Charity Donation Settles BuzzFeed Photo-Stealing Dispute


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.


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)

  • Daz

    “BuzzFeed would donate $500″
    Tax deductible charity donation for the company and good publicity means crap all. Why do people fall for this crap.

  • Ian

    4 million views for $500???

  • Richard

    Sorry, but the photographer should have got paid. BuzzFeed used somebodies property without permission.

  • Andy

    Paying for a Photo is also tax deductible. What’s the difference?

  • PJ

    $500 is a joke and sends just as bad a message as the copyright theft in the first placeā€¦

  • Jake

    BuzzFeed totally just did that to screw him over. “We could pay YOU $500, but this way we get to look good and you still don’t get money as punishment for trying to fight us.”

  • Courtney Navey

    Buzzfeed is run by nothing more than inconsiderate parasites…photographers get no respect there.

  • SrslyPissedOff

    Andy – the artist DID NOT GET PAID for the use of their photo / property. Big difference.

  • Brixton

    Although it is good that something happened to try and remedy it and that a charity was the benefactor, it’s BS that the photographer got nothing in monetary value.

  • MikeInMI

    I don’t understand why the money didn’t go to the photographer.