LA Times et al.: Do You Have to Suck the Sweat out of my Balls now that I am Dead

We – professional press photographers – do know that what we have been doing for decades as a profession is dying. Along with the daily print – but that’s another matter – I’ve been talking about it in this blog ad nauseam.

Yet the stunt LA Times et al. just pulled leaves me totally without words.

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.

The independence reception in the Presidential Palace is very exclusive one – there is c. 30 photographers maybe covering it each 6th December. Half of them freelancers, some agencies, some staffers.

I’m saying this so that you understand:  it is not that there were not any pictures available if you’d want to buy and publish them: each and every guest is photographed dozens and dozens of times thru-out the evening. Come on, it’s our biggest national happening of this kind – I guess you could compare it to the Academy Awards in terms of national interest. Every fourth of our citizens watch it on TV live.

All it would have taken from LA Times, Daily Mail, etc. would have been one, tops two phone calls: “ Does anybody have pictures and is willing to sell them?”

They even know the tel numbers, because that’s what the m.o. of business was couple of years back.

That’s what professional photography is: you sell pictures. Or: that’s what it was.

Why Pay When You Can Get It Free?

But, new game and new rules: why ask and maybe pay – because you can just as well grab and steal it?

Hell, everybody is doing it – let’s join the party!

From aggregates such as Huff Post / Mashable  etc. you sort of expect nothing.  They are leeches and I guess do have some justification of existing (?) in their present form.

But for crying our loud: LA Times? Pulizer Prizes and all… ? Jesus f***g Christ! And all the others who somehow dare to call themselves decent/honorable publications…?

I know we are just photographers – a dying breed -but do you really need to suck the sweat out of our balls when we are dead?

Matti has three kids and his images bring the bread and butter to the table. If something which we produce professionally is treated this way… I just don’t have words. Just steal it – because so does everybody. After all we are not human, we are freelance photographers.

I did not check all the links Matti sent me,  I was just so totally appalled by this incident. One did catch my attention,  though. Under the image it said: “thank you xxx for finding the image and thank you Iltalehti for taking it”.

Appropriate copyright?

Get real, for Christ sake!  Iltalehti did not take any images. It was a photographer  who did that. His name is Matti. It is his property. His right to license his imagery pays the bills.  You stole it.

I wonder if the staff of all these “publications” go to a restaurant, eat and when it comes the time to pay the bill they just say: “I have to thank my friend for recommending your restaurant – and thank your cook too…” – and leave without paying, because: what’s the harm, everybody is doing it.

Somebody still think the legacy print has a future?

________________

Epilogue (Morning of 8th Dec., 2011)

I just talked briefly with Matti. He has commented below twice but as the comments are in the most common of languages –  i.e. in Finnish,  he asked me – in my own words – to write a small summary here:

CNN contacted him last night – asked to use the picture – with no financial compensation. Yahoo approached as well, offering to “link to his website” if they got the image – no financial compensation.

During the night the social media run it’s course (presently the blog is hit with  over 3000 readers/hour)

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”?

Why indeed?

105 Comments

  1. Ari Tenhunen
    December 7, 2011

    Matti. Don’t just whine. Send an invoice or sue them for illegal use. There are copyright laws in US too.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      December 7, 2011

      Matti is NOT whining – he is a member of NPPA and if – or as I understand – WHEN they raise the hell about this, it’ll be done in the true american style of lawyers and litigation.

      But: like nobody gives a shit? It is not a matter of some obscure bunch of losers who take pictures and call themselves professional press photographers… It’s much more than that.

      Personal anecdote: I mentioned this to my wife. She is a professional journalist. Her comment: “Did they credit him?” For fucks sake, when did stealing become acceptable – as long as you just mention “this property used to belong to this and this, but we just took it”?

      Yes, I love my wife – very much so – but her comment – coming from the “professional ranks” is symptomatic. Times like this, when more and more of what we do is immaterial – your basic ABC’s of life should include understanding of IPR management. Especially if you work in a place where grabbing a Pulizer is a more or less an annual thing.

      Reply
  2. Matti Matikainen
    December 7, 2011

    Kiitos Kari kirjoituksestasi. On todella hienoa saada tämä asia esiin ensimmäisenä tällä foorumilla…koska tiedän, että blogiasi arvostetaan ja luetaan tosissaan myös muuallakin kuin vain Suomessa.

    By-the-way kuten sanotaan – CNN otti yhteyttä noin tunti sitten ja hekin halusivat kuvat ihan ilmaiseksi käyttöönsä…ja kuten arvaten ei heistäkään ole enää kuulunut.

    Mutta tosissaan( äskeinen lausekin on totta) asia on hoidossa Ameriikassa valtakunnallisen Lehti- ja Tv-kuvaajien organisaation NPPA:n avustuksella.

    Ja tätä tässä kirjoitellessani tuli meili Yahoosta: he lupasivat laittaa linkin kuvaani jolla pääsee sivulleni, jos annan heille kuvat – ei rahallista korvausta.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      December 7, 2011

      Joo –

      ihan käsittämätöntä. Ja ymmärtäisi, jos kyseessä olisi yksi lehti – mutta kun niitä löytyy jokaisesta maanosasta useita. Kellekkään tule mieleen, että on olemassa sellainen asia kun IPR (immaterial publishing rights).

      Eli samalla tavalla CNN voisi ottaa YLE:n kuvaa ilman korvausta (ja vice versa) ja työntää sitä ulos tuutistaan. Kiittää sitä kahvinkeittäjä sihteeriä joka bongasi tuon oudon TV-kanavan sieltä pohjoisnavalta…

      Kokonaisuus tässä pelottaa: eletään aikaa, jolloin enemmän ja enemmän siitä mitä tehdään on immateriaalista. Ja kuitenkin tiettyjen alojen (kuten meidän) päälle pissataan ihan julkisesti – ja ihmiset eivät tunnu ymmärtävän, että siinä on mitään outoa.

      Kuvittele jos Android nappaisi AppleStoresta Vesterbackan lintuluomuksen omalle alustalleen ja sanoisi “kiitti, hei kun teitte tämän”. Jobsin haamu pelmahtais paikalle alta aikayksikön ja läjäyttäisi sellaisen oikeusjutun ettei ole ennen nähty – Vesterbackan putiikista nyt puhumattakaan.

      Veikkaan, että tässä esimerkissä (vakavasti nyt…) jopa meillä kansallinen uutiskynnys ylittyisi ja ihmiset kauhistelisivat, että “mites toi on mahdollista…” Mutta: kun kyse on sinun – tai jonkun muun pienen toimijan omaisuudesta – niin “kai niin voi tehdä, kun kaikki niin tuntuvat tekevän…”

      tsemppiä, kiitos kun kommentoit.

      K

      Reply
      • jpalo
        December 8, 2011

        Puhutte pelkkää asiaa, ja kokonaisuutena asian vääntyminen tähän tilaan, missä nykyään ollaan on, ei ainoastaan huolestuttavaa, vaan myös törkeän epäammattimaista suurten lehtitalojen taholta. Ikävä kyllä brutaaliudessaan jossain määrin mahdollista…

        Kommenttina vastaisuuden varalle: IP- oikeudet (eli IPR) tunnetaan paremmin sanoista Intellectual Property Rights, vaikkain tarkoitusperä ajaa samaa asiaa. Immateriaalioikeuksista puhuttaessa kannattaa aina tarkistaa termistön oikeus, ja nyt valokuvasta puhuttaessa saatetaan käsitellä immateriaalioikeuksien tekijänoikeus rikkomusta. Tätä varten ne lakimiehet kokkaavat toivottavasti NPPA:n kautta…

        Reply
        • kkuukka
          December 8, 2011

          Kiitos – menee sanat sekaisin aina kun adrenaliini jyllää liian lujaa ja aivot yrittävät ruksuttaa kahdella kielellä… Molempia lienee käytetään, mutta korjaan jatkossa.

          K

          Reply
      • jp
        December 8, 2011

        “Kuvittele jos Android nappaisi AppleStoresta Vesterbackan lintuluomuksen omalle alustalleen ja sanoisi “kiitti, hei kun teitte tämän”.”

        Rovio on laittanut Angry Birdsin Android-version myyntiin Android marketiin. Steve Jobsilla ei ole asian kanssa mitään tekemistä.

        Reply
  3. Kriisi
    December 7, 2011

    I’d ask the same thing as your wife. Not because I wouldn’t understand the theft but because it would make matters even worse: not just rape, but violent-bloody-lips-blackened-eyes-broken-bones-rape. Raskauttava asianhaara.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      December 7, 2011

      Yes: raskauttava. Muttei missään nimessä lieventävä – which was my point.

      Reply
    • Engkeli
      December 8, 2011

      Hei pojat, eipä kannattaisi verrata valokuvan luvatonta käyttöä RAISKAAMISEEN ja PAHOINPITELYYN. Onko suhteellisuudentajunne aivan hukassa???!!! Herätkää todellisuuteen, jooko.

      Reply
      • Anonymous bastard
        December 8, 2011

        Agreed. It is unfortunate that photos are used without compensation or permission but come on. Comparing it to a rape is, well, fucked up. Sorry for the pun.

        Reply
      • herr macke
        December 8, 2011

        nyt ei verrattu raiskaukseen, vaan verrattiin molempien raskauttavaa asian haaraa.. hieman eri jutuista kysymys.. sisälukutaitoa ihmiset!

        Reply
  4. Tenho Mikkolainen (@tenhophoto)
    December 7, 2011

    Even better idea for next year, why not use guest’s phone cam photos, they could send them to papers, and maybe get free movie tickets :) why even bother send photogs there just waste of money and space (irony)

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      December 7, 2011

      Why the “irony” – it’ll be reality in couple of years time… ;-)

      Reply
      • Tenho Mikkolainen (@tenhophoto)
        December 7, 2011

        True, everyone can take pictures… hehe ;)

        Reply
      • Eje Gustafsson
        December 9, 2011

        unfortunately not that far away. CNN already laid of a bunch of photo journos because citizen provided pictures are so common they don’t need the pro’s anylonger (??).

        Then you have journos that goes to places that leaves their dSLR behind and just use iphones to take pictures (I’m sorry but a mobile phone device will not in many years yet be as good as a dSLR with changeable lenses and this just sets poor precedent). What next we have teen tweets/FB/sms texts messages delivering news stories to news papers and not professional journalists?

        Greatful for NPPA and their work protecting the rights of photographers. Unfortunately photo theft is considered less of a crime than downloading copyright music is and afraid this is a uphill battle that more and more pro’s will loose out in because you have no real big power houses with deep pockets (as the record label industry does and they are still failing in battling the increasing music theft).

        Reply
  5. Kriisi
    December 7, 2011

    Kari: Joo ei tietenkään lieventävä, mutta verenhimoinen mieleni kartoittaa heti ne ilmeiset synnin lisäykset. Ja minä olen toimittaja. :)

    Reply
  6. Henri Juvonen
    December 7, 2011

    Would you steal a car? Would you steal a handbag? Would you steal a photograph? – Piracy is a crime! Magazines at that level should know it very well.

    Reply
    • Flupmd
      December 8, 2011

      If I could download the car…

      Yes.

      But then later – studies would show my downloading of cars would not really affect the car sale industry – something the car industry would do their best to suppress.

      Photography is a bit different than music and film – if you are referencing the famous Piracy Advert.

      Reply
      • herr macke
        December 8, 2011

        but these people obviously have the ability to pay for a single photo. and they apparently have motivation to publish the story that needs the photo.
        were not talking about some lonely individual downloading the photo from iltalehti website (without permission) for personal use only. were talking about a well known magazine stealing from a site without asking for any permission or paying any royalties and then publishing the photo in they’re magazine.
        its almost like downloading a film and re publishing it as your own on the same scale as the original film was published. a bit more serious crime.
        they’re denying all credit from the real author and making money in the progress.

        Reply
  7. mukkelismakkelis
    December 8, 2011

    Valokuvaajat ovat nykyajan metsureita.

    Metsurit ovat nykyään ihan tarpeettomia. Metsäkoneet kaatavat puut ja samalla tekevät rumat urat metsään. Kukaan ei välitä metsään jäävästä sotkusta, kunhan puut kaadetaan kustannustehokkaasti.

    Reply
    • SV
      December 8, 2011

      Mutta mistä kuvat saataisiin alunperinkään jos kuvaajia ei olisi?

      Reply
      • Anonymous bastard
        December 8, 2011

        Ikävä tosiasia on, että kameroita on tsiljoona enemmän tänä vuonna kuin sanotaan vaikkapa viisi vuotta sitten. Kuvia otetaan huimia määriä joka sekunti. Vaikka tälläkin palstalla naureskellaan ajatukselle, että kuka tahansa voi kuvata, niin niin se vain on. Ei sille voi mitään. Toki ammattilainen osaa ottaa kuvia huolellisemmin ja niin edelleen mutta todellisuus ajaa ammattitaidon ohi. Siihen on pakko sopeutua. Itse olen lopettanut (surkean, myönnetään) kuvaamisen, koska en koe luovani enää mitään, mitä ei olisi tehty jo. Kotinäpsyjä vaan.

        Reply
      • Tuomas Mäkinen
        December 9, 2011

        Kuka tahansa voi kuvata, se on totta. Laatuspektrikin tasoittuu, koska jonkin tason itseoppineisuus on helppo nakki ja useammilla on jo varaa laadukkaaseen laitteistoon.

        Mutta sitten tullaankin siihen, että minne kukakin pääsee kuvaamaan. Itsenäisyyspäivän vastaanotto ei sattuneista syistä ole ihan avoimilla ovilla toimiva tilaisuus pressillekään, joten jos siellä saat kuvata tai tehdä juttuja, niin siinä asemassa voit määritellä hintasi ihan rohkeasti korkeammaksi kuin “no ottakaa sitten, mutta jos edes antaisitte krediitit mulle, jos olisitte niin kilttejä”.

        “Kuka vaan osaa kuvata” -argumentti on vähän samaa lajia kuin että internetin myötä “kuka tahansa voi olla toimittaja”. Siinä on totuuden siemen, mutta pressojen, ministerien ja toimitusjohtajien haastattelemisenkin hoitavat vielä ne ns. ihan oikeat toimittajat.

        Besides, näistä asioista on vielä olemassa lait, joita pystytään valvomaankin. Valokuvaajalla on tässä tapauksessa täysi oikeus odottaa, että hänen luomastaan tuotteesta maksetaan hänen määrittelemänsä (tai viime kädessä oikeuden määrittelemä, jos niikseen tulee) korvaus. Kukin voi kuvitella omalle kohdalleen tilanteen, jossa työnantaja pyytää selvittämään taustatiedot vaikkapa asiakasyrityksestä ja kirjoittamaan niistä raportin -> teet työtä käskettyä, laitat raportin pomolle -> tämä jättää maksamatta palkkaasi, koska ei nyt vaan tuntunut siltä, että pitäisi maksaa. Immateriaalisella työlläkin on oikeutensa.

        Reply
  8. T.Ilván
    December 8, 2011

    Image: A screen grab of an image of Teija Vesterbacka on Iltaheti.fi. Credit: Matti Matikainen

    Tällainen muutos jutun alla ja kuvan alla suluissa Matti Matikainen

    Toivottavasti maksavat myös kuvasta kohtuullisen korvauksen

    Reply
  9. X X
    December 8, 2011

    Samalla kun valitat immateriaalioikeuksiin liittyvästä sikailusta, niin tuo toki myös esille se, että Peter Vesterbacka ei ollut koko firmassa töissä kun Rovio teki ja julkaisi Angry Birdsin.

    Reply
    • Shajol
      December 8, 2011

      Sehän vain korostaa sitä, kuinka suuri osa Vesterbackan markkinoinnilla on ollut tuotteen menestykseen. Tuote itsessään tekee vain osan menestyksestään.

      Reply
    • Arto Tuulaskoski
      December 8, 2011

      Tuotakoon esille myös se ettei peli ollut mikään sattuma, vaan pitkään toimineen peliohjelmistofirman ihan suunniteltu tuote oheistuotelanseerauksineen, markkinointeineen jne. Jotenkin tästä on saatu sellainen mielikuva että peli syntyi tyhjästä, poikien puuhastelusta.

      Reply
      • Esa Edvik
        December 8, 2011

        Se on helppoa sanoa että “se on vaan peli” :) Kukaan ei tajua miten paljon pelibisnes vaatii työtä, luovuutta ja markkinointia ja miten monia on jotka eivät menesty.

        Reply
  10. Kimmo Linkama
    December 8, 2011

    Eihän tuommoinen käy. Julkistin: https://twitter.com/#!/kimmolinkama/status/144540021318369281

    Reply
  11. DF
    December 8, 2011

    I’m no lawyer, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but this is legally black and white. They stole your pictures -> there are pretty serious copyright laws in the U.S. -> you are probably due some pretty solid “Licensing” fees. Take as many screenshots as you can and invoice them for every day they stole the work. As pissed as this makes you, this actually happens to them on a daily basis (i.e. huffpo, etc as mentioned above).

    Reply
    • Ari Tenhunen
      December 8, 2011

      Yes, I don’t see much use in just talking about this kind of violations. We have to talk, of course, so that everybody will know that stealing other peoples work is wrong. The first thing to do is sending an invoice to the violator immediately. And then, if payment does not arrive, start collecting the dept. Intellectual property is protected by law in western countries, including USA. And hey, if no permission was asked before using the image, the owner of the rights can set the price higher.

      Reply
  12. Osku
    December 8, 2011

    Käsittämätöntä toimintaa arvostetuilta medioilta. Julkinen ryöstö keskellä päivää kertoo paitsi röyhkeydestä, myös vakiintumassa olevista toimintatavoista, joihin lääkkeenä toimii ainoastaan vahva juridiikka ja näyttävät oikeusjutut.

    Noin 85% verkossa käytettävistä kuvista on laittomasti käytössä. Käsittääkseni esimerkiksi kuvapankeilla yhtä lailla kuin yksittäisillä valokuvaajillakin olisi intressi ryhtyä samansuuntaisiin toimiin kuin ohjelmisto- ja musiikkibisneksessä on käynnnistetty varastamisen ehkäisemiksi ja estämiseksi.

    Tuloksia odotellessa kannattaa tutustua suomalaiseen yritykseen nimeltä Kiosked (www.kiosked.com). Sen liiketoimintamallin kautta yksittäisillä valokuvaajillakin on mahdollisuus saada ansaitsemansa korvaus tekemästään työstä.

    Reply
    • Anonymous bastard
      December 8, 2011

      Mihin tilastoon tämä 85% perustuu? Mutu-liioittelu vie pohjaa pointilta.

      Reply
      • Osku
        December 8, 2011

        @anynumous bastard.

        Luku (80-85%) verkossa käytössä olevien laittomien kuvien määrästä pullahti esiin, kun Getty hankki omistukseensa PicScout-nimisen yhtiön. Monet kuvaajat varmaankin tuntevat yrityksen ja arvostavat sen osaamista. Lukua ei siis revitty hatusta eikä hanurista.

        Reply
    • empuska
      December 8, 2011

      Vaikka Kioskedin idea on kaunis ja jalo, se on vain kaunis ja jalo, teknologia ja itsekeskeisyys on vastassa ja tulee aina olemaan. Mun mielestä ollaan tietyssä suhteessa immateriaalioikeuksien tuotteistamisen kanssa todella, todella hakusessa. Siinä, missä vuonna nakki ja kivi, kun paikkakunnan valokuvakamerat pystyi laskemaan sormilla, oli syy, miksi maksettiin, miksi sitä arvostettiin ja miksi se oli hienoa. Tänä päivänä kun huomattavan suurella osalla ihmisistä on jonkinlainen kamera alituisesti mukana ja freelancereitä enemmän kuin koskaan, on jotenkin kummallista ajatella, että tietenkin siitä vanhasta kakusta saa samankokoisen palasen kuin aina ennenkin. Onhan se tietenkin tekijöiden oma asia, haluavatko he nähdä valokuvauksen palveluna, josta veloittaa, mitä se OIKEASTI maksaa, vai rahastella yhdestä paikkaa sen, mitä siitä voi rahastaa.

      Reply
  13. Martin Beck
    December 8, 2011

    We — and in particular our photo department — take copyright issues very seriously, so we were dismayed to see that this mistake had been made on our site. Please note that as soon as we had been alerted about the problem, we took immediate steps to correct it. We have made arrangements with Mr. Matikainen’s agency to pay him for the use of the photo.

    Thanks for pointing out our failure to uphold our own standards.

    –Martin Beck, Los Angeles Times

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      December 8, 2011

      Martin –

      thank you for taking the time to comment.

      And it’s a shame LA Times gets singled out in this – when there were dozens of other sites doing the same. It’s just that the standards a media like yours sets get applied as the common practice globally – now and in the years to come.

      I assume that your workflow is more or less similar as we have here in the North Pole in a standard newspaper website. That is: photo dept. has nothing to do with single images like this used on the site. They get chosen and downloaded by some young, inexperienced, underpaid, scared-for-his/her-job, stressed, pushed for time, etc. trainee who is lucky to have at least some job in the media (at least that would be the case in Finland…) – who really does not think further than “nice story, where do I grab an image to get along a.s.a.p?” before he/she just clicks away and grabs the first thing he/she can find on the screen.

      That person should not be there.

      You understand my point, I am sure.

      Our industry is in dire straits – as we know – and stunts like this are not the best way to increase the confidence of the reading public into our integrity as reliable and honest operators. At this time when we really would need that – i.e. to convince people that what we do is worth paying money for.

      If our m.o. is based on stealing, dishonesty and not respecting other professionals, how can we expect the paying public to have any faith in us?

      If our m.o. is based on stealing, dishonesty and not respecting other professionals, how can we expect the paying public to have any faith in us?

      In a way (and maybe to take the sting out of LA Times a bit…) there is sort of irony that “Hollywood Reporter” did the same. It is a publication not known to us here in the North Pole – but if I understand correctly (just talked to a friend of mine in Hollywood who pointed it out) – it is the biggest professional trade publication of the entertainment industry over there. And it focuses very strongly on issues such as – surprise, surprise – piracy.

      I at least personally see some sad irony in that…

      Reply
      • Tatu Blomqvist
        December 8, 2011

        “If our m.o. is based on stealing, dishonesty and not respecting other professionals, how can we expect the paying public to have any faith in us?”

        Very well put. Journalism was, is and is will be something most people want and need, and not only because it’s crucial to democracy and modern society, but because it’s just so interesting and entertaining. Still, at least here in Finland (or North Pole like Kari said) people wonder why do journalists need to be paid for their work, and why the hell are some of them even studying in the university?

        I find it very, very sad. At the same time, though, I know in many ways it’s our own fault. If the audience learns we as professionals don’t respect and value each other, our skills and knowledge, why should they?

        If the audience learns we as professionals don’t respect and value each other, our skills and knowledge, why should they?

        We all know the printed newspaper is going to disappear sooner or later (Kari would say sooner), but we also know pictures are still needed and stories are too. Last night I installed the Flipboard app to my iPhone and there it was again: one of the main categories of stories is “photography”, so clearly the app makers think it’s something that matters to people. And it does.

        What we, the media, need is some serious integrity. Not only inside the newsrooms but across the field. I know some might say it’s bad for the business to praise the work of my competitors, but hell, people like Magnus Wennman (a staff photographer with a website, how cool and rare is that?) and Maija Tammi (with whom I had the honor to study with) raise the level of respect towards the whole profession. That helps me, too. If the public respects photojournalism, they respect my profession. It’s that simple. If I don’t respect my fellow journalists, it will make a change and that’s what I’m most afraid of right now.

        Think about it: You walk to an Apple store to buy headphones for your iPod, but clerk makes it very clear they wouldn’t want pay for the accessories they have in their own store, because they don’t think the stuff is worth any money. How does that affect the image of the store itself? Why do they even bother having useless stuff in their shelves? Why would any newspaper want to tell the audience: “we are printing stuff that’s worth.. well.. nothing”.

        Why would any newspaper want to tell the audience: “we are printing stuff that’s worth.. well.. nothing”.

        Reply
    • Flupmd
      December 8, 2011

      Succinct – perfect – quick.

      Hats off Mr. Beck & LA Times.

      Reply
    • Lena Salmi
      December 9, 2011

      LA Times has abused my trust.

      Reply
  14. Janne
    December 8, 2011

    Peter V maksais varmaan miellellään ne muutamat sataset … jäbä oli niin tyytyväinen huomioon että melkein tuli ruudun läpi tv-haastattelussa teatterin jatkoilla.

    Reply
  15. Johan August Sandels
    December 8, 2011

    You wouldn’t download a car.

    Kysymykseni onkin, jollekkin asiasta enemmän tietävälle. Jos lehti ostaa kuvan Matilta, niin onko se siltä lehdeltä yhtään mitään pois? Kai niihinkin pätevät kaikenmaailman hankintavähennykset tai vastaavat.

    Ja vaikka eivät saisikaan vähennyksiä, niin luulisi, että sadan euron hyvitys on aika helvetin olematon menokulu verrattuna menekkiin. Sata euroa lienee k.o. valokuvaajalle kuitenkin iso raha.

    Reply
  16. Hopper Stone
    December 8, 2011

    1) Johan: It’s not that 100 euros is a lot of money to the photographer. But 100 euros multiplied by dozens of outlets is.
    2) The Hollywood Reporter also ran the photo on their site, giving Matti credit. I’m wondering if they paid to use it. The HR is the Wall Street Journal of the American entertainment industry. It’s an industry paper/site…not an entertainment site. They write about the business of Hollywood and the issues they face. A lot of what gets written about is how Hollywood is losing billions to online piracy. If they didn’t pay to use Matti’s photo, well, that’s beyond shameful and not a little hypocritical.

    Reply
  17. Indigo, anonymous
    December 8, 2011

    As a picture “consumer” it would however be nice that when something is spreading in the net, it wouldn’t be stifled by licensing schemes thought up in the dinosaur age. And no, I’m not referring to “everything should be free”, but to the fact that actually contacting the image author or owner should not be necessary for licensing it for reuse – all the licensing hassle will cause an unacceptable delay in the publication.

    If there’s a culturally tickling Angry bird dress seen in the wild, it should be reported now, not on next week when the lawyers have held three meetings. And yes, a picture is quite relevant to a reporting like that.

    I’m guessing that the mentioned publications would’ve happily paid for the picture, if there was a working infrastructure for using images like that legally and commercially. It’s not always about stealing and being mean.

    Reply
    • Tatu Blomqvist
      December 8, 2011

      It’s true that freelance photographers should have image banks where customers could download pictures for commercial use. Many have that kind of a system, but not even a majority, I think.

      BUT. There is a working infrastructure: contact the photographer and ask for the permission to use the image. It usually involves the need for a monetary transaction.

      Every editorial photographer I know get assignments by phone and email daily if not many times per day, so I guess there are very few professionals that read their emails and text messages more often than photographers. You can try it yourself: send an email or call any professional Finnish photojournalist and ask if you can BUY their photograph for a publication. I can guarantee you’ll get the image before “next week”.

      Of course it’s a whole different story if you need the picture for free. You can try that too: send an email to your local repair shop and ask if they could send someone to repair your fridge for free and see, if you get an answer.

      Reply
      • kkuukka
        December 8, 2011

        Yes, we all get that “I don’t have budget for images… but I WILL mention your name”.

        Duh??

        Yes, we do read our email like constantly – it is our professional lifeline so to speak as you say. And our cellphone is on 24/7.

        Nowadays, when I get those emails, I politely refer them to the website of a fellow professional: (I actually asked Tony for permission to translate that into Finnish, but he has not answered yet): http://tonysleep.co.uk/node/687

        Worth reading and contemplating upon.

        Reply
      • Anonymous bastard
        December 8, 2011

        Is there an app for that? Seriously. There should be at least with these kinds of events as the Itsenäisyyspäivän vastaanotto. Freelancer takes photo, uploads it directly from the camera to some repository and paper buys it with some nifty micropayment or something. I don’t think Scoopshoot has taken of yet?

        Reply
    • ketchup
      December 8, 2011

      Professional photographers sell their shots fit a living. To buy a picture, you don’t need a lawyer, you just need a credit card. Or, if the culturally tickling is that important for you, but you don’t want to spend the money, you can be there at the occasion and shoot tour own pictures. Or find someone who does it for free.

      Just don’t try to find lame excuses why stealing is ok.

      P.S.: Swift reply from L.A. Times, how the others pay up as well.

      Reply
  18. Teija Björkskog
    December 8, 2011

    Kestääkö enää kauaa kun joka kuvan päällä netissä on “vesileima-teksti”: This was stolen from XXX, ask for original from XXX@XXX.com …?

    Reply
  19. Matti Matikainen
    December 8, 2011

    Yö on ihmeellistä aikaa, kuten kaikki varmaan huomasitte mitä sosiaalinen media saa aikaan -todellista vipinää- , jopa L.A times vastaa tätä kautta. Kari blogillasi on todella merkitystä -oikeasti – on todella hienoa että kerroit tarinani blogissasi ja sain näin asian kuuluviin kauttasi. Blogisi on paras paikka oikeille asioille kuten kaikki huomaatte. Itse en bloggaile tai ole Facebookissa, mutta nyt täytyy harkita uudestaan. Ilman tätä kirjoitusta tilanne voisi olla osin aivan jotain muuta. Minun kannalta asia on nyt hyvässä hoidossa, kuvatoimisto Polariksen avustuksella- kiitos siitä Markku Vuorelalle. NPPA:n lakimiehet lopettivat nyt asian hoitamisen Amerikassa.
    Kari iso kiitos

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      December 8, 2011

      Huomenta –

      (älä nyt minua kiitä, minä vaan auon päätäni…). Jep, niin sanotusti vähän pamahti, olet ehkä katsonut noita numeroita tuossa blogin sivussa…

      Hyvä, että asia on hoidossa ja saat asianmukaisen korvauksen kuvista. Mutta kuten molemmat hyvin tiedämme – olemme siitä puhuneet – kyse on periaatteista joilla media, jopa yhteiskuntamme toimii. Suuria sanoja suustani, mutta kun se on niin.

      En rupea enempää tähän saarnaaman aiheesta – luit varmasti vastaukseni Martin Beckille LA Timesiin. Siinä on kiteytettynä mitä asiasta ajattelen. Aivan kuten oli tilanne noin vuosi sitten kun nostin itse esille HS:n käyttäytymisen vähän vastaavanlaisessa tapauksessa, ei tässäkään ole kysymys rahasta, vaan tekemisen säännöistä ja moraalista. LA Times, NYT, WP, Guardian, jopa HS… nämä kaikki luovat ne säännöt/käytännöt joilla alamme/media – ja yhteiskunta – toimii.

      Reply
      • PR
        December 8, 2011

        “…ei tässäkään ole kysymys rahasta, vaan tekemisen säännöistä ja moraalista…”

        Mitä jeesustelua tämä on? Rahastahan tässä on kysymys: pointtisi on koko ajan olllut, että moraalisesti oikeanlaiseksi toiminnan tekee se, että kuvien käytöstä maksetaan; tekemisen oikeat säännöt ovat ne, että kuvista pitää saada rahaa.

        Reply
  20. Petri Kokko (@coccco)
    December 8, 2011

    Kari ja Matti,

    Helppo tapa tarkistaa, mihin kuva on levinnyt on vetää kuva Googlen kuvahaun hakukenttään. Löysin samantien kuvan 283 sivulta netistä.

    Terv.
    Petri

    Reply
    • Hannu
      December 8, 2011

      Petri se on googlen mies viimeseen asti =)

      Reply
  21. Ethan
    December 8, 2011

    Punish them. on one hand they support SOPA but it doesnt seem to apply to them

    Reply
  22. c. kent
    December 8, 2011

    Kannattaa photoshopissa lisätä sellainen seminäkyvä vesileima kuviin joita pitää kotisivuillaan. Jos ne napataan paikasta johon on saanut ne myytyä niin keissi on silloin tämän paikan ja napanneen osapuolen välinen asia. Karu maailma mutta asia ratkeaa heti kun jotkut fiksut insinöörit kehittävät systeemin jolla vain maksanut taho saa ehjän kuvan itselleen.

    Ja tuollaisissa tilanteissa ei kannata mennä nukkumaan kun pressi herää atlantin takana kun täällä simahdetaan. Voi vastailla puhelimeen jne.

    Reply
  23. Petri Sirkkala
    December 8, 2011

    I wonder if Iltasanomat has proper copyright printed under the image. I mean maybe the LA Times would have got Matti as the photographer, if Iltalehti would have tagged the photo appropriately on their site.

    Reply
  24. SPaS
    December 8, 2011

    Some big newspapers – get themselves caught stealing 100$. I understand so-called artists like Timbaland stealing samples from real artists because it fits their “playa/hustla” – image, but squeaky-clean newspapers? Now it’s just going to cost them more in compensations, lawyer fees, extra PR…

    Reply
  25. SH from Finland
    December 8, 2011

    Great post and important matter! It’s definitely not (only) about money in this case and any media or newspaper who stole the image should be ashamed. It feels LA Times can get away with way too little on this one, if they simply resolve the situation by paying a fee (which is very low indeed!) afterwards. I do not think this truly remedies or covers the issue and the damage that was done (also to their own imago), but I guess it is acceptable.

    Reply
  26. No ownership, no cry | joker.iki.fi
    December 8, 2011

    […] This is exactly why I do open source rather than try to own stuff that is purely information. While I feel bad for Mr. Kuukka, I still feel quite lucky that in my business I really don’t need to try to own the stuff I publish under my own name. […]

    Reply
  27. michi
    December 8, 2011

    Maybe if the media took a bit more interest in the war veterens and people who actually lived through the war instead of dresses then independence day could actually be called a rememberence day. I work in a hospital and talked with many people there who lived through the war who said they dont care who has the best dress & finland only cares about celebs and those who had the mannerhemin cross awards. sure havd a huge party for celebs and dresses but would it not be suited more for new years eve rather than a day we should be thanking the real people who gave Finland independance?

    Reply
    • Antti
      December 8, 2011

      Well Michi…

      27th of April is Veteran’s day in Finland. The people who actually gave Finland Independence was the Finnish senate (declaration of Independence), the parliament (approving the declaration) and ultimately Lenin (recognizing Finland’s independence). I acknowledge that there are 40000 veterans from the previous war still with us, and their ultimate sacrifice helped us keep our independence, but it is a logistical impossibility to invite all of them to this particular event.

      The President invites whoever she pleases, and surely Rovio is a significant modern contributor to Finnish culture.

      Anyways, the matter really discussed in this forum would be just as relevant to the photographer, if the stolen photo, was taken of a Mannerheim Cross bearer.

      Reply
  28. Arno
    December 8, 2011

    Matti,
    Sue the bastards for everything they’ve got. We’re talking US here, they sue each other for absurd amounts of money over absurdly trivial issues.
    I know it’s not about the money, and that you’ve decided to donate everything to charity (thumbs up for that alone already!), but those ignorant stupid idiots shouldn’t think that they can get away with everything.
    No one gets to steal, not even them.

    Reply
  29. Lyndsy Simon
    December 8, 2011

    While I’m certainly no longer a “professional” photographer in the true sense of the word – I don’t make my primary income from it – it disgusts me how photogs are treated online. Lately, I’ve seen it spread to the real world, too.

    There was a plane forced down due to mechanical failure a few weeks ago near where I live. I was visiting family, about a half mile from the landing site, and heard about it from a friend – of course, I grabbed my kit and took off to document it.

    I got some very good photographs of the plane, the damage on the wings from it going through a fence, and of the emergency response. It was below freezing, and I was the only photographer on the scene.

    There was only about 15 minutes to shoot before it got dark, and when I was done, I drove directly to the office of our local newspaper. The assistant editor was there, and he reviewed my photos, agreed they were suitable for use in the headline article the next morning, and offered to give me credit for them.

    I refused. I don’t need “credit” from a local newspaper – I can’t imagine what benefit that would provide. Apparently, though, that was their expectation. I was informed that they had no budget whatsoever for buying photos, ever.

    The next day, they ran the story with a dark, noisy shot from a first responder’s iPhone on the cover of their paper.

    I just don’t get it. I know everyone today is a “photographer”, but has the market for photography really completely evaporated?

    Reply
    • Maurits
      December 8, 2011

      I don’t get it when a newspaper says they have no budget for photographs.
      Even the free newspaper Metro in Finland can pay up to 100€ for a photo to a photographer, which i assume would have let them use the photo for free!
      Why would LA-Times then have a “no budget” for a photo they really want, that’s just ridiculous!

      It can’t be that hard to pick up the phone and call the photographer and just ask it they can use the photo he/she has taken. I bet it would take 2-3 minutes to get permission to use it and just write the photographers name under the picture.

      Reply
  30. Martyn Drake
    December 8, 2011

    It reminds me of the time when I used to put all my photos on a self-hosted photo gallery. A few people whom I worked with occasionally looked at them. I then left the company to work elsewhere.

    Imagine my surprise when I bought a magazine to find one of my photos used in an advertisement for my former employer? I could definitely prove it was my photo – and indeed did – and you know what my former employer said when I cornered them about this?

    “Well, if it’s on the internet then it must be free”

    The photo didn’t have any watermarks or a big (C) symbol – I naively believed that the photos were strictly for personal enjoyment for friends and family. When I asked about compensation and what I’d have liked they told me, “Well – we’ll pay you £75. And that’s only because you’re a former employee”.

    I swear that if it wasn’t so blooming expensive to employ lawyers I would have dragged them through the courts and have ensured that everybody knew what they were up to. The stupidest thing about this was that they were an ISP and web host. They should know a lot better than “well, if it’s on the internet then it must be free”.

    Thankfully I’ve since worked for far better employers in the same industry who understand what copyright and IP means.

    Reply
  31. Olli Pitkänen
    December 8, 2011

    Are you sure that the picture is actually copyrighted? In many European countries, a work needs to express significant creativity in order to be copyrightable. In the USA, less creativity is required, but even there, according to the US Supreme Court, “the sine qua non of copyright[ability] is originality” and it “means only that the work was independently created by the author . . . and that it possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity.” (Feist Publications, Inc., v. Rural Telephone Service Co., Inc., 499 U.S. 340, 345, 111 S.Ct. 1282, 1287, 113 L.Ed.2d 358, 1991.) It is often very difficult to tell, if a photograph is copyrightable. See, eg, Leigh v. Warner Brothers, Inc., 212 F.3d 1210, 1214, (11 Cir. 2000).

    Tekijänoikeus edellyttää luovuutta, itsenäisyyttä ja omaperäisyyttä. Eikö tuo kuva ole varsin samanlainen kuin muutkin samassa tilanteessa otetut jonotuskuvat? Näkyykö siinä kuvaajan persoonallisuus jollain tavalla? On ihan mahdollista ettei tekijänoikeus lainkaan koske tuota valokuvaa.

    Tekijänoikeuslain 49 a §:ssä on lisäksi säädetty valokuvaajan oikeudesta, joka ei edellytä luovuutta: valokuvaajalla on yksinomainen oikeus määrätä valokuvasta vaikkei siinä olisi mitään itsenäistä ja omaperäistä, mutta tämä oikeus ei ole kansainvälinen eikä rajoita esimerkiksi amerikkalaisen mediatalon oikeutta käyttää verkosta löytämäänsä kuvaa.

    Niin, on varmasti epäreilua ja moraalitonta käyttää toisen kuvia ilman lupaa, mutta välttämättä se ei ole laitonta eikä oikeuta korvauksiin.

    En mitenkään halua vähätellä yleisesti ottaen valokuvaajien oikeuksia kuviinsa tai valokuvaajan oikeutta saada korvaus ja tunnustusta työstään, mutta on myös tunnustettava, ettei ihan mikä tahansa kuva ehkä ole tekijänoikeuden suojaama. Valokuvaajan mahdollisuus ansaita sellaisillakin kuvilla pitää perustua johonkin muuhun kuin tekijänoikeuteen, esimerkiksi siihen, että työnantaja haluaa lähettää valokuvaajan paikalle ottamaan kuvia ja maksaa siitä palkkaa.

    Reply
  32. Max Hodges
    December 8, 2011

    > the point was never about the money .

    bullshit. it was about the money.

    Reply
  33. Linda V
    December 8, 2011

    It all boils down to copyright. And it really seems to be (BIG) publishers of TV-shows, music and films are very very hung up on it. They fight the people on several fronts, for example the Pirate Bay and other file sharing facilitators. What I fail to understand is HOW pictures are in any way different? Oh I know. It is again the BIG (here a media company) against the small (single photographer). So really: copyright is owned by the big, the small have no right? Right?

    ps. A month or two ago I spotted an image on an image sharing site on the internet and recognised it by the style to be one of a Danish artist I like. What really irked me was that there was NO credit to her. Maybe all images should start including the artist’s or photographer’s name IN the image? People seem to forget it so easily.

    Reply
  34. Kk-
    December 8, 2011

    Naurettavaa vikisemistä. Iltalehti on yleisölle avoin nettijulkaisu, jolloin lain mukaan kaikki kyseessä olevat kuvat, ja jopa tekstisisältö ovat julkisessa levityksessä ja kaikille avoin.

    Tietämättömyyteen et voi lakiperäisissä asioissa ikinä vedota, sillä se ei päde. Jos kuva ei olisi ollut netissä tätä ennen, tai se olisi ollut yksityis-sivustolla, eli sivustolla jonne pääsemiseen yleensä tarvitaan salasanaa, tai muuta vastaavaa, olisi asia aivan toisin.

    Eli typeryydessänne olette antaneet kuvan vapaaseen nettilevitykseen sitä tiedostamatta, ja nyt yritätte hakea hyvityksiä sen jälkeen. Ei tule onnistumaan, aivan sama millaiseen leikkiliittoon sitä kuuluu, lakia ne eivät pysty vääntämään, ei suuretkaan.

    Translated from above into english;

    Laughable whining. Iltalehti (finnish tabloid-like paper) is a public internet site, and therefore under law all pictures on said site, as well as the text content are of public domain according to laws of both our country, as well as the U.S.

    Ignorance is not an excuse, when it comes to the matters of law. If the picture had not been released publicly on the internet prior to this, or it had been only accessible on private sites, such as sites that require a password or subscription to access, the matter would be clearly different.

    So, to sum it up (TL;DR) they have, in their idiocy, given the picture away to a public internet site, where from LA Times picked the picture up (which was now public domain), and now they are attempting to get payments for this. Won’t work out, no matter what kind of union they’re part of, as unions can’t bend the law to their will, no matter what their size is.

    Reply
    • Tim in Colorado
      December 9, 2011

      >Laughable whining. Iltalehti (finnish tabloid-like paper) is a public internet site, and therefore under law all pictures on said site, as well as the text content are of public domain according to laws of both our country, as well as the U.S.

      This is absolutely and completely incorrect, at least with respect to the U.S., and I suspect also in Finland (because of the ubiquity of IP treaties).

      “Publishing” an image, even for free, does NOT release the image into the public domain. In fact it’s challenging to ever release something into the public domain, even intentionally.

      “Publishing” an image, even for free, does NOT release the image into the public domain.

      I tend to think Copyright laws are TOO strong: 75 years after the death of the creator or 100 years after creation are WAY too long. But they are what they are, and spreading ignorance about the law is never a good thing.

      Reply
    • Tony Sleep
      December 10, 2011

      KK . Oh dear. Copyright is not subject to your creative improvisations. Just about everything on the internet is created by someone and they, or their employer, automatically owns copyright.

      Go and read the Berne convention, which is the agreed basis for national copyright law throughout almost every country in the world http://www.law.cornell.edu/treaties/berne/overview.html

      Reply
  35. Marko
    December 8, 2011

    Eikö työnantaja maksanut Matille kuvien ottamisesta? Oliko kuva jotenkin itsenäinen ja omaperäinen? Ihan erityylinen kuin muut kättelykuvat? Rajoittaako tekijänoikeuslain 49 a pykälän mainitsema valokuvaajan yksinomainen oikeus määrätä valokuvasta, vaikka siinä ei olisi mitään itsenäistä tai omaperäistä myös vaikkapa ulkomaisia mediayhtiöitä?

    Reply
  36. Taina
    December 8, 2011

    Minä osaan leipoa kakkua ja pullaa, miljoonat osaavat, mutta ei niitä silti saa kaupasta varastaa. Tiedoksi, että niillä miljoonan kameran omistajalla on yhtä lailla oikeus omiin kuviinsa. Ei yksityishenkilöidenkään nettisivuilta saa kuvia ottaa julkiseen käyttöön.

    Reply
  37. Jouni
    December 8, 2011

    In Finland actually ( without beeing a lawer), if you want to publish a photo of someone, you must have a written permission from the person. Quite agreable, do you think?
    Without the permission one can publish news-photographs, which are not copyrighted.

    Perhaps using some watermark- program would have been practical also. Like printing the photographers name in the picture?

    Reply
    • Olli Pitkänen
      December 8, 2011

      Jouni, in general, you don’t need a permission to publish a photo in Finland even if there is a recognizable person. For example, you may take a photo in a public place and publish it for journalistic or artistic reasons. However, you need a permission for commercial purposes like advertisements. And, you shouldn’t even take a picture without consent in domestic areas (at somebody’s home) or in defamatory context.

      Reply
  38. donkyhoy
    December 8, 2011

    is there no software to attach to images to trace their movement when stolen?

    Reply
  39. jouni
    December 8, 2011

    Todella kiehtovaa. Mielestäni tätä ei voi verrata mitenkään laittomaan lataamiseen netistä.
    Kyseessähän on toiselta kopioiminen myytäväksi. Jos lataan tuon kuvan koneelleni ja laitan sen taustakuvaksi, se kai olisi Ok ?
    No kuitenkin… Oikeus on ilmeisesti tapahtunut, ja Yleäkin kiinnostaa. Ilmoititteko itse jutusta Yleisradioon ?

    http://yle.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/2011/12/suomalaisen_kuvia_kaytetty_royhkeasti_luvatta_maailmalla_3089384.html

    Reply
  40. Grumpy Bird
    December 8, 2011

    Daily Mail used the photo too:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2071128/Wife-Rovio-boss-turns-palace-wearing-Angry-Birds-dress.html

    Today, it seems to be credited to Matti. Yesterday it wasn’t. Did they pay Matti for it?

    I tried to ask Daily Mail about it, but interestingly they didn’t publish my comment on the article. All I said was “A question to Daily Mail: Did you pay the photographers who took these pictures and whose livelihood depends on it?” That was followed by a link to this blog.

    Glad to hear LA Times is now doing the right thing!

    Reply
    • Tatu Blomqvist
      December 9, 2011

      I’d like to stress one simple thing that I hope everyone find easy to understand:

      Using a photo for commercial purposes is very, very different from a situation where someone copies a photo from internet to their hard drive just to enjoy it or to use it as a wallpaper etc.

      Getting profit from someone else’s work without paying is just wrong. People producing goods that can be digitally reproduced are of course very vulnerable, but the ability to do something is not much of a justification.

      Getting profit from someone else’s work without paying is just wrong. People producing goods that can be digitally reproduced are of course very vulnerable, but the ability to do something is not much of a justification.

      Reply
      • kkuukka
        December 9, 2011

        Thank you –

        I have always admired/appreciated your way with words – seeing the essence of things and expressing it so clearly.

        Reply
      • Bob Hannent (@bobdvb)
        December 9, 2011

        I’m no journalist but I spent over five years working in international media and still work on the fringe. I often gets looks of confusion from colleagues and friends when I tell them to be careful of copyright. If I am preparing a presentation I like to ensure that I used rights free, Creative Commons or paid licence media. On the rare occasions that I present in public I always ensure I have all my bases covered.

        If I can do this for simple business presentations (not even mentioning media events or PR) then I am sure that a major news publication should do so. Especially as so many of these media companies are the same ones campaigning against piracy and copyright theft by the public? If you can’t justify the amount of money the owner of the media asks then don’t use it!

        Reply
  41. Rita Junnila
    December 9, 2011

    Here’s the thing. I work for a company that licenses imagery. Our photographers’ work is our bread and butter, without them we would have nothing to sell. Publications, websites and blogs using our photographers’ work and then saying “well we gave credit to the photographer”…well, that’s unacceptable. Many, many of these comments seem to imply that “giving credit” is enough.

    When I issue a paycheck, I expect to be paid for the work. Printing my name as the person who created the check isn’t going to pay my rent or for any of my financial obligations. Payroll is my profession, and I deserve fair compensation for my work.

    No more does anyone in our sales department expect to be paid in kudos for bringing in new business.

    And I would be willing to bet that no one who is commenting on this blog who is not a musician, photographer or writer expects to be paid in “well done” and “thanks for your work”, and “look at this great report Carl did”. You expect to be paid in money which you can exchange for things that you need and buy from other people who also expect to be paid in money.

    So while it isn’t about the EUR 100 that Matti was specifically requesting for the printing of his work, it is ALSO about money, even though the principle is what’s being discussed in this blog.

    Even if you have a blog which you allow others to read for free, you would want the option to allow it to be printed elsewhere “for credit” or for money. You want to control the fruits of your work.

    I don’t know what else to say, but to me the idea of stealing intellectual property and then claiming that “EUR 100 isn’t that much money” or saying “well, didn’t they credit the photographer?” is dismissive of the issue that photography is Matti’s career and the work he does to support his family, just like I do payroll and others are baristas, stockbrokers, teachers or anyone else does any job. It’s not making $5 an hour or $1 million a year that’s the point. The point is that we all expect compensation for our work, and it’s not unreasonable for Matti to, also, even if “all” he does is “take pictures”.

    Reply
    • kkuukka
      December 9, 2011

      Rita –

      you expressed it very clearly and hopefully people take the time to read what you said and absorb it.

      These are huge principles we are discussing here… and it is extremely alarming to see how some people do not see the theft of intellectual/immaterial as a crime.

      Like justifying killing somebody with “well, it was only a kid/racial minority/whatever, so it really doesn’t matter, there will be more…” Maybe that is too strong an example – I hope nobody gets offended – but I feel very strongly about this.

      But then again: I am also very relieved and happy to see some of the commentary (such as yours) expressing true understanding and concern on the matter on the level of principles governing our actions, the m.o of our chosen field (media) and those of our society. Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
  42. Wild Rumpus
    December 9, 2011

    The business model of freelance photography is changing.

    Great photographers like Matti Matikainen will always be needed, respected, and paid, but he needs to get paid by the organization hosting the party, not the old model of (hopefully) selling photos.

    The more of his photos that go viral, the more he will be in demand. The more he is in demand, the more he will get paid by promoters to attend events. It IS possible to do your art and get paid – you just gotta get paid by the people with the money.

    Matti could also look on the lighter side – the publicity he is getting from having his image stolen by the LA TImes is worth way more than whatever he invested in that one night of shooting!!

    I am a freelance videographer myself, so I really share the concerns you are bringing up here and appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Tony Sleep
      December 10, 2011

      Be careful what you wish for. What you’ll get is selectively edited, jaundiced, self serving guff that advances the paying client’s interests. That is not journalism (which believe it or not is capable of serving readers’ interests). It’s what us old-timers call “bullshit”. .. well let’s just forget any hope of democracy if that gains any traction.

      That is not journalism (which believe it or not is capable of serving readers’ interests). It’s what us old-timers call “bullshit”. .. well let’s just forget any hope of democracy if that gains any traction.

      Reply
      • Tony Sleep
        December 10, 2011

        I should have said “any more traction”. The tail has been wagging the dog so hard and for so long it has nearly beaten it to death already. Integrity and trust are sine qua non (look out the window to see the consequences of sacrificing them for the sake of profit).

        Integrity and trust are sine qua non (look out the window to see the consequences of sacrificing them for the sake of profit).

        Reply
  43. Just wondering.
    December 9, 2011

    What’s the lesson of the story ? Make a company, steal someones work, make profit, compensate the original author with peanuts (if he/she asking kindly with a bunch of lawyers) and everybody is happy ?

    It is a bit weird indeed since if i’d download (stole) something for my private pleasure let’s say mp3, movies, whatever, and get caught their company lawyers will even take my old dirty trousers plus that i’d be paying the compensations for the rest of my life… or end up in jail…

    Reply
  44. JJ
    December 9, 2011

    For example a web site http://www.pixdaus.com/

    99% of pictures there are copied from some other page

    Reply
  45. Kaisa Kyläkoski
    December 9, 2011

    Kommentti toisaalta (http://timosuvanto.blogspot.com/2011/12/varkaus-vai-sitaatti.html ) tekee asioista jo aivan liian vaikeita pienelle päälleni.

    Reply
  46. -
    December 9, 2011

    Peter Vesterbacka is not the creator of angry birds.

    Reply
  47. kniemi
    December 9, 2011

    That’s funny that everywhere you find people who are worried about piratism and illegal copies when you talk about music and films. Nobody seems to be interested the same thing with photos.

    Reply
  48. Hyde R. Parks
    December 9, 2011

    You say it’s not about the money, but it always is, if it wasn’t this blog post would not be. If the picture was of something else, let’s say President Halonen tripping and pouring a drink on her dress, or some guest doing the “Mr. Bean” on Halonen, and it was to be caught on camera, ill promise you that the picture/s would have a price tag, and it would be high.

    In this case, the picture is of an evening dress of low-taste, worn by meaningless person. Why would this picture be worth something? This piece of news is in the same category as those wannabe-celeb blogs, or in Finland it’s called seiska, hell even they pay for good footage.

    My point is simply, good footage equals a good price.

    Reply
    • Yaume
      December 9, 2011

      I don’t see your logic here, if this photo is so worthless why some many newspapers feel the urge to publish it without taking the time to ask (and eventually negociate if the first price is to high) ?

      If it’s worthless, you don’t need to publish it right now, without delay.

      I’m not photographer, or journalist or something like that, i was working in computer programming and now i’m studying to become some kind of librarian in school in France (mix between librarian and teacher, i don’t know the word in english or even if a name exists :) ). So my only link to this is just the information treatment if you want to find link,
      (i don’t even play angry birds ^^)

      Reply
      • Yaume
        December 9, 2011

        ouch it’s not “some many” but “so many” sorry

        Reply
  49. Chirag Wakaskar
    December 9, 2011

    Appaling to say the least, In India particularly most publishers seem to assume if its on the interenet its free to publish, early last year CNN has published an image of mine which was flicked off facebook (with a credit line saying that) I emailed them to take the image off which they did promptly but their whole attitude was dissapointing. As a freelance photographer it is almost mandatory for webbased publishing for getting work & having a portfolio up, publications abuse this.

    Reply
  50. LA Times Apologizes for Illicit Use of Angry Birds Photo - FishbowlLA
    December 9, 2011

    […] On behalf of his pal, freelance Finnish photographer Matti Matikainen, English-language blogger Kaari Kuuka minced no words Monday when he wrote about the unpaid use by the LA Times and others of a December 6 photo depicting the marketing director of Angry Birds developer Rovio (pictured), together with the exec’s wife. The post was titled: “LA Times et al.: Do You Have to Suck the Sweat out of my Balls now that I am Dead?” […]

    Reply
  51. Say It Ain’t So, LA Times … « Writing From the Right Side of the Stall
    December 9, 2011

    […] Read this blog today, addressed to the LA Times. […]

    Reply
  52. Bloggers: You Can Still Get $$ Out of Newspapers « Darin R. McClure – The Good Life In San Clemente
    December 10, 2011

    […] Photographer Kari Kuukkacatches the big media five-fingering a photo: […]

    Reply
  53. jidam tarabo
    December 10, 2011

    Pitäisiköhän runoilijoidenkin ruinata fyrkkaa joka hemmetin lainauksesta, joka on niiden kirjasta julkaistu. Lähteen maininta on tähän asti riittänyt.

    Reply
    • Linda V
      December 12, 2011

      Lainauksesta ei. Mutta jos koko runon jossain julkaiset niin sitten kyllä niiden pitäisi saada rahaa, samoin jos painat koko kirjan. Miksi ihmeessä musiikkiyhtiöt ja elokuva-ala ruinaa aina kun joku lataa kaverilta biisin tai leffan? Mikä ero tähän verrattuna?

      Reply
  54. JohnArmstrong-Millar (@ArmstrongMillar)
    December 10, 2011

    For goodness sake.. quite whining and issue a takedown notice

    Reply
  55. Älä kopioi, äläkä varasta! - Viestintää ja vierestä
    December 14, 2011

    […] Tarkoitukseni ei ole väheksyä kenenkään tekijänoikeuksia, joten älä vielä teilaa! Tekijänoikeudet ovat erinomainen ja välttämätön asia kaikille, jotka luovat jotakin työssään. Hyvä esimerkki tästä on itsenäisyyspäivän aikaan sattunut tapaus, jossa suomalaisen valokuvaajan kuva Linnan juhlista ja Angry Birds -puvusta levisi kulovalkean tavoin maailman nettilehdissä – ilman lupaa tietenkin. Onneksi tämä tapaus saatiin selvitettyä. […]

    Reply
  56. Seppo
    January 7, 2012

    Get a Life?

    Reply

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