In Part 1, I wrote how a government department (a local council) had used one of my photographs without permission and, after alerting them to the issue, they decided to remove the photo rather than giving a simple attribution of ownership. It’s somewhat disappointing how people assume that because a photograph is on the internet, it can be used freely and especially without any attribution. The hardware store chain where I work part-time, held a competition this month seeking photographs that depicted the local area. The store submitted some of mine and, at the end of the competition, the organisers sent out requests to confirm that photographs submitted were authorised, as many were simply taken from the internet (Google images), with no permission evidently sought.
In today’s internet age there is no greater scourge, especially for professional photographers, than the misuse of copyright material. By that I mean the use of other people’s photographs or other products for commercial and other use without recompense or attribution. In some countries, stealing the works of others is considered legal, as long as ‘minor’ changes are made to such things as a photograph. Contesting these things can become protracted and expensive, though more are making an attempt. It’s a sad indictment on society in general and even the courts, but more so on businesses and the like who believe that anything on the internet is free to use, regardless of intellectual property and copyright legislation.