A photographer has discovered that a photo he took has been used without license in an advertisement for a watch company. The photos were supposedly found in a Lufthansa in-flight magazine ad promoting a "Bellevue Swiss Made" watch.
The photographer, Dani Diamond, was tipped off about this alleged copyright infringement by one of his fans online. He had taken a photo of a model named Nina Jade who had not allowed her likeness to be used in the advertisement either.
Diamond's photo was also used on Lufthansa's pre-flight shopping website, according to PetaPixel. But last we checked, we could not find the item on the Lufthansa website.
Diamond's photo was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Like most Creators who had their work stolen, Diamond is not interested in going up against a big corporation. "Lawyers wanted me to pay them to represent me and I had no interest in spending money fighting a large corporation and take a chance walking away with nothing," Diamond tells PetaPixel.
"It honestly doesn’t bother me that my image was stolen," Diamond says. "It happens so often that I’ve given up using my energy on it and prefer to just concentrate on making a living shooting fashion and use my energy there."
Lufthansa has not given its side of the story.
According to photographer John Harrington, the best way for a Creator to protect themselves from theft is to register for a copyright of their image in the first place. Harrington said it sounds obvious, but he noted that very few photographers are actually diligent about registering their copyrights.
A Creator with a registered copyright will not only have a stronger legal case against an infringer but will also get enhanced legal remedies, like having their legal bills paid if they win in court.
But before approaching the infringer, Creators need to do their research, and document as much information as they can find on the infringement. If the stolen image has been posted online, take a screenshot of the site with the image on it and download the page contents.
It is also not recommended for Creators to send the infringer an invoice if they do not know how pervasive the infringement is. An invoice sent too early might underestimate what the Creators are owed.
What do you think of bigger companies constantly getting away with copying from Creators? Comment below or at our Facebook page.