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Charity Donation Settles BuzzFeed Photo-Stealing Dispute

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It’s rare that we get to report happy news from the intellectual property side of the photography business, so let’s take heart from a win-win settlement achieved between a wronged photographer and viral media site BuzzFeed.

The dust-up began August 23rd, when BuzzFeed grabbed a Flickr image of a child drinking from a juice box to accompany yet another SEO-friendly list story. Problem was the photo was posted with all rights reserved, and photographer Dan Catt expected that choice to be honored.

He made his ire known in a feisty blog post entitled “10 Good Reasons BuzzFeed Is Going to Pay My F***ing Invoice for Copyright Theft,” which was reposted (with Catt’s permission) by Slate.

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Properly chastened, BuzzFeed removed the photo from the story, and Art Director John Gara called Carr to talk things over. The two hit on an elegant and principle-preserving way to settle the matter: BuzzFeed would donate $500, the amount listed on Carr’s invoice for using the image, to cancer-fighting organization the Chordoma Foundation, Carr’s preferred charity.

“So some good has come out of this,” Carr summed up on his blog. “A charity is $500 better and maybe, just maybe, the BuzzFeed staff will review their guidelines.”

(via Huffington Post)