Who is Podtech.net? Well, according to their website:
"Technology, business & media podcasts served fresh daily"
What this means is that they have a number of online shows that they fund and distribute. They pay video bloggers to create content for them and either license the work or have the video blogger create exclusive content for them. Some notable people are Ryanne Hodson, Irina Slutsky, Bill Streeter, and Robert Scoble. These are all very respectable people that have helped make video blogging what it is today.
As you can tell from the title of this post, I am here to tell you a surprisingly true story about my interaction with Podtech.net for the last couple of months.
It all started at SXSW, Irina Slutsky invited Bonny Pierzina and myself to be interviewed for The Vloggies Show. This was a great honor; we were very excited to be interviewed but since Bonny is so much better than I am at that, she interviewed by her self. While the interview went on I took some snap shots of the interview and checked out their kiosk. I found this banner advertisement:
I immediately noticed something about it... this was the photograph used in it:
This photograph of Casey McKinnon at The Vloggies was taken by myself and was posted to flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 license. I looked for attribution on the banner and saw none, I also saw it was a commercial banner (to state the obvious) and I was never contacted for permission to use this photograph outside of this license. This was upsetting.
I didn't say anything to anyone at that time because it was neither the place nor time to discuss the matter. Also, I didn't want any passers-by to hear us discussing how Podtech.net, a business trying to make it in the web 2.0 world, was stealing creative work for their commercial benefit. That could have possibly been damaging to their business at an event like SXSW. If their viewers/users/content creators found out that Podtech.net had stolen from someone just like their own content creators, these people would lose faith in a company like that. How could anyone watch content from, support, or work for a company that does that?
After I returned home from SXSW I contacted Robert Scoble, hoping he could put me on touch with the right person to talk about this. He did; he forwarded my email to this person. After a couple emails back and forth with her I sent her an invoice for licensed use of the photograph. That was on March 20th. There was no reply for one week; I called and emailed again. No reply again, so again I both called and sent an email... and it has now been over a month and a half without a single reply since the invoice was sent.
I was hoping for a quick and professional resolution to this issue but at minimum expected to be able to discuss options or potential solutions, I received neither.
To top all that off, Violet Blue's photograph
of the kisok made it into the San Francisco Chronicle
, you can read the article here
At this point I'm not sure what I'm going to do next.