A photographer recently tipped us off about a Chinese Web site that is publishing the work of photographers without their knowledge or permission. The site is branded as if it were produced by Leica, but according to a Leica representative they have nothing to do with it. “Leica Camera always respects the rights of artists and does not support the unapproved publication of artwork,” a Leica spokesperson told PDN via email.
Leica did not, however, comment on whether they would pursue legal action to have the site taken down.
An Austrian store that apparently sells Leica cameras and photographic prints is the site’s only sponsor.
A few of the photographers whose work is used on the site are: Phillip Toledano, Steve McCurry, Marcus Bleasdale, Annie Marie Musselman, Robbie Cooper, Kosuke Okahara, Dominic Nahr and Michal Chelbin.
The site is also marketing an app, downloadable for free through the Apple iTunes App Store. When you open the app a grid of famous photographs, including Annie Leibovitz’s image of Yoko Ono and a naked John Lennon, appear on the screen.
Work by Stephen Shore, Lynn Goldsmith, Jonas Bendiksen, Erika Larsen, Sebastião Salgado and others appear in the “A Pic a Day” section of the app. In the app’s “Magazine” section, entire photo essays appear, many of them current. For instance, Sebastian Liste’s 2010 Ian Parry Scholarship-winning essay on homeless families inhabiting an abandoned chocolate factory in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, appears.
Photographers we’ve spoken with had no idea this Web site existed and was using their work, nor were they aware of the app, and we’re assuming that none of the photographers whose work is being used gave permission.
Does your work appear on the site?
The gender disparity in photography has received another round of scrutiny in recent days, once again bringing to the surface what many know to be true but only occasionally talk about publicly: There are plenty of women photographers, yet male photographers dominate the industry. On March 4, The New York Times published a story by... More ›
Terms of service. Unless you’re a masochist or a lawyer (but I repeat myself), you’ve probably never read them. Most of us impatiently click “accept” on our way to signing up for whatever it is we want to divulge our personal information to want to use. In the case of photo-oriented services like Instagram, accepting... More ›
Robyn Cohn, a New York-based CPA who has provided bookkeeping and tax services to photographers for more than a decade, offers advice that PDN readers can act on right now to minimize taxes on their 2016 income—and manage their finances better in the future. PDN: What would you advise photographers to do before the end... More ›