Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting published without my consent (or how a travel magazine grabbed my images online and said it was an honest mistake)

The thrill of having my works published hasn't diminished a bit. Seeing my photos come to life on the printed page still gives me a "wow" moment. But this was not the case when northbound magazine of Pico Manila grabbed my Callao images off the internet and used them for publication. Even after i politely told them that the high-resolution images are missing.

I very nearly wanted to shove this thing aside and charge it to experience. But after praying and contemplating about it, I figured I have this responsibility to warn my peers about such a practice. Maybe I will be paid my due, maybe I won't, but the least I can do is to keep it from happening again.

I guess there are also deeper, underlying reasons why some publications think they can get away with it. Going to court is expensive and often long-drawn out. And there will always be photographers, especially the up and coming ones, who will be willing to let their photos be used for free. While I respect this point of view of my peers, it's degrading to the photography industry. Anybody can take a decent pictures nowadays and use Photoshop to make a shabby shot look great, right?

In any case, I write this post to make my plight be known. getting published is great but getting ripped off is not. (for the complete account, please follow this link)

12 comments:

Abaniko said...

I share your sentiments on this issue. Nakakainis nga tong ganito! It happened to me before and no apologies or even a simple e-mail from the online magazine. Ang kapal! Here's my post about it.

Anonymous said...

I read your post at DPP Oggie. I'm not sure if North Bound is free but Sidetrip from Pico Manila started as free now they're on sale for P45. Good luck bro, keep us posted. -chad

Lantaw said...

publications such as this one bai will not prosper

Sidney said...

I understand your feelings... this is something that should not happen... alas... it is grown from an internet culture where everything seems to be free... songs, movies, newspapers... I wonder who still pays and how everybody manages to survive...

But I would be lying if I would not confess that I download songs and movies for free... and that I use pirated software... who does not???

I am happy I don't have to live from my photography... I am in the category of hobbyist who gives their pictures just to have the kick of seeing their pictures printed...

I know...it is bad... I know I don't do the industry any good... but I am not a saint... :-(

lagalog said...

Abaniko, I share your sentiment. Sana, you wrote them. the least they can do is credit you.

Chad, free yung northbound but the point is hindi ako nagbigay ng permiso.

Bai, I just hope this was really an honest mistake on their part.

Sidney, I guess I'm not as lucky as I earn a living from photography.

Sidney said...

I already spoke with a lot of photographers about this issue...

It is really a tough fight... especially that it costs a fortune to go to court...

And as a hobbyist... I feel bad... if I don't give my pictures for free... they go to another...
In the beginning I tried to sell my pictures... but publishers say they have no money...it is sometimes too much to give me free copies...

Sure I look like the bad guy here ... and the devils advocate...

I could say like everybody... kick their ass... but I don't think it will help.

We need to analyse the situation... their should be a debate among photographers...why not try to do actions as a "group".
Why not make a code of conduct... a charter...between photographers and publishers...

Just thinking aloud...

Sad to say... I read similar stories quite often... photographer mad and angry... and then the story dies... till another picture is stolen...

the donG said...

thanks Oggie for taking action as through this you help the other photographers or even enthusiasts be careful of their photos.

ivanhenares said...

Hi Oggie, I've been following your e-mail exchange with PICO about the photos. But in that exchange, it was not clear what you wanted from them. The mistake was already committed, the graphic artist and associate editor who corresponded with you are no longer connected with them, apology was already expressed and sent, what's the next step?

Karlo de Leon said...

I think copyright is an issue that we should all be careful with nowadays. During the time of film, it wasnt much of a concern since it was hard to just grab images. Now, since most people are shooting digitally, i think it would be best practice to be proactive. Like not posting photos you don't like stolen. Unfortunatly, I had to do that myself, and I know a few other photogs who only post photos na ok lang ma-grab.

Bro, sana be firm next time in telling them, or anyone for that matter, na NO, you dont want your photo to be used. Or thanks but im reserving the photos for something else. Alam ko si Ferdz does that. Just telling them na walang hi-res may mean to them that they can use the low-res.

I feel for you man, we should all be careful, but lets not tempt them also. And you're right, its expensive to bring it in court, so lets do what we can do to avoid such circumstances in the near future. Then again, this is just me.

lagal[og] said...

Dom, I think it's everyone's concern din talaga

Ivan, sent you an email

Karlo, I already said no twice which is why for the third time they approached, I told them the hi-res are missing. I don't know about posting so-so images because that's not how I can attract people to get interested to buy my images. Maybe I'll have to live with putting a huge watermark across the images na, nevermind if it detracts from the appearance. Anyway, thanks for dropping by.

Karlo de Leon said...

I agree with you 100%, never post so-so images if you're in this business of ours. I guess what I'm saying is, well at least my mindset is, if you post it, its as good as posting it for the world to grab. Then again its a sad thing, but yeah, on the other hand, you may have to place a really big watermark over it. We have our own way of handling things. Its good to share what works.

Thanks for dropping by my site too!

Markus said...

Always fight for your rights Og! Evil is always there to test the good to see if they'll back down. This reminds me of a funny story of an American family that posts their pictures online (maybe they have a flickr account or sumthin). When they went on vacation to Romania or some ex-communist country, they saw their family pics being used for the advertising of a supermarket chain! Billboards, banners, newspapers and all! Funny but still theft right? I know your story turned out comparatively well, so there you go! Congrats!- Mark

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