Photographer Rebekka Gudleifsdóttir, who is a member of the online community flickr.com, claims the British company Only-Dreemin has stolen photographs from her flickr page and sold them as prints on canvas on eBay.
“I found eight of my photographs on the website [eBay] under some name which obviously wasn’t right,” Gudleifsdóttir told Fréttabladid. She found out that her photos had been sold for about ISK 300,000 (USD 4,700, EUR 3,500).
“I found out that the company [Only-Dreemin] also has a store in Leicester in England and their own website is displaying my pictures,” Gudleifsdóttir said.
The photographer explained her lawyer had contacted Only-Dreemin. “They removed the pictures from the website immediately but didn’t react to my compensation requests. Then they just stopped responding.”
After two months and no further replies, Gudleifsdóttir was told there was not much else she could do.
On Monday morning Gudleifsdóttir published a blog entry on her flickr page about the situation. Since then 436 readers have commented, lending Gudleifsdóttir support. The user-generated news website digg.com also published her story.
“Today their store [Only-Dreemin] is closed. People have bombarded them with emails and they have emailed me with an apology,” Gudleifsdóttir said, adding she is very grateful for all the support she received from the online community.
But Only-Dreemin has not paid Gudleifsdóttir compensation on the grounds that they had bought the photographs from another company and believed there were no problems with the copyright.
“It doesn’t change the fact that it is against the law to sell stolen material. If you realize that you’ve been selling stolen material you offer compensation,” Gudleifsdóttir said. She also said she did not believe Only-Dreemin’s explanation.
“It is far too common that large companies bully individuals. I think it is very important that they realize it is not okay,” Gudleifdsdóttir concluded.
Click here to visit the photographer’s flickr page.