Not everyday do you get a chance to take a photo that can make a difference in someone's life, or in my case help bring down governments. At age 21 I took a self portrait of myself screaming and posted it online and over the past few years that image has been stolen and used around the world thousands of times. We already shared the full story here on Fstoppers, but we never showed how wide-spread the photo went and how much it was used around the world. This video will show you just some of the different (unauthorized) uses.
'The Stolen Scream is a rare case of global intellectual property theft, and is one of the most used images in recent decades. It has been used all around the world and for many different uses - from book covers to revolution signs. Many people discuss the legal side of the story (and it makes for a lot of interesting debates), but when I watch something like the video above, it makes the legal issues become a secondary thought.
The image has become so widespread that it became much bigger than any "average" stolen shot. Instead of looking at it as a plain theft and just thinking about all the money I lost, or could potentially earn in the future, I'd rather focus on the positive side of the story. I see how it touched people from all around the world, including people who see me as an enemy (ie: Israeli) in places I'm not allowed to visit. I see how it's being used by people who want change in their lives, how people see it as a symbol for their own freedom. I see how it affects politics and politicians in countries I never visited before (and probably will never be able to visit in the future). I see how people use my face/photo to express their feelings - it could be anger, sadness, and sometimes happiness.
For me, seeing all these different uses is much bigger than another check in the bank. It's incredible, it's crazy, it's amazing, but especially weird. Every day I find myself in a different country being used for a different cause, which is something i'll never be able to do with any other photo I'll take in my lifetime. So for this specific photo, I rather enjoy the story (and it effects) than suffer from the thoughts of money.
Sometimes the value of an image can not be measured by the amount of money it sells for. The video above proves it.