More Copyright Woes

Copyright infringed photo, gunsite, Guy J. Sagi, stolen image, Remington R1 Enhanced

I’m not naming names, or providing links. Accidents happen. It’s easy to forgive the mistake of junior staff members who aren’t fully briefed on the rules if the problem is remedied. And if it’s a flagrant copyright violation, the website doesn’t deserve any more traffic. I try to be decent to companies and people because the former is usually the case. That makes sending a short and businesslike note, sometimes misconstrued as angry, tough. There’s no reason to burn bridges. Unfortunately, my landlord doesn’t accept “good will” for rent payment.

The image in question isn’t anything spectacular. I recognized it immediately, though, mainly because I’m one of the few gun writers around who keeps his flash running, inside, outside, even in my camera bag—usually not on purpose there, though. The habit doesn’t make me popular, but it improves image quality. A little fill flash goes a long way in the bright sun of Prescott, AZ. Let me know what you think. Is that fill flash a little much?

Copyright Fingerprints

My suspicions were confirmed when I found the camera Raw file on my hard drive. The photo is mine and that metadata in the file even carries my camera’s serial number. Fingerprint much? It’s not the primary purpose of shooting Raw files, but’s a nice benefit.

The moment at Gunsite wasn’t staged, apparently why editors like it. Catching something like this also means you can’t spend all day on the firing line—another reason I don’t win popularity contests. NRA used the photo before and can republish, but all other rights are mine. My dealings with this webmeister in the past have been few, far between and businesslike decent. There was never any correspondence about this image or its use, though. Other writers/photogs have reported copyright problems, but for me to report them here is the kind of hearsay that starts secondhand rumors. If I don’t like what I hear, or don’t hear, I’ll change my tune.

Legal Links

There are things you can do to protect your writing and images on the Internet. Rather than rehash them, here’s an awesome interview with an attorney who specializes in copyright law. The photography blogger does a great job with all the right questions. If you’re a blogger, writer or photographer, bookmark the link so you have permanent access to “official” complaint forms.

Only a few weeks ago another website grabbed one of my articles, stripped my byline from the text and published it in its entirety. I’m not holding my breath on clearing that one up without an attorney. The web host has not responded. I’ve heard nothing back from a contact provided by a WhoIs search and there’s no way to complain to the owner/writers directly.

This case is different. The owner isn’t hiding behind an alleged “spam” cloak and this is my first situation with him, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The image was taken with 50 mm lens, at shutter speed of 800, ISO 200 and f 7.1, in case you’re wondering. The event took place back when Remington was rolling out it R1 Enhanced. Of course, I only know that because I have the Canon Raw file, and was there, behind the camera, unlike the infringing website staff.

Stay tuned. I may provide links with the next update.