Unfortunately, the increased need for content in today’s market place has also increased the commonality of copyright infringement. Many companies, organizations, blogs, and individuals are in need of images to market and promote. Typically images or copy are secured the proper way through licensing agreements, however, some are not. My intent with this blog post is to show examples of how some of my architectural photography has been used illegally, and to shed light on alternatives like Creative Commons Licensing.
The Image above is a screen shot from AIGA’s web page. AIGA used my image of the Christian Moerlein Lager House to promote an event for Christian Moerlein. This image was taken from the web, stripped of all it’s copyright information and then rebranded by AIGA. This, my friends, is illegal on multiple levels. One, you cannot remove copyright info from the image file, two you cannot alter the image in anyway, and three you can not use the image for commercial use if you do not have authority from the creator. Plus, AIGA did not mention me as the creator or add a link to my page. The real kicker is that AIGA is an organization that supposedly promotes the importance of creativity, trying to bring validity to the work performed by the creative community. I’m not sure their following through!
Now here is a link to a blog site called UrbanCincy. Notice the difference; One, if you could see the file info my copyright and contact info is still there. Two, urbancincy did not add their logo to the image, and three, this post was not for commercial use that resulted in profit. Travis, Also listed me as the photographer and provided a link to my page. The kicker here is that I did not give authority to use this image either. However, Travis in the spirit of Creative Commons provided the proper information and links to my information.
So, as a photographer what should you do? You would hope that you’d receive cooperation and promote payment for the injustice that was done. If not, here are a couple links that may help you solve your issue. There are several more online. Good luck.