BBC apologises to BW reader for using copyright photos
When avid Bitterwallet Chris noticed his photos were being used by the BBC website without his permission, he played nice and asked for a credit, or a reciprocal link to his own site. It seemed a very reasonable request, especially given that BBC staff had made a point of ignoring an obvious copyright notice above the images.
When the BBC told Chris they had permission, but took the images down anyway for reasons that didn't make much sense, Chris pushed them for answers. The BBC proceeded to tell Chris a series of stories that contradicted one another, and caught themselves in a lie. The truth and a small acknowledgment would have been perfectly acceptable, but instead the BBC tried to cover up the fact they had used the images without permission.
Chris has now received a somewhat sheepish reply from the BBC after numerous emails to the corporation:
In response to your correspondence regarding unauthorised use of 3 images on our web-site.
Our Blast Team do not have a budget for use of stills and this was an error on their part to include your stills.
We usually pay £60 per still for On-line use by our Learning Department. Can we therefore agree a payment of £180 on this occasion.
Please let me know if this is acceptable and once again apologies for the oversight.
Chris's has turned down the amount, and fired back a reply to reiterate his concern:
There was no 'oversight' nor was there an error. If the BBC Blast team do not have a budget for stills photography then they should be very clear in their understanding of how images are licensed and managed. The only oversight appears to be in the level of training offered to staff.
Ouch. £60 per image isn't even the minimum rate set by the NUJ for editorial use online by a news organisation; not that Chris is necessarily a member of the NUJ, but he hasn't even been offered what the BBC would have paid a freelancer for agreed use.