2nd Class Post in the Mail
[ screenshot of the article in question - image is copyright of The Daily Mail ]
The other day, whilst reading an article online I saw something which made me stop dead in my tracks. I was on the Daily Mail’s ‘This is Money’ website…. and right in the middle of the body of text was a photograph I had taken. In fact, it got better. Once I had scrolled a little more I discovered another of my photos. After rubbing my eyes several times and scrutinising the images, I sat wondering what the hell was going on. A while ago I had listed some coins on eBay and The Daily Mail had basically swiped these images for their piece about the value of Olympic fifty pences. One of images had been credited to eBay itself whilst the other bore no copyright message at all.
[ my Judo photograph on This is Money webpage ]
Initially I was unsure of what to do next; a part of me felt dead chuffed that my photographs were deemed good enough to be used on such a high profile webpage (‘financial website of the year’!)….. but I was also a bit miffed because these images were mine and I hadn’t been asked for permission. I go to a lot of effort when taking photos, just as I do when drawing a picture. Therefore, they are art.
None of this was correct and I could feel the righteous anger rising inside. ‘Hell hath no fury like an artist ripped off’ is the ancient Eastern adage I believe. I opened up a new email and set to work….
However, at this juncture I would like to make a point in praising The Daily Mail – simply because of the reaction I got. Within two hours of sending my message (covering the basics of plagiarism and how annoyed I felt) they had replied. In fact, they had got the guy who had written the article to reply to me. He was very apologetic and did not try to make excuses. He gave me two options – i) he could remove my pictures altogether or ii) he could credit them to me straight away. His communication with me was also outside of standard working hours so I was very impressed. This guy understood the gravity of the situation and was doing his best to sort things out quickly and efficiently.
I chose option two.
[ my Offside photograph on This is Money webpage ]
The next morning I had another look at the This is Money website and… ta-da; it now featured/features two rather good photographs by Mik Smith (complete with a © symbol). To say I am made-up would be an understatement. I never thought I’d see the day when two of my own pictorial compositions would grace a page of The Daily Mail.
But….. I am equally impressed for two other reasons. The first one is that my complaint was taken seriously – very. And the second is that these people were eager to apologise and sort things out. If only everyone could do this after making a mistake. Having to say sorry really isn’t a big deal because we all get things wrong sometimes. The most important part of this is that we learn from these boo-boos.
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019