Using Ur Pics To Get More Biz Isn’t Using Your Pics. It’s Called “Biz”

This story exploded over the photography blogosphere and I am not really sure if this is a sad or a funny story anymore.

Using Ur Pics To Get More Biz Isn't Using Your Pics. It's Called "Biz"

Apparently, photographer jwarstyle tried to get an easy pass into the wedding photography industry. He did so by picking up a few awesome wedding photos from Terralogical, Daniel Kudish and a few winners of Fearless Awards and displaying them as his own in a gallery that he took down.

But only after being called out by (the terrific) stop stealing photos tumblr the real fun  began. And by fun I mean god’s wrath unleashed in Jay’s twitter feed.

Apparently Jay (who is writing on the jwarstyle) thinks there is no harm in using other people photos. His most entertaining response tweet is:

Using Ur Pics To Get More Biz Isn't Using Your Pics. It's Called "Biz"

Which could have summed it up, but going to the company blog, he has a post titled Bad advertisment is also good advertisement (screencap here) which shows that Jay thinks that he made quite a sweet deal:

The blog opens up with the following statement: “so before the comments role in I wanted to give the basic run down, in short and simple I effed and damn the speed bad news travel fast online, I totally underestimated the power of twitter, Lets get straight to the great news- 1300 page views woot woot!!!! so far so good high five everyone!!!!

He also explains the motives behind it: “I wanted to get is gigs/jobs/work….nothing personal, if there’s a shortcut, i’ll take it

And his plan out: “Reputation or no reputation, the “you’ll never work in this town again” speech is played out. Nothing a $12 domain change can’t fix.”

Over the last few months we have seen several photographers borrow content from others, be it pictures or words, and I think that as a community we can definitely do better.

[Jwarstyle via Stop Stealing Photos]

  • Brian

    sounds like plagiarism in its finest form. Especially as a photographer, you have to give credit where credit is due, thats just simple ethics. But he very well ruined his future in photography on his own. He advertised photos that weren’t his as if they were his own, he admitted to taking shortcuts when possible, and if he wanted to start a future in photography, he should have considered his own professional work. so in a way, its almost a blessing that he got outed before he screwed over allot of potential customers. Besides, i wouldn’t trust anyone that uses the word “Biz” anyway. He’s a cheapskate if you ask me.

  • Jim Johnson

    Creative professionals are defined in their professional life by what they create. To clients and potential clients, I am nothing more than “the guy who made those images”. This is the worst thing about people stealing someone else’ words or images; it isn’t just stealing, using or misappropriating— it is IDENTITY FRAUD.

    It also isn’t the photographers who are the victims, it is the clients of the person who stole the images. They are paying good money to a person who has misrepresented who they are, professionally, and their abilities.

  • Jeffrey Guyer

    As a photographer and a photography writer I believe in vigorously protecting my work and have been totally dismayed by some of the blatant rip-offs of the past several months. At the same time, however, I do take issue with some of the tactics used by the Stop Stealing Photos site. Rather than contact (apparently) offending individuals first and giving them a chance to do the right thing, the site rains hellfire down on them first and asks questions second.

    While looking through a photographer’s online portfolio recently, I came across a photo that I was initially convinced had been lifted from my own website. Even at second and third glance I could not be 100% sure. It was not until I contacted the photographer directly (and professionally) that it was sorted out. It was in fact his own photo– we’d both fallen victim to the old saying that “there’s no such thing as an original idea.” Had I gone the Stop Stealing Photos route, I could have easily– and wrongly– damaged a reputation that absolutely did not deserve it.

    I am not in any way, shape or form defending the fraud being committed, and I do think it needs to be exposed. I also think, however, that SSP’s approach shows a lack of professionalism. If you want to be a watchdog, great. The world needs watchdogs. But I’m a bit bothered by the “watch me be a watchdog” element.

    • Robert Miler

      Especially if you shoot the underside of the Santa Monica pier. I have seen at least 6 unique captures that look the same when they are not side by side. I agree we have a responsibility to make sure we have been shot at before we shoot back.

  • Bogdan Radu

    One of these days, someone will sue the Hell out of this guy for copyright infringement AND libel. I’m pretty sure he has no business insurance nor is he incorporated so the tax man can be brought in as well, just for the fun of it. I’m quite confident after all that circus is passed he won’t be able to spare the $12 for the domain change…

    There’s always a way to deal with those fuckers.

  • Renato Murakami

    Let’s just hope that this douche gets sued by one of the victims, or lots of them.

  • Wil Fry

    To be fair, it’s not “stealing”, in either plain English or legal terminology. Stealing/theft deprives the owner of the use thereof. In this case, the original owners still had the use of their property and could still make money from it. (If you steal my car, I don’t have a car anymore. But if you copy my photo, I still have my photo.)

    But it IS copyright infringement, and it IS unethical (and in most countries illegal).

    • Mic

      I disagree – its is theft, albeit in a non-traditional sense. If I take your car for a joyride, I’m still stealing it – regardless if I return it or not.

      • Wil Fry

        Analogies are of course difficult. But in your example… It doesn’t matter whether they return it, because you still had the car all along. They just made a *copy* of it.

        (I’ve had my car stolen before. There’d be a huge difference between making a copy and taking my only car.) :-)

  • Frank Nazario

    Arguing with someone who blatantly says that he has done this to “shortcut” his career as as photographer and gets caught redhaned… deserves NO professional consideration… He would be receiving a call from my lawyer that same day.
    Our profession is competitive enough as it is to have the added stress of dealing with trash like that.

  • VSB

    As a victim of copyright infringement I find this neither funny nor sad. It’s bad enough when a non-photographer infringes on someone’s work for a blog, a website or some other use. It’s downright despicable when a “photographer” passes off someone else’s photographs as his own. The entitlement attitude this lowlife exhibits is offensive and disgusting. He thinks it’s okay to do what he did and then is offended when people rightly called him a thief? Douchebag is right!

  • FJ1200

    Using anothers work and passing it off as your own is fraud stealing. That’s it. plain and simple. If I booked him based on what I saw then he produced nothing like it I’d be asking questions and asking for my money back. And posting reviews on his so-called ‘professionalism’.

    Appart from that, his attitude smacks of the current X-Factor instant-hit shortcut-to-fame that we see everywhere these days. In the music industry bands no longer want to do the hard graft up from the bottom, and lay good solid foundations, build a good fan base, learn the industry – but want instant success. Trouble is that sort of success doesn’t last. Same thing here. If you want longevity – work for it like the rest of us. Build your reputation rather than climb up by treading on everyone else’s head and potentially damaging their business in the process.

    On top of that, who would want to do any collaborative work with him?

    I’m not a pro but would dearly love to be, but don’t think I’m good enough. But it would be on my own work that I stand or fall – not someone elses.