By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes
Recently, National Best Selling Author Roni Loren published an article about being sued for a blog photo that shook the blogging world right down to its ellipsis. Suddenly, bloggers came out of the woodwork, telling stories of unknown photographers popping up from nowhere, demanding exorbitant amounts for their forgotten, mediocre pictures that were plucked from obscurity and given a life on blogs.
This led Holmes and I to surmise that in actuality, some of these photographers aren’t photographers at all, but professional Courthouse Crawlers who, unable to make a living at photography, throw their photos out like bait, waiting to catch unsuspecting bloggers in their nets of infringement litigation.
Sure enough, with a minimal amount of research, we turned up proof.
Meet Mike of Mike’s Photos R Me.
This is Mike’s best self-portrait, but he calls himself a professional photographer. We went to Mike’s web site, and this is what we found.
Hi, Bloggers. Here are my photos. I never check to see who is using them, even though they are my best work, and this is how I make my living. I will never look to see who takes them at all. Why, if you took my work to use on your page (just double click and ‘Save Image’) I would never know it. Not at all.
This is a small sampling of my famous, award-winning* photography that I never, ever google.
Art Photo: ‘Rock on a Log’
Wildlife Photo: ‘Crouching Dog, Hidden Canine’
I stalked this wild mutt through the back yard for at least ten minutes to catch this perfect shot.
Abstract Photo: ‘Meditation on a Yard Sprinkler’
See how the water creates the illusion of lush lawn along the side, in sharp contrast to the harsh brown grass. Now there’s some thought fodder.
Editorial Photo: Guinea Pig World
Note how the guinea pig is like the so many of the world’s people. The cage is open for him to embrace his freedom, yet instead, he prefers the safety of his confinement while simply gnawing the bars in angst . . . I know. I have to pause a moment, too.
And what portfolio would be complete without some beautiful, artistic nudes to remind us of the glory of the human form? I started shooting this type of art when my mother kicked me out of her basement six months ago.
Nude Photo: Back Directory
When my buddies all 86ed me from their houses, too, I met this guy named Alfonse who pointed out the money to be made in this type of photo . . .
Naughty Photo: Fifty Shades of Plastic
Who wouldn’t want this brilliance gracing their blogs? But no worries. I’m not like some of those photographers out there, just waiting to take you to court. No way. I will never know if you just happen to take one of these beauties for your website.
*Voted Best Photography by all of Mike’s Family and Friends.
Don’t be fooled by Mike! While there are many fine and reputable photographers out there who deserve our respect and our dollars to reproduce their materials, there are also these bottom feeders lurking and preying on unsuspecting bloggers who are simply confused about the law.
If you are approached by a ‘Mike,’ keep in mind that license to use most pictures on the internet only costs between one and twenty dollars. If you should run into a stubborn Mike who wants some exorbitant compensation, consider contacting us about our Bayard & Holmes Alternative Out of Court Settlement Service. Our Out of Court Settlement Team has thus far experienced outstanding results in convincing the world’s Mikes to accept reasonable settlements that are favorable to our clients.
All the best to all of you for a week of avoiding life’s bottom feeders.