In an image-inundated society, sometimes people forget that the picture you are looking at on Facebook or Instagram began somewhere. With all these images flooding the internet, image theft has become quite common. We have even suffered a little intellectual property theft ourselves.
The most recent theft to cause a stir in the photographic community relates to the recent winner of the Samsung’s ‘#Live in the Moment’ Instagram contest.
Instagram user @bogdhan (who has since changed his moniker to @thethieff) took an image from a very well known photographer, Hengki Koentjoro, flipped it, cropped some and added a filter to make it “his”.
Voilá – instant winning photo.
A month later, a friend informed Koentjoro of the copyright infringement, in which he immediately took the case to Samsung’s social network sites. After all, that is where the winner was announced, so it only made sense for that to be where the record was set straight.
Fans poured support out, Samsung apologized and recanted the contest ‘winner’ (and first place prize). The thief continues to claim the image is his own and deletes any comments that state otherwise on his IG feed.
According to Image and View, Dr. Robert Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi of the TobinOhashi Gallery, the artist’s representatives, has stated that Samsung has not done enough to rectify the situation for the artist or his fans.
Just deleting the picture, sending a kind mail to the original photographer and hoping that ‘everything is alright now’ is not enough.
Ohashi goes on to state that “they have stolen the baby of a wonderful hardworking artist. He has been so generous in sharing his work with everyone and one of the results is that people see his work. I would never expect someone to rip it off.”
The outrage over the audacity and disregard for a respected artist is definitely not likely to calm down anytime soon. That is, until a more formal address of the issue is made.
What are your thoughts on how Samsung addressed the theft and lack of verification before awarding a prize?
Until Next Time . . .
Stay Inspired ~ Jules