Perhaps you remember the case from earlier this year, when Netflix was accused of using a storm image without permission for its hit show Stranger Things. Photographer Sean R. Heavey took the photo, and he is now filing a lawsuit against Netflix for copyright infringement.
While watching popular Netflix show Stranger Things, photographer Sean R. Heavey had an unpleasant surprise. He thought that a giant storm cloud in one of the scenes looked familiar, and then he realized – it was one of his photos. Apparently, the creators of the show used his photo to create the scene, and the photographer says they didn’t ask him for the permission.
A few months ago a girl came in to apply for a social media position at my last job. I was one of three photographers at the company and we had an opening for another photographer position. She mentioned to the HR recruiter that she also does photography. The HR guy comes and grabs me to tell me this and was wondering if I wanted to interview her for the open photographer position as well. So I said, “Sure, let me see her portfolio.”
To my f*$#@ing surprise my work was included her “portfolio”. I was in total shock and told the HR guy that she has stolen work on her portfolio. She had an engagement session and the couples same wedding on her website with very low-res photos. I took a few minutes to compose myself and decided to interview and ask about her work without “outing” her. I went into the interview with the HR guy and I asked her about her experience and what kind of gear she uses. She BS’d everything saying, “I have one of the “D” cameras, 7 lenses, a wide, a zoom, and super-zoom. I have it all.”
From people who download someone else’s photo for the desktop background, to those who steal photos from others and represent them as their own – photo theft is a pretty common occurrence. Many people don’t take the credits, but don’t give them to the author either (just remember the Tyra Banks case). In this episode of Burst Mode, Rick Boost talks about the image theft. He gives some examples of most memorable copyright infringement cases in recent years and discusses how we can fight this issue. Can we fight it at all?
If you use Facebook, you’re not going to be happy reading this post. If you also upload your work to the social media, you’re REALLY not going to like this.
An email she recently received from a Facebook representative states that the company owns any and all content once it is uploaded to their website, and that basically anybody can use it as they wish. They may even take credit for your copyrighted photos.