So there you are, with a large collection of photos on your favourite subject, and you’re wondering how you can capitalise on that to become a FAMOUS photojournalist, with your work published in NEWSPAPERS. Well, now I can tell you the secret road to success:
- take photos
- put some of them on tinterweb then just …
- SIT BACK and wait!
Yes: that’s all it takes. Because after a while, the Limerick Post may come along, help itself to your photo and publish it in its newspaper.
Judge of my surprise, gentle reader, when I found, on page 62 of its issue of 25 January 2014, one of my photos (from 2009) illustrating a story about driving in floods. I had no record of any request from Messrs Limerick Post for permission to use the photo. I sent this email:
On page 62 of your issue dated 25 January 2014, in an article on safety headed “Driving in hazardous conditions, storm and flood”, you publish one of my photographs, captioned “Irish Waterways’ photograph
of Castleconnell being cleared after floods”.
I do not recall giving you permission to use that (or any other) photo and I would be glad to know how you came to use it.
I got this reply from the Commercial Features Editor:
Good morning. I wanted to use a photo that was representative of tough conditions re floods locally and saw the Castleconnell one online. I did credit Irish Waterways in the shot. Is there a problem?
Giving a credit is not the same as seeking, much less paying for, a licence to use someone else’s photo — but I’m sure I don’t have to explain copyright law to a professional. So, yes, I see this as a problem and I would welcome your proposals for its resolution.
I have now left it for a week to give Messrs Limerick Post time to compose a suitably grovelling apology but it has not, alas, arrived. Accordingly, I beg to inform Messrs Limerick Post that if, in future, I find them using one of my photos without permission, they will be hearing from my solicitors.