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Editor apologises after title uses photo without permission

A weekly newspaper editor has apologised after his title used a football photo posted on a fans’ website without permission.

The Croydon Advertiser was accused by an unnamed photographer of using an image of Crystal Palace footballers on its website, which they had originally posted on the Holmesdale Online fans’ forum.

The photographer, using the name the “Palacetinian”, started a discussion thread on the forum asking if the Advertiser was allowed to use photos without permission, calling it a “bleedin’ liberty”.

Editor Glenn Ebrey has apologised for the use of the photo, which he said was “unintentional” and has offered to make amends to the person who took it.

He told HTFP: “While putting together our Crystal Palace FC half-term report feature, we used a photo which we later discovered to be from a fans forum site.

“We have apologised for use of the photo, which was unintentional, and on Monday put forward an invitation to discuss some form of remedy, which I’m awaiting a response to.”

Responding to the concerns on the fan site, Glenn wrote: “The photo in question was, for whatever reason, in our system but is from this forum, so shouldn’t have been used without permission/request.

“I can only apologise for this – we are often targeted by national papers, etc.. pinching our photos and quotes, so are certainly not in the business of deliberately doing this ourselves.”

In his complaint about the Advertiser, the Palacetinian asked what the legal position was with photos posted on the Holmesdale Online site, which is known as HOL, adding that they did not like people taking them without permission.

The photographer added: “I’d be happy to invoice the Advertiser and give the funds to HOL. Anyone know what the legal position is? Can we add a copyright notice?”

Other posters on the forum also backed up the photographer, saying the paper should have requested permission before using the image.

The photo was published online by the Advertiser on 2 January and showed Palace footballers in a silent tribute to Nelson Mandela following his death.

11 comments

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  • January 13, 2014 at 9:51 am
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    How can one “unintentionally” uses a photo without permission?!

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  • January 13, 2014 at 10:06 am
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    Either the editor is apologising or he’s not. It’s simply not good enough for Mr Ebrey to write: “The photo in question was, for whatever reason, in our system.” Time to come clean and pay up.

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  • January 13, 2014 at 10:55 am
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    It’s b***ocks that nationals “pinch” photos. Quotes, maybe but not photos.
    It’ll be interesting to see how many paper’s ever pay for the “UGC” they lift from blogs. If I was the ‘tog, I’d invoice them at NUJ rates – sod an apology.

    Worth checking out musician Whitey’s response to someone who actually bothered to ask for a freebie…

    http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2013/11/06/whitey

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  • January 13, 2014 at 11:23 am
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    Funny how publishers like to use other people’s copyright free of charge and without permission yet don’t like their copyright work used without payment and permission.

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  • January 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm
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    “The photo in question was, for whatever reason, in our system…”
    Is the editor suggesting it appeared on their system by magic?

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  • January 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm
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    Looks like a bit of a storm in a teacup to me. Most of the Palace fan sites I’ve seen think nothing of copying and pasting entire interviews from local websites. As for how it finished up in the system, probably very easily. It happens and it’s hardly the crime of the century. Glenn’s apology seems pretty sincere to me.

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  • January 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm
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    Ian is spot on here, move on please! More important news to be reported

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  • January 14, 2014 at 11:23 pm
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    Copyright infringement is important, it should be reported, If you are in the news industry (either words or pictures) it is your source of income, so Ian & Sean, you are wrong

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  • January 15, 2014 at 12:02 am
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    Call me picky but all images I assume are have been licenced by football dataco as is a requirement for photography in the leagues. I’m intrigued as to how this photographer shooting from the stands seems to think he can sell his images.

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  • January 15, 2014 at 12:05 am
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    Ian

    “It’s hardly the crime of the century” you right it’s probably not, but that is totally irrelevant, as this is copyright infringement however you look at it….. This guy knew that they were using a nicked picture, he runs the budget for the photos in the paper, and would have known that this picture like others that they haven’t be caught out on, was not paid for…. if he didn’t then he really isn’t the right person for the job, so his bullshit response of “unintentional” is just another arse covering move which is the norm nowadays, as they have been caught out bang to rights….

    Rob

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  • January 15, 2014 at 12:39 am
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    It’s not ‘a storm in a teacup’ and if you were a photographer who made his/her living from photography then you might or should understand. Too many (for profit) companies believe that what is posted online is free to use for whatever reason – it is copyright infringement – when the photograph is used without permission or not under license. This might be a local newspaper but the next time it could be a National.

    The reason this local paper addressed the problem so quickly is that they know that photographers globally are now threatening legal action as the abuse as been going on for a long time. Here is a recent win for a photographer who’s work was also used almost in a replica situation: http://www.epuk.org/News/1039/infringer-who-originally-offered-150-forced-to-pay-20000-in-settlement

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