Local blogger Julie Belanger is peeved at 24 Heures. They published a photo of hers, without permission or credit, to illustrate a story.
It’s the kind of stuff you expect from amateur operations. Do a Google Image search and copy whatever looks good. Take a stock photo from Getty Images or iStock without paying for it. Or just go on Flickr, ignore the copyright or copyleft notices and use a photo for commercial uses, with or without attribution. TVA isn’t above it.
What makes this case interesting is the response she got from the editor: The photo was sent along with a press release, so they’re not responsible.
Whether or not this was done (the organization that sent it denies that any photo was attached and the release on Telbec backs them up), it’s the newspaper’s responsibility to ensure that photos and text they publish are not protected by copyright. Just like you can’t get away with having stolen merchandise just because you bought it from someone dirt cheap in good faith, you can’t simply pass the buck on copyright infringement.
If the organization sent the newspaper a photo and made it clear that there was no problem publishing it, then the newspaper should sue the organization and the photographer should sue both.
Sadly, because these photographers don’t have copyright lawyers on retainer, big media can simply screw them over.