Friday, July 02, 2010


A couple months ago, I noticed one of my photos had shown up on Cafe Press:

Flippin Detour

I took this photo in 2007 near Flippin, Arkansas.  AHTD had just opened a bypass and some of the signage had not been completed. The 178 shield was a bit odd (construction signage often is) so I snapped a photo.

Imagine my surprise when I found my photo on Cafe Press and someone selling shirts with the Flippin Business sign. If you look at my Flickr page, my photos say "All rights reserved". I've shared a few with a couple museums, but I have always requested my name be attached (as in "photo by..."). Well this guy didn't even bother. He simply lifted my photo and hoped I'd never notice.

So I contacted Flickr about this, only to be told in effect "This photo is on an external site so it's not our problem". Not your problem? This is MY photo stolen from YOUR site and it's not your problem?

I then contacted Cafe Press explaining my problem. Although reluctant at first, they eventually contacted the shop owner (who lives in Spain). A week later, I received notice that the photo had been removed and the shop owner was requesting permission to continue selling the goods produced with my pilfered photo.  I agreed, but only if the shop owner agreed to pay me a commission on all items he sold with my image. I never heard back. The photo is gone, but he is continuing to sell items produced from the photo.

So, let that be a lesson to everyone: anything you post on Flickr is subject to theft by a 3rd Party and neither they nor Cafe Press have any respect for intellectual property rights.

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