You stole my photo - Episode 8

This isn't the first time that this photo of Modupe Onilu has been used without my permission, but the first time was for an event I had some sympathy for. Onilu's been working hard to raise funds to continue his education as a musician and tossed this photo into a promotion for a fund-raising show.

We had a little exchange of e-mails about it and I gave my blessing for its use that time. Now the photo has showed up again, the identifying copyright information cropped out of it in an advertisement for shows being held as part of the Emancipation celebrations by the Emancipation Support Committee.

This is, in a word, kind of shitty.
Millions of dollars are being spent on this event. People are being flown in to perform. Hundreds of yards of African material are being ironed even as I write this.
Nobody, apparently, has the time to engage in a simple matter of rights clearances for images being used in a television advertisement?

The ad is one of those hastily thrown together things that makes use of clips and stills obviously gathered from myriad sources. It's one of the wonders of our modern age that a Google search can find so much material so quickly and another that almost anyone can create a broadcast quality clip out of it all.

But this sort of nastiness, outright theft of someone else's property with no regard for their rights to the material, will continue until two things happen.

One. The people who commission advertising of all kinds recognise their liability when copyrights are infringed and insist on rights clearances for the material being used in their promotions.

Two. When performers get their acts together and commission photography for publicity use that they can legitimately allow the producers of advertising materials to access when it's time to include their images in this sort of broadcast.

Someone, somewhere, grabbed this photo, originally shot for the online magazine, Outlish, stripped the identifying watermarks from it and made use of it. I don't care how short your deadlines are, nor does any court of law. You clear the works with the rights owner or you don't use the material.

Emancipation Support Committee, I demand to be liberated from this kind of oppression of my civil right to exploit the rewards associated with my hard work. Until then, you stole my photo.
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