Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Unfair Advantage

If you're a photographer who shoots on white seamless, what's wrong with using someone elses' work to sell yourself on a website? Heck, why not grab some of Avedon's works to show what your work would look like, since he's no longer making photos. The clients won't know they're not your photos. What's the harm? Well, in a nutshell, you are stealing someone elses' work in order to make you look better, more capable, or otherwise promote you.

What about the use of music on your website?
(Continued after the Jump)

If I am a wedding photographer, and I am using tracks from Triple Scoop Music, or Broken Joey Records, is it fair to compete against a local photographer who is using U2's "Beautiful Day" on their website as an audio track to their wedding portfolio slideshow? Setting aside that most consultants recommend against music on websites (the bride and/or groom are likely looking for a photographer in their cubicle in their office, after all), the other photographer is taking an unfair illegal advantage when doing things like this.

I previously wrote about photographers stealing other photographers' work (The Curious Case of Fink Photography, 12/10/08), and I've also written about photographers infringing on other creatives works (© Infringements - Don't be a Hypocrite, 3/23/08), so here's a solution. If you run across someone infringing on the copyright of musical recording, you can either report it because it's the right thing to do, or you can report it because it will eliminate an unfair advantage your competition has. Whatever your motivation, just submit the URL to this link: report piracy. Wouldn't you want someone to report to you that your work was stolen and being used by someone else for their benefit? Not only would I, I have benefited from the kindness of another photographer bringing to my attention the infringing uses of my work.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

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