BBC pays BW reader £600 for using photo without permission
In February we published a story concerning the BBC breaching copyright rules by publishing a photo without permission, taken by Bitterwallet reader Michael Baily. It was this image of Birmingham's skyline on Flickr that Michael spotted on the BBC News channel one evening, as the "live" backdrop of Birmingham city centre:
The image was clearly marked All Rights Reserved on Flickr, requiring any usage to be agreed in advance. When Michael contacted them, the BBC provided a very long and slightly dubious account as to how events had unfolded, and initially offered to pay £75 for the unauthorised usage of the image on national television, while demanding that Michael stop drawing attention to the incident.
Following our coverage of the story (which was picked up by several other sites including The Guardian and The Register), a BBC spokesperson contacted Michael with a revised agreement. Michael has been in touch this morning to tell us he was offered and has now been paid £600 for misuse of the image. That's four licence fees that won't be spent on Bolly for the DG or flowers for Jonathan Ross or, at a push, public service broadcasting. Hats off to Michael for not letting the Beeb get away with it, and props to the BBC for spending more public money on correcting their basic schoolboy errors.