Ben - 9's Waterways

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Hang on to your photos!

I was talking to Mr PW on Friday night and he told me about an email exchange he'd recently had.

He had received an email from some sort of travel company asking if he had any photos of a particular canal that they could use in their advertising and website. I won't name the company but neither Mr PW or I have ever heard of it. (I wouldn't want to give them to benefit of any extra publicity, anyway!)

Mr PW replied that his photos could all be seen on the "virtual cruise" of that canal. He was a little surprised when a reply came back asking for seven of these photos to be sent by email.

Mr PW tells me he sent a polite reply informing the sender that photos from Pennine Waterways were not available for free use for commercial purposes, adding that he would be happy to discuss terms.

The reply came back: "Unfortunately I don't control our budget. Thanks for your time, and help."

Mr PW, not one to let things pass without comment, send one last reply:
"I am astonished to hear that you are preparing advertising and a brochure but have no budget available for doing this. That could be the reason why I have never previously heard of [insert name here]."

"Hear, hear!"
I say. What a cheek! So this guy was hoping to use some of the wonderful photos from Pennine Waterways to help his company make a profit but without offering anything in return!

He is probably now working his way down a list of websites and asking their owners for free use of their pictures.

All I would say to any webmasters out there who might read this, or indeed anyone with canal photos on any of the publicly accessible photo-sharing sites is "Hang on to your photos! Don't let the greedy grabbers get their mits on them!"

When I asked Mr PW whether he wasn't being a bit of a greedy grabber himself, asking for payment, he assured me that whenever he has allowed commercial companies to use photographs for websites or brochures, he has asked for payment to be made not to him but to a local charity or canal society.

He told me he is happy for a charity or society to get some benefit out of his photos being used, but doesn't see why a commercial company should get rich out of his efforts!



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