The incident below can serve as an important warning to corporations that mistakenly think Flickr photographers won’t jump your shit if you infringe upon their copyright. Also, they should keep in mind, the cc license is virtually worthless in protecting you, if you mistakenly believe those photos can be used for free, because it can be revoked at any time (Dan Heller explains here).
One of the photographers who’s work was stolen, Richard Sharman, sent me the following:
A website run by brewing giant Heineken was leeching hundreds, if not thousands of copyright photos through the flickr API and posting them to promote the Oxegen music festival in Ireland.
The website at, www.heinekenmusic.ie was pulled after Heineken Music Ireland started receiving demands for payment from photographers for the unauthorized commercial use of copyright material.
There is active discussion about this at several flickr groups including (here) that was set up specifically to discuss the matter. There are a number of screenshots there of the website and the use of copyright images.
There was a comment on their blog which appears to come from within the company about the problem with the heinekenmusic.ie website:
Normally our player should’ve only display photos with commercial CC license, he’re gone something terribly wrong and we’ve currently disabled the flickr photos module on the player. We’re currently looking into the thread on Flickr and see what we can do for the photographers …
I’m sorry if we’ve offended photographers …
Finally, it appears that Heineken is sending settlement emails to the photographers who contacted them with the following offer: “Accordingly, we would be willing to pay in full and final settlement an amount of €15 per image allegedly used” which might get a few to go away but no those who make a living shooting pictures.
You have been warned.