It seems like every week someone – whether a business or a public figure – is in the hot seat for using a photo they found online without proper rights clearance. Both Facebook and Snapchat say more than 350 million photos are uploaded to their respective platforms every day. With all of this content readily available, it’s easy to forget that every single photo belongs to a content creator – no matter how simple, wacky or newsworthy. We’ve rounded up a list of the top five rights mistakes of 2013 (so far).
1. Buzzfeed v. Rev Dan Catt
When Rev Dan Catt saw that Buzzfeed used a photo from his Flickr account in one of their most popular posts, he was anything but flattered. In a blog post title 10 Good Reasons Buzzfeed is Going to Pay my F#Sking Invoice for Copyright Theft, Rev tore apart the Buzzfeed excuse of contacting creators being too difficult, saying:
“BuzzFeed pays Reuters, the AP, and Getty for rights to their photo libraries, but contacting an individual creator is far too much work, yay, thanks heavily funded large organisation for ripping off the creators again. Thanks for that.”
Buzzfeed has since paid Rev’s invoice of $500 to his selected charity, the Chordoma Foundation.
2. High School sued for $2 million
A University of Georgia student is currently suing the Fayette County School District for $2 million after they used a photo from her Facebook page in an Internet safety seminar. The lesson here? The size or type of organization doesn’t remove override copyright laws.
3. Dating Ad
Facebook came under fire when one of its advertisers sourced an image of a 17-year-old victim of cyberbullying, sexual assault and suicide. The ad for a Canadian dating site brought down a storm of anger from the victim’s family and supporters. Facebook has since removed the ad and apologized.
4. Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is being sued by North Jersey Media Group Inc. after using an iconic 9/11 photograph on its Facebook page and website. The newspaper publisher is seeking damages along with stopping the SarahPAC from using the photo.
If you want to avoid blunders like these, check out our User Rights with User Generated Content white paper here. What blunder did we miss? Join the UGC rights discussion with #ChuteRights.Read More