Monday, August 11, 2008

Heineken In Hot Water Over Alledged Copyright Violations

Well well. Heineken is the latest Virgin Mobile to fall into the Flickr trap with their allegedly infringing uses of a large number of photos from the Flickr site, with thanks to Rob Haggart over at A Photo Editor for bringing this to our attention - (Heineken Discovers Flickr Isn’t Full Of Free Photography, 8/11/08).

Haggart recieved a letter from one of the allegedly infringed photographers, and the offer to "settle" the matter was
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about $30 USD. All sorts of screen shots (here) show Heineken's website with the images there, since the site has been taken down. Here's one of Heineken's responses to a photographer, which reads, in part:
"...after our investigations, we have concluded that any use of the images was at best ...use of a temporary nature only and would not form the basis of any copyright claim in this jurisdiction. However, in order to resolve matters, and save time...we would be willing to pay in full and final settlement an amount of €15 per image allegedly used. This in our view represents a reasonable commercial royalty for the use of such images in this jurisdiction if, as we say above, there was any actual use in legal terms.

Before making any payment however, we will require you to provide us with evidence of the alleged use of each image, and proof of ownership by you of the copyright in each such image."
Virgin Mobile ran into the same problem, as discussed here, and reported here - Virgin Mobile sued over Flickr image used in ad.

When will billion-dollar corporations and ad agencies stop trying to go free & cheap for their content? This won't be the last time this happens - I can promise you.

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