After Alice Taylor's cell-phone photographs of the highly anatomically incorrect mannequins at a London Gap store went viral — we covered the story last week — she started fielding inquiries about the pictures and interview requests from newspapers around the world.
One of those media outlets was the Daily Mail, where a photo editor named Ariel Ramirez asked if the esteemed British tabloid might buy the licensing rights to one or more of Taylor's photographs for publication.
Taylor replied that the Daily Mail could reprint the pictures in exchange for a £250 usage fee, which she requested be donated to a charity. The Daily Mail editor replied that the requested fee exceeded the paper's budget. Taylor said that in that case, she could not grant the paper permission to use her pictures, and Ramirez wrote back, "Thanks for letting me know."
The Daily Mail had a couple options at this point. There was the lazy, and the super-lazy:
- Send its own photographer down to the Gap store to take a picture of the damn mannequin
- Just steal Alice Taylor's photographs anyway
Can you guess which one they went with?
The little watermark with "©Wonderlandblog/Twitter" is a really classy touch.
When a photographer takes a picture, he or she owns that photo. Not only did the Daily Mail fail to compensate Alice Taylor for the right to reproduce the pictures that she owned, the tabloid's article on the subject failed to link to Taylor's Tweets that broke the story, the Boing Boing post by her husband, Cory Doctorow, that publicized the photos, or to the Washington Post article from which the Mail cribbed all of its reporting. Every single reported quote from Taylor was from the Post — she never was interviewed by the Mail reporter who is credited with the story, Daisy Dumas — but from reading the piece, you'd think she'd spoken to them directly.
The Daily Mail has since edited its story to add a mention of the Washington Post article. It still has no outbound links. And it still spells Doctorow's last name "Doctrow."
Taylor is now seeking £2000 (to be donated to charity) from the Daily Mail for willful copyright infringement. The tabloid has yet to respond to her demands.