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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)