PetaPixel

Photog Gets Into Nasty Tussle With Radio Station Over Copyright Infringement

radiocopyright1

The most recent copyright dispute to hit our radar is one between Canada-based Barbara Ann Studios and an Ottawa radio station called HOT 89.9. Each spring, the radio station runs a contest in which they get a couple married in 24-hours.

Ann isn’t a big fan of the contest, and so when she saw her image was being used to illustrate the station’s marketing kit, she began a dialogue with the company to get the image taken down and receive compensation for what amounted to commercial use of her image. That’s when things got ugly.

After contacting station owner NewsCap Radio, she initially received a very polite e-mail apologizing, explaining that they found the image via Google, and assuring her that they take copyright very seriously. However, after refusing the $40-$100 the company typically pays for this sort of use, and detailing the amount she expected to receive for the altered, commercial use of her image, the tone quickly turned negative.

getmetothealtar

The conversation ultimately ended with this reply from NewsCap Radio Vice President Scott Broderick:

Barb you were kind enough to provide us with a few definitions. Here is one I just looked up:

extortion

NOUN

The practice of obtaining something, esp. money through force or threats

SYNONYMS

Blackmail-exaction

You are obviously a very talented photographer, I would stick with that. Extortion is not your thing.

Cheers,

SB

Ann is no longer seeking payment, and has instead taken to Facebook to spread the word and hopefully prevent this sort of thing from happening to anybody else. The plan seems to be working, as she has received almost 4,000 shares for her trouble.

For their part, HOT 89.9 posted the entire e-mail conversation on their Facebook account, leading to 1000+ comments, many attacking Ann personally. The station has since removed the post and replaced it with one stating that the issue will “remain private.”


Update: Jack Small has shared the entire email address in the comments below. Here it is in chronological order:

Scott Broderick:

Thanks for your email. We take the copyright laws in this country very seriously.

Can you provide me with a copy of the image in question and I will have it removed immediately.

Also, if you can provide me with the names of the individuals in our marketing department that you contacted previously. You should have received a response much sooner than this and I apologize for that delay.

Barbara Ann:

The problem is that it was in PRINT

IT was on marketing material given to potential clients to try and get them to advertise in the contest.

Emails were sent to Ian Balfour and mark russet

Scott Broderick:

Now I understand. Thank you for clarifying. The image will be changed today.

The only good news is that the material you reference has not been mass-produced and is not for public consumption. The material is printed one at a time and has been seen by fewer than 10 clients in private meetings.

The image will be removed today.

Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

Barbara Ann:

1 client is 1 too many you do understand that?

I want an explanation as to why it was used

Scott Broderick:

Yes, one is too many.

The image was captured innocently during a Google image search of “Strathmere Weddings.” Since Strathmere is a sponsor of the event and there were no copyright warnings attached to the image, it was erroneously placed among the other selected photos.

Again, I apologize for any frustration or inconvenience this may have caused you.

Barbara Ann:

WHAT IS COPYRIGHT?

Copyright is the right of a creator of a work to prevent others from using his or her work without permission. A creator of a work has the exclusive right to say yes or no to various uses of a work such as reproducing it (e.g., photocopying and scanning it into a computer), adapting and translating it, transmitting it and performing it in public.
IF A WORK IS REPRODUCED FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, DO YOU NEED TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER TO USE THE WORK?

Permission must be obtained prior to using a substantial part of a copyright work, whether or not any income is derived from its use.

If I googled Coca Cola’s logo and took it and used it in my promotions, it would still break copyright laws.
My copyright is written in metadata. If you hover over the image (which they would have had to do), they would have seen my name. I do not need to write the words copyright all over the image. Copyright is assume/inferred.

The law clearly states they had to ask permission. They did not.

I am quite sure that just as you cannot claim you did not know the speed limit (ignorance is not a reason), one cannot “innocently” steal an image.

This has moved beyond frustration. The image was used without my permission and having it “fluffed off and only 10 people saw it and it was innocent” does not make my mood about this any better. I am not going back and forth with excuses. I am quite sure compensation can be determined between myself and the radio station.

Scott Broderick:

Agreed. What would you feel is fair, given the limited (and now discontinued) use of your image?

Barbara Ann:

limited and discontinued use is a moot point. It was limited and discontinued because of my actions, not the radio station’s.

Bottom line, given the fact that a radio station is in the business of playing music that is legally obtained, they are fully aware of our canadian copyright laws. If they are not familiar, it is the duty of the employer to show due diligence in educating their employees on such matters. Either they were not educated on copyright or they were and chose to ignore it. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse and does not hold up in our courts either.

No matter if the picture was seen by one or many, the fact does not change that the law was broken. My image was illegally obtained and used without permission, clearly breaking Canadian copyright laws.

My fees to photograph weddings range from $3995 – $7795 so it is very reasonable to expect a flat rate of $2000 given the manner in which the image was stolen and the blatant attempt to undermine the seriousness of it in some comments made to me in emails today.

The use of my image was unwarranted when clearly the marketing department could have gone to the previous photographer on the contest, Christine Tripp, for a promotional image. However, they did not. They decided to use my intellectual property without permission and/or compensation.

Please respond to my email within 24 hrs so I know where you stand on the compensation line. This line is non negotiable.

Govern yourself accordingly.

Scott Broderick:

Since you suggest that your $2,000 fee is non-negotiable, I will not engage you at this time.

Btw – we typically pay between $40 and $100 for the public use of most images. I am not sure that our brief and limited use of your image would constitute a public use, but in good faith, we were prepared to pay. It appears that we are too far apart to resolve this issue between the two of us.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Barbara Ann:

You both realize no one approached me to use the image right? $40 might have been reasonable for a first year hack photographer BEFORE it was stolen.

So before I take matters to the next level, I will ask once more to be compensated in the amount I asked.

Scott Broderick:

You were kind enough to provide us with a few definitions. Here’s one I just looked up:

ex•tor•tion
/ikˈstôrSHən/
Noun
The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats.

Synonyms
blackmail – exaction

You are obviously a very talented photographer. I would stick with that.
Extortion is not your thing.

Barbara Ann:

I am not extorting anything. I did not break the law. Your employees did. Please do not make this a blame the victim. I was merely giving you a chance to solve this before I had to escalate it.


Thanks for sending in the tip, Joshua and Jeffrey!


 
  • photographyisaprofession

    I’ll hear you again when you’ve invested a bit more money in your photography, hardware as well as skills, made it your prime business, instead of a sell once in a while, and made your name as a photographer, maybe not internationally, but at least so far that people will look specially for you and not just some cheap photographer or someone a friend happens to know. Maybe your thoughts about work being stolen will have changed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zosxavius Zos Xavius

    yep…I would be insulted too.

  • pixelviii Photography

    hmm funny that People already do look for my work, might be something to do with the 2 awards won recently, one for Fuji and one for London Beefeater Gin that featured in the evening Standard and the Daily mail. invested in Hardware.. Hmmm so in your professional opinion the Fuji X needs more money invested in it? As for selling once in a while a contract for 27 commission pieces over the next 6 months pretty much pays my bills. as for my skills. i hgighly doubt you even know one end of a lens from another , you arent even capable of retaining the same name on here let alone anything else

  • http://www.facebook.com/zosxavius Zos Xavius

    I agree, and I would be pissed at what they offered. She is in the right. Not them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zosxavius Zos Xavius

    Yeah, and that ONE photo has a value of potentially hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. But sure, by your logic its ok for people to have their rights trampled and only receive a joke of a payment in compensation. I would sell a print at $40, but not the rights.

  • Colleen

    There you said it the photographer made this image, she can tag it however she would like. She tagged it to be viewed by potiential clients not stolen. It is made to be reproduced by those have paid for the right to reproduce it! The fact that you think it is ephemeral is not the point, the file is not a ephemeral object, any professional will have made backups upon backups of the file which could see it outlast you.

    It is illegal to steal music, isn’t that why napster lost their lawsuit, it is the same concept. music, images, etc. I really don’t see how you can’t see the damage.

    As it has been said before you might want to do some reading about copyright law. You really do sound intelligent, it is shame that your agrument makes you sound so small.

  • Colleen

    Excellent point Ken the law doesn’t have a provision for uses or viewers. It doesn’t matter how many saw it or viewed it. It is stolen work.

    If you did not create it you cn not use it without permission!

    You can try and talk around it all you want it still does not change the LAW. Copyright is granted the moment the work is created and does not distinguish work of a professional or that of an amateur. There is also no distinction between for profit or commercial use or for hobby purposes.

  • ShockedbyStupidity

    OMG you use a $1000 dollar camera!!! I am so NOT impressed, I have lenses that are worth more than your stupid x series camera. Maybe when you can afford to shoot with a real camera I’ll believe your silly claims about all your commissioned works. So I would say yes your little consumer camera needs more money invested in it. Just for the record I use a Nikon D3 as my primary body with a NiKon 70-200mm f2.8, and a Nikon D800 as my second body with a variety of lenses.

    You might want to pull your head out of your arse…Barb charges between $4000-8000 for a wedding. She is an award winning photographer, not some low budget wannabe as you suggest.
    My sympathy to those who have mistakenly hired you for the commisioned works you mentioned it is obvious your professionalism needs some work as does your knowledge of copyright law.

  • photographyisaprofession

    Funny how you keep repeating your use of the X series. I don’t care if you’re using a X10 or a X-Pro 1. You are probably so talented, you won so many prizes, they will pay for everything. No more education needed, no interest in the world around you, which immediately explains your lack of knowledge or even interest in the world of copyrights. All the big agencies in the world beg you for your attention.
    I’m sorry, great master, but other photographers need to get paid. They invested and would like, not only to make a living, but also to get their investments back, so they can invest again. When a photo of one of these less blissed photographers is used commercially, they would like their rightfull reward paid. That way they can work on, to earn their little place in the land of photography, so that maybe, if they work hard, they see just a little of the light that is bestowed on thee, oh great master.
    Oh, I never said anything about my skills, I’m not even a professional photographer. But I’m working on it, hoping to earn my investments back (and this is my third post in this forum).

  • DW

    Calling it a ‘mistake’ shows how lightly the station & management is taking the issue.
    Fact, they broke the law, not made a mistake. If this was a local bakery I could understand ignorance, but NOT from a media company & certainly NOT from someone in a marketing position.
    Listing “stock” rates is a moot point. If the company knows about – & is in the business of using stock images, then there is even less excuse for “Googling for images” & simply taking what you want. If the photographer isnt in the business of selling “stock images” to offer a stock price is incorrect. If the photographer does commissioned work, she is entitled to ask her normal fee for the image. The station had 2 options available to them … buying a stock image, or commissioning a shoot to create the image wanted. They chose neither, so the photographer has the right to request payment for the use of their image as if they were approached beforehand.

    If it was my image I’d make a massive deal about it & take it to the full extent.
    The more public examples made of copyright infringers, the better for all photographers … especially when fines dished out force them & staff to work within the law.

  • ShockedbyStupidity

    OMG you shoot with a camera that cost less than $1000.00.
    A consumer grade non- professional camera…wow you must be an expert.

  • ShockedbyStupidity

    Oh by the way, I am not photography as…There are probably more than one person who thinks your an idiot only two of us are willing to wirte it.

  • Harrison Lansing

    Well, let’s ignore the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about vis-a-vis the quality of the image and move on to the actual issue at hand. Theft of intellectual property is theft of intellectual property.

    By your logic:

    -If I steal Rhein II and use it in an ad campaign it should be fine since it’s just one photo and Gursky’s already been paid for it.

    -If I steal “I Knew You Were Trouble” and use it as the background music for that same ad I should be fine…it’s only one song that Taylor’s been paid for.

    -If I steal a clip from Star Wars to use for the visuals in that ad, hey…no worries…it’s just one clip and Lucas has been well paid for it several times, and I’m sure Disney won’t mind.

    You’re wrong, Sam. The best…best…the station could hope for in a US court would be a $200 judgement IF they could prove they did not know and could not reasonably know they were violating copyright. She has it embedded in her metadata and they took the image from her site.

    She’s right, they are wrong. Period. The end.

  • Harrison Lansing

    Part of her monetary demand is punitive. She does not approve of the contest it promotes, and she is in the wedding business…which she believes is cheapened by this promotion.

  • Samcornwell

    I’ve had so many responses it’s difficult to reply to them all. I’ve not said anywhere that she is not deserved of something, which she is. I am simply trying to put the idea of ridiculous litigation into perspective and bring to attention the arrogance of so many photographers in the industry. It’s ugly.

    Please will everyone stop replying to me. Thank you so much for the debate. I’ve made so many valid points that I’m losing track. I understand you all, I understand the law,

    I also disagree,

    strongly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/benjaminbjacobsen Ben Jacobsen

    for anyone wondering “how much is it worth” go to getty images, find a similar image then go through their steps to get a quote for how much you could expect to pay getty to use that image in a similar fashion… If it’s been stolen then multiply by at least two (so they learn their lesson and don’t learn to ask for forgiveness the few times they get caught) and then also add in enough to cover your lawyers fees… It’s happened to me and that’s how I did it. The offenders ALWAYS try to play it off as not a big deal and something they’ve never done before…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686060406 Harrison Lansing

    So back in 2008, using a Canon 40D and a 50mm 1.4 USM lens @f2.0, while shooting at ISO 400, Barb captured this image and then edited it in PS Elements v8.0

    It was apparently appealing enough that this radio station decided to take it from her website and use it for an ad campaign.

    If I can know this much about that image in less than 2 minutes of looking, and I know it’s from her website, just how hard would it be for me to dash off a “Hey Barb, love this shot and would love to use it in our “24-hour Wedding” promotion. Can we? If so, how much do you need to use it? And oh by the way we would need a signed model release from the couple as well. Cheers.”

    Instead, she got “Google-grab-go” and the image was used…without model releases or copyright holder permission, for promoting an event the photographer doesn’t support.

    Telling them she wants $2,000, considering there is no way the station could prove in court that it was unreasonable to expect them to know it was copyrighted, is not out of line if you consider a chunk of that to be punitive and that some of it needs to go to the couple in return for a release from them. It’s far more than the value of a stock shot.

    And why is it there is almost no mention at all of the fact that the couple could be suing as well, for unlicensed use of their likenesses in an ad campaign?

    If I was the station’s parent company I would offer to pay the 2k in return for a license from Barb stating she has a release from the couple…because that’s even potentially nastier than the copyright issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=771700542 Dan Howard

    I love this. I’m going to try this method with this car I’ve wanted for ages.

    I’ll steal the car, I wont drive it far, then when I get caught I’ll offer to pay around $300 for it cause that’s what I’ve typically paid in the past.

    Bound to work!

  • Danie Cowden

    Wow… I don’t know about Canadian copyright laws but in the US the radio station would clearly be in the wrong. An image does not have to have a copyright notice attached to it, though it does have to be registered to sue for copyright infringement. Also, Google search is not equal to public domain. Makes me wonder how many other images this radio station has used without rights or permission. In the US you would also need model releases for the people in the image if it is to be used for commercial purposes (beyond the artist’s portfolio) The photographer should have obtained legal representation from the start here if the laws are similar in Canada as the radio station is very much in the wrong.

    Oh, and if you’re going to steal images at least get a good one. That image isn’t worth the right click save it took to grab it.

  • IAM_THE_KGB

    Why did you remove the comment from Jack Small and the replies to him???

    Are you hiding something?

    Shame Petapixel…….

  • http://www.facebook.com/EvilDaystar Eric Lefebvre

    No, not infinite usage. There is a specific limitation to your lisence and a restriction to the usage. The other issue here is that the sellers on Istock chose to sell their images for that price and with those conditions … the photographer in this situation didn;t choose and on top of that there was no model release for the couple in the image.

  • http://wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    I hope she sues them. EXIF data on a random image pulled from her website:

    Artist : Barbara Ann Cameron
    By-line : Barbara Ann Cameron
    By-line Title : Owner/photographer
    Date Created : 2012:02:11
    Time Created : 16:06:37+00:00
    Digital Creation Date : 2012:02:11
    Copyright Flag : True
    URL : http://www.barbara-ann-studios.com
    Date Created : 2012:02:11 16:06:37.034
    Authors Position : Owner/photographer
    Legacy IPTC Digest : 105DB788F9E12AF0621B8B7A080D5585
    Web Statement : http://www.barbara-ann-studios.com
    Creator : Barbara Ann Cameron
    Creator Postal Code : XXXXXXXX
    Creator Work Telephone : XXXXXXXXXXXX
    Creator Region : XXXXXXXXX
    Creator City : XXXXXXXXXX
    Creator Country : CANADA
    Creator Work Email : XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    Creator Address : XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    Creator Work URL : http://www.barbara-ann-studios.com
    (I X’d out the details, but you can pull the info yourself)

    I mean… each image contained all the data required to contact her and negotiate a usage fee. The radio station was being lazy and figured they could get away with it.

    And when you google search the image, at the bottom of the page:

    “Image may be subject to copyright.”

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.barbcameronweddingphotography.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F12%2FFBMichelleJordan-186.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.barbcameronweddingphotography.com%2F%3Fattachment_id%3D1143&h=835&w=557&sz=299&tbnid=iSXfLiY8eDkJDM%3A&tbnh=92&tbnw=61&zoom=1&usg=__0YeIIT0u3S4eCT0wyZskKUDvz1s%3D&docid=uYwRQiDz-11yYM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yw45Ud6qOISJywHtuIDwBg&ved=0CEEQ9QEwAw&dur=2090

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Hrm? The comment is still in this thread. Perhaps you’re just overlooking it…

  • RIck

    Very interesting. FIrst of all…Barbara Ann is correct and the station was wrong. I think Mr. Broderick handled it well and in the best interest of the station, but she is still in the right. Her $2000 fee is not unreasonable. I’ve been doing this longer than Barbara Ann and I can tell you that I have capitulated in many cases when I should have persued a matter like this. I applaud her for standing up for her rights and protecting her work. I think what would have happened (and what I would have done) if she had not dug her heels in and said it was not negotiable, she could have negotiated an amicable settlement instead of getting nothing. She was right, but her attitude is what got her in trouble. If she would have come back and said she did not agree with the offer, but would compromise and accept a licensing fee or $1500, then he probably would have countered with $500 and they could meet in the middle at $1000, both bitching all the way but considering the usage, I think that is more than fair to Barbara Ann and punishes the radio station sufficiently for their mistake…which I believe WAS an innocent mistake. Employees are not expected to be briefed on all the finer points of copyright law any more than they are to understand how many fire extinguishers are supposed to be present in their office building. It isn’t their responsibility, but if they make a mistake that costs the company money, then it’s good to send out a memo…so it doesn’t happen again. This was wrong, but it could have been handled better by both parties. When Barbara Ann threw down the gauntlet, Mr. Broderick was insulted and instead of being responsive (as he had been) he dug in his heels too and essentially said “Fine, take us to court…our pockets are deeper than yours” instead of working something out. Anyone who has been to court on a case like this knows there is always a negotiated settlement, but after attorney’s fees (or in the case of small claims – time off doing research and prep) she would have gotten far less than she could have gotten with a negotiated settlement. I dought Mr. Broderick cares about her copyright as much as he cares about gettng her off his back so he can get back to other things…it could have been handled better. That’s all I’m saying.

  • http://wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    One can make the same argument about peoples’ identities and their names. It is just out there. Why can’t a company say XYZ endorses my product? The name is out there, so why can’t people and companies just use it? It in fact costs nothing to use someone’s name, because it just information.

    The issue is usage rights. Using your name as an example, I can’t go around saying, “Sam Cornwell supports XYZ cause”, because that would be libel/slander, depending on what medium and what the message actually was. You would need to grant your permission for me or anyone else to use your name to endorse something.

    In essence, that is what was violated here: Her image, her work, her signature look, was used to endorse their business/event in their promotional materials. She was never asked for permission and she never gave permission. To use her work for the purpose of endorsing their business/events, she would have needed to have been approached and permission would have needed to have been given. Presumably, a fee would have exchanged hands.

    The image is on the web, so it is expected to be copied and used for the purpose of viewing the image. If you were to print the image, that would have you run afoul of the copyright laws as well, as she had not explicitly granted that right/permission.

    As for the tagging of her images, I swung by her blog and looked at several of the images that Google Image search links to and they are all EXIF/IPTC tagged with her contact information(name, physical address, phone number, web address, and email address), copyright flag was set to true, copyright owner/author/creator was set to her name. So the image was tagged with her Copyright mark.

    In the digital age, it is becoming more and more about usage rights, endorsement, and association and less about the actual copying of a piece of information. It is the ability and right to use that information in certain ways, which is protected, so that the cotent creator, in this case, the photographer, can earn a living and not just have their work used without them being compensated.

    I could use a house/front lawn/garden gnome analogy, but the point is that her work was published online. A business took her work and used it in their promotional sales material without her permission and without an agreed upon compensation. She discovered this unauthorized and uncompensated commercial use and sought to get compensated under the law. They are refusing, and her next step would be to take them to court.

    Some have indicated that her photographing the wedding constituted work for hire and thus she doesn’t own the copyrights. That depends on the contract between her and her clients.

  • http://wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    The estimates you got were for a legal stock photo fee. Did you inform the local photographers that the image had been used without prior consent first? I doubt the standard stock photo fee price would have been quoted in that circumstance.

    Your staff dropped the ball in not having checked the images for marks. ALL of her images were EXIF/IPTC marked with copyright information.

    The moment you used the images without her consent for commercial/promotional purposes, it stopped being a simple stock photo use case.

  • http://wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    The estimates you got were for a legal stock photo fee. Did you inform the local photographers that the image had been used without prior consent first? I doubt the standard stock photo fee price would have been quoted in that circumstance.

    Your staff dropped the ball in not having checked the images for marks. ALL of her images were EXIF/IPTC marked with copyright information.

    The moment you used the images without her consent for commercial/promotional purposes, it stopped being a simple stock photo use case.

  • http://wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    If there were no model releases, and the radio station cannot show that they have both written permission to use the image as well as model releases for all depicted in the shot, they would be open up to other law suits beyond simple copyright infringement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686060406 Harrison Lansing

    I’m waiting for “Couple in Stolen Wedding Photo Sue Radio Station for Unlawful Use of Their Likenesses” to hit Google as a news item.

    We seem to keep glossing that over for some reason.

  • IAM_THE_KGB

    Sorry about that, my mistake entirely.

  • IAM_THE_KGB

    Exactly right Jack! “it is a copyright infringement no question about it”…

    Now, pay the lady deadbeat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EvilDaystar Eric Lefebvre

    We aren’t talking about morality or right vs wrong but legal and illegal. The law … the same ones the station uses to make money playing music … states that they need the permission of the copyright holder and iuf they don;t have it they are liable for up to 20000$ per infractions (BTW, they did 2 infractions, use a derivative works). The law is different between commercial use and non commercial (non commercial is between 500$ and 5000$ total instead of 20K PER infraction).

    These are the rules that are imposed on us … they apply to large corporation as much as the little hometown photographer.

    The radio station and it’s parent company violated the law and the copyright holder is well within her rights to demand what she did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EvilDaystar Eric Lefebvre

    Seriously? ACCIDENTAL? Marketing PROFESIONALS working for a massive CORPORATION don;t know the basic premise of COPYRIGHT? The very foundation on which their business model is built? REALLY?

  • Jack Small

    let see her licensing price sheet – if it states $2k for this particular use of a photo then that is fine, but I highly doubt that.

  • Jack Small

    you can only sue for damages – and that is the licensing fee that she would charge for the use of that photo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EvilDaystar Eric Lefebvre

    Oh this is just rich …you do realize that you are in the un-enviable communications position of fighting a defensive battle from a very week position right? Legally you are in even worse situation.

    “The image in question was never used in public and appeared in a sales presentation that was seen by a select few clients in private meetings.”

    Commercial use … used in a marketing campaign to potential advertisers. NEXT.

    “Subsequent conversations with other local photographers have placed the fair market value for similar stock photos at approximately $150.”

    And a painting done by my father is worth maybe 20$ does that make all pictures worth 20$? The average car price is let’s say 15000$ … so should you be expected to pay 15000$ for a Ferrari? NEXT.

    “Her social media campaign is evidence that the dictionary definition of extortion needs to be expanded.”

    So settling for 2000$ instead of taking you to court for 40000$ as is her LEGAL right is extortion? Really? You violated her copyright by using the image without permission and then violated her moral rights by attacking the integrity of the work (modified it for the presentation).

    “I hope this allays any fears you may have had. We have deep respect for the copyright laws in this country and will pay fair market value for any and all images we use – including Barbara’s.”

    No it doesn’t, it shows that you have no understanding of copyright law at all. Before you post anything else, call your lawyer and have him explain copyright and Bill C-11.

  • Jack Small

    You people think I’m someone else…lol

    I’m just a curious bystander in this affair. What is her price sheet for this photo.

  • Barry Kidd

    Extortion? Not extortion? Who’s to say and I’m not sure about Canada but here in the States —-

    At what point do you say:

    “It’s OK that you violated my constitutional rights for your personal gain and profit? We’ll just forget about it.”

    If someone decided to take away your freedom of speech or perhaps your right to be free from the persecution of slavery and offered you a few bucks in exchange would it be within their right to say that you extorted them for not accepting their offer?

  • IAM_THE_KGB

    But it is a “digital file” only as a result of technology progressing.
    If the photo in question was on a negative, then scanned, then what?

    You’re arguing about technological advancements and that they somehow have a different value.

    Thousands of people download thousands of pictures, but the number who use them to promote themselves or their business is very much smaller. They knew exactly what they were doing, and they want to get away with it. These aren’t naive children without any understanding of copyright, they deal with copyright every time they play someones music

    If no one fights for their rights Sam, then what?

  • IAM_THE_KGB

    Oh dear Mr Small, editing your post after the fact to try to pad you argument…

    You have no argument, you stole someone else’s work.

    You only make yourself look more desperate to somehow get people to agree with your desperation.

    This lady has provided a valuable service by posting your actions on Facebook, admitted thieves like yourself need to be identified and publicly shamed for their actions.

    Remember, you already acknowledged your theft of a copyright photograph.

    You’re a thief, the small Mr Small.

  • David Parsons

    If that photographer had used any materials from the radio station to promote her own business, the station’s lawyers would have come down her with a ton of bricks.
    But when the poor little radio station ‘innocently’ used something from the internet, when they should know better, it’s okay. Because, hey, lawsuits suck.

  • David Parsons

    It is copyright infringement. It is against the law. The radio station is in the wrong.

    It doesn’t matter that it’s one file, that you consider poorly photoshopped. The radio station did not have permission from the owner of the picture to use the picture. They have broken the law, and the owner of that picture has the right to pursue the issue.

  • NoSaintsHere

    People there is no such thing as “THEFT” of Intellectual Property. Look it up. Theft means you are physically depriving another of real tangible property. STOP using the term as applied to IP. The radio station violated her exclusive copyright. They were in the wrong. They should compensate her. But its NOT THEFT. You do yourselves disservice by being willy nilly with terms that have very specific meanings.
    From an ethical perspective the Radio station was being lazy and got caught. Along the same lines, the photographer comes off as being slightly greedy concerning the scope of misuse. She’s playing ‘gotcha’. I feel sorry for neither.

  • Buttercup

    So what is identity theft? My identity is not a physical item, but it is possible for someone to steal it…isn’t that the same thing?

  • LarryAt27N

    More important, to me, is the legal rights of the two people shown in the photo. It was their likenesses that were spread about, and they are recognizable.

  • pixie

    You shouldn’t have to copyright any thing that belongs to you. People who steal photographs and use them without the owners permission is just plain nasty and too lazy to contact the rightful owners and pay the asking price for that use. Just because we post on the internet doesn’t give YOU or anyone the RIGHT to STEAL our photographs. Big companies think they are above the law. You’re not. Try being honest in your dealings for once. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sportifimages Dejan Smaic

    Copyright was violated by the radio station. The stations offering to pay her “hobby wages” for commercial usage of her image is petty. However, the photographer seeking compensation for the image based on her fee to shoot the wedding was the wrong approach. It is about market value / commercial usage based on type and circulation of the image. What was violated here: 1) copyright, 2) how about a lack of model releases? Should the couple sue the station or the photographer?…This lifting of photos from a web page is theft and could cost the station more that what the photographer is asking as well as negative PR. What would the station have to pay the music industry for copyright infringement of a song and based on what fee / fine? Just some things to think about, especially for those individuals who think the station was not at fault and are trying to shift blame on the victim.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickdenhamphotography Rick Denham

    Remember, the majority of you guys reading this post are from the good o’l USofA, we have different copyright laws up here in the great white north.

    First off I do believe, as it has yet to change, that technically the couple in the image are the initial copyright owner. The only way that copyright can be transferred to Barb is if she had them sign a contract that states they have transferred copyright ownership to her.

    Second, the model release, in all honesty if I was barb I would be contacting my clients, telling them what happened, and having them go after the radio station for not obtaining a model release from them. This avenue would probably be a better choice and also hold up in court a lot better.

    Either way, what the station did was wrong, doesn’t matter how you spin it, and they should compensate someone somewhere

  • elgin kreska

    Microstock photographs are so inexpensive these day and easily accessible. Pulling an image off Google is a lazy way out. Frankly, radio and media stations should know better. Try playing a song in a public place and ASCAP etc will descend on you with shock and awe.

  • AL

    Okay, lets say you opened a theater. Instead of licensing a film from the film maker or studio, you decided to just play the downloaded crappy version, and charged patrons to watch the movie. You pocketed everything for yourself, and got new customers to come later because they liked your theater. You pay no license fee to the studio and you make all this cash. Is that okay? You don’t pay the people that created the film a fee, and you pocket it all yourself? That is in essence what this radio station did. It is different if you are posting it on facebook or pinterest going “this is so pretty!” They used it as a marketing tool to drum up business. That is why they need to compensate the photographer at her rate that she requests because they used it TO MAKE MONEY without her permission. It’s her call. She may have been rude, but it doesn’t matter. The radio station was in the wrong, period.