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« Angel wings | Main | Outside my window... »

17 November 2013


Tara Bradford

Elizabeth, thanks for your support! I'm afraid you're right - this sort of thing seems to be happening more and more often. Apparently some companies think they can skirt the law without consequences. Unless content creators challenge such copyright infringement, the creative marketplace will be eroded. (What a great experience for your daughter to work at the Tate)!

Tara Bradford

You're right, Tim. Failing to address a copyright violation doesn't make it go away. The law is clear.

Tim Hurst

Business101: A business isn't doing well, if it resorts to stealing a photo, design or idea, then tries to hide from its actions. Really bad business strategy here - not to mention non-compliance with copyright law, which bears serious penalties.


This is so depressing and appalling - and I fear it happens all the time.
I do hope you get your money in the end. This would be excellent-but scarcely begins to address the issue.
My daughter dealt with rights and permissions for some time for The Tate gallery in London and knows the law pretty well. Many companies are willing to pay a reasonable fee.
Northwest Strategies are obviously crooks.
So sorry.

Tara Bradford

Hi Marilyn - thanks so much for your support. Sadly, some businesses behave in a very unethical manner and try to take advantage, if they see an opportunity to grab what they want. Rather than spend their efforts in creating something unique, they take someone else's original work. Such guerilla tactics won't help their business - or their reputation!

Tara Bradford

Hi Helen - I hadn't heard the story about Cody Foster; sadly, it seems too many people these days are determined to take advantage of other people's original work. And these same people think they can do whatever they want, without consequences! A very unethical way to conduct business... Thanks for your support.


Do you know about this? Cody Foster bought or copied all of these items off the internet and had made millions of dollars over the years. Anthropologie, Terrain, Crate and Barrel & Barrel and many other companies have withdrawn the products. None of these artists were ever credited or paid. Sad to say, I bought some of these items from Cody Foster over the past ten years. He presented himself as designer. It has become a huge story.

Intellectual property theft knows no boundaries...this story is so horrible to all the artisans involved. "IP is not free."

So sorry you have had so many thefts...I honestly feel like anything and everything is copied these days.


I am so sorry this is still happening to you. How disgusting and frustrating. Thanks for standing up to them and fighting for your rights. I, like several other, was hoping things had gotten better.

Tara Bradford

Mike I agree with you about the watermark. In 2013 I started putting big watermarks over most images, due to widespread copyright infringement. And so far I haven't "won" anything with this particular infringing company - just a litany of excuses NOT to pay compensation.

Mike Drips

I'm glad you won, but I did a Google image search on your photo above and there are many copies of it (granted all on your site) where the only watermark is across the bottom. That allows for an easy trim and there is not a © symbol in your watermark.

I'm on your side, just pointing this out, as floating metatags don't seem to carry the same impact as a strong watermark.

Tara Bradford

Thanks, Mike! Agreed on all points.

Mike King

Seems like every creative type I know needs a copyright lawyer on speed dial these days! That company needs to step up, admit it was wrong and pay compensation.

Tara Bradford

Hi JessieL - Can't say I disagree with you! Thanks for your comment.

Tara Bradford

Thanks, Jeanie. What a crazy world in which we have to fight rogue companies for rights to work that we create!

Tara Bradford

Joel, thank you. Seems like a company engaged in the business of advertising, public relations and marketing should grasp the basics of copyright law, right??!!


What is wrong with people??!! No it's not ok to use someone's work without permission! Stripping the watermark is deliberate and blatant copyright violation; some thought went into that action! So no way he or she can claim not to know it was wrong. Disgusting.


I know I am naive, but I was hoping that this nightmare had ended for you. Good for you, Tara, fighting for your rights, your compensation and for the issue itself. I know this must take an inordinate amount of time, not to mention the angst, only to be confronted by arguments and then being ignored and denied. Well, all I can say is "you go, girl!" -- you are the champion for all of us.

Joel Johnson

So much for that company's biz strategy! Not a good move. Copyright is governed by law, whether some lazy corporate suits like it or not.

Tara Bradford

Nancy, thank you so much for your very supportive comments. It seems there are millions of creatives facing similar challenges, with copyrights infringed in case after case after case. Companies like the one in question are undermining the photography market. Of course Northwest Strategies would not work for free - but apparently considers it's fine to use someone else's creation without permission or payment. You are of course correct about penalties for willful copyright infringement in the US; the penalties are similar in Europe. Yet companies still try to get away with stealing other people's work! Guess such bad behaviour will help keep copyright lawyers in business, if not content creators!

Tara Bradford

Ann, thank you. Unethical and appalling is right!

Tara Bradford

Lars, thank you. It's incredible how many companies seem to think anything they find on the Internet is free for the taking. Most people wouldn't go into a gallery or store and take a photograph without paying for it. Yet many of these people don't give a second thought about stealing the same photograph when it appears online. It's as though we photographers need a full-time staff just to track theft - as in this instance! Infuriating!

Tara Bradford

Good idea, Carina! Thank you!

Tara Bradford

Mary, thank you! It seems that dealing with copyright infringement cases is becoming a second (unpaid) job, unfortunately. I really appreciate your continued support.

Lars Anders Malling

Apparently this company missed the memo that copyright infringement is a crime! Removing the foto doesn't stop their liability for image theft. And stripping the watermark and adding to the foto is another offense. Very suspect conduct from a business, which should know better. Sorry you are having to deal with such issues.

Ann Jensen

Good for you for standing up to these crooks! It is shocking that so many companies seem to think such unethical actions are acceptable. This incident speaks volumes about the company and how its staff conducts business. Appalling.



Have Image Rights take it up for you. Apart from the use of the image without permission, the removal of the watermark constitutes a greater problem and is akin to stripping the meta data of the image, thus subject to copyright violation fines up to $20,000 in the United States.


I am thoroughly appalled and disgusted that you have found yet another person on the internet that has claimed your material as her own and boldly ignoring giving proper credit. Have any of these low life's at least had the decency to offer sincere apologies for attributing your copyrighted material as their own? I do wonder if any of them are cognizant that Copyright Infringement is a serious crime and that if you were to sue, it's highly probable that each of them would be likely to be found liable of willful copyright infringement. When I try to imagine the amount of time involved in confronting each of these fraudulent interlopers I get more angry but I also could not be happier that you intend to stick up for your rights. Everyone knows that to use someone's work you commonly pay to sample or use it and there is no difference when ‘sampling’ or using an artist’s visuals.

I'm just so proud of you for pursuing each and everyone of them - it's not like you could possibly do otherwise. I feel like you have been fighting for not only yourself but for everyone who creates - every author, screenwriter, songwriter, composer, sculptor, artist, illustrator, fashion designer, furniture designer, auto designer, poet, architect, photographer, jewelry designer, shoe designer, or anyone who has developed something from their own creation, has a right to defend what is rightfully theirs. It is a very powerful and moving experience to stick up for your rights. Hopefully doing so has empowered you.

Each instance has been willful, wanton and deliberate acts of copyright infringement. In the United States, willful copyright infringement carries a maximum penalty of $150,000 per instance. Copyright infringement is a serious issue.

Mary H.

Oh Tara,
I cannot begin to imagine the ire you have experienced dealing with this type of crime. My teeth are grinding and my jaws clenched as I read this account of your battle for what is rightfully yours. I admire your strength and grace in battle.

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