There have been many times we’ve seen where creative or advertisement personnel from agencies and even companies ripping off images via Google search under the impression that it can be used by anyone just like that.
While press shots and certain photos with fixed creative commons are allowed to be shared and used by anyone, its unfortunate that individuals are not really aware of how things really work. Unfortunately, using a photographer’s work without their consent is not fair, and at most times these photographers are also professional who would expect to be compensated in exchanged.
At times like this, some people try to follow a saying “Its not illegal unless you’re caught” But unfortunately for them, this is the internet. Even though through some miracle they do acknowledge that they’ve ripped off from the internet, they’re tight lipped.
Such is the typical case when Moser Baer India ripped off a photo from a photographer ‘Kalpana Chatterjee’. The photo was uploaded in 7th October, 2010 and Moser Baer found it fancy to use it for their March 2013 calendar page. Kalpana’s work was featured (with her consent) in National Geographic and even on March 2012 edition of Spice Jet’s in-flight magazine “Spice Route”.
Like many typical scene of plagiarism, the watermark was cropped out. Kalpana Chatterjee said the following in her Facebook page:
What you see here in the picture is a Calendar.The Image used is mine . As usual the watermark has been removed , no permission taken to use it .This calendar has been used as a corporate gift to people .This time it is none other than MOSER BAER.
I have been fighting this case since the month of March 2013.Legal notices have been sent. Moser Baer claims this picture is theirs and also acknowledges having copied it and downloaded from Google search.
About 3 reminders for the notice have gone , awaiting a reply.
A case which is an ABSOLUTE OFFENCE AND OUTRIGHT IMAGE ABUSE AND THEFT.
Will Moser Baer India at the very least have the courtesy to reply back? What will they do? What about those who ripped off someone else’s photograph? Was it in-house or via an agency?Did Moser Baer make any efforts at all to contact the photographer(s) before using their work? What about other images? Only time will tell.
Moser Baer gave away these calendars as corporate gifts.