S*** happens

By Sylvie Fodor This blog collects funny and less funny stories from the picture business. It is regularly up-dated. Send us your posts!

New story

15.04.2019 – In a short live Facebook post, the “New York Times” confuses the Cathedral of Cologne with Notre Dame de Paris. See the importance of a good picture editor and of good metadata  Read the story here …


Older stories

  • Leading figure of the extrem right displayed on main page of Paris Match. This was a mistake: Read more here …
  • Photos were posted on Pixabay on a creative common licence. They were copied by a photographer who posted them in a photo competition as her own. And she won … See what happens next …
  • Copyright. Statue of Liberty on stamps

    The Statue of Liberty is at the heart of a lawsuit brought against the United States Postal Service (USPS) by artist Robert S. Davidson, who charges that the government mistakenly used a photograph of his Las Vegas sculpture of Lady Liberty for a stamp without permission.”

    As the author article suggests, the case raises question about originality. From a more practical point of view, one may also wonder how this could happen and where in the licensing process which information/ photo metadata got lost


  • It’s not just copyright. Moral rights have their importance too and the right to one’s image. The Front National leader, an MEP since 2004, tweeted three uncensored pictures of Isis killings in December 2015. Now members of the European parliament’s legal affairs committee voted on Tuesday by an overwhelming majority to waive Le Pen’s immunity, after a request from the prosecutor of Nanterre in west Paris.
    Read more here
  • February 2017. Already 16 complaints have been lodged at the “Deutscher Presserat”, the German Press Council, against the cover of DER SPIEGEL showing Donald TRUMP beheading the Statue of Liberty. Some see that the victims of terrotist attacks are ridiculed, others that human dignity is under attack. First decisions are expected in March. Read here to know more.
  • January 2017. Thai hostess with glamourous life style but photoshoped pirated visual content attracts 150.000 followers on Instagram. Until she has to delete her account.

    Read full story here

  • US Presidential Elections. Is Donald Trump a pirate too? The “Bowl of Skittles” image used in an advertisement campaign against Syrian refugees is being sued for copyright infringement. Read the full story here 
  • Spoted on Google’s street view :twisted:  Over-zealous Google protects #privacy of of a cow. More on BBC Click here
  • Facebook categorizes Napalm iconic Vietnam war picture of photographer Nick Ut as pornography The Gardian reports Click Here
  • #Brexit story 2. Right to One’s Image is still relevant. Team GB threatens to sue Brexit campaigners over Olympic video as Silver medal-winning cyclist objects to his image being used by pro-Leave group. Click here
  • #Brexit story 1. Nissan sues Leave campaign for using their brand. Make sure you use the right photos when there is a logo!  Click Here
  • This story is not one of misuse of an image, rather if what happens when images are used too many times, in particular stock images for editorial usage … 8-)  Click Here to view the story
  • A normal piracy story on the Internet. This blog story (for German readers only …) is interresting, not because it is unusual but precisely because it has become so usual … Click here
  • Good faith is not enough as a defense. Two French companies produce without authorization T-shirts displaying the famous picture of Che Gevara by Korda. They say they downloaded the picture from a Canadian website providng “royalty free”, “libre de droit”, content. Too bad the photo is protected and being a good-faith user is not enough as a defense says the Court.Click here
  • Stolen pictures for an ad campaign. “We did our best to find the photographer” is not an excuse as this is not that complicated to find photographers, especially when you know their names. Come on … To read about this case: here
  • Facebook uses picture of dead girl for advertising of dating site. There are many issues related to Facebook’s new privacy policies. This case blatantly illustrates just one amongst them. Click here
  • Personality rights do matter. Woman sues major picture agency after a picture of her appears in an anti-HIV advert. Click here.
  • Sara Palin. Even politicians don’t seem to know how to handle pictures. Sara Palins is being sued for copyright infringement. Click here
  • Elections in Germany. Very unfortunate: ahead of the upcoming Bundestag elections in Germany, both the liberal and right extremist parties FDP and NPD find themselves using for their campaign a video clip showing the same family, which on top of this was previously to be seen in an advertising for Finnish yoguhrt! Click here to see clip (in German)
  • A stolen photo becomes a contest winner. Click here to know how.
  • Murdered boy advertises for kindergarten. The jazz festival of Montreux aplogized for the use of the image of a small murderd boy, Gregory. He had been murdered in France in the 1980s. A 20-year old graphic designer downloaded the picture from Google Images. The picture of the 4-year old was used in the festival’s magazine, proudly advertising for their Kindergarten! Here is the link to the story (in German).

(Non exhaustive) list started in 2013