Canon Italy Responds and the Locardi Landscape Saga Continues

Canon Italy Responds and the Locardi Landscape Saga Continues

This week I wrote an article pointing out that Canon Italy (among other Canon EU pages and Instagram accounts) had posted a composite landscape that had a large amount of the image stolen from Elia Locardi. There was an enormous response to this and so I decided to dig for more information and between my research, the community, and Locardi himself, there's rather a lot more to unpack.

Firstly, I used the composite image posted to do a reverse image search and found where Canon Italy had downloaded the image: a website called Upsplash where the image is being provided free of charge for any use, copyright-free, including commercial and it has nearly 2,000 downloads. Cue the collective “uh-oh” as if that has been used in a major marketing campaign, this could get very messy indeed for the uploader.

That person in question is a photographer by the name of Greg Paul Miller and it seems a fairly safe bet that the elements of the image that aren't Locardi's, were taken by him at least, which isn't much in the way of consolation. A quick search for his name on Instagram yields his original posting of the shot back on September 22, 2016.

What makes this worse, is that Miller follows Locardi on Instagram and has even liked the very image that makes up most of the shot in question. The original shot that Locardi took was for the Fstoppers tutorial “Photographing the World,” which means anyone who had that tutorial would also have access to the raw file. In fact, in the “Photographing the World” tutorial, Locardi makes a quip about stealing the raw files because if you get caught, things could get awkward. Well, as Locardi said to me this morning: “In this case, it's definitely awkward.”

Well, so far we have no comment from Miller on his blatant theft of elements from Locardi's image, but Canon Italy have been kind enough to respond and address the obvious composite. Because it is obvious, isn't it?

Oh, apparently it's not obvious. Well, I will say that in Canon's defense, they took an image that was free to use and had added EXIF data that showed it was taken on a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV. As far as that goes, I can't really criticize them; I mean what can we realistically expect Canon to do before learning the truth of the image? However, their handling of this situation is appalling. Firstly, they seem oblivious to what a composite image is, and instead call out the differences between the two photos. Secondly, the willingness to inspire the community to take amazing photos, while commendable, is at best irrelevant to this discussion, and at worst promoting a "by any means necessary" approach to creating a beautiful image.

I truly hope there isn't a part three to this saga, but if there is, I'll keep everyone updated. It's worth noting that the photography community have been utterly superb in spotting this and then supporting Locardi. I've sadly experienced image theft and concept theft and in that case too, the photography community alerted me and rallied around me to get “justice.” I know Locardi would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped and I would too.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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I think that canon's page admin did the right thing. They said where they took the image and why. They could not know about how actually the photographer made that image. Instead of just delete the post, they answered to the community. If the photographer stole the raw file or even the sky from a jpg, well we know that maybe there's a legal problem here.

Thats why I waited to comment on this topic. Canon could have just acknowledged the similarities though. They did try to buy or use an image that was made buy Canon, you can give them that. Sucks for the artist. He now has to deal with Elias lawyers. No sympathy from me.

Oh Italy and image theft. I went to Italy for the first time last year and took some sick shots and then one got stolen by a hotel in Rome.Maybe Italy doesn't understand copyright.

Greg Paul Miller is Italian?

You imply that only Italians live in Italy?

No. How did you get to that?

Oh ok. Well, I just assumed from your comment where you asked if G P Miller was an Italian, that you think he can’t be Italian based on his name. Makes sense?))

Makes sense.

Did you read the article? Reading the article it looks like Canon Italy did a fair mistake and the one to blame is Greg Paul Miller that doesn't sound Italian. Anyway, I'm sorry for your loss due to this hotel bad behavior, and I'm well aware my country has not the best reputation regarding copyright.

Did you read the article? Canon Italy doesn't give a crap about copyright.

"Canon Italy had downloaded the image: a website called Upsplash where the image is being provided free of charge for any use, copyright-free, including commercial" I agree that now that they know the situation they should at least apologize but it's a bit harsh to think they should know that a part of the image was stolen.

Yes, italians think that if they found something on internet they can take it for free. I live near Bologna and I see this very often.

Excuse me. This is a case of image components “stolen” from a well known Italian photographer by someone who appears much more likely to be American than Italian. I’ve found several social media sites for Mr. Miller, the most extensive personal information seems to be his google plus profile which simply gives his gender as male.

Rick, Elia Locardi is also American :)

I'm talking about Canon Italy.

I used to write some video chat software and we had a ton of pirated copies from people in Italy. They definitely don't respect copyright. However, based on the guys name, it doesn't appear as though he's Italian.

Wow what a comment from your side.
Saying Italy doesn't understand copyright (and as you posted it it seems like all Italians don't) it's the same if I say Americans are the most violent people in the world (with all the wars you've done and you are doing)!!
So to me your comment has no sense.
I say this guy doesn't understand it and Canon Italy made a mistake! That's all

yes, go on with the stereotypes. Pizza, mafia, mandolino anyone? Please, keep 'em coming...

Stealing the sky Or the race for "Followers" and "Likes"


However we let it happen to our industry with all this talk about doing "free" work for exposure etc. Canon should be absolutely ashamed. I'm sure they have enough money to commission one of their brand ambassadors to create images for the ads and marketing.

Exactly. Heck I'd shoot for Canon just for some gear or whatever.

Yeah. That's the part I don't understand.

Perfect example of why this article is wrong. Canon just proved they'd rather use a free image than pay those same people who are keeping them in business:

I feel like that was a worse response than staying silent.

" It's worth nothing that the photography community have been utterly superb in spotting this and then supporting Locardi."

Even though anyone with the I.Q. of a potted plant and higher will realize that the word meant to be written was "noting," instead of "nothing," please, please change it.

He took down his website too. This is good!

I wonder were Greg Paul Miller got the raw files...did he bought the Tutorial????
did he got it online without paying for it?
just curious :-p

You arent correct in saying that the raw files come with the ptw videos. When they were there for making that video the lights were not on. The raw files provided dont have the lights on.

After reading the response I have a feeling Canon will be stepping in. Canon Italy is basically saying that they arent sure the photo is actually a composite. At least that is how Im reading it. Thry are just saying "sure there are things that are the same but there are differences".. Yah there are differences. For starters the reflections in the water dont match. Lol..

It would be interesting to see if its possible to actually realistically bring back those reflections by flipping the top over and using the warp tool to line everything up. Then using blending modes and opacity carefully blend it in.

Canon's response is as lame as their sensor's dynamic range.

This is odd on many fronts. Greg Paul Miller apparently took the photo on a Canon 1D IV that looks strikingly similar to a photo taken by Elia Locardi; Canon added EXIF information to Miller's photo for the repost.
Canon did the right thing by removing the photo.

between exif editing and pictures as copy past by the magic of IT it s becoming very easy to steal. i see it all the time in contest on some other site too, people have no shame ! photography world is no different to anything else obviously. you can't even suspect an image with very few to be one stolen : i have plenty of my image from argentic period, at most you will see coolscan exit data ( my slide scanner nikon) that's all..
Community of honest photographer is probably one of best protection as network worked. On Canon side , ok for the mistake , but now i hope they remove the picture from the campaign at least as the obvious is shown.
Now to detect at the origin that the image is partially or totally stolen it is probably quite difficult ( analyses billions of pictures on the net to pair with another one ..?!! probably impossible.