WSJ on Companies' use of Nonexclusive Stock Images

Update: The article is available in the free section of the WSJ. Link at bottom of the post. Thanks for the heads-up!

The Wall Street Journal has a great article today on what happens when two (or more) companies choose the same stock image for a campaign.

They talk about all levels of stock photography, but note that the $1 web image (microstock) is a big factor. They specifically mention iStockphoto, whose contributors were actually classified in the articles as amateurs.

Many companies are being embarrassed by the fact that they went the nonexclusive route - at the cost of unique brand recognition. They are apparently working on technology to trace where a picture has been used online, which seems to be where people are most likely to skimp on usage rights.

But that could do more harm than good, IMO, as anyone could go on a $1 shopping spree specifically to try to dilute a competitor's brand.

If you are reading the dead tree version, it's on the front of the "B" section. Or you can read it online - for now anyway - here.

Thanks for the tip, John.


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