A client (an OBGYN) recently married and published photographs of the event on Facebook. In the months following the publication of these photographs, an image of the event was used in a blog without the client’s permission. The story, published by GeekyCamel.com, focuses on a feud that erupted between a bride and her bridesmaid. The bride accused her bridesmaid of “upstaging” her wedding by dressing in a way that drew attention to her pregnancy.
To be clear – our client was in no way involved in the story. Her wedding picture became connected to the story because she coincidentally had three pregnant bridesmaids at her own wedding. Thus, the author of the story found her wedding picture an appropriate fit for his story.
The obvious problem – the author used the photograph without our client’s permission. To take this a step further – it insinuates our client is suing her friends for $30,000. Our client is an OBGYN. She did not want to be known as the OBGYN who sues her pregnant friends.
We have included correspondence between ourselves and the office staff, who brought our attention to the problem. Personal information has been redacted.
The article’s author never received permission to use our client’s photograph in their article. The remedy was straightforward – contact the publisher and request the image removed and replaced. When contacted, the publisher agreed to remove the original photograph.
In this event, the remedy was simple. If you experience a similar event, contact the publisher and request the photograph removed. A firm request often results in capitulation. There are deeper ways to address if the perpetrator is resistant. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be helpful. But that is another story for another day.
And be timely about it. If you know your media has been stolen, act. The longer you wait, the greater risk your media will be misused. Our client’s practice jumped on this matter as soon as it was brought to their attention – but despite their quick action, the article had already been shared at least 1600 times.