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Corey's epilogue to photogate
2.12.10 by Buffalo Bill

This latest by email from Corey:

I thank those of you that responded for your letters to Kenda and emails to me about your opinions in addressing this matter.

Viewpoints fell into a few categories on the Marco versus KendaTires/Shutterstock.com/S.V. Luma affair:

1. Kenda tires, a big corporation, is exploiting the little guy. Let’s boycott their product, hitting them in the pocket.

2. The face in the photo was blurred and unrecognizable. Shutterstock.com and the photographer had every legal right to sell the photo, Kenda Tires the right to use it for advertising.

3. Corey, you have a big mouth and may have smeared the reputation of the wrong person by crying wolf.

Now that Kenda has agreed to take care of Marco when he contacts them, I feel justified for making lots of noise. I am not excited about being responsible for temporarily tarnishing the image of Kenda Tires. On reflection, they responded honestly and quickly when confronted about the Marco C. “Commuter” ad.

Several photographers and people with a firmer grasp on law have said sale and usage of the picture of Marco on his bike were legal because all logos and his face were edited by Photoshop. Legally, that is true. But during the back and forth of several agitated emails, I discovered that the photographer took random photographs of individuals, selling their image without their knowledge or signature on a release form. While technically what they did was in a legal gray area of acceptability, ethically they have no solid ground on which to stand. But, I ask: if the face was blurred, how was I and several others able to immediately able to recognize our friend Marco? Peer recognition. And being a cyclist who rides for money, use of his photo while he works is equivalent to theft.

Yes, I have been boastful, extravagant and silly to the point of embarrassment in the past, but the potential for my friend to be exploited monetarily was too much for me to idly watch and tolerate. I initially became agitated when I saw an ad in a US magazine. After I sent emails asking for opinions on the matter (I know that I am not always right), I was forwarded another ad from someone outside of the US with the same photo of Marco but digitally manipulated so that he faced the opposite direction. It was then I felt stronger the need to stop the ad campaign.

Many of the riders in the USA ride in terrible conditions with low pay, no vacation, no real health benefits, no retirement plans, no college reimbursementt and must pay for bicycle expenses out of pocket with the threat of death from every passing car, cab, truck and bus. It is a shit situation, but one in which the rider is aware of the pros and cons. Someone attempting to make money off of messengers while riding in the rain made my blood boil. (I thought about this while riding in monsoon-like conditions yesterday) After much investigations, I was right in being angry. The anger should have been directed toward the photography company that sold the photo and the photographer that tried to exploit people on the street and digitally manipulating their image.

When I see Kenda Tire ads in the coming months with a clear photos of Marco Creacy, I will feel vindicated. When you see those ads you should buy their stuff.

Corey the Courier

There is something wrong in a government where they who do the most have the least. There is something wrong when honesty wears a rag, and rascality a robe; when the loving, the tender, eat a crust, while the infamous sit at the banquets -Robert G. Ingersoll.

And that should conclude the matter.

Photographer's response to photogate
Corey's response to Kenda's response
Kenda Tyres / Tires response to photogate
Corey calls for a boycott of Kenda Tyres
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  1. Here in Quebec you legally cannot photograph people on the street without their consent. The only exceptions being crowds and cases of obvious journalistic importance. We’re the only place in North America that has such laws.

    For the rest of the continent there is no ‘legal gray area’ of public photography. It is, simply put, legal.

    One side-effect of this has been that it is very difficult to work as a photojournalist. Much less a street photographer.


    — Tristan    12 December 2010, 01:25    #
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