use it as an outlet to begin receiving fair compensation for their images. It won’t be a traditional stock agency, and it won’t be microstock. It will be an interesting hybrid that allows a broader way for photographers to share their work while receiving compensation for it at the same time when appropriate.

By the way, Forbes did a pretty good job overall handling all this. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that this was an honest mistake and I think they will be more careful in the future. Best I can tell, they first learned about this through my blog at 8:03 a.m. this morning, their IP address hit my server logs several more times throughout the morning and I had an email back apologizing by their Editor still before the day was half over.

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57 comments on “Forbes Thinks Web Photographers Don’t Matter
  1. carpeicthus says:

    Demand payment. The standard for recompense is 3x their normal rate.

  2. LeggNet says:

    That is extremely frustrating. My guess is that the folks at Forbes didn’t give attribution in the mistaken belief that nobody would notice the borrowed shots. The funny part is, all they had to do was ask and you would have granted permission.

    Even though you don’t want payment, I would recommend contacting them anyway to discuss this issue in hope that you can protect the next photog they “borrow” images from.

    Rich

  3. julie says:

    Writers face similar issues. Our best weapon in halting this practice is education. Thanks for doing your part.

  4. Greg Furry says:

    Thomas, I am with you all the way. Not to suck up but you should have been on the list.

    You put a face on the blogosphere. Without your photos many of us wouldn’t see the person behind the blog. Sure many have postage stamp size head shots but you capture them out and about in real life settings.

  5. Nick says:

    Oh my, that is really annoying.

    Like others have suggested I’d definitely recommend contacting Forbes. Don’t forget, it wasn’t just your photo(s) that they abused.

    Beside, perhaps you could persuade them to do an article on Creative Commons in recompense!

  6. -gary says:

    It should bother you. By not speaking up in the form of a takedown notice or request for attribution, you’re just telling them that it’s okay to use web images without credit in the future.

    I find it interesting that you will go to the lengths that you have against unruly security guards who threaten public photography, but scoff at the idea of standing up to a much larger and egregious infraction. If not for yourself, at least do it for the rest of us.

  7. Thomas Hawk says:

    It should bother you. By not speaking up in the form of a takedown notice or request for attribution, you’re just telling them that it’s okay to use web images without credit in the future.

    I find it interesting that you will go to the lengths that you have against unruly security guards who threaten public photography, but scoff at the idea of standing up to a much larger and egregious infraction. If not for yourself, at least do it for the rest of us.

    Gary, trust me, they will end up knowing about this. The question is how they handle it. This will be on their radar very shortly if it isn’t already. Photographers are ripped off all the time. That’s not cool.

  8. Raoul says:

    Not sure if this is the same photo you told me about a while back, or the second one they used without your consent, but do go after them. Like the others said, you’re already engaged in activism when it comes to photography, please stand up for our rights in this as well. Best of luck with this Tom, hope it gets resolved properly.

  9. Mark Bixby says:

    If I were Forbe’s right now, I’d be looking at ways to fix this, and come out of it looking like a hero. Not like they can’t afford to pulically appologize, and compensate the photographers involved. Seems like a simple “Our bad. It was never our intent to rip people off.” and some nominal effort to make reparations would go a long way. This will be really interesting to watch as it plays out. Sorry this happened to you, though.

  10. Great post Thomas. Photos never seem to get the same respect as other copyrights. I don’t think it is something many people, even writers consider, they just grab a picture and use it without thinking of the rights of the owner.

    I hope something positive comes of this- Forbes is too large of a publication not to be following the proper laws.

  11. Rick Pali says:

    Even if their using your images contrary to the licence doesn’t bother you, I’m glad you’re going to do something about it.

    Frankly, if everyone specified a licence but didn’t bother to pursue violations, licences would quickly become meaningless. It’s better to just not specify terms at all.

    That said, I look forward to hearing their reaction.

  12. I’m confused. In the slideshow, it says “courtesy of Gigaom” under your picture, as it similarly says “courtesy of Jeff Jarvis” under his, etc. Only a few are (c) somebody. Perhaps Forbes got these images from the bloggers directly and didn’t bother to ask about copyright? Not that this makes it okay, but perhaps you need to dig a little deeper.

    Great shot, in any case.

  13. I’m confused. In the slideshow, it says “courtesy of Gigaom” under your picture, as it similarly says “courtesy of Jeff Jarvis” under his, etc. Only a few are (c) somebody. Perhaps Forbes got these images from the bloggers directly and didn’t bother to ask about copyright? Not that this makes it okay, but perhaps you need to dig a little deeper.

    Great shot, in any case.

  14. TranceMist says:

    Tom,

    Just imagine that a building security guard ripped you off instead of some editor at a stuffy publication.

    Just imagine how you would feel about this if you had tried to take a photo of a Forbes building from public property and they harassed you.

    The point is that they didn’t ask and they’re a big corporation who printed your photo for profit. If you do not defend your rights with this instance, you will be setting a high profile president for your own future as well as the rest of us.

  15. Thomas Hawk says:

    Trancemist, it will get worked out and there will be a story to come out of this yet. The question will be how will Forbes handle this.

    My blogging this post is my defending it. They are just going to need a little time to respond. Big companies need to try to sanitize responses to things like this through PR departments, etc., but it will get worked out.

    In this case simply blogging it here will make sure that this happens. Sometimes going ballistic is called for to effect change sometimes not. In this case I think it will get resolved without necessarily going ballistic.

    Now if Forbes were to come back and say, screw you, then at that point is the time to go ballistic. In the end though this will serve as a good reminder to for profit publications as to how creative commons photos ought to be used, photographers credited, and possibly compensated.

    My thought though is that lets give them a day or two to digest this and see how they respond. I think they will end up doing the right thing in the end.

  16. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’m confused. In the slideshow, it says “courtesy of Gigaom” under your picture, as it similarly says “courtesy of Jeff Jarvis” under his, etc. Only a few are (c) somebody. Perhaps Forbes got these images from the bloggers directly and didn’t bother to ask about copyright? Not that this makes it okay, but perhaps you need to dig a little deeper.

    Dierdre,

    This is new. Those “courtesy of” labels were not on the photos this morning and I suspect were added just in the past few hours as an initial bandaid approach. I don’t think that’s going to be good enough of course. Let’s see what they come up with here though beyond this.

  17. tinou says:

    just curious, isn’t there something about editorial use? i thought that even if a photo was copyrighted a newspaper could use it for editorial purposes? might be way off, and i’m completely with you that forbes should have done better.

  18. Dave Zatz says:

    TH: Looks like they removed your picture entirely and replaced it with a screenshot.

  19. Too bad you can’t pull a “Niall Kennedy” on them and swap out the stolen image for something else.

    Were I you… I’d get the $$ for the shot Mr. Hawk. To not do so continues the pissy behavior of the MSM toward indies and bloggers.

  20. Thomas Hawk says:

    Hey Gerald, nah, a goatsee would be too much in this case.

    The point is that a blog post was able to get the problem fixed. And Forbes actually acted pretty quick on it. They first saw the blog post at 8:03 this morning. It was hit by their servers several more times as the morning progressed.

    They have since contacted me privately and have removed my image and all the other unauthorized images used in their story.

    I’ll report more on the outcome of this when I’ve got permission from them to discuss the correspondence that we’ve had in private.

  21. Jonathan says:

    Yeah they should have credited the proper people. About payment…it’s free content.

  22. Anonymous says:

    actually, while nobody’s mentioned this, when i skipped through the 25 photos, I thought, “hey this picture of om is a cool shot, they should have done more like this”. :) You got him in a very Om moment…an Oment!

  23. Thomas Hawk says:

    Anonymous, indeed, a definite Om moment — cigarette and cell phone, classic Om.

    Of course they cropped the cigarette out in their version. ;)

  24. julie says:

    Glad to hear Forbes did the right thing.

    @sal cangeloso: Sadly, this happens to writers all the time. I know several who have had similar issues with their work. In many instances material is reposted by people clueless as to how copyrights and attribution work. They see a great article and want to pass it along. Fortunately, most people want to do the right thing and a courteous note will take care of things.

  25. Chris says:

    Another excellent post Thomas, glad everything worked out to your satisfaction. As a former freelance I always persued an ‘if its published its paid for’ policy – couldn’t afford not to!

    Looking forward to the Zooomr developments.

    Regards

    Chris

  26. Chris Heuer says:

    Thank you for standing up for this principle in a wonderful, inspired way that others will hopefully follow. I believe it is one of the most underrated elements of breaking new ground and creating new paradigms, modeling the right sort of behaviour for others to follow.

    Additionaly, Chris is right – the post itself was outstanding, as was your responses in the comments.

  27. Nick Douglas says:

    What they did was lousy. (As were most of their photos, excluding yours.) Granted, they ARE allowed to use your photo with attribution under your CC license — use in a publication is not commercial use, regardless of whether that publication makes money.

    Using your photo in, say, their promotional material would be commercial use.

    I dealt with this issue at Valleywag, where I had to learn what needed credit and/or permission.

  28. Mike Zara says:

    I’d sooner see you insist on the same price the professional agencies are getting. Forbes is not a friend, a start-up or a shoestring blogger. It’s an immensely profitable corporate enterprise that shouldn’t be able to further enrich itself on your work without sharing the wealth.

    @ nick douglas: Is it truly the case that a for-profit magazine like Forbes is not a “commercial” endeavor, either in general copyright terms or Creative Commons terms? I can’t fathom that. The content is for sale directly to subscribers and indirectly to advertisers. Forbes is no ‘zine or blog, no labor purely of love…

    If that’s true, I may need to rethink the CC license I use. (Not that anyone’s looking to use my stuff! I dream of being 1/1000000th as good as TH… :-))

  29. Amy says:

    Love the way you handled this.

  30. dan says:

    It *is* a kick-ass shot, BTW. Which of course is why Forbes wanted it. …

  31. Anonymous says:

    Xeni is NOT worthy!! She’s exploiting geek culture for her fame, when she’s not even a geek.

  32. Tyler Lee says:

    It just came out recently how hundreds of small indie music labels came together to form a sort of coalition that represented them all so that they could compete. This idea, if applied to content creators of all type on the web, could really help with this sort of problem. The big guys realize there is no legal power in one or two guys on the internet, but hundreds of little guys can group up to support eachother. Definitely not out to get the big corps, but it would be nice to have another guy looking over your back you know?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Go for the cash you commie.

  34. aishel says:

    The same thing happened to Charles of Little Green Footballs, who was noted by Forbes as one of the top 25 bloggers out there. But in Charles’ case, they put a picture of someone else.

  35. aishel says:

    I forgot the link to where it was posted on Little Green Footballs. here it is.

  36. drew olanoff says:

    you handled this perfectly and with total class. your photos are incredible, and the more people who see them, the better. of course, as long as you get full credit for them.

  37. LeggNet says:

    As a follow-up to my earlier post, I must say Kudos to Forbes for making this right in such a short period of time.

    The plus of this story (aside from the obvious) is that with the publicity, hopefully more people will discover Thomas’ work. I originally found this blog from the PriceRitePhoto incident reported on Digg.

    Rich

  38. Anonymous says:

    Well done. Nicely handled. It’s nice to see someone that is not “sue-happy” over every little mistake. I think this situation was resolved nicely by all parties involved. Something we should all learn from.

  39. Anonymous says:

    What a load of crap

    Obviously the big man who thinks he’s big because he got a photo on a web site.

    How’s about you go have a nice big drink of shut the hell up?

  40. Glad that worked out and they kept the shot – it’s a great one.

    I don’t post much to Flickr at al, and my site clearly says “copyright” on all materials, but my photos are frequently hot-linked from forums, MySpace etc. These people would never dream of crediting me, and there doesn’t seem to be a technical fix (short of removing/replacing the photo). I’ve tried adding my own “courtesy of” text to some pictures, but have no way of knowing if that actually brings any traffic to my site.

  41. Glad that worked out and they kept the shot – it’s a great one.

    I don’t post much to Flickr at al, and my site clearly says “copyright” on all materials, but my photos are frequently hot-linked from forums, MySpace etc. These people would never dream of crediting me, and there doesn’t seem to be a technical fix (short of removing/replacing the photo). I’ve tried adding my own “courtesy of” text to some pictures, but have no way of knowing if that actually brings any traffic to my site.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Don’t be a COMMUNIST TOOL —

    Please treat your photo as a professional content in the marketplace.

    If you don’t need the $200 bucks, or whatever, donate it to your favorite charity.

    It’s what Forbes would advise, trust me.

    Jasco Love

  43. Anonymous says:

    No for-profit venture should be able to use other’s work for free.
    Bill them.

    I am a professional photographer and you are stomping on my bread, so both of us will eat nothing.

  44. If you polute the waters by giving your work for free to FOR PROFIT companies. You will make it more difficult for you or me to get paid in the future. they wanted to use your image they should pay you what they paid for the “Pros” – They should have offered that as a mea culpa. And you should take nothing less.

  45. Anonymous says:

    You brought it upon yourself. First, you’re giving your work away to some users. That cheapens it. Second, you allow for-profits to use it simply by asking. That cheapens it even more. You admit that you’re not a professional photographer, and you’re certainly not making an attempt to act like one. Of course they don’t give you any respect!

  46. TranceMist says:

    Just weighing in again having read the follow-up, to add to other’s comments that I think you are indeed handling this the best way so far. No need to blow up without basic courtesies first.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Gotta love Forbes for 1. creating an innovative website instead of just curling up and dying like most print pubs are doing or getting ready to do, and 2. using the web to its advantage by exploiting nonprofessional content providers who they know are motivated by PR and ego, not cash.

  48. Joe Reifer says:

    Hi Thomas –

    I just finished a blog post about Creative Commons. I hope the information will help clear up some misconceptions about what can happen when you use the CC license for photographs.

    Cheers,

    Joe

  49. Thomas Hawk says:

    Joe, interesting post. Joe, I’m not sure that I agree with you that Forbes Editorial use would not constitute commercial use.

    CC defines commercial use as: NonCommercial=you may not use the work in a manner primarily directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.

    As a fully commercial editorial venture Forbes is built primarily as a vehicle “directed toward commercial advantage” and thus should not be able to use the photo simply by using a byline.

    On the other hand. If someone started a white supremacy blog as an individual blogger and was not a commercial venture you are right that they could use my work even if I objected via the cc non commercial license.

    You certainly give up control over your work but at the same time you empower others to use it in ways where you never would have received compensation in the first place.

    Do you have any research or citations that would contradict my thoughts on commercial use?

    Best,

    Tom

  50. Thomas Hawk says:

    Hey Joe, I just got some clarification back from Mia Garlick, General Counsel over at Creative Commons. See her note below.

    I think Mia’s correct and that even editorial commercial use would still be considered commercial use.

    “Hey Thomas,

    Well the one court case that has involved the enforcement of CC licenses did find that the use by a commercial newspaper of a CC NC licensed image violated that license condition so I think that you are accurate that there is no distinction between editorial use and commercial use: http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/5944

  51. Joe Reifer says:

    Hi Thomas –

    I thought this information from Use Plus might help clear up the distinction between the common usage of the terms commercial and editorial in regards to photography.

    Use Plus is a non-profit “worldwide coalition of leading companies, respected associations, and industry experts” whose goal is “to clearly define and standardize the core aspects of image licensing and its management.” Member organizations include Adobe, PDN, Adbase, Jupiter, and Microsoft.

    Here is how Use Plus defines these terms:

    Commercial Use: A descriptor for image uses that are part of sales or marketing efforts.

    Editorial Use: Describes work in a periodical, online, on electronic media, presentation and/or broadcast that is educational or journalistic in nature, and which does not promote a product, person, service or company based on sponsorship.

    Forbes usage of your Om image to illustrate a story is clearly editorial use. Whether editorial use is allowed under the CC license is potentially a gray area, but gray areas make me nervous. Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Joe

  52. Doug MacLellan says:

    And Thomas Hawk, in your own way (amateur photographer, a day job, use of creative commons and giving work away free to a major media buyer), you have contributed to the ruin the professional photography business – editorial division. (I say it is ruined.)Of course, its not your fault directly but it is all those other photographers, those weekend warriors, that love to see their photos published that causes established editors and image buyers to think, why not, its free or its a buck – lets use it. As a professional photographer whose sole source of income is licensing my photos for the past 20 years, I feel the new revolution, the community oriented, post it because you can, democratisation of photography the most in the pocket book. I’m broke, boo-hoo, too bad for me, gotta change with the times and all that.

    So good for you to give your pictures away for free and keep up the good work.

    Maybe I can start giving away investment advise for free, yeah, that’s the ticket, give it away, give it away….

  53. Tony Sleep says:

    I think maybe you should have titled this blog ‘Nobody thinks photography matters’.

    Giving away work free of charge for the free enjoyment of others is something we all subscribe to, by putting work on the web in the first place. But the collision between naive amateurs and for-profit global media industries is literally and rapidly destroying pro photography.

    It’s all very well to celebrate the emergence of ‘pro-ams’, but there’s little ‘pro-‘ about charging on into an industry you don’t know or understand, and with no clue about the consequences. Nobody would be silly enough to set up as a ‘pro-am’ lawyer, entrepreneur, IT consultant, salesman, journalist, historian who gives away their skills to rich companies, yet that is the reality with photography. It’s astonishing.

    For media companies, amateur work that is good enough is free money in their pockets. For amateurs a bit of flattery must seem worth it. I really cannot imagine what vast overweening vanity leads people to thrust extra $$ into the sticky hands of publishing executives. Would you take cash out of your wallet and pay them to byline your work? Because that is what you are doing.

    Maybe you are wealthy enough not to care, but that is not true of most photographers around the world. Do we really want our media to pick their suppliers from, on the one hand, monopolistic empires like Getty who dictate terms to suppliers and clients alike, and on the other, privileged amateurs in the wealthy developed world who can afford self indulgence? Do you imagine companies like Forbes will behave more generously to poorer photographers, or that they’ll simply look elsewhere for someone like you? You can’t blame the publishers, they are bound to maximise profits, that is what they exist to achieve. Surely you want your photos used because they have merit as photos, not because accountants prefer the price?

    Most disturbingly of all, what sort of picture of the world will emerge from media, once amateurs become the preferred suppliers?

    Some years ago a publisher said to me ‘I am going to stop using expensive commissioned photography and see if it impacts circulation’. He was right, it didn’t matter a damn to readers that they switched to dreary PR headshots. They made $2,000 a month more profit.

    In the words of the late Sir Tom Hopkinson ‘you have to remember that editorial is only there to get people to look at the advertisements’. Advertising is where magazines make their money, cover prices usually do little more than cover production costs. Free editorial content, free photos, are irresistible business logic.

    But people just don’t value any commodity they can have for free. They will soon come to expect it as a right – and using photos without asking is exactly that. Then, once they discover that amateurs are falling over themselves to get their name in lights, a market will develop. They will start charging you.

    This has already happened with some amateur-based stock libraries basing their business model on charging photographers fees rather than earning commission from selling work. This is vanity publishing, without the publishing.

    I am sorry to say what Forbes did is pretty much normal business practice, familiar to any pro. Of course they paid and bylined Getty because they had to, they’d be sued senseless if they tried not to. They just used yours without permission or byline because they could, because they don’t care, and because they think you won’t. Magazines and newspapers have learned that almost always they can do this and get away with it. Cheating photographers is cost effective and bugger the ethics. In UK it is an epidemic, not helped by a law that limits damages to what they would have paid in the first place – in your case, nothing.

    I’m a pro though I doubt for much longer, given the state of a market where nobody values photos either financially, culturally, or aesthetically. All pro’s have the recurrent experience of being contacted by ‘clients’ who want use of our images but ‘have no budget’. They’ll pay themselves, they’ll pay for paperclips and tea and even a courier, but photos are now perceived as free by right. They’ll offer a byline ‘which will give you fantastic exposure’. Exposure to more ‘clients’ who will say exactly the same. This jam-tomorrow lie is now as credible as ‘I won’t come in your mouth’.

    Everybody is suddenly a photographer now, which I applaud, but few people care about it profoundly or invest their lives in it. In the future there will be many fewer. Beyond a certain level of engagement you cannot pursue a day job and photography as well, and that possibility is now being wrecked by market forces. This culling of pro photographers is also a cull of many of its best practitioners, it is an unwitting censorship of much committed work that can only be done by pro’s.

    Those who do manage to survive will be mostly work-for-hire serfs of Big Media, squeezed by competition into exploitative contracts. Big Media, who, you may observe, never give any of their product away, and are fiercely restrictive of their IP. They are the enemies of free culture, determined to aggregate and resell and control everyone else’s IPR, and here and now we have a sea of boggle-eyed amateurs being seduced into collaboration.

    It’s a pointless, Canute-like plea, but please don’t give away your work. It’s not that you owe pro’s anything, it’s that you owe it to photography to insist it is not worthless.

    If you have the patience, read my 3-part blog on the changing landscape of photographic copyright at http://tonysleep.co.uk/blog/reviewing-gowers-1

  54. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Hawk – you should absolutely demand payment and issue an license granting permissions. It will help set precedence and help other image creators and distributors. The issue is not restricted to your experience, but is industry-wide. Its vital to support and protect not only your own work, but that of all of your colleagues.

  55. Filip says:

    Just watermark your image next time and you can prevent the photo theft. I like watermarking by invisible signature that doesnt damage photo impression. Moreover its automaticaly detectable and not so easy to remove. I can advice you SignMyImage for this purpose. It is shareware/freeware … depends.