This past weekend, a small kerfuffle arose at the competitors paper, the Portland Press Herald, over the use of a photo in clear violation of copyright. A photo accompanying a story on the Reverend Bob Carlson was lifted from a “Flikr” account belonging to Audrey Ann Slade, where it was clearly marked as copyrighted material.
According to another photographer in Portland, this has been common practice for years.
Jay York, a portland photographer stated on his Facebook social networking site “Another Sunday and two more of my photos being used without being credited to me. I’m not asking for money only the professionalism I expect from the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.”
In the case of the Carlson article, the photo was used and when Slade sent a letter to the editor complaining that they had not asked for her permission first, the photo was pulled, but a link was left up to her “Flikr” account.
At the same time, MST/PPH also continues to sell copies of the photo they had not acquired the right for, at prices ranging from $39.00-$45.00.
“I came to the conclusion on Thursday that the Portland Press Herald had no intention of taking down the photo, and there would be no apology from them. These were the two things I made abundantly clear repeatedly as the only things I wanted. I’m not entirely sure how that point was lost.” Slade stated on her website Saturday. “I had turned the photo case over to Flickr so they could move forward as they saw fit. “
Slade was contacted over the weekend, and offered a check for $400.
“They really missed the point. Either they realize they had said something wrong, were being too stubborn to admit it and were mad that I put them in their place, or the mopst scary, didn;t believe they did anything wrong. I’ve never denied anyone the usage of my photos, all they had to do was ask.”
York has had an ongoing battle with the PPH. “I deal with a lot of art galleries, and sometimes they are getting photos I took second or third hand. I’ve gone back and forth with editors over the last year, and they have told me that unless somebody tells them where a photograph came from, they don’t know.”
Some attempts at correcting those mistakes have been made, at least haphazardly. “They did a photo spread of a show last year where I was properly credited, but the article right next to it on the page, also my photos, was not” said York. “I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason they don’t ask who took the pictures is that they want to use them.”
Attempts to reach the Executive Editor, Managing Editor, and Photo Editor at the Portland Press Herald were all unsuccessful at press time. The reporter deferred all question to editors.