Thursday, July 10, 2008

That Metro Debacle in Full


Last week, one of my sets on Flickr 'w/ extra duck' somehow got onto Metafilter, and then very shortly after, onto
This led to my pictures being viewed many, many times, to which my response was to squeak loudly in excitement, and run around in small circles as I watched the site hits go up and up.
Lots of people left many lovely comments, and all was happy and good with the world.
Towards the end of the week, Scaryduck informed a friend of his who works at the Metro as to what was happening, and on Saturday a lovely article was printed in the Metro Online by a Mr Tom Philips. (Click here to read lovely article)
Now, Tom's article (as you will have read) is fabulous; witty, erudite, and above all gives me full credit for my work, and links to more of my work and also to the 'w/ extra duck' set on Flickr.
I was, and still am, very, very happy with Tom's article.
On Monday morning, the first inkling I had that my ducks had made it into the print edition of the Metro came when a reader, Mike, left a comment saying that there was a full page of w/extra ducks in the Metro that morning.
A short while later, my friend Nigle told me (via my comments) that the online edition of that day's Metro could be found here, but "They don't link to your Flickr page, they have copied them to their own website. This is a flagrant breach of your copyright, and they don't even give you credit for them!"
I read the article, and my happy mood was soon replaced by a rather angry mood as you can imagine.
I then got a Flickrmail from another friend, MonkeyBoy, who had a copy of the printed edition, and had taken a photo of it so that I could read that also.
Well, I've finally hit the London Paper scene. (Click on pic, then go to 'All Sizes' on for large copy)
After I read that, I was really annoyed as you can well imagine. I counted to ten by which time I was seething, and called the Metro to find out what was going on.
After being shunted from pillar to post via three voicemails, I finally got to speak to someone who unfortunately was not Danny Boyle who was responsible for the article, but said they 'could help'.
I explained what had happened, that they'd taken five pieces of my work to fill one of their pages, and they had not given me any credit, and had not even linked to somewhere where people could find out who had done the work. They even went so far as to lie saying that the pictures had been done by 'a gaggle of Internet enthusiasts'.
The man asked me what I wanted done about it, and I replied that I would like credit where credit is due for my work, and a link to my Flickr set, 'w/ extra duck'.
He replied that he could get that sorted on the online edition, but there was nothing they could do in the printed edition, not even a small bit the next day saying something like 'We forgot to mention yesterday that the ducky pictures were done by Misty, and you can find out more about them 'here'.
I said 'Yay' for the online, but that was extremely unfair about the printed one.
He then told me in a rather patronizing tone, that it might be best that I didn't have my name printed as I could get into trouble with copyrights and so on.
Now, as far as I know, that is bolox, as the original pictures on the Internet are out of copyrights anyway, and also I was not using the pictures for any monetary gain, simply for fun. That I have checked up on, and I'm in the right about that.
If anybody has been in breech of copyright, it has been the Metro, as you can read all about here.
Now, this probably won't surprise you, but this is not the first time the Metro has done this.
There are quite a few Flickr people who have had their work simply picked off their stream, and used in the Metro without the Metro even asking permission, and of course, not giving credit or a link to the person they've ripped off.
I read all about this a while ago but thought 'Oh, that'll never happen to me, why would anybody want to rip off my work?'
But then it did happen to me, and it could happen to you too if you put your work on the Internet.
I'm still very upset by this as you can imagine. I'm not after money as I didn't do my 'w/ extra ducks' for that, but what I'd like to happen is for Danny Boyle to explain to me how and why this happened, apologize to me, and to send a donation to the RSPCA of about say, £100? I think that would make things fair, don't you?
I can't be bothered to do one of those poll thingys, but if you could spare a minute or so to answer the following in my comments box, I'd appreciate it.

Q1. Do you think the Metro should be allowed to use other people's work without giving them full credit?

Q2. Do you think that if the Metro does do so, should they apologize in print and amend the situation as soon as possible?

Q3. Do you think that the Metro has been fair in their treatment of my case and have they done enough to make amends (at this time of me writing this) ?

And one more question, please decribe in just one word your opinion of the Metro in not just my case, but for every other time they've ripped off someone's work.

Thank you.


Additional, 19:46 hours. Sky News did the same thing...but please read below!

Update, 11/7/08, 10:00 hours. Sky News have been absolutely lovely about the whole things, and have added credits, as well as giving me a little interview about how the 'w/ extra ducks' came to be and so, woohoo!
PS. Today's post coming ASAP. I promise!