« Love for Games poster | Main | Delilah Noir »

August 16, 2011



Will it help for us to contact mail to ask who took photos?

Salvadore Vincent

They've got form on this kind of thing: http://t.co/WvlUYnX (see comments too). This includes a brilliant "it's on the internet so it's in the public domain" defence.


I think you're lowballing them with the £2000. Copyright infringement is pretty serious. Ask for £10k, when they balk, ask for £15.

Adam B

My friends pictures also got nicked by the Mail. I was told by a friend that works there that it's their policy to never pay for pic licensing up front and, if they get caught, to then offer £50 as a starting rate. Absolutely unbelievable.

Adam Sloman

Another reason to hate The Daily Mail. I hope they pay up.

Jane Goth

Even when they do agree to pay up eventually, expect them to forget to post the cheque a few times. Happened to friends of mine


The Daily Mail are CUNTS.
Not very constructive I know but nevertheless still true.


At the risk of being an hypocrite (I use CC images loads because I really can't afford photo fees yet on my news web site, and once or twice I've risked images of unknown source if they seem to be in the public domain), sock it to the fascist b'stards.


Hi Alice - not quite a precedent, but if it helps, I post-invoiced the Mail on Sunday when they took a small bit of my content (an edited version of a blog post) without permission; credited but no link.

To their credit, they settled it quickly and without argument, although they did cite a bizarre 'amateur bloggers, wider exposure, should be grateful' defence.

Happy to dig out more info if it helps.

Liz Church

Invoice them and when they don't pay, take them to the small claims court.


If they don't give a satisfactory response then don't fuck about. Take them to court; don't threaten it, just do it.


Mary Branscombe

Rather than getting into a discussion with them, send in a standard invoice with payment details for the charity on (or with your own payment details and then pass the donation on) because once you've done that, with the standard '30 days after invoice date' on the clock is ticking. You don't need to argue about the rights and wrongs of it because they have used the work without issuing you contract terms you can be deemed to have accepted. Once the invoice is with their accounts team they have to dispute payment formally or pay up, or you can then proceed against them in the small claims court or ask a court to issue a winding up order against the company. If the invoice remains unpaid after 30 days it collects statutory late payment fees: for this amount I think £75, plus interest (a statutory 8% over base rate - there are handy calculators online). While this is a copyright issue, making it into an accounting complaint is the way to get the money out of them. If enough photographers make it expensive for them, there's a faint hope they'd change the policy...


God, they are such insufferable arses.

Carolyn Bahm

Sounds like you should up the fee to a reasonably punitive level to smack their hands and discourage them from doing again to others. Suggest that in this day of social media it might not be too difficult to identify other victims for a class action suit. See if there is a professional photography org willing to back you. And ask for more money since they sound like they will make it all a hassle.

Of course, it's easy for me to advise from my vantage point in the cheap seats. ;o) I wish you well, whatever you do. This is outrageous.


I can't imagine what the Mail would have to say about it if, under a certain set of circumstances, people just TOOK things they wanted, because they wanted them, even though exchanging things for money is the normal, socially acceptable and beneficial system.

Carolyn Bahm

P.S., Mary's comment above mine is brilliant.

Two magpies

Why did they bother asking you in the first place if they were just gonna nab them anyway, it makes it worse!! Good luck with it all.

Pete Bass

Down the rabbit hole we go... I don't mean to be a troll, but don't give in to righteous indignation - that way the Mail wins.

In what sense is this picture really "yours" - especially the picture taken inside the store - I expect GAP assert a competing property right saying "no photography in our shop"

You saw it, thought it was wrong, and shared it right? Now more people have seen it. So why not just share it openly, and let anyone do what they like with it?

I know I'm an extremist, but if you really want to renounce the devil and all his works, the CC0 licence makes the most sense.

Also the over-blown process of renouncing the draconian copyright laws feels like a radical act - I don't think the Daily Mail would approve.

Nathaniel Mathews

Good advice Mary Branscome. I would advise against discussing settlement tactics in public media. I'm a bit new at this, but I understand their accounts/legal team could access this easily?

Simon Farnsworth

I'm just going to point you at the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988, sections 97A, 99 and 100: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/part/I/chapter/VI/crossheading/rights-and-remedies-of-copyright-owner

Appropriately deployed (you'd want a lawyer's help), section 97A enables you to get the Daily Mail's website taken down, while sections 99 and 100 would make it possible for you to arrange for seizure of all paper copies of the Mail that contain the infringing image.

Could get interesting for the Mail if they have to grovel to the big newsagents as people seize their piles of the Mail, and refuse to pay...


My husband suggested that probably the quickest way to get something out of them is to take your story (of them stealing your images) to a competititor newspaper! The threat alone may be enough to get it sorted, but if not do it. After all the hacking issues they don't really want more debate over unethically sourced images


Go to a lawyer and take legal action immediately. Any other action will see you swindled. Keep a copy of everything - emails and the edition of the paper. Tabloids do this kind of thing every day and they are experts at dealing with photographers whose pics they've stolen. Seriously, don't bother talking to them at all - just go straight to a lawyer. I say this from first hand experience as I was in exactly the same situation. Either that or give up any hope of getting anything for the picture and content. Of course be aware that tabloids rely on you not bothering to take legal action. If that's your first step they will realize you are not messing around. Anything else like letters of complaint or demands etc. will be laughed at and binned. They don't even bother to think about it until they see a lawyers headed notepaper. Be also aware that legal action will cost you money and time. That's why you should probably claim a minimum of £3~4k rather than 2k. You may have to travel to a hearing which will be at a legal office of *their* choosing (so probably in London). All the costs soon mount which is why you need to think of a figure and double it.


@Liz Church, twitter.com/Anttix and Mary Branscombe

IP disputes, including copyright, are not eligible for the small claims track.

The Civil Procedure Rules CPR 63.1(3) currently require that any intellectual property claim is classified as multi-track and is therefore ineligible to be determined on a small claims basis.

That is why the Hargreaves Review has recommended for a small claims track, which would esp benefit individual or SME copyright owners.

Irregular Shed

They've been doing this for years. YEARS. Here's details of the.Mail on Sunday ripping off writer Mil Millington over a decade ago, and how he got £1600 from them - with some help from Web 1.0 types (myself included)...



I tried posting a link to this post on DM article page, but they censored it.


This is a clear case of copyright infringement - sue.


Don't let these scavengers get away with it. Get legal advice. This is clear copyright infringement as they have reproduced your photos without consent and without mentioning the source (you!) Up your figures to take into account your projected legal fees. Good luck!


@lila Key is that it's not a copyright issue. Ownership of the images is not in dispute, as the Daily Mail have already asked for permission & therefore acknowledge ownership.

This is a payment dispute.

Robert Synnott

Unfortunately, this seems to happen a fair bit. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Things_My_Girlfriend_and_I_Have_Argued_About#Plagiarism

Nick Barber

Good luck - MOJO stole two of my images from Flickr and ignored every communication with them.

Rusty H

Send Akamai (who is hosting their content) a DMCA takedown notice. (You'll need to include the URL of the infringing content - i.e. your photo on their site).

Citizen snapper

S y wnt mxmm cvrg fr yr blg pst, yt pss nd whn whn t ctlly hppns.....?
Fckng dt.
Hv lk t th bsc pblshng rts frm http://www.thebppa.com/....
Y'd b lcky f y gt £20.
ls hv y gt prss crd?
Stp fckng grmbng thn.


@Citizen snapper

Seems to me he can charge what he likes, it doesn't matter what the "going rate" is. And as the DM have now used it without permission, they're now in infringement and have to pay up.

I must say, you seem quite upset about this, Citizen snapper. Who'd have thought Daily Mail workers were so foul mouthed. :)


@Citizen snapper
Just out of curiosity, what bearing do you think press card possession would have?


Read this summary about the privacy rules of Twitpic. Technically and legally, they don't owe you anything. Once something goes on Twitpic, it can be used again without compensating you.


I recommend switching to YFrog. They protect you against such situations.

Scott Gair

I am a lawyer and a photographer and I will help you. This is copyright theft. My direct office number is 01273 407430. Scott Gair, Associate Solicitor, Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk



While you're correct that posting something via Twitpic grants them (Twitpic) the right to license it to others royalty-free, that doesn't implicitly grant the Daily Mail the right to use it.

They could choose to negotiate with Twitpic instead of the photographer, but they still can't use it without permission. At least that's my understanding

Adam Gasson

Firstly if you're considering legal action I'd head to small claims court first. It'll keep the legal fees down (which until the verdict you'll have to pay).

Alternatively you could ask Scott (above) if they're working pro bono or for no win no fee.

The Mail Online's budget is now irrelevant as as the copyright holder you're now free to set the price (FYI the MailOnline's budget is £40 for the first pic, £30 for second and £20 for each pic after that). The fact that you wanted payment to a charity will work in your favour as well. I'd be more tempted to get closer to the £5000 small claims court limit as the Mail's lawyers will definitely knock you down from your initial demand.

But be aware that the Daily Mail group employs a legal team that works 24 hours 7 days a week and they know what they're doing.

They will, and this is just me guessing, argue that the story is in the public interest and therefore they can bypass copyright law. There are very very few cases of this being held up in court so don't feel they can hold this over you.

One massive problem you have is uploading your image through Twitpic. All content uploaded to them grants WENN (a news and picture agency) full rights to sell on your images without any financial compensation to you.

You also need to check every T&C for any site you allowed to host these images. It's surprising how many have clauses allowing them to pass on your work.


I these situations I've previously seen a 'walk in lawyer' (in Aldgate if your out east london).

Its free advice from professionals donating their spare time outside their firms for experience.

They'll let you know where you stand, and help you draft a letter to aid your cause.

From what I can see (emails as evidence) its a pretty clear cut case. Taking the Mail to small claims court will see you getting your £250 for sure. As that's what you valued it at.

If they settle out of court, Just make sure when you invoice them you write 'PAY THIS IN 30 DAYS' (standard payment freelance protocal) and indicate that interest at 20% will be added for each day after the 30 days you are not paid.


Have fun!!


You say the original amount is less than Getty would charge. Have you based that on anything other than complete speculation?


You might wanna read point 2.2 of the terms page on the daily mail website. Turns out they have a copyright on the entire content. Bet you didn't get permission to use a screenshot of their site huh? Oops, guess you're as bad as them.


Shocking! Unauthorised usage, you can get far more than your asking price!

I am a Getty photographer, and for online usage... We get very little! Under £4 a photo usually.

The industry is going down the pan, and with more and more people nowq using the web rather than reading papers, something needs to be done.

However, that does not excuse the mail.. That is theft, simple, and should be treated as such!


@Sally. The use of a screen grab of a website is permissible under UK copyright & fair dealing laws for criticism and review. Due to your grasp of UK copyright law I'd hazard a guess that you work for DMGT.


Sue them. Demand a printed apology.

@Sally - Don't be ridiculous, it's fair use.


I too had content stolen by the Mail (On Sunday) when they published excerpts from my blog without even asking / telling me as part of their "blogger of the week" feature. When I heard that other bloggers had been treated the same way but had managed to get some money out of the Mail for their theft, I sent them a letter and invoice. I never even received a reply.

Danny Boy

Wow, just wow at some of the ignorant comments on this blog; people who think it's acceptable to use images without permission of the copyright holder.

It's not acceptable and this is blatant copyright theft.

Take the disgraceful hate-filled paper to the cleaners.


If you are charging for the imagery to be used by the Daily Mail, regardless of whether it's for charity or personal gain, I'm assuming you had permission from GAP?

If you didn't then it's a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

And 250 quid? You're having a laugh. Perhaps you should bench mark with some image libraries other than Getty.

Bill Stickers

Serves you right for doing business with a nasty racist homophobic hate rag to start with.

No sympathy!


Well! now you have a chance to donate £25'000+ to a charity of your choice.

i think it turned out better :) go for it!


If you do end up suing them, include in your claim an apology, to appear above the fold, with equal prominence to the original story. Refuse any offer to settle that doesn't include this, and if you do accept an offer, be sure to get them to pay up and publish the apology before accepting it finally. I've seen more than one person receive a settlement offer that included alteration of credit records, accept the offer, withdraw the claim only for the alteration to never get done.

Remember that copyright infringement is also a criminal offence. Look up the process of laying an information in the Magistrates' Court (assuming you can find one that isn't chock-full of rioters), and name the picture editor and the people you've corresponded with as defendants. It's quick and easy, and once you've done it the CPS takes over. Also, as far as I am aware, unlike in the County Courts, the Magistrates Courts have no provision for moving the case, so if the case proceeds, the Mail staff have to come to you.


@RoyalAppointment - actually due to the fact that the mannequins were on public display, there are no laws against taking a picture of them for reportage purposes, and journalists are protected.

I wish I could say I was surprised by all of this. But sadly, I am not.


They did much the same thing with one of my blog posts a few years back. I gave up chasing them for cash in the end as I had to get on with my life. They are despicable...hope you get them where it hurts.

Adam Gasson

@RoyalAppointment - Since when do you need get permission to take pictures? Even if it's on private property there is no law in the UK preventing you from taking pictures (except for the precinct of a court, areas under the official secrets act and military bases).

@Bill Stickers - That's the whole point of the blog, they clearly told the Daily Mail they wouldn't do business with them.

@Sally - They may claim that but they can't have copyright over the entire content of the site. Many of the images and text are supplied by agencies and freelancers who own their copyright.

Adam Gasson

If you want a benchmark to go for you may as well follow the Daily Mail's example and choose $150,000.

That's how much Associated Newspapers (parent company of DM) lawyers were trying to get from IstyOtsy for caching their pages.


On a side note Getty never get paid £250 for online usage like on the Mail Online. No-one does. You'd struggle to get that in the print edition even.


@Snapper You are correct about my lack of legal training/copyright knowledge, but I don't even like the daily mail and would certainly never work them.

@Adam Gasson I'm sure that is the case, but I would think they at least own a copyright to their logo, which is included in the screenshot.

Basically I just see it as hypocritical to use images without the permission of the owner to complain about use of images without the permission of the owner.

Kirsty Ross

I would also contact the washington post. Do they know that their article and the photos that you gave THEM permission to use have been lifted directly from their site, it isn't just your copyright the mail are infringing but also theirs. They would have a lot more weight to throw around if you need to take it to court. x best wishes with all of this, copyright infringement is a massive issue and papers should be more responsible.

Darth V

wh gvs fck srsly, ths s sht pctr nd thnk y dnyng thm th s f t jst t f spt mks y btch.

Mr Larrington

Many years ago the MoS asked Mil Millington if they could publish extracts from his web site. He said no, as 1. he was about to start having them published in The Guardian and 2. he didn't like the MoS. They went ahead and published it anyway, just changing the names. Go after them as hard as you can.


Interesting post, but it means nothing until you get a lawyer. Or, if this was in the United Stated, you could go to Small Claims Court (google it if unfamiliar). I do not know if you have anything similar over there, though.

Mr Man

Did the Daily Mail give you permission to display half their story on here, or are you breaking their copyright? Pot kettle black.

Mary Branscombe

the complexity of copyright, T&Cs etc is why I suggested making it a payment issue, which you don't have to argue with them over anywhere but small claims court; several photographers have got payment from newspapers in this way and it's less a settlement technique than straightforward UK law ;-) Check the NUJ Web site for invoicing and payment calculators, have a search on Flickr for several discussions in the comments to photos that have been used without permission and paid for on invoice. There's a good professional photo site that's covered these issues but of course I can't remember it off hand.

Decide which battle you want to fight: moral or monetary. As a business, think which one will affect the paper more, and which is more valuable to you. A moral victory with an apology is far harder; a fiscal punishment and an ongoing support process for other victims might be better. Good luck!


Yea, Darth V (above) you sound about as classy as the looters that ran rampant in London last week. It may not be a work of art but the pic belongs to the photographer and the newspaper has no right to use it especially when they were specifically denied the use of it. They could have quite easily sent a staff photographer down to the same store to take a pic of their own for a less than a tenth of what I hope it costs them now. How would you like it if someone shoved a light saber up your arse after you specifically asked them not too?......


As if anyone is going to sue anyone.


If Ariel Ramerez was indeed as "happy to
make the donation" as he claimed to be, why didn't he make a concrete counteroffer instead of coming up with some vague remark about "bugetary contraints"? Doubt he ever had any intention of paying anything, however little.


Just be careful of threatening them with a higher demand than you originally offered. If you said they could have it for £250 it's hard to say your actual rate was £10,000...


I like how PicBloke combines a sarcastic scolding relating to DarthV's level of classiness (the Frømberg Scale - Camilla at the top, looters on the bottom) and the hypothetical anal insertion of a movie prop in the same post. A haunting read for sure...


Um, fair dealing(use)? You shouldn't only get annoyed when this happens to people you do like by people you don't like. Fair dealing(use) is fair dealing(use), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing#United_Kingdom(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use). They didn't even need to ask permission, and they didn't need to offer to pay a charity. You should have taken the deal.

Robert Forde

It's theft.

They didn't ask, so it's theft.

BUT, they knew before doing it that you were requesting payment. That makes it worse. Their agreement (whether followed through or not) that a payment could in principle be made means they knew they were using your property.

Sue? Probably not worth it. But Mary Branscombe's advice (and if it's the same one I know of, she's a journalist) could well work. I have done that myself in the case of written material.

As for your having reproduced their web page, I think "fair comment" would probably cover that. But it's probably safer to post a link in future, rather than copy the page.

Oh, and Citizensnapper is a loutish, foul-mouthed oik.


The Daily Mail is the mouthpiece of Tory spivs & morons. Send them a bill for £10,000. Wait 30 days and then go to court. It will cost a fee but be well worth it. The Snail will lose because they ‘wilfully’ infringed your copyright. Wilful criminality is a serious matter. With court costs it will ultimately cost them double. They usually rely on people not following through. Surprise them and just do it. You'll win. Best wishes.


I think ORG would be more than happy to help you out in this. Give us ([email protected]) a shout if you're interested.


A little bird told me that if you get someone to look at the ISP addresses of the more hostile comments above, they might originate not a million miles away from the offices of Associated Newspapers.

As for the photo's themselves, the Daily Mail online and it's photo editor Elliot Wagland appear to have a record of using any photo's from "the internet" they think they can get away without paying for as a cost cutting measure. Probably instigated after one of the usual "cuntings" in the office of it's potty mouthed editor Paul Dacre.


Looks like Twitpic's t&c's might be an issue switch to Yfrog? http://www.jonboyes.com/blog/comment/twitpic-twitter-lockerz-yfrog-mobypic-good-or-bad/


@Chris. Possibly not: Fair dealing in a work with acknowledgment for the purposes of criticism or review or, unless the work is a photograph, for the purposes of news reporting (s. 30);

Nicola Brown

I can recommend Sarah Webb at Russel Jones and Walker - they handled a similar dispute for me.

Clown Shoes

Basically I just see it as hypocritical to use images without the permission of the owner to complain about use of images without the permission of the owner.

You may see it that way, but you're wrong.

Alice is writing about the DM article and therefore has a solid argument of fair use as she is using those pics as evidence to her claims.

DM took pictures they knew were copyrighted (you can see the (c) info at the bottom of the pic) and that they knew they had been refused permission to use.

If you really can't see the difference between the two, maybe you should send the DM a copy of your CV.


@Clown Shoes

I'm sure Alice can clearly see the copyright logo on the bottom of the Daily Mail website, and also read section 2.2 on their terms page, where they clearly deny permission to copy any of the site.

Therefore she has also used material that is copyright, and where permission to copy it has been denied.

If you read my original comment, where I stated that this makes her "as bad as" the Daily Mail, you
may get some idea of my standpoint on the Daily Mail's use of her photo. That is, I DO NOT THINK IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR THE DAILY MAIL TO HAVE USED HER PHOTOGRAPH WITHOUT PERMISSION, and have at no point justified their actions. I was simply commenting on the hypocrisy of this entire post. (apologies for the capitals, but I feel it is important that this point comes across clearly as people seem to think I believe otherwise)

So perhaps it is just me, but I don't see how it can be completely unnaceptable for them to do this to her, but completely acceptable for her to do the same to them in return.


Definitely file a DMCA takedown notice with their ISP. Then follow up with the same lawyer that the other poster above mentioned. They'll have to take down the image or their ISP is also open to legal action.

Felix Nagel

Go get a lawyer. Do what they do with us. Sue them.


Your photo was also used, with credit on Babble - I had seen it first on BoingBoing, so I was pleased to see your name, but I hope they made the donation!


Yikes! Not cool at all.

paco porras

They know U are not going to do anything more than just cry on your blog. And if you do something the loss is ridiculous for them taking into account the savings of all the similar cases not paid.


We need a DMCA in the UK to give the individual copyright owner the ability to take down stolen pictures - or something like it. No fees or lawyers required.


Really nice article.


If only there had been similar case law in the past....

Oh, wait:


[ Where The Sun lifted pics from The Times, after the latter had obtained permission from the photographer but not the former. ]

Interesting difference this time is that The Daily Mail did contact you (and were denied), so the "tried to contact" defense could not even be attempted (not that it work work).

The applicable case law is Bannier vs News Group Newspapers Ltd [1997] FSR 812.

It's even referenced in text books on the subject: e.g


It might be fun to send the Daily Mail's legal department a letter headed "WITHOUT PREJUDICE" stating the facts, including the tweets and mentioning that case and then ask them if they'd like to settle the matter for (say) 2500 quid to a charity....


couple of my immediate responses as others are on top of the literal ones

"Who will rid me of this turdulent editor?"
"Bring me the head of Paul Dacre"

the sooner these shits are buried alongside the NoW the better off the world will be.


Add a digital watermark to the photos before posting it up in future. It's dead easy. That'll fox them.

James Crawford

Good old Daily Mail. Keeping standards high...


They used it editorially, not commercially, AFAICT.


!Hate when they do it.


Motherfeckers. I hope you nail them for a helluve lot more.

Howard Owens

On July 9, 2009, the Daily Mail STOLE my pictures of Suzanne Corona


The editors did not ask permission and I got no compensation. They ignored my e-mails and I couldn't get through on the phone. I couldn't afford an attorney to deal with it.

They owe me at least $1K per photo, especially considering how high in search the story still appears for "Suzanne Corona."

My pictures were posted to my news site, not to twitter or any other social networking site.


No, that's what you get for saying you don't like them. You can do nothing, and they are laughing. They were laughing at your emails, laughing as they printed, laughing at your complaints, and for as long as you keep complaining, they will laugh ever harder. Do you get it? They own you, and no one cares beyond the "moral support". Give up now.


I don't get it. 250 $ IS expensive for a photo of this low-quality. You can demand more the better the pictures are. Its cruel to demand money for something you "just did in a second with your fancy camera". Yikes.


Delatio, rate and quality aren't in the slightest bit linked. I can charge what I like, it's my photo.

(The money's going to charity too, but you clearly didn't read the post.)

Plus that rate was for *permissive* use. We're in a whole different ballgame now, as they didn't agree any rate at all, and used the photos anyway. That's illegal: wilful infringement of copyright, which carries a penalty of 150k per infringement.


To everyone above with positive and interesting comments: thanks so much! The support is very much appreciated.

Wladimir Palant

You should sue them. The reason they do this is that they think: "If we steal twenty pictures and only one person sues us then it's still cheaper than paying for all of them." Unfortunately, this works because most people won't sue. Stealing other people's work needs to get very expensive or they will continue doing that.


I don't have any practical advice to offer, but wanted to register my support. There are an awful lot of people who are sick and tired of The Mail's behaviour, and it's time they were brought to book. All the best in your struggle!


It sums up the state of the UK press I'm afraid, and certainly clarifies why the Press Complaints Commission should be disbanded (it's chairman after all is none other than Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail).

When you have the phone hacking scandal and repeated problems like this occurring you know that something stinks in the system. And it needs a good flush.

Agree with the comments above that you should seek advice from a solicitor and take your case to court.



Out of interest. Did you get permission from Gap to take in-store photographs ?



This photo was used on the news last night here in Toronto. They mentioned that it was taken by a blogger.
http://www.globaltv.com/ (News FinalHour)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Recent links