DKNY (Donna Karen New York) have been caught stealing the photographs of popular blogger Brandon Stanton of the Humans of New York photo blog. DKNY, the fashion powerhouse worth several billion dollars, initially approached Stanton and requested to purchase 300 of his photographs to use in store window displays at its boutiques around the world. The company offered Stanton $15,000 for his images. Stanton turned down the request believing that $50 dollars per photograph was too little. Stanton made a counter offer which DKNY passed on. However, they copied his photographs and displayed them in a DKNY store in Bangkok anyway! Stanton says the pictures “were used without my knowledge, and without compensation”.
On discovering the IP theft, Stanton asked DKNY via his blog and Facebook page to donate $100,000 in his name to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “That donation would sure help a lot of deserving kids go to summer camp”, his post stated. Almost 30,000 Facebook users shared the post within 5 hours, which quickly caught the attention of DKNY. Although they didn’t come through with $100,000, DKNY did announce via a statement on their Facebook page that a charitable donation of $25,000 would be made to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton’s name. Stanton then asked his followers on the Humans of New York Facebook page to make up the difference to reach his initial goal of $100,000, which was successfully reached Friday, March 1.
Don’t forget, if you want to use someone else’s photographs, you must ask the photographer’s permission. Just because they’re on the internet, does not mean they are free for all. Using unauthorised photographs is an infringement of the photographer’s intellectual property rights and you could face legal action!
Images via Huffington Post