Friday, February 19, 2010

Dear Graphic Designer, please stop stealing my photos.

The year just started and I already have a nice little list of people who have stolen my work to promote their products or events. Listen Graphic Designer (we'll refer to the general Graphic Designer as Debbie from now on) Look Debbie, the internet may be big to you, but it is actually a very, very small place. Networking has made it extremely easy to come across art theft, so please be a good Debbie and make sure that you have permission to use an image, or pay for the usage if you don't. Because you will get caught. Not only will you get caught, but you will in turn embarrass your client (who in this case that I am about to write about, is just as bad as you are.)

fire ze missiles!

The commercial work I did for singer Anya Li ended up on an invite for some party. There was no way I would have found out about this if someone on my Facebook didn't give me a head's up. So thank you Networking, you never let me down! *high five*

I messaged the person who posted this on Facebook, I always start out very polite. "Hey could you please take down this ad, one of my images is being used without my permission" course my laser vision is set to kill while I type this, because of past experiences I pretty much know how this will end.

Every comment I leave gets deleted, and my private message is ignored...that is, until I use the L word. The client thinks nothing wrong has been done "is it that serious?" yes client. Your Debbie has been stealing not only my image for your party THIS year, but for last year as well! That means my work has been stalked and stolen by COREY of (tel: 770.41.5553) for the past two years (he left his info on the flyer, what a good Debbie). Yeh, he's not answering his phone.

These pictures are not some photosnap off of Google with no trace of ownership. They are retouched, studio commercial photographs with a clear Copyright symbol with the name of the owner clearly stated. So spare me the "I didn't know where these came from" excuse.

So, last year this photo was used for the party:

and this year, this photo was used for the party:

I used to be a Debbie before I started photography. I was also a Nancy (Web Designer) and I was always aware of the whole copyright issue. That's why there were STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY CDs (which I borrowed once and don't think I ever returned...hmm...where is it?...) as well as our own imagery from going on the road and shooting content.

To crop out someone's copyright logo and then use it is for advertising is blatant theft, and I have let a good few incidents flutter by without seeking a lawyer - life gets in the way of dealing with these pests. Not anymore Debbie, I am coming for you. AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO! (oh wait, Dorothy is the Illustrator, nvm)

ps: Facebook is a powerful tool. Here's what happens when you steal my photo, and a hoard of pissed off supporters rain ire on your event's page (you took it down but I screenshotted it *tsst*)

click for non-blurification

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