I have been kept very busy of late trying to maintain control of a news story/photo that went viral. I will update this post with a follow up when I have time to sit down and write something, but for now I thought I would comment. For those of you who don’t know I was involved in a photoshoot which occurred within a University of Waterloo building. The resultant photos were observed by the administration which resulted in the suspension of the FSAE team’s use of the student design centre at the University of Waterloo until June 2011. See one of the news stories linked below for a bit more info.
I was the person involved and it has taught me a lot about various things that I never really thought of before. The biggest thing to take from this is that sometimes life isn’t fair and if people in positions of authority want to make decisions, there isn’t much you can do about it no matter what you or other people think. I am currently working with members of the University Community to figure out exactly what our university allows student photographers on campus to photograph. I have been an executive member on the photo club for some time and has taken thousands of photographs on the campus and many have been used by the university for various things. This is my number one priority at the moment as I want to make sure no one else has to deal with this type of situation.
In other news, I was pointed to this comic and it made me laugh out loud, which dosen’t happen very often: http://i.imgur.com/C6tRy.png
At this point I have given up trying to hide the photo from the world, so if you are a news organization please feel free to contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss licensing. There are a lot of things swirling around in my head so I will probably update this post on the weekend.
I received this response from Gawker:
Dear Michael:We have received your notice and have reviewed the matter. The cropped low resolution images we published are newsworthy and the ‘story’ and cannot substitute for the originals. Under the circumstances, our use of the images is completely fair.
After reading some copyright rules I am left a bit confused. Here is a question. When a newspaper or other publication pays a freelance photographer for a photo that they took that isn’t available anywhere else, and they post a low resolution copy online with their story. Does that mean every other news organization that runs the story after that, can just swipe the photo from the previous story for free? I don’t see that as fair to the person who paid for it first or the photographer. It’s an honest question I don’t know the answer to.
Permission to use the photo:
Story posted with Handout photo.
Posted and then removed upon an email from me (Thanks Guys):
Posted article and photo without permission and have not responded to email (Please comment your displeasure,)
http://www.blitzquotidiano.it/cronaca-mondo/ingegnere-fotografata-bikini-universita-team-824300/ (It got all the way to italy)
If you see anymore with the photo included, let me know!
In the mean time please check out some blog posts on the matter:
http://www.ihavesnacks.com/2011/04/17/bikinigate-and-why-im-disappointed-at-uwaterloo/ (This post is very similar to my thoughts)