Photography studio, gallery and training complex

Tumblr: Thief or Pirate? A Cautionary Tale

Here’s a nice story to warm your seasonal cockles – not.

Imagine this: a friend emails you and sends you a link to an image on popular site Tumblr saying “This photo just looks like one of yours!”. So you look, and it is indeed one of your photographs, except the one that has been posted has been (badly) converted to black and white, and your logo has been clumsily removed.

You are understandably a tad disgruntled and contact the person who posted the image as well as host site Tumblr to complain and… NOTHING IS DONE!.

The stolen and apparently "photoshopped by a chimp" version of Andy Wayson's original image.

The stolen and apparently “photoshopped by a chimp” version of Andy Watson’s original image.

So a bastardized version of one of your own carefully crafted images, of the sort that you as a professional photographer sells to various magazines, has been used without your permission on a major website – and, you are given to understand, may also have been submitted to publications by the person who posted it, passing it off as their own.

Well this is what happened to one of Birmingham’s best contemporary fashion and music photographers Andy Watson of DRW Images ( and!/pages/Drw-Images/280703695157).

My copy from Andy Watson's original image

My copy from Andy Watson’s original image

By the very nature of Tumblr with its re-posting and recycling of images and information, there’s no way of knowing exactly who is responsible for the hatchet job on Andy’s image, but this particular person seems happy enough to sit back and allow praise to flood in for an image that isn’t theirs with little or no attempt to establish its provenance which is just as bad in my book.

In the spirit of fair play, and as a gesture against increasingly widespread copyright theft on sites such as Tumblr – perhaps you would join me in contacting the thief of this image by following this link and leaving an appropriate comment…

Thanks to Andy Watson for bringing this to our attention and for permission to use these images.


4 responses

  1. My stuff gets pinched all the time, especially portraits of girls with tattoos. You can send out DMCA notices, but unless you are from some big outfit like the MPAA, it will be ignored.

    December 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    • Thanks Ron. I think he’s tried that too. Is there anywhere you can download a template that you know of?

      December 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      • I bet you can find one with Google.

        December 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      • Will give it a go – just in case. Thanks again Ron

        December 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

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