Friday, September 06, 2013

Thanks Buzzfeed for Using My Photo of a Dunkin Donuts Coffee. Now Pay Me.

Oh look, I'm on Buzzfeed, Undeniable Proof That Dunkin’ Donuts Is The Best Place Ever:

Image: As seen on Buzzfeed

Image: As seen on Buzzfeed

Dunkin' Donuts
Image: Original Photo

But wait, my photo has a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. NC meaning Non Commercial.

If you look at the photo on Flickr, it's clear that in order to use it on a commercial site, you need to ask permission.

Note: I used to have a Getty: "Request to License" link on my photos, by it's disappeared. I just contacted flickr to see why it's missing.

It seems like this is something that Buzzfeed has done before.

Photographer sues BuzzFeed for $3.6M over viral sharing model:
Last year, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti explained to the Atlantic that the site pays to license images from companies like Reuters and Getty, but that it also pulls from amateur sites like Tumblr and Flickr. In these cases, the provenance of the images can be unclear — in some cases, the photographer has made them available for public use while other times the author is simply unknown.

Peretti also claims that, in any event, BuzzFeed’s photo montages are fair use under copyright law because they are “transformative” (which is one factor in the first part of a complicated four-part fair use test).

I've contacted Buzzfeed asking for payment.


Buzzfeed now includes attribution, Creative Commons, and links back.


  1. Well, at least they abided by the 'by' part. Now if only they could handle the 'nc' and 'sa' parts (notice the utter LACK of a by-nc-sa license on their own stuff).

  2. Depends on who's interpretation of "by" you go by.

  3. They added this after I contacted them: "Steve Garfield / / Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-SA / Via Flickr: stevegarfield" with a link back to me, creative commons, and the photo.