Ok, here’s the deal:
As you may have seen from our previous blog postings the Daily Mail Online used 3 of our pictures that they took from our twitter feed on election night. (These are pictures we took at the St Vincent Polling Station in Dalston on election day where large numbers of people were unable to vote because the high turnout caught the people in charge of the polling stations unawares)
Other news publications got in touch, a few used (and paid) for the shots. From the Daily Mail, however, we heard nothing.
It was thus to our great surprise that the following day the Daily Mail Online exhibited 3 of our pictures in their story of the the polling station chaos.
So here’s what we did:
We wrote them an invoice. Obviously. Following the advice of @documentally we took the standard rate per picture recommended by the NUJ, £130, and multiplied it by 3 for use without our knowledge, consent, or permission.
Thats £390. And because they used 3 of our pictures we multipled that by 3.
So we sent them and invoice for £1170 pounds.
Here’s their reply:
Thanks for the invoice.
Unfortunately we cannot pay the amount you have requested, these images were taken from twitpic and therefore placed in the public domain, also after consultation with Twitter they have always asked us to byline images by the username of the account holder.
We are more that happy to pay for the images but we’ll only be paying £40 per image.
Thats from Elliot Wagland, he’s the online picture editor for the Daily Mail, and despite his polite yet firm tone, he’s just plain wrong.
So what happened next?
We spoke to some friends, checked the terms on Twitpic (which clearly says “All images uploaded are copyright © their respective owners”), and wrote Elliot a similarly polite yet firm letter, explaining that he is wrong on the matter. Here it is:
Thank you for your email.
I’m afraid that you are wrong about the terms of publishing on Twitpic. If you read the terms of service you will see that copyright is clearly retained by the poster:
Third parties who wish to reproduce posted images must contact the copyright holder and seek permission.
You should have contacted me if you wanted to use the photos, as every other news outlet did. had you done so, you might have been in a position to get the photos for £40′s each.
However you didn’t contact me, even though this would have been very easy to do, nor did you inform me that you had used them. Instead, I had to uncover that you had used them, that one of them was not credited even with the correct twitter account, and that none were credited as I would have asked them to be.
I have taken advice from a number of knowledgeable people about this matter, and all are in agreement that your paper has clearly breached my copyright, and that the amount that I have requested is perfectly reasonable.
I would appreciate your paying this invoice in full as soon as possible.
Just Do It: Get Off Your Arse and Change the World
And we think Emily’s got it spot on here. It’s not that we overly want the money (though it will be well welcome), its not that we’re overly possesive about intellectual property, its that Elliot Wagland & co completely failed to do the decent thing and ASK. Its just bad manners, Marina Pepper certainly wouldn’t approve. This is a classic case of the big guy not giving 2 hoots about the little guy. So now the little guy wants £1170… and an apology.
The case continues…
FOR UPDATE SEE OUR MORE RECENT POST Making a Deal with the Devil