Click on the image above to see the large version. This shot was stolen from here and used to win second place in a Fujifilm competition.
We all know that images get stolen from the Internet but two recent examples really take the cake. A certain Stephen Baker from Essex appears to have stolen an image, taken by Pamela DG, from a popular photo-sharing site and used it to win second place in a Fujifilm online competition. The prize money he is accused of fraudulently obtaining is £200 pounds.
It is unbelievable that people think they can steal photographer's images from the Internet and use them for their own purposes.
Another much publicised case revolves around images plagiarised from a popular flickr photographer. The company that allegedly stole them produced canvas prints and sold them for a healthy profit without the photographer knowing anything about it. The whole thing erupted into a bit of a dispute with flickr but that has all settled down now.
The heart of the issue remains that as a photographer we unfortunately expose ourselves to the theft of our work every time it gets uploaded, even relatively small low resolution versions. It's not the first time that I've heard of supposedly respectable companies riding rough-shod over copyright laws.
I hope the thieves get their just deserts and Fujifilm should certainly retrieve their prize money and take whatever action they can to discourage this kind of thing in the future. Condoning it will hardly do their brand much good amongst us photographers.
I'll keep you posted if I hear anything else. I happen to know the photographer's mother who brought this incident to our attention on a forum.
Stay safe, and please if you come across any images you think have been plagiarised let the photographer in question know and drop me a line too.
UPDATE: He's stolen another image! See here. But Fuji have now reacted.