Ok, so, just as I hate it that people are stealing Microsoft's Windows, and Adobe Photoshop, I too get upset when the Galactic Empire's IP gets (allegedly) stolen. Worse yet, it's by an organization I really admire -- The Consumerist.
To the right, you see this story about CompUSA closings, and the Getty Images watermark. Here, I am writing a commentary about the (alleged) theft of the image and the story, and, as such, it is fair use, however, The Consumerist is using the photo to illustrate the story, something Getty should be paid for. Getty's browse results return images with the watermark, and images for which a fee is paid and license granted have the image available without the watermark.
Now, perhaps, this is a diabolical scheme whereby Getty opts not to pursue the infringement, because it's a free ad on a really popular site whereby their name appears prominently, or, perhaps they are allowing for the free use because the watermark is so prominent....hmmmm...
Ok, so, one of you intrepid readers took the bull by the horns and called our friends at Consumerist on this, and, according to what I can only presume is a true/complete transcript of the dialog with them, reveals that there may well be some diabolical relationship, or, perhaps, it's just an oversight on the part of the good people of Consumerist.
If that's the case though, then why is this now the article? It's the same article, but the photo has been removed entirely, not replaced with a non-watermarked one.
On the heals of that photograph however, comes a bit of history. A search of The Consumerist yields these results showing that, somewhere, the image is in a cue/database/archive, and is still in there, with the watermark, yet when you click on it, the above article appears, sans photo.
It gets potentially more diabolical looking....
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