I guess it’s much easier to steal a photo, crop away the watermark and, when approached about the issue, delete it, than to post an original photo with the caption. But then again, when you are the drummer of big ex-yu rock band, you can do that. Or not?
Here’s the story
As a music photographer I am still thrilled and excited when artists publish my work, but this was not the case back in 2015. Tihomir used my photograph of him, performing with S.A.R.S. on annual Pivo in Cvetje festival in Laško, as his main profile picture across multiple social networks, which wasn’t all that unusual, except …
- I haven’t signed any contract about giving away my copyright to organisers and/or performers at the festival
- No one asked for permission about using any of my photographs
- Watermark was cropped out
- There was no caption alongside the posted photographs
Naturally I was pissed, but instead of calling the drummer out publicly that instant, I decided to ‘play it smart‘. I wrote him a personal message, hoping, as he was a member of a popular band, that we might work together sometime in the future. I even offered him a hi-res photo for free, as the one he uploaded was pretty pixelated by Facebook compression.
Two days passed and as there was no response, I altered my message and posted it as a public comment on his Instagram and Facebook posts. Still no response, until few days later all the photographs were removed. Apparently young local photographer didn’t deserve a response from a ‘rockstar‘.
Not everything online is free to use on ‘however I desire’ terms, even though it happens every day. Intentionally or unintentionally everyone posted a funny picture from the internet, even though it wasn’t your work. It happens! Even to me, I admit. But movies, music, photographs, texts, etc. are pieces of work, that somebody spent years to learn, master, produce and they are not free. If you are planning to use someone’s work, sometimes all you have to do is ask.