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An explanation from Robert Johns about Andrea Hill pictures

I am grateful to Robert Johns, the photographer whose pictures of Andrea Hill have been causing a stir, for his comment on my post. He writes:

The pictures were originally licensed to Suffolk County Council for their editorial PR use. They were never licensed to the Evening Star for stock use to be used at will for any story about Andrea Hill. Absolutely, the correct position is that if the Evening Star want to use that set of pictures to illustrate their stories then they have to pay for them. The Evening Star and other publications need to understand and respect copyright. It is the cornerstone of our profession and is necessary for our survival.

I leave other journalists to ponder this.

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  1. LadyL says

    Well, if he supplied them to the council on that basis then he’s within his rights to charge for them.

    But surely the point is: if the council hires Robert Johns to take pictures of Andrea Hill, presumably they intended that they could then supply those pictures to people (ie media organisations) who asked for them? Or were they solely intended for internal council use?

    If the latter, what a waste of money; you’d imagine everyone who works at the council knows perfectly well what she looks like. If the former then (again) what a total waste of money to buy pictures they have no right to distribute.

    The fault is with the council for not checking the terms of use, not Mr Johns for taking advantage of their stupidity.