Motorcyclist: coincidence or rip-off?

It appears that I’m in the April 2008 issue of Motorcyclist magazine; that’s me at the Chandelier Tree on their “Last Page” article.

Which would be really cool…..if I’d submitted the photo. I didn’t.

I contacted Motorcyclist to ask who DID send them the photo, because it looks identical to one of mine, taken on the 2003 Northern California Adventure ride.

Now, if someone else who was also on that ride — or someone totally different who just happened to be at the Tree at that time — snapped an almost identical photo to mine and then submitted it to Motorcyclist, I chalk it up to an amusing coincidence and enjoy my free publicity.

However, I certainly hope that Motorcyclist didn’t just publish a random photo they found online.

(Edit: I removed some content from this post pending hearing back from Motorcyclist.)

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20 Responses to Motorcyclist: coincidence or rip-off?

  1. Bombauer says:

    ah, where the interwebs and copyrights collide! It looks pretty clear cut to me, someone is trying to take advantage! Let us know how they handle this – just imagine all the people that haven’t caught their stolen pics and are also entitled to compensation!

  2. Ken Haylock says:

    That’s cheeky!
    Don’t let them fob you off with a cheapskate offer. The time for agreeing a discount rate for your picture was before they used it, now they can pay you top dollar for their sins. They know that if they had to explain it to a judge they’d be in some difficulty…

  3. Don says:

    Good catch Carolyn!!
    From looking at both of the photos, I have to say that’s you on the back of that magazine.
    Good luck on gettng a response.

  4. Harmon says:

    i don’t know whether the correct phrase is:
    That’s kool in a sucks kind of way‽
    That sucks in a kool kind of way‽
    and what about the text accompanying the photo‽
    Is it like vaguely insulting or poorly hunter thompson‽
    Maybe the Motorcyclist’s photographer was the person in red in your photo with one of the new mini-telephoto-around-the-corner lenses‽
    I hope they’ll offer to even-up with credit to you, and a free lifetime subscription …
    to Bike >:)

  5. leftside says:

    Must be the same photo–all the angles are the same.
    Kill! =)

  6. Condor says:

    Your photo was cropped slightly on both sides and the bottom but not the top. The camera angle and height are the same and the car in the background is in the same position. That alone should be enough to prove it’s your photo. But look at the sun spots on the ground and tree trunk. They are the same and sun spots change by the second with the wind. You have a good case.

  7. Snarfdog says:

    I suppose someone else could have been standing on top of your camera with a cable attaching their shutter to yours, so that the picture was snapped at exactly the same moment. I’m really surprised you didn’t notice this happening that day. Really, you should pay better attention. 😉

  8. Heronboy says:

    Ha! I knew it had to be you. I just read the article this morning. When I looked at the picture I figured “Oh, Poof got herself in Motorcyclist. Cool!” Then I read the credits for the words. You aren’t named Jeff nor have you ever to the best of my knowledge. I sure hope they man up and offer you something valuable, like Chief Dual Sport tester or Head of BMW long term evaluations.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Oh dear. I can understand how upset you must be. Not only were you plagiarized, but by someone who can’t write to save his rear. And what kind of person writes about roadside attractions without knowing what MUFFLER MEN are actually holding???

  10. Mike says:

    Yep, no question it’s the exact same photo, with a bit of cropping on the magazine copy. Hopefully it’s not one of those deals like (I think it was, I may be remembering incorrectly though) Virgin that was picking up random Flickr pictures to use in their ads without credit or payment. Hope you get a favorable explanation and response from them.

  11. Durandal says:

    You must sue the pants off of them. If big media is allowed to infringe on personal copyrights while simultaneously suing other people for similar infractions, it sets a horrible precedent.
    Sure, it’s cool you’re in the magazine, but stealing a photo is quite a big deal. Copyright infringements can rack up $250,000 in damages and 5 years prison time per infraction. While you have not submitted your photo for copyright, you are still entitled to whatever money would have been paid to a professional photographer for such a photo, and likely you could get 3x of that amount due to the fact that you’re having to collect it on the back end.
    You personally might not care too much, but essentially you’re getting the chance to represent all of those people who’s photos are stolen, and they never find out because they don’t read XYZ magazine. Please pursue this with much vigor.

  12. Linda says:

    Well, poopy! Any response yet?

  13. Eric says:

    Be careful posting their copy written work on your web page as well… get testy with them and they’ll get testy right back. Leave them no room!

  14. carolyn says:

    That’s a good point, Eric. Someone else scanned it in for me, but the point stands. I’ll take it down.

  15. MotoMoto says:

    If memory serves, they pay anywhere from $50 to $150 for last page submissions. I doubt you will retire from proceeds of this situation. Catterson (Ed in Chief) seems to take journalistic integrity seriously, and I doubt he would print your pic, if he knew of the details. My guess is someone submitted it claiming it as their own, and MC had no reason to doubt them, until your contact. At the very least they should respond with an explanation, and an offer to make things right (maybe that means running an actual story of yours in print, or some cool gear). I wouldn’t take this on as a crusade…. unless they don’t respond. In that case…. let ’em have it.

  16. Patrick N says:

    For what it is worth, I subscribed to subject magazine for one year and then let my subscription lapse. I don’t like their attitude, language, writing, layout or occasional trashy articles. Now, I question their integrity as well. Fortunately there are fine alternative publications.

  17. Eric says:

    I love the mag. Best biking mag on the rack by far. I bet they make good on their mistake.
    I can’t wait to hear what they reply!

  18. SV Ridding Guy says:

    Shocking! I work at a magazine company and I asked around to find out how much trouble they are in. All the editors I asked gasped!

  19. Colin says:

    You’re being very kind by even suggesting there’s some possibility it was taken of you by somebody else. I recognized it immediately and was surprised that the text had nothing to do with you. The text struck me as mildly inappropriate given your genuine enthusiasm for that particular attraction in the context of your larger commitment to sport-touring far-and-wide.

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