The security of images on the internet is just one of the concerns raised by the case of Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, who has had her images used without permission, by only dreemin', a canvas print company based in Leicester. Rebekka explained that she gathered evidence and took it to an Icelandic lawyer, "a friend of mine came across their store on ebay and recognized one of my prints. (this was way back in january i think). I looked into the matter and discovered 7 more of my photos being sold there. In the case of pictures 1, 2, 6 and 7, the image had been divided up into 3 vertical panels. Furthermore, the images had been given new and exciting titles, like Seraque II and Attica, Dawn expander II and Joga (barf). I spent a good many days researching, going back thru their customer feedback, and was able to track back the sales of at least 60 prints made from my images. These prints sold for a total sum of £2450 (around $4840).
I gathered all the evidence, saved each webpage displaying my work , saved the list of customer feedback, printed all this stuff out and took it to a lawyer here in iceland. She was confident that by sending them some well-phrased letters i'd be sure to get some damages out of them. After all, i had tons of incriminating evidence. The letters did nothing other than make them take the images down from their site. Further letters got no response from them. My icelandic lawyer could do nothing else."
Rebekka then decided to post the story on the Flickr website, which is where the images were originally displayed. This lead to a storm of protest, and in some cases, death threats against only dreemin'. Flickr took the post down, prompting further outrage, as detailed in our previous story, but has since apologised and re-instated it.
Meanwhile, only dreemin' have taken half their website off-line, and removed all the offending photos. The company claims that they were sold the images after being contacted in August 2006 by a company called Wild Aspects and Panoramics Ltd and paid a considerable sum for them. Some six months later, Rebekka's Icelandic lawyer notified them of the copyright infringement, and they duly removed the images and sent a letter apologising. However, upon taking legal advice, only dreemin' then ignored all contact with Rebekka's solicitor, including questions of recompense. only dreemin' claimed that their own investigations showed that the company who originally sold them the images, had now vanished, however the fact remained that copyrighted images had been used without permission or offer of recompense.
When ePHOTOzine called the only dreemin' office, we were told that a statement was being prepared but that no-one could comment until it had been released, so either further clarification or movement may be revealed later. Stay tuned.