Thanks to jakerome, who saw this Tuesday night, I found one of my photos being used on Toyota's new 4Runner web site without my permission.
For the record, I was never contacted for permission or licensing, the image is (and has been for some time) licensed All Rights Reserved and the way it's "protected" (weak as that is) on Flickr they had to have circumvented the protections (e.g. screen shot) to copy it.
Also I've had the following disclaimer on the photo for some time as well (I habitually do this with all of my popular Flickr photos):
This photo is licensed All Rights Reserved. If you wish to use/publish it contact Michael Calanan / Calanan Photography, LLC
On thing I have never done, but will begin to, is register my images with the US Copyright Office.
For those who might not be able to access the Flash page, the photo is the used at 230x150px, is not credited but does click through to the Flickr page.
I realise that I should seriously consider investing in retaining a lawyer but in the meantime I'd like to hear what others in similar situations have found to be successful.
Some folks half-jokingly suggesting that I send Toyota an invoice for licensing and usage - does that ever actually work?
Also some suggest Toyota is in the clear due to the fact that they link back to the original and one cited the case Kelly v. Arriba Soft:
Update #1 09:00 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
There are also discussions at:
And on Twitter via @calanan.
Update #2 09:45 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
Though I have not yet been contacted by Toyota directly, I just received a Twitter update from them stating:
"@calanan @Photo_John @stuartzero We're currently pulling the photos and will be in contact with each photography who was represented."
So much for the licensing/usage invoice I was drafting. :(
Update #3 10:30 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
Flickr jakerome / Twitter @jakerome has created two Flickr Galleries showing all the photos used in the 4Runner campaign:
Toyota, oh what a stealing! - Part 1
Toyota, oh what a stealing! - Part 2
Toyota, oh what a stealing! - Part 3
Update #4 11:00 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
Update #5 13:15 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
There are apparently two separate 4Runner sites, the Flickr photos have only been removed from http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/minisite/4Runner/ not from http://www.toyota.com/new4runner/
Update #6 15:41 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
Still no contact from Toyota
Update #7 16:51 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
Another affected photographer, @dmourati speaks out, "Oh What a Feeling"
Update #8 18:20 Mountain 04 Nov 2009
Update from the Toyota Flickr account in Flickr: The Help Forum (still no direct contact from them):
"Toyota apologizes for pulling images from Flickr without photographer permission. Images from a handful of photographers appeared on a Toyota site for five days. We’re working quickly to reach out to the individual photographers involved. Until then, the images have been removed, and corrections have been made to the process of pulling images from Flickr."
Update #9 10:50 Mountain 05 Nov 2009
PDN (Photo District News) has picked up this story at PDNPulse
Update #10 13:45 Mountain 05 Nov 2009
Story picked up by
The Denver Egotist: Toyota Shamefully "Borrows" Image from Local Denver Photographer
CNET: Getty and Flickr deepen photo-licensing ties
Update #11 15:10 Mountain 05 Nov 2009
Another affected photographer, @SnorriGunnarsso speaks out, "Toyota stealing photos of Flickr"
Update #12 09:30 Mountain 06 Nov 2009
Update #13 15:40 Mountain 06 Nov 2009
Update #14 16:50 Mountain 06 Nov 2009
New Flickr images are showing up on the Toyota 4Runner minisite
But not this version
Update #15 13:30 Mountain 07 Nov 2009
Blogged at Photo Attorney: "Protect Your Flickr Photos"
Update #16 17:30 Mountain 07 Nov 2009
Another great article on this issue Advertising Age: "User-Created Ads Create Rights Conundrum"
Update #17 11:10 Mountain 09 Nov 2009
Another blog post about this issue: A Photo Editor "The bigger the company, the bigger the blunder"
Update #18 10:10 Mountain 10 Nov 2009
Found more articles online:
iMediaConnection: "Toyota's social strategy lands it in hot water"
Adland: "Paris Hilton not amused by 'Vacant' billboard's truth in advertising + Toyotas flickr-pillaging"
Digital Wedding Forum: "Maybe Their Web Designer Did It"
D-Photo: "Billboard Not So Pretty..."
Update #19 08:00 Mountain 15 Nov 2009
Another article: Software Cinema: "More Corporate Thievery, This Time Toyota and Saatchi - Don't They Get The Photographer Needs To Be PAID?"
Update #20 16:00 Mountain 18 Nov 2009
Article by Joseph Pobereskin: "Eat at Joe's: Why Don't I Drive A Prius?"