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.
Huzzah for Bayard & Holmes!!!! If anyone could get to the bottom of this extraordinary incident, I knew it would be my favorite dynamic duo. Well done, B&H! There were just too many shades of gray…until now, of course.
LOL. Thank you, Karen. It was a dirty job, but our readers are worth it. 🙂
True life savers!!!
50 Shades of Plastic…good one! Great post, Piper! You and Holmes can be our writer “muscle”!
Way to go, Piper and Holmes! You two rock!
Such a funny post and the Barbie and Ken(s) hookup is the best!
Creative license on creative arts, I see. Excellent!
“Meditation on a Lawn Sprinkler” was my favorite, haha. I found some public domain picture sites which is where I get the bulk of my pictures from these days. You have to be a bit careful about Wikipedia but if you look closely they have plenty of free to use pictures. Sometimes given what I write about it’s hard to find out who exactly took what picture when–just like the folklore/urban legends they capture, pictures of that kind of thing seem to appear out of the ether. And they’re usually all grainy and pixel-y =P
LOL! Mike certainly manages to capture the very spirt and essence of ordinary. There’s none of that oh-so-predictable I-worked-to-get-this-shot suff. It’s just raw, gritty, cellphone, I-don’t-need-no-stinking-Nikon, averageness. I think he did a set a while ago entitled “when my cellphone went off in my pocket because I forgot to engage the lock function.” believe me, no one does lint like Mike!
Hope you don’t get sued.
I thought there was something a little excessive in what happened to Ms. Loren. The interesting thing to me was how many angry (and presumably legitimate!) photographers came out of the woodwork, excoriating those who steal their work. There were enough of those that I decided I don’t want to deal with anyone but people I know personally when it comes to images and cover art for my own works. Waaaaaay too much bad juju.
Yea that case was crazy.
oh my gosh, hahahaha! this is hilarious, and genius. The sprinkler he captured is my favorite. What a pensive sprinkler. Thanks for the laugh.
I just love y’all for posting this. My favorite image was the one with the nude barbies on the bed. I laughed so hard my poor little dog had to bark.
Hilarious! If I run into one of these guys, I think I’ll appease them with the tin of sardines I got last Christmas. Those are gourmet, ya know.
Hi heather. If the sardines don’t work we’ll be happy to make available to them our very finest Sicilian cultural services on your behalf. For a small extra fee we can play a tape of fine pseudosicilian music at the same time.
Wish I’d known you were establishing this service before I went through and deleted the photos from my all blogs.
I wish I had known it before I spent five hours messing with mine. And that’s just a start.
These are great photos! I think Mike should be concerned about his work being stolen a lot more than he thinks. He’s kind of a curmudgeonly looking dude, though. I’ll bet he yells at neighborhood kids for riding their tricycles too fast.
No doubt. Probably even yells at them to get out of his immaculately groomed yard, too. 🙂
Can I talk to you about a certain boy of driving age that wants to date my daughter?
I’ll leave that one for Holmes. 🙂
I think I’ll just try to stick to Wiipedia commons. Much simpler. They have 2 or 3 photos in most articles. or find a US govt website, where they often say that this photo was taken by a US gov’t employee in the course of his employment and is therefore copyright free. I got some good shots of forest fires from the NPS that way.
Okay, I’m going to sue you. Why? Because you used my body and photo-shopped Barbies head on it 🙂
Great post, Piper and Holmes. You never fail to make me smile.
Likewise, Donna. And we’ll give you a settlement for exactly the money you lost by us photoshopping your head onto my daughter’s barbies. 🙂
LOL, What??? Does that mean I get money? 🙂
Barbie-sized money 🙂
Crap. I just used his “Rock on a Log” in a post last week.
Let us know if you need the Team to handle it, JM. 🙂
Is it possible for me to love Bayard & Holmes any more than I already did? After reading this post, I think so!
OMG, this is hilarious and right on target (steals your pictures). I went out in my yard and became a real photographer. Yep, that little gnome in the tree (you didn’t notice me steal them) told me I was a real one cause I had a camera and a dream. But it can be cured. The squirrel filled me in on that last part.
LOL! So funny. Now that I know there *are* copyright trolls who bait their work on the internet and make their money by suing folks, the fact you took that and ran with it–off a cliff of twisted intentions???–is just hysterical.
Thanks B&H for continuing your mission of enlightenment in an amusing way. 🙂
Thank you, Jami. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂