Tether Tools apologizes for unknowingly using a photo without permission

Dec 18, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Tether Tools apologizes for unknowingly using a photo without permission

Dec 18, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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It’s not rare that we hear of companies using images without permission. But Tether Tools have recently set an example what a company should do when this happens.

As it turned out, their website had a photo which was used without the photographer’s permission. When they realized it, they removed the image and issued both personal and public apology to the photographer.

You may wonder how come someone uses a photo without the permission and without realizing it. As it turns out, there was a slip during the redesign of their website.

Tether Tools redesigned their brand and website in 2016. During the design phase, many ideas were mocked-up with new layouts. One of the concepts used BTS images from Instagram which show photographers using Tether Tools’ gear. As time went by, the website underwent many edits and changes. When the final design was approved, the team overlooked one photo, so it stayed on the website upon the launch.

When the mistake came to the company’s attention, they reacted as I believe everyone should. They immediately removed the image from the website and contacted the photographer directly to apologize. Their CEO Josh Simons also published a public apology, where he admits the mistake and explains what exactly happened.

We messed up and would like to apologize. This is important stuff. It matters to us. It matters to our customers. And it matters to one photographer whose image we accidentally used without their permission. We are a company started by a photographer, that employs photographers and that is immersed in serving the photography community. We value every photographer, their work and their livelihood.

As the public letter of apology reads, Tether Tools didn’t use the image for any other purpose, such as advertising campaigns or promotion of the products. It was simply a slip, and they did their best to make up for it the moment they realized the mistake. What’s even more admirable is that the photographer didn’t call out on them publicly and “forced” them to apologize. Instead, they did it as they realized they did something wrong, and it deserves respect.

I think this is how most of us were raised: when you realize you’ve made a mistake, admit it and apologize. However, in today’s world, it’s rare that people actually do it, especially large companies. This is why I think Tether Tools have set an example with their move, and I wish more companies and individuals would act this way when they do something wrong.

[Tether Tools via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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9 responses to “Tether Tools apologizes for unknowingly using a photo without permission”

  1. LensLord Avatar
    LensLord

    Apologies are like empty paper cups. They should have issued a check.

    1. Stuart Pike Avatar
      Stuart Pike

      They may have offered but that’s between the company and the photographer I genuinely don’t need to know if money was offered.

      1. LensLord Avatar
        LensLord

        The right thing to do is pay the photographer. I do not care how much was paid, or the details of the negotiations, only that the right thing was done, and that means that the photographer was paid fairly for his/her work.

        Apologies are not fair recompense.

  2. Carlos Mas-a Avatar
    Carlos Mas-a

    “Unknowingly” They’ve saved some money… what a great company that work for photographers ;)

  3. Duncan Dimanche Avatar
    Duncan Dimanche

    They could also have bought the image… rather than taking it off

  4. Itsamee Avatar
    Itsamee

    Soooo… How did it come to their attention? Did the photographer see it and confront them? Or did they catch it themselves? I also wonder, if the photographer reached out to them were they (the photographer) at least polite about the matter? I see so many stories of things like this where civility takes a back seat to demanding the almighty dollar.

  5. Ian Hecht Avatar
    Ian Hecht

    This kind of response is honestly more likely to persuade me to purchase gear from them. Companies that take responsibility without trying to throw blame on someone else are the kind of businesses that I want to support. I will be looking at their gear more closely now.

  6. Dimitris Servis Avatar
    Dimitris Servis

    You never read the piece, did you…

  7. Tether Tools Avatar
    Tether Tools

    We’re inspired by the dialogue this incident has created. To update, Tether Tools has been in communication with the photographer since we were made aware of the issue. We have the utmost respect for his work and he has been compensated. Both parties are satisfied and most of all we are gratified by the nature in which everything was handled. The process allowed the photographer to share his perspective and our people the ability to do our best to right a wrong. We are excited to support and work with the photographer moving forward.