Alice Taylor, an amateur photographer, has accused Mail Online of using her images without authorisation, and published on her blog a series of emails she exchanged with one of the paper's picture editors.
Taylor first published her images, which show skinny mannequins displayed in Gap stores, on her blog, before seeing the story picked up by the Washington Post. The US-based newspaper emailed Taylor "asking permission to reprint, and asked for a quote or two. I said yes. I sent them a further pic, too," says Taylor. "Then the Daily Mail got in touch."
According to Taylor, a picture desk staffer named Ariel Ramerez asked, on 15 August, for permission to use the images, which Taylor agreed to if Mail Online donated £250 to a charity of her choice. Ramerez allegedly answered: "Unfortunately, your listed price far exceeds our budget - which also comes in $. We'd be happy to make the donation however we would need it to meet our budgetary constraints."
Later that evening, Taylor found that Mail Online had ignored her and published both of her images. Taylor has now contacted the newspaper's picture desk asking for compensation for infringing on her copyrights.
Ramerez did not respond to BJP's request for comment. UPDATE 18 August at 3pm: A Daily Mail spokesman tells BJP that the situation "has now been resolved". Taylor has yet to confirm this.
Speaking to Amateur Photographer magazine, an Intellectual Property Office spokesman confirms that "the same type of copyright rules apply on Twitter. If people upload photos, and others want to use them, they should get the copyright owner's permission." [Read Amateur Photographer's report]
As extensively reported by BJP, it's not the first time that the Daily Mail and Mail Online have been accused of infringing on photographers' copyright. Currently, the Associated Newspapers' properties are being sued by Mavrix Photo, a Los Angeles and Miami-based celebrity photography agency.
Mavrix Photo alleges that the newspaper used up to 10 of its images without authorisation. In court documents seen by BJP, Mavrix says the Daily Mail, with the assistance of its online picture editor, Elliot Wagland, has "a history of copyright piracy conduct. Indeed, the pattern and practice of Defendants is to ignore the demand of photo agencies or photographers to agree to rates before use and to simply take the pictures and use them without compensation or to then offer token compensation."
Wagland has, in the past, argued that images published on social networking such as TwitPic, were in the public domain. After BJP contacted, the Daily Mail's managing editor Alex Bannister,the newspaper moved to reaffirm that it was not the newspaper's policy "to breach photographers' copyrights."
For more coverage, read our previous Daily Mail articles here.
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