In June 2010, when my photos of Suzanne Corona showed up on the UK Daily Mail’s web site, I tried calling editors at the Daily Mail to complain, but couldn’t get past voice mail. I also tried e-mail.
I hadn’t given permission for use of the photos and hadn’t been compensated.
Frustrated, I let the matter drop.
Then, this summer I took a very tabloidly photo of a man who had been arrested after allegedly driving a golf cart while intoxicated. What made the story was that the initial report was that a man in a clown suit had stolen the golf cart.
A couple of news outlets called and asked permission — and offered compensation — to use the photo.
But it wasn’t long before the photo appeared on the Daily Mail’s site.
Again, without a request for permission nor compensation.
I tweeted about it, posted messages on the Daily Mail’s Facebook Wall and tried sending e-mails to the Daily Mail. My tweet got picked up by Steve Myers on Romenesko+.
Then an item popped up Romenesko about Bradford Noble, the New York photo editor for the Daily Mail online.
I found Bradford’s profile on Facebook and sent him a message.
I got a phone call from him the next day. He was very kind and apologetic. He passed my information onto the photo editor in London, who called me a couple of days later and agreed to pay me twice the normal freelance rate for each of the three photos used.
After some issues working out the logistics of getting the money into my checking account, I received that money transfer on Friday.
I figured since I’d made a public stink about use of the photos, I should publicly acknowledge and thank the people at the Daily Mail for coming through with compensation for the photos.
It’s good to know that once I was actually able to make contact with a real, live person at the Daily Mail, they were quite conscientious about making payment for the photos. And a special thank you to Bradford for taking the issue seriously and getting right on it once it was brought to his attention.
The photo has shown up other places without compensation, such as WTSP, MSN, CBS12, Hot97 and Barstool Sports. I guess I need to send some letters to these publishers next.