Those of you who know me know that I’m very generous with my photography.  I license 99% of my images Creative Commons noncommercial and am happy for anyone to use my images under the terms of that fairly liberal license.  It is a very specific license however.

I do make a fair amount of money licensing my images commercially and my general feeling is that if a for profit company wants to use an image, I’m happy to license it if they want to pay a fair licensing fee.

A few years back I was disgusted by an article that Valleywag wrote.  I had first hand knowledge of facts reported in the article and felt that Valleywag had purposely twisted a story in a dishonest way.

At that time I contacted +Nick Denton and asked him to remove any images of mine that had been published on Valleywag previously and asked that none of my images be used on his site in the future.  Valleywag complied and removed my images that they'd previously used.

Valleywag is part of Gawker, a commercial enterprise and as such is not entitled to use my images without my permission in violation of my license.  It’s also a publication I’d rather my work not be associated with.

So I was disappointed tonight to see that Valleywag had written an article that I felt was disparaging towards +Kevin Rose and that they used a photograph of mine without authorization, payment or approval.

What’s just as bad is that when notified about this infringement Kevin Montgomery the author of the piece seemed to suggest that because my photo is licensed Creative Commons Non-Commercial that he was within his rights to use it.  Since when did the Gawker Media Empire become a non commercial entity?

I want Kevin Rose to know that they did not have approval to use that photo and I’ve asked Kevin Montgomery to remove the image.

In the spirit of this whole ice bucket thing, I’d also ask Valleywag to make a $2,000 donation to cover the copyright infringement of this image to the ALS Association in lieu of a licensing fee to me on the image.

Also maybe someone from the Gawker Media legal department can school Kevin Montgomery on how photo licensing works.
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2014-08-15
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