I miss the days when bloggers were still ripping off all their content from big media conglomerates. Now the MSM is stealing from bloggers, and it's like there are no standards anymore.
Photographer Kari Kuukka catches the big media five-fingering a photo:
My good friend and colleague Matti Matikainen called me up couple of hours ago and said:” Guess what? LA Times, Daily Mail, Tech Crunch etc. just crabbed my image from the net and printed it. Didn’t ask for permission, did not offer to pay for it, nothing… they just printed it.”
I checked – and yes, there it was: all over the world, probably dozens of sites. Matti’s image from last night, just grabbed from the Iltalehti website. Image itself is nothing particular: it is a basic picture of Mrs. Vesterbacka in the presidential palace last night. She is the wife of Peter Vesterbacka, creator of Angry Birds – and the dress is – shall we say – personal and thematic.
But nobody asked for permission to use this image. I mean nobody. Oh, there was one publication from Norway which contacted Matti earlier today and did ask, but when he said the price (100€) they considered it too expensive and backed out.
My advice to either Matikainen or Kuuka would have been to contact the L.A. Times and alert them to the repurposed picture. Regular readers know I have few kind words for the L.A.T., but I will say that the paper’s lawyers – hard women who take great pride in the IP case law they have established and the hapless content-framers they have sued into submission – are scrupulous about paying a few hundred bucks to the victim when the Times itself violates somebody else’s copyright.
Sure enough, Kuukka updates his post with news that the L.A.T. appears to be the only one of the big media picture-swipers that paid up:
Even LA Times commented below. The financial aspect of the matter in now taken care of – thanks to Polaris (Picture Agency) and Mr. Markku Vuorela. Thus, NPPA lawyers will cease to push the matter further as it is under control in that respect.
However, the point was never about the money . We both agreed in the phone: it isn’t about the money, it’s about the rules and values the media plays with and reflects back to its readers.
A commentary below put it very well in its last sentence, referring to this kind of practice of newspapers/sites – a commentary as an answer to the conversation of Mr Martin Beck of LA TImes and me were having:
“Why would any newspaper want to tell the audience: “we are printing stuff that’s worth.. well.. nothing”?
The magical mystery tour of my own career has brought me to a position where I believe the copyright monopoly – constitutional validity notwithstanding – was a terrible historical error that retarded rather than promoting the progress of science and the useful arts while providing meager (at best) benefits to authors and inventors. Here’s a roundabout column on that topic. Nevertheless, if absurdly restrictive intellectual property laws exist, they should apply to everybody, so kudos to Beck and the L.A. Times for coughing up some shekels. ("The point was never about money." Where do people get this shit?)