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Last September NYC-based fashion photographer Rachel Scroggins snapped a photo of Karlie Kloss taking a selfie backstage at Oscar de la Renta. The supermodel then posted the image (taken from Scroggins's site, The Greyest Ghost) to to her own Instagram sans photo credit. Kloss followed up with several apologies—once in person, twice in comment sections. End of story, right?
Sadly not. Since then the photo has appeared in countless titles and blogs worldwide (Lucky, Allure, Harper's Bazaar, Birchbox UK, Glamour Russia, and Vogue India to name a few), leaving Scroggins to track down editors who've failed to properly credit or pay for her work. A few have responded, providing credit and compensation; others have simply deleted the shot. But the list of publications keeps growing.
The worse news, Scroggins claims, is that this kind of copyright violation is commonplace. As someone who works Fashion Week on spec (getting paid after the fact), she questioned whether her livelihood was ultimately worth pursuing. "After the drama involved in constantly policing my work's usage, and health issues, I considered giving up photography indefinitely. Or at least blogging about it," she wrote. "If I'm working my a** off, only to have people steal my images and run them in major publications uncredited or compensated, is it worth it?" —Lauren Berger
· What Happens When a Supermodel Violates Your Copyright [The Greyest Ghost]
· Getty's New Embed Tool Offers Free Pictures to Anyone [Racked]
· The Law Student Putting Fashion Brands in Their Place [Racked]