Leave.EU stole Vice pix
VICE magazine sent Chris Bethell to cover the premiere of Brexit: The Movie, which Vice describes as "farcical" - not surprising since it was directed by Martin Durkin... about whom the less said the better. Not much surprise either that 12 hours later Chris noticed that the Leave.EU campaign had "taken my photographs, re-appropriated them into another photographic artwork and posted them on Facebook and Twitter." The campaign had taken all the photos from the article and stuck them in a film-reel-style image with a caption claiming "A great turn out at the Brexit: The Movie premiere".
Chris "contacted them the same night asking to have them taken down. The next day I sent them an invoice, to which they replied that they would take them down immediately. It was at least a further 24 hours before they were taken down. Obviously they'd had their use out of them on social media, and it didn't matter at all if they took it down at that point."
NUJ Freelance Organiser John Toner told Vice that Chris "is well within his rights" to pursue the campaign for payment. The case illustrates - again - how photographers' (and other authors') right to determine how our work is used is about more than cash - it's about reputation, integrity and ethics. Shame, then, about the contracts Vice is imposing - see "All Vice and no virtue in unfair contract".