26 October 2010

Soap box rant...

So, I need to take a few moments to rant.  

Recently, I discovered that one of my photos had been featured in an article about the lead singer of Clutch, Neil Fallon.   

Photo :  © Scott S. Clinton, ScottClinton.com

Normally, this exposure would be a great thing...  Neil is a solid person and an amazing performer.   But, this time, the exposure was anything but great.  Either the writer of the article or the publisher of Crave Online decided to use my image with out obtaining my permission.  To make matters worse, they actually cropped my copyright out of said image and failed to acknowledge me with a photo credit or link.

It appears to me that Crave Online is a for profit online magazine.  Logic dictates that they should know better than to simply take images off of the web and use them without getting permission.   Or, should they do choose to violate artists' copyrights, to at least have the decency to provide a proper photo credit and link. 

Needless to say, I was very angry about this unauthorized usage (more angry about not getting credit).   So, I fired the following email off to the people of Crave Online:


This evening, I came across an interview with Neil Fallon (of Clutch) on CraveOnline.com, dated 19 October 2010 (http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/music/article/neil-fallon-of-clutch-company-band-114703). This article features an image of Neil performing live which I captured (created). This presents a problem for you as you have violated my copyright by not obtaining/purchasing proper usage rights for this or any other image. To make matters worse, you did not even have the decency to give me a proper photo credit.

Contrary to popular belief, images found on the web are not public domain. Images like this one are the property of the person who created it... In this case, me. Of course, usage (for print, web, etc) can be purchased by an individual or company, which CraveOnline FAILED to do. Images cost money to create and in turn cost money to use. Since you are running a for profit website, you should be aware of this already.

You have two options:

1) Remove the image in question immediately and send me a written apology with an explanation of how you justify infringing my my copyright.
2) Contact me for my pricing information for web usage. Then, after a rate has been agreed upon, provide a proper photo credit "Photo: © Scott S. Clinton / ScottClinton.com," a link on your website, and a written apology (with an explanation of how you justify infringing on my copyright).

Failure to comply with one of the above solutions by end of business (EDT) 22 October 2010 will result in a legal escalation of this matter.

I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.


Scott S. Clinton
Principal + Photographer, Scott Clinton Photography

Within one hour of sending the email, they had removed my image and replaced it with another illegally obtained image.  This one by fellow photographer Steve Truglio (Clutch's Staff Photographer).

I should mention that I did receive a quick little apology email from one Ahmad T. Childress of Crave Online.  He failed to acknowledge that he/they had broken the law...  In fact, it basically said nothing.

This experience has left me more disenfranchised with the current state of the photography industry than ever before.   More and more I feel like working for private individuals doing portraits and weddings is the way to go.   I love commercial photography...  I love shooting bands...  But, I will not continue to put my energy into providing a product for which I am not properly compensated (or credited).

*Edit - 27 October*

I just discovered a second crappy online magazine, AntiQuiet.com, used the same image in question back in 2008...  Again, without permission...  Without credit...  Without a link.   Grrrr!


(end rant)

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