Last week Fstoppers published my opinion piece on photographer Brendan van Son’s suggestion that he would give his images to Starbucks for free. Van Son has just produced a very classy response to the article in this short video and looks into the complexities of how images are shared on Instagram.
As van Son mentions, I gave him a bit of a hard time in the opinion piece, using his words as a means of digging into how companies take advantage of photographers by making inbound content marketing seem like something that is friendly and non-corporate. In this video, van Son responds in depth, exploring how Instagram’s system for sharing content is not geared to protect creators and gives the impression their work is up for grabs.
Van Son wants a piece of the hill that I will die on: Instagram does not care about intellectual property and vast amounts of the content appearing on its platform and the traffic (and advertising revenue) that it produces exploits this desire to share, in contradiction of Instagram’s own terms and conditions. It's great to see that others share my frustrations and we wait to see if the EU's forthcoming Article 13 will have any impact.
Van Son is absolutely right on one other aspect: I should have reached out to him for comment before publishing my article. My apologies. I'm pleased to have started the discussion but it would have been more constructive — and respectful — to reach out first.
As usual, leave your thoughts in the comments.
Lead image is a composite using a photograph by Seth Doyle.