#4896 – examinergate, pt 3

so here’s the response i got from the baltimore examiner:


Subject: Photo.

Date: November 1, 2007 10:15:10 AM EDT


Dear Glenn,

Regarding the Roller Girls photo on Page 2 of the Oct. 31 edition of the

Baltimore Examiner, permission was granted from Molly O’Donnell to our

reporter to use the photo. She did mention that you were the photographer,

but we don’t use photo captions and credits on page 2.

I hope this clears it up.


David Emanuel

Special Features Editor


this is where the blame shifts completely over to the examiner, since she mentioned that i was the photographer, so they KNEW i was the photographer, and yet they didn’t bother to get my permission?? and what is this bit about “we don’t use photo captions and credits on page 2 business?? in the words of will smith,

so i figured it was time to get my photojournalism instructor on the case. this is what i told him:

I find it suspect that when their reporter was told that the photo was taken by someone else that they didn’t attempt to confirm with the photographer whether or not they had license and permission to use the image. Also the no-citing bit. It really calls into question their journalistic integrity when they aren’t attempting to verify or cite their sources.

cynicalscribe also was going to poke at her old media law professor to see what’s what. shortly after that i got this response from my photojournalism prof:

yea, i agree, its really poor judgement on their part and simply unethical. the response is unacceptable. Molly O donnell cannot by law grant permission to use a photograph that is not hers. You own the copyright no questions asked. They are wrong and owe you compensation and credit. Don’t back off.

this is where it’s on like el kabong!

another 30 minutes or so pass by and i get another message from the newspaper:


Subject: Again, apologies.

Date: November 1, 2007 11:33:02 AM EDT


Glenn, just wanted to again assure you that this was nothing intentional.

It’s just that for a page such as this that we run every day (it’s called

Good Day, on Page 2, with a listing of events), that we run small photos

that we are given permission for. The reporter has done this for years, and

always checks for permission. We simply just don’t run photo credits with

these photos, because 99.99 percent of the time, the publicity people who

have the photo, and the photographers themselves, have already granted

consent to run them as publicity shots.

In this case, Molly was obviously doing her job and unknowingly granted

permission that she thought was already there. And don’t worry about getting

Molly involved. Like I said, she was clearly just doing her job there, and

did point out in her email that you did take the photo.

Anyway, Glenn, take care, and sorry for any misunderstandings.


David Emanuel

with my photojournalism instructor advising me just after i received that:

Yea, I actually called to see what was going on. The editor will email back a better description of why the photo was used without your direct permission. I think that it was unintentional and I think they see where they made a mistake. Hopefully it won’t happen again, I think thats all you can really expect at this point.


the beefs that i still have:

first, they should still cite the sources for their photos on this page, even if it’s just listed as “courtesy photo” when provided by the group publicizing the event. second, they were told that the photo was taken by someone else, and should have confirmed the use of the photo. it’s still a newspaper column using photography not under license no matter if they say “we’re sorry”. the big question will be “is it worth it to pursue further?” i mean, as carrie put it, it’s not like it’s clipart on the events bulletin board down at the local senior center, is it?

no word yet from carrie’s media law professor, but two of my fraternity alumni are in law school and want to research my options and consult their professors to get some law experience under their belts. i’m wondering if i should email that guy back now and say “i appreciate the apology, but i consider the matter to still be open and again request credit and compensation for unlicensed use of my photography” and tell them how their reporter should have sourced the photo to verify usage rights before using it (especially since they were told who the photographer is), or if i should wait until i hear back from more people, or what? i’ll sit on this for now, need to head out to harm city homicide team meeting — johnhr11 and i are going to bring some LCA organization to the business side of HCH!