Update: It appears TechCrunch has pulled the offending image and replaced it with another one. They still don’t provide any attribution so I sure hope they didn’t just replace one stolen image with another.
Just for those of you who happened to missed seeing the stolen image being used on the site, I’ve included a screen capture below:
While the popular blog TechCrunch is known across the web as a leading source for tech related information, they’re also cultivating a reputation for using copyrighted images without attribution or permission.
Unfortunately for the popular blog, they’ve been caught red-handed yet again, ignoring copyrights.
In one of TechCrunch’s recent posts I noticed an interesting image of a record collection obviously painstakingly arranged. Knowing TC’s proclivity to steal other people’s images, and noticing their complete lack of attribution for the image, I decided to do some digging.
Thankfully, it didn’t take too long to figure out where the image had come from. After viewing the image source, I did a quick Google image search for montone records and sure enough, the first result was the very same image TechCrunch used in their post.
Just to make sure I wasn’t falsely accusing TC, I dropped the blogger/photographer, Christian Montone a quick email asking whether he held the copyrights to the image and if he’d granted TC permission to use the image.
Surprise, surprise, surprise, not only had Christian never heard of TechCrunch but he CERTAINLY hadn’t granted them permission to use his image.
Christian responded with the following comment on the offending post:
My name is Christian Montone and I am the photographer of the image you used above WIHTOUT permission. I understand that life in the blogosphere comes with the caveat that folks can copy-paste-edit-repost your images at any given moment and I am glad to have any and all folks enjoy the images I shoot, paint or draw. It is, however, a bit disconcerting that I was NOT asked permission for inclusion of my image (nor was I even given a photo credit). IT IS COMPLETELY EXPLICIT AND CLEAR on my blog that I am the author of the images I post (and in fact that image was shot in my home). In the future, when using the personal images made public by myself or others, could you PLEASE employ the common professional courtesy of asking permission of the author of such an image?
Respectfully, yet a bit perturbed…
While the comment has been published, TechCrunch has issued no response to Mr. Montone’s comment or his similarly messaged email.
Much like the episode with Digg, a mistake like this would be forgivable and maybe even understandable if it were the first time. People are human, we all make mistakes. However, this is yet another influential website, willfully and arrogantly abusing the rest of the web with complete disregard for our rights.
I would certainly hope TechCrunch’s advertisers and sponsors don’t condone this type of behavior. However, by their continued support of a website so well known for their disregard for copyrights, it would be easy to assume that Microsoft and Media Temple among others are complicent if not supportive of this kind of behavior.
It’s time the rights of bloggers, photographers, and any other content producer is honored online.