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October 17, 2012

Why do for-profit websites think they can republish other people's pictures for free?

Some people, including people who run camera and photography websites, seem to think that the internet is a giant copy machine, and they are entitled to republish any picture they find online, regardless. Some seem to think that it is okay to republish ANY picture as long as you include a credit, even if the picture/photographer does not explicitly or implicitly via Creative Commons or by other means allows the republication of their pictures.

This is even worse when the websites are for-profit websites, and they are loaded with advertisements and/or dozens of affiliate links. Somehow they feel they are entitled to other people's pictures because they don't want their articles or blog-posts to feel "naked" without a nice picture. But very few of them are willing to pay the photographer.

With that as a preface, popular buzz-worthy website BuzzFeed is facing a $1.3 million bill from a photography agency (Mavrix Photo). Buzzfeed used nine celebrity pictures from the Mavrix Photo arsenal. The story at Giga OM (via Techmeme, PetaPixel).

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