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Flickr Faux Pas

Erin Polgreen

ITT's very own web reporter Lindsay Beyerstein is featured in this NY Times article on the misuses of copyrighted imagery in the age of social networks: [Flickr] has become a global clearinghouse for images; at last count, it had more than a billion of them. With its extensive cataloging, the site allows users to search through strangers’ digital photo albums for topics, faces or locations that interest them. That includes, apparently, Australian ad executives holding a casting call for exuberant young Americans. There are many accusations of people misusing Flickr photographs, including the case of an Icelandic woman who says an online gallery based in Britain sold her work without her approval, and a German photographer who says a right-wing Norwegian political party used a photo of her sister in its materials also without permission. A most recent example concerns Lindsay Beyerstein, a Flickr member, who says she sent a cease-and-desist letter to Fox News last week over the use by “The O’Reilly Factor” of her photograph of a blogger; the photo can be viewed at Flickr where Ms. Beyerstein has reserved all her rights. Fox News said it had not received the complaint yet. Click here to check out Lindsay's Flickr stream, or visit her blog at

Before coming to The Media Consortium in February 2008, Erin was an Associate Publisher for In These Times, where she managed advertising, marketing and outreach. Erin began working with In These Times as an editorial intern in June 2005. That August, she joined the staff as Advertising and Marketing Coordinator and was promoted to Associate Publisher in February 2007. From August 2004 through May 2005, Erin served with City Year Chicago, an Americorps program. As a Senior Corps member, she co-led a team of literacy tutors at an elementary school on the West side of Chicago. Erin graduated with departmental honors and a degree in English from Webster University in May 2004.
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