Feeds

Sky's the limit

Hacks nick Twit pics then nix fixing it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

When Sky News needed pictures of a shooting at Waterloo Station, it grabbed them from the nearest internet source – with neither acknowledgement nor payment.

This episode has now ended happily, with Sky News agreeing to pay tweeter Joe Neale a fee for using his pictures – but the episode does provide a stark warning for all those who fancy themselves as citizen journalists and put their photos online without adequate protection.

According to Joe, he was in meetings all day when the pictures first went up on 5 August. After a number of friends had contacted him to say it was on Sky News, Joe tweeted Jon Gripton, News Editor of Sky News Online to have the name changed from "Joe on Twitter" to Joe Neale. This took about 5 hours. Joe adds that he was told that he should have received an email - which he hadn’t – and that he needed to e-mail the editor, which he did, but with no response.

Joe later chased Sky’s Julian March with an e-mail expressing his continuing concern over what looked like Sky foot-dragging, and setting out the terms for payment. He wrote:

The conditions for using my photo without permission are £300 for the initial use on the front of the site and then charged at 5% for each additional week it is present on your site starting from August the 5th which will continue as long as the photo is present.

As it still ranks high in Google search and has no doubt done its part to generate a decent amount of revenue... Please find my invoice for £326.24 which permits usage of the photo up to today, Monday the 17th of August.

Joe turned up the heat by going public, using the hashtag #skypic. He tweeted: "Newscorp use your photos without permission but have plans to charge for reading their content". This references an announcement by Rupert Murdoch that from 2010 people will be charged for accessing his various sites. According to Joe, this highlights the irony that "Mr Murdoch doesn’t seem to mind not paying for material and happily infringes on other people’s work".

We asked Sky News for comment - and also asked whether it would mind if any of our readers made use of their images without attribution of payment, agreeing simply to settle up later. A spokeswoman responded:

Sky News has embraced social media as an important new source of editorial content and, like any major content owner, we recognise the importance of attribution of sources and copyright. We seek therefore, where possible, to either credit our sources, and/or fairly reward our contributors.

The moral of the story seems to be: keep an eye on what happens to your pictures. Because whilst the megacorps such as Sky and News International may be pretty hot when it comes to private individuals breaching copyright, they do seem to be somewhat slower to react when the boot is on the other foot. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.