We share photos of our lives on-line daily. We want our friends and connections to see them. We barely give a thought to who may be 'using' them. We don't think anyone would want to, or would, without asking us for permission. We are wrong.
In another part of my working life, I am a food writer, photographer, blogger, researcher, academic, food historian and champion of early television cooking programmes. I was delighted when the BBC announced that they were adding a series of rarely seen cooking shows to their iPlayer archive over Easter. It generated a fair bit of press coverage.
I was surprised when friends and acquaintances contacted me to say they'd seen some photos I'd taken on National Newspaper websites promoting the shows. When I looked more closely, the two newspapers had actually used my pictures in their printed versions too. No-one had asked me. I wasn't credited. I wasn't paid.
I've spent a couple of weeks in 'negotiations' with both newspapers, reviewing offers, rejecting them, reviewing higher offers. It's a game. Not one I enjoy. I've always given credit throughout my work for others involvement, would never use anyone else work without permission and expect that as a minimum. It seems not all industries are the same.
As a freelancer, my reputation and people knowing how to contact me is just as important as payment. Those newspapers have used my work, but no-one knows it was mine. I will get payment, but the credit is lost. Maybe I would never have agreed for them to use my work, they aren't publication I'd be inclined to be associated with. Especially now. The flip-side is I have learnt a lot about copyright law, and how to deal with wilful infringement. I'm always learning.
If you think I can help you with some work, fully credited of course, please do get in touch.
HI, I'm Kevin and Third Quarter is my Consultancy. Follow my adventures here...