The Case Against Land Rover
Earlier this year, a fellow photographer from Onetouch alerted me that he’d seen my image on Land Rover Africa’s Facebook Page. The following is a breakdown of what happened between that day in April and my out of court settlement with Land Rover in September.It all started in February last year, when together with other #OnetouchLive photographers, we went on an expedition to Amboseli National Park. Along the Emali – Oloitoktok highway, we stopped to take photos of majestic Kilimanjaro as it’s peak majestically rose above the horizon. It is then that I took this photo: a case of being at the right place at the right time.
I also uploaded it to 500px where I usually share my favourite images.
As I later found out, an individual from Land Rover Africa picked my photo from 500px where I had uploaded it without a watermark, and posted it to their page without my consent.
I quickly sent them a message on their Facebook page to which they didn’t respond.
A couple of days later, I got in touch with Land Rover’s representatives in Kenya on email, seeking their help in establishing why my image had been plagiarised. RMA Kenya got in touch with the Land Rover team in South Africa who told them the photo was part of a series that had been shot by them in 2014!
That’s when I folded my sleeves and got in touch with Liz Lenjo Kags from Kiako Law. I’d met her at a bloggers event a couple of weeks before and felt I should let her pursue the matter on my behalf. After briefing her on the situation, Liz was very positive we would have a favourable conclusion to the case.
Kikao Law got in touch with Land Rover’s legal team in South Africa and furnished them with all our evidence on the copyright infringement. After several exchanges with them and a short two months later, the case was favourably settled out of court, and we were advised that the individual responsible for the infringement had been dismissed from their duties.
Fellow photographers, don’t simply complain to friends and vent on social media whenever your work is used without your consent. Get a good lawyer and pursue the matter legally.