“Sun file photo” or my Flickr account?

When I saw the front page of today’s print edition of the Lowell Sun, the photo of the Rialto Building used to illustrate the story on Middlesex Community College looked surprisingly familiar.  That’s probably because I’m the one who took it.  Below is the photo that appears in today’s Lowell Sun.  Beneath that is the picture I took with my Canon PowerShot SD800 IS camera and uploaded to my Flickr account (check out the Flickr photo’s metadata to confirm that).

Judge for yourself.

Front page of March 1, 2015 Lowell Sun

Photo from my Flickr account

If you compare the two, particularly the black car in the left foreground and the motorcycle approaching the photographer on the right, it’s pretty compelling evidence that it’s the same picture.

I don’t mind people using my photos.  That’s why I have them tagged with a Creative Commons license.  But that requires the following when you use the photo:

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

As you can see in the top version, I didn’t get any credit for the picture.  Instead, it’s tagged “Sun file photo.”

As a self-proclaimed citizen journalist, it’s encouraging to see that the professionals are adhering to their usual high ethical standards.

16 Responses to “Sun file photo” or my Flickr account?

  1. Paul Sweeney says:

    This the the absolute #1 reason I don’t post many of my pictures to the intertubes

  2. Sean Connaughton says:

    Speaking as a former imagery analyst for the US Army (and someone with a functioning pair of eyeballs), the two photos look pretty similar to me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Beyond the car and motorcycle, the American flags have identical folds in them, yep, this is the same photo…from what I understand this would not be the first time The Sun has taken photos from online sites and used them as their own.

  4. Craig H says:

    The latest in a disgustingly long line of content theft perpetrated by the Sun. The cars,the motorcycle, the flags, the clouds, the perspective of the traffic light cross beam against the bricks, etc. etc. etc. etc. I surely wish somebody would sue these idiots so their media conglomerate bosses would get a glimpse of the lazy, intellectually corrupt and sickeningly hypocritical management and editorial staff who desperately need to be replaced. It’s an embarrassment that this has to be our city newspaper.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s not similar its identical. The Lowell Sun has violated your digital copyright at a minimum by stamping it “sun file photo”. How tolerant would they be if you violated their copyright protection under the law!
    Never would have happened under the Costello family’s ownership.

    Ps: nice composition and no photoshopping either.

  6. J. Boutselis says:

    They’ve stolen pictures from my LHS ninth grade photography class. Classy operation!

  7. Nancy Pitkin says:

    They could have used a recent picture – there’s no snow in it! And it has unfortunately happened to others as noted above. One among other reasons, many don’t subscribe this newspaper.

  8. DickH says:

    Yesterday I received a very satisfactory telephone call from the Lowell Sun with an explanation and apology, then this morning’s Sun contains this:

    A photo of Middlesex Community College’s Rialto Building, published on Page 1 of Sunday’s edition of The Sun, was taken by Richard Howe Jr. of Lowell. The photo was published without proper credit or prior authorization. The same Howe photo was published Sept. 9, 2013, in an online story, also without proper credit. The Sun apologizes to Mr. Howe and our readers for the errors, which represent a clear violation of the newspaper’s photo policy, which is to verify the content’s source and obtain permission for usage prior to publication.

    So the matter is closed as far as I’m concerned.

  9. Sean Thibodeau says:

    I’m glad they reached out to you and printed an apology. Clearly they know they goofed and did the right thing in this case.