Name and shame: ‘Pentax Ricoh Indonesia’ stole my image UPDATE: resolved.

GR

One of my readers (thank you) brought this to my attention earlier today. It is with great disappointment that I have to do this, because clearly the company involved – AW Photo, unclear whether they are distributor or subsidiary or something else to do with Pentax Ricoh but claiming to be ‘Pentax Ricoh Indonesia’ – has used one of my images for commercial promotion purposes without permission or credit, from my review here. Note how the watermark is still in place – how could their web designer have failed to notice that? On top of that, the page was apparently last updated in October 2013 – that’s eight months of unauthorised use, and eight months in which HQ could have done something.

It isn’t even clear which entity they actually legally are, but to all appearances they represent Pentax Ricoh – even the fine print says ‘Copyright Pentax’ and ‘Developed by Pentax Indonesia’. We have to therefore assume that if they are a third party, they are an officially sanctioned one: Pentax Ricoh HQ in Japan therefore knows about them. So, where are the official product photos? There’s no need to steal one from my site; more than that, if you wanted to use it, you should have at least had the courtesy to ask. To top things off, that fine print asserts Copyright Pentax and All Rights Reserved: how can you own copyright or reserve rights over intellectual property that isn’t yours to begin with?

This is disgracefully unprofessional behaviour from a company that’s trying to sell cameras to photographers. Would you buy a camera from these people? Do you trust them? What does this say about the rest of their business?

To AW Photo, representatives and claimed official agents of Pentax Ricoh for Indonesia: You represent the main company. I am not flattered that you’re using my images. I shoot for a living. Maybe I should operate the way you do and just take my cameras from you without permission, too. I’m sure you wouldn’t like that very much, would you? On top of that, you steal an image from a review that’s promoting your product and helping you sell it. How stupid can you get? An invoice has been sent.

I’ve already sent this on to Pentax Ricoh HQ in Japan, but there’s no harm in letting them know how you feel: pentaxricoh@aw-photo.com and www-admin@ricoh.co.jp

I wouldn’t normally do this, but when a camera company or somebody passing themselves off as their representative is stealing the work of photographers, it’s a new low. Firstly, you’re saying to everybody else it’s okay to do it; secondly, you’re charging your customers for product and then taking their work! Stabbing your customers in the back is generally a very good way to go out of business, and on top of that taking an image from a well-publicised review belonging to a well known and visible photographer who was one of your biggest supporters is an incredibly stupid thing to do. I’m very sad, because of all the camera companies – Pentax Ricoh appeared to be one of those who actually cared about the photographers. I’m doubly sad because I purchased five lenses in anticipation of my pre-orders 645Z. And now this. To whoever is thinking ‘why is he complaining about free advertising’ – is it free advertising for say BMW if you go into their dealership, take a car without permission or paying and drive it around?

Note: It is unclear whether Japan HQ has anything to do with this, but in my past experience working with Japanese company subsidiaries or local entities, everything has to be sent back to HQ for approval. It is therefore extremely unlikely that they do not know about it.

AW Photo subsequently took the image down, and emailed to me: “The decision to used your picture are my decision to fulfill my target to make my company’s website looks wonderful, therefore please accept my deepest apology.”  

Sorry, but this is still a prime example of how not to behave as a camera company. This is a new, extremely disappointing low. It seriously makes me question a) what’s going on at HQ that they don’t check subsidiary materials before publication, and b) whether I should continue to invest in the 645Z or any other PR products. This kind of corporate behaviour does NOT inspire confidence. When you buy a camera, remember you’re really buying the company behind it, too – otherwise you’re on your own if anything happens.

To Pentax Ricoh Japan: I’m still waiting for your response. Silence is a response too: it says loud and clear  that you don’t care. I’m not saying that mistakes don’t and shouldn’t happen; but what defines a company is how they handle them when they do. I’m sure more than a few 645Z orders (mine included) are waiting on your response. MT

Update: T+3 hours, I’ve got 150+ comments of support between here, Facebook and twitter – approximately 30 of whom have expressly said they’re cancelling or withholding orders of the 645Z, and a few more GRs. You might also want to take a look at the additional responses on my site’s Facebook page. Can you really afford to ignore this, Ricoh?

Update at 20:30 GMT+8: I received a call from Ricoh Malaysia on behalf of Pentax Ricoh Japan: they’re aware of it, senior management is meeting first thing in the morning and I should receive a formal reply shortly thereafter. This is very encouraging news: it means they’re listening. I must also commend Rissa and her team at DSC World/ Pentax Ricoh Malaysia for taking the initiative to escalate the issue to HQ to begin with without any intervention on my part – it is clear they are doing a good job in looking after the brand. I am hopeful for a positive outcome – not least because I’ve already bought 5 lenses in anticipation of the 645Z which would otherwise be useless. 

I am now closing comments as enough has been said. Let us give them a fair chance to reply and I will keep you updated here as events unfold. Thank you for your various points of view and support.

18 June: I now consider this issue to be resolved. Ricoh HQ have issued a formal apology and acknowledged the mistake, plus put measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Confidence is restored.

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Comments

  1. I only read the first few replies. If it was me I would let the whol

    e world know about. Good luck and hope it doesn’t happen again. Very sad to hear about this.

  2. i have had an image stolen from my flickr before. some russian wallpaper company. i decided not to do anything about it because it was a too much hassle for me. i think its good how you responded, lets hope for the best.

  3. You should Hashtag the hell out of this article on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It’s the equivalent to #throwingTrashCans into a room. I bet you would get a quicker response.

  4. I don’t think this is the official page of Pentax Indonesia. Probably the work of one Pentax Dealer, who made this site on his own.
    This is the official site for Ricoh (remember the name change?) in Asia : http://www.ricoh-ap.com/.
    I think you should hold your horses and wait for an official responce from Ricoh Pentax…

    • They are the Indonesian agents/ distributors and acting on behalf of PR. They carry the brand and therefore represent it. It is the principal’s responsibility to look after their agents.

  5. Tom Hudgins says:

    Your anger is justified. Publicizing the event on your blog is justified. Hiring a lawyer to represent your legal claim would have been the more prudent response. Passively enlisting your readership to retaliate should be a last resort.

  6. johndriggers says:

    And please forgive the typos–I am iPadding it right now.

  7. John Driggers says:

    I still think you’ve gone a bit too far. The fault/blame would seem to rest with the Indonesian distributor. It would appear to be an independant business entity, licensed by PR JP to sell/distribute PR products in Indonesia. Likely they are provided/pay for raw marketing materials that originate in JP. But they generate their actual marketing materials locally. Liability for those local ads/websites/promotions etc would start and end with the distributor.

    They are NOT a subsiderary of PR JP. They are P-R Indonesia-and independent company.

    Authorized Pentax distributor in Indonesia:

    PT. Aneka Warna,
    JL. Agung Timur IX Blok N2 no.11. Podomoro, Jakarta Utara 14350.
    Phone: +62 (21) 651 1009

    You are letting your anger cloud your judgement. Expecting some kind of formal apology from P-R JP for the action of some other company that is licensed to sell their products is unrealistic. If you do hear from them, it will likely be to explain that they regret that “Pentax Indonesia” did a bad thing and that you should pursue your complaints and billing request with Mr. X of Pentax Indonesia; and they do not condone the behavior–but also are not responsible for it.

    If you continue this diatribe against all thing PR, you might indeed find yourself the defendent in a lawsuit for slander and intentional interference in business relations for the boycott efforts generated by your blog (Free Trade agreements provide for such things). Rightly or wrongly, they could bury you financially in pretrial legal costs. Then when you are bankrupt and helpless, they drop the lawsuit–or worse, they persue it and you end up with abig judgment over your head for the rest of your life.

    The fact that you got an apology from the web developer indicates that the “thief” (you do throw around the word stole) who took your image may, in fact not even be an employee of PR Indonesia. PR indonesia may have sloppy business practices and media review policies–but your statement about who stole your images may not just be legally invalid–it may open you up to legal action.

    So I’d recommend you cool your heels a bit, act as working professional photographer who has discovered misuse of an image, run this to ground, get compensation from the responsible party and move on. This shotgun approach of throwing a wide net and implicitly fomenting some kind of boycott against PR globally may feel good, but seems unwise.

    I guess it will drive traffic to your blog and will spin out of control on the internet. Like a whispered secret in the party game-it will come out much different at the other end with repsect to blame aimed at PR-JP. So, if your goal is to just try and lash out to hurt somebody, anything….then you are on target.

    But you could have done so much more with this issue–and seemed so much more professional–if you had taken a more positive approach.

    I wish the best, love your work and hope this all works out for you. But karma is a bitch.

    Respectfully,

    JD

    • JD, there is no FTA between MY and US, do some research first please.

      • johndriggers says:

        Didn’t say there was, just meant FTA’s are an example where such remedies can be provided for, aside from the domestic law of each country. However, Japan concluded its first bilateral free trade agreement in 2000 with Singapore.The most recent was in 2013 (see http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy/fta/). And you missed my point: That PR-JP may seek remedies. And, no doubt YOUR research shows that there is an FTA between Japan and Singapore…just saying.

        • What has Singapore got to do with it?

          • johndriggers says:

            You have acknowledged significant business activity in Singapore-see the quote below from an interview. So, along with your Singapore workshop, you likely meet the minimum presence test to a sufficient degree to allow jurisdiction.

            “So the reality is that yes, I do commercial photography – just not in Malaysia. Ninety percent of my work is done outside of Malaysia for international clients. A lot in Switzerland – luxury goods, watches… architecture in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong.”

            Oh, I am assuming that you properly travel to these countries using business related visas and are not working in the countries illegally on tourist visas. If not, I wonder if that would expose your students to sanctions for patronising an unlicensed foreign business. I’m sure, given your outrage over the issue under discussion, that your respect for the rules of society means you’ve done it correctly—right?

            • Yes it is done properly, no it wouldn’t qualify for jurisdiction in Singapore. Whilst that was true at the time of the interview, it isn’t necessarily the case now. I see no need to make my income sources public.

              I’m now wondering why you’re prying into the operations of MY business when it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Perhaps I should take your logic and institute legal action against you for defamation by insinuating things about my immigration status.

    • Their distributor represents themselves as PR. They are acting on behalf of PR, which anybody who visits the site can interpret in good faith as being the case. And they are therefore carrying the brand. If you were a principal, wouldn’t you want to know how your distributors are representing your brand? And I’m 100% sure that as principal, there are clauses in your agreement with the distributors that mean you have to represent the brand as the principal wishes.

      They have used an image without permission AND claimed the rights as their own. Using something without permission and against the wishes of the owner is theft. Just because it is not a physical object doesn’t make it any better. You as principal are responsible for your agents and representatives, and the people they subcontract. It is simple as that.

      Under normal circumstances, this would have beens settled privately. However, when camera companies allow image theft from photographers – their own customers – to happen, they’re killing their own business. And yours and mine too, if you happen to be a professional photographer. Standing by and doing nothing is precisely the reason occurrences like this happen in the first place.

      I am not seeking compensation. I am seeking a public apology. That is all, and not very difficult to do.

      But hey, not that I wish it on anybody, but I doubt you’d have acted any differently if you were in my position.

      • johndriggers says:

        I have been in your position. In fact, about six moths ago I had about a dozen images reused to launch two new web sites here in Australia-complete with their claim to copyright. I contacted them, said I was happy they were pleased enough with my images to reuse them on their new web sites and who do I invoice? I got the huma-huma-huma response, “you mean we have to pay again?” and they took them down. Since then they have contacted me four times to re-license and pay for other images and I turned this ordinary business risk into a revenue source. Yeah, I complained bitterly to my wife about how I was wronged and I alerted a couple of other photographers who worked with this company to keep an eye out for their images. But I didn’t splash “stole my images” on their facebook page or contact others in an effort to negatively impact the infringer’s business.

        RE: “You as principal are responsible for your agents and representatives, and the people they subcontract.” You left out the part about contract law and agency law that adds, “…as is consistent with the agency agreement.

        Actions outside the agency or subcontracting agreement do not carry liability for the principle. It is as simple as that.

        It’s clear you feel wronged–and you have been. But, I find your response to the wrong inappropriate in method and scope and I’m a little disappointed in you. You obviously don’t agree. I wonder how you plan on taking back the ripple effect your actions are likely to have had, should you get this apology from Japan you seek.

        I do hope all this works out for you. Doesn’t look like my post and others about the wide scope of your public effort to name and shame are persuasive for you, so I’m done here on this topic.

        Regards JD

        • I’m not intending to negatively impact anybody’s business. If other people choose not to buy because of me, well, it’s the same as those many more who choose to buy because of me also.

          However, what you don’t know is they were given the option to pay. They didn’t, ignored it, and here we are. I only recourse to this when there are no other options.

    • Tom Liles says:

      If you continue this diatribe against all thing PR, you might indeed find yourself the defendent in a lawsuit for slander and intentional interference in business relations for the boycott efforts generated by your blog …

      Christ, have these guys ever seen a DPReview camera brand bile-war? The motherlode of lawsuit material in there, if the above were truly actionable.

      I’m no legal-eagle JD, and you sound very informed, but what you’ve written above sounds like there is no such thing as free speech whatsoever, and having an opinion, and airing it, is not a legally defensible proposition. I’m not aware that that is the case.
      As for inviting a readership of grown adults to read the story, make a choice and vote with their wallets for or against a certain brand—if that is illegal then there are many NGOs, charities and civic pressure groups out there in trouble.
      (Though I can well believe corporates think it’s in their gift to litigate against any freedom they like)

      I can’t quite believe any of this could or would be successfully prosecuted. Though, fair dos, what do I know.
      And precisely because it flies in the face of every shred of common sense we know, I could imagine it happening. I hazily recall Monsanto successfully law-suiting farmers for growing their own crops—that is how bonkers and non-sensical things are.

      Add this pic free-loading to the pile

  8. Andrew Acton says:

    Firstly, anybody that publishes anything online, must assume it will be copied without the copyright owners permission. Its the reality of the internet, and you and I have no control over (certain) people that will think nothing of ‘stealing’ your content. Secondly, is this example of copyright infringement so bad? The person that has copied your photograph, retained your watermark and thus has given you additional exposure (and retained your credit) for the image. Rather than cast Pentax Ricoh and its partners as ‘terrible’, perhaps you should have just dropped Pentax Ricoh (HQ) and email with the details. You may have received a very polite apology, probably some compensation (I’m sure Pentax Ricoh know the going rate for stock images). You may have even received a free new camera AND full credit on the said webpage! So, on reflection … ask yourself if this is not an overreaction? Actually, you should be happy somebody re-used your work, its a very good GR shot. APA

    • Sorry, but this is a good example of the mentality that’s causing the death of professional photography. It isn’t free exposure. They pay other photographers for their work, which they use, so if they consider my work good enough – then why not at least have the courtesy to ask permission? It is NOT the reality of the internet, it is only prevalent because people allow it to happen. If you make your living from your images, I’m sorry, but if you don’t defend your rights – nobody will. All the more embarrassing because it’s the representative of a large company that should have a department to manage rights and licenses.

  9. Question: I’m not a lawyer so I’m not at all sure of this, but could Ricoh not claim that they actually own the IP rights to the design and look of the camera? And there for you would need their permission to take and comercially use pictures of it? In some countries, such a thing exists for buildings, where you would need permission of the architect before you are allowed to photograph them. …. As said, I’m not at all sure … and it does not change the fact that what they did is completely unethical and biting the hand that feeds them.

  10. This is atrocious behavior and one that should not be tolerated. I sincerely hope you receive what is owed to you. Looking at the Pentax Ricoh site it would seem that this is a third party distributor. They may have bigger issues at hand as I checked many of the other distributor or subsidiary sites around the globe and they are all using the standard product shot. Some are using the shot with the “hand” but in general it would appear standardized which would suggest a centralized marketing approach. The Indonesian distributor site appears more rogue. Not good for Pentax Ricoh because the brand perception may come across differently to their consumers in Indonesia. Interestingly the link to Indonesia from the main P R site is not working whereas it is for all the other countries. I sincerely hope that all those who have opted out of purchasing the Pentax Ricoh products continue to do so and that you garner more press accordingly. It’s the “small” guys that can make a difference!

  11. This deserve the publicity that it needs. I’ll share this post with some photo blogs.

  12. Mark Fletcher says:

    Whilst I don’t condone the behaviour (unlicensed/unapproved use of photographs or other copyright material is *clearly* not okay) – that site is not an official Pentax or Ricoh site.

    Your reaction is justified insofar as they totally should remove that image or pay you a license fee.

    Your reaction is unjustified insofar as it isn’t Ricoh’s fault – do a bit of digging and you’ll find that “Pentax Indonesia” in the footer redirects to a designer’s site, the WHOIS says the site is registered to a private individual (http://whois.tsohost.com/?domain=pentaxricohindonesia.com) and there’s nothing to suggest that they’re even remotely officially associated with Pentax/Ricoh.

    So whilst I agree with your response, you really should have contacted them directly before going on a name-and-shame campaign against Ricoh – it’s nothing to do with them.

    (Cross-commenting from Facebook so the people above can see)

    • Thanks for the thoughts. Same comment as before: the site domain may owned by a hosting agency, but they are the official representatives of Ricoh in Indonesia; the Ricoh site redirects there, too. HQ should be aware of what their agencies are doing to their brand. To the consumer, all entities are still Ricoh Pentax because they act in good faith as though they are. We should not be required to split hairs.

      • frogonastring says:

        I wonder if Ricoh HQ are on this issue now – the Pentax Indonesia link on the Global pages is a dead link and doesn’t point anywhere.

        I think this is one of those things where yes, HQ should be aware of what their partner agencies are doing. But on the flipside, there’s a degree of trust that the partner agencies will operate within the law. With that in mind, it’s the partner agency who is responsible ultimately for the misdemeanor, not Ricoh HQ as they aren’t directly involved in that partner (who probably exists as a private entity).
        Whilst they represent Ricoh in that country or region, I’d be surprised if they were actually owned by them.

        I would expect Ricoh HQ to respond positively in your favour to this. I do just feel that your scattergun shame response has been somewhat unwise, as it was an aggressive response to an issue that could have been resolved with a gentle word. I can see why you’d be annoyed, though – this isn’t at all good.

        On another point, it’s a really nice shot of the GR. Maybe Ricoh themselves would like to commission you to do some product shots?! 😉

        • The sad truth is that if you are not loud and public, they will ignore you. Especially subsidiaries or distributors who feel they operate semi-autonomously. And your rights will be gone, and the message is that it’s OK to do this to other photographers. There’s one chance only.

          Ricoh HQ are responsible because it’s their brand, but I agree they are not the cause of it. I am still expecting at very least a public apology though.

          As for it being a nice shot – well, I make my living as a commercial photographer: all the more reason stealing my work is not on!

  13. Pleased you managed to get this taken down. I would be surprised that this happened, except I work as a lawyer and spend everyday with Indonesians, so I am not that surprised. Lucky there was a Japanese handle to get hold of to get them to take it down, if it had been “straight Indo” you may have found it more tricky!

  14. Hi Ming

    i am so sorry for you….its absolutely an scandal…..
    If I were you, i would not invest in and use any Ricoh and Pentax anymore!!!! You have to set a sign!!!
    I would concentrate on Nikon and Olympus (maybe Pana due to GH4 4K if there is a demand for you video productions – workshops/teachings store!)
    I dont like the upcoming 645Z it doesnt have the main reason for me to use MF beside resolution its the lacking of 16bit files!!! So no greatly improved color depth for portraitures gaining a huge recovery possibiliy of highlihts and shadows….
    Or if you obsessed by the idea and advantages of getting the Pentax 645Z (if there are any valid reasons for you….???) than call for a compensation due to copying and abuse of your image rights ….they havent got any license for using the images and they ven used it for commercial purposes!!!!
    As a compensation you want to have one or two 645 Z Pentax with a full range of lenses and the new upcoming Ricoh GR V for free and wont go to lawyer/accuse them for abusing your rights…
    But i have doubts if they would agree to this compensation measure (deal)…..but nevertheless it is aviable option to think about and try…..
    But personally as I mentioned i wouldn’t use any Ricoh and Pentax product anymore and dont test/review it either….the d800e is so close to mf than any other cams on the market or ehas been ever released (note: d810 midterm refresh/update will be released 26 june!!!) and you could use the Nikon Coolpix A instead of the Ricoh GR IV…it was a close run with the ricoh in your shooutout about the 28 mm apsc compacts if i remembering correctly;)….so use the nikon coolpix instead of the GR……but i think both of those cams will get an update soon anyway….theres going to be reshuffle!!!
    What Pentax/Ricoh did is the absulutely last thing!!! They are trash nothing more!!!

    Still speakless somehow…..unbelievable!

    Web designer made an intern or all employers at pentax/ricoh are interns as it is widely common in our business world to employ people for internships in order to get employers as cheap as possible….horrible world/drama were living in….

    my2cents,

    please tell us your final decision about if your gonna accuse them and if you still will use ricoh/pentax products in the future….;)

    • My problem is I purchased five lenses for the 645Z already. I either sell at a loss because of somebody else’s incompetence, or reward a company for violating rights. Neither is a good option. As for why 645Z, it’s because I need more resolution for some client applications and for Ultraprinting.

      We can only wait to see what HQ says.

  15. Extremely disappointing. Lets hope they pay the invoice and issue a sincere apology…

  16. Oh dear. Sorry to see this happened to you Ming…
    I’m not going to order an 645Z until I see an official apology. I vote with my feet.

    • Same here. By a casual count – in this comment thread, on FB, and over email – there are at least 20 645Z orders in the balance here.

      Ricoh, time is ticking.

  17. Indonesian business’s can be a bit loose with realities, if you get my drift, even worse than Australian Politicians! Bit sad really…

  18. Poor show. I was about to buy a GR (strongly influenced by your championing of it), but I’ll hold fire to see what response you get from Japan Pentax Ricoh Japan first. Customer service matters.

  19. William Jusuf says:

    I am completely ashamed of what they are doing …

    well.. even I am Indonesian, I pick all the Ricoh from elsewhere (ehm. Japan) due to the lack of after sales offered …
    I simply think Ricoh is camera I buy until broken .. they dont offer any after service here

    All the best for you , Ming …
    you ve done the best works here.. thanks for that

    William Jusuf

  20. Shame on you Ricoh!

  21. The clock is ticking Pentax…. there are a LOT of readers here, many of whom (like me) bought that GR after reading Ming’s favourable review of it, and we don’t like the idea of you, ahem, appropriating his property.

    • I honestly think they’re going to just ignore it.

      It’s sad, because I thought they were the last ‘photographer’s camera company’. Frankly even if they offered me a free 645Z I’m not sure I’d take it at this point.

  22. William Rounds says:

    It would be disengenous for either a publisher or a camera company to claim they are not hypersensitive to copyright issues; of course they are. They generally even have in-house lawyers who deal with nothing but intellectual property rights, copyrights, patents, etc. Time to get your own lawyer. In some cases having your lawyer send the letter (and the invoice as a first option for settlement) bringing to the offending party’s attention the legal steps that will be taken with a brief review of the jurisprudence on the subject is enough to get them to pay attention and at least deal with your case. Even if you don’t avail of counsel for this one, get one anyway for next time, since there probably will be a next time.

    • I would be inclined to agree with you, which is what makes this all the more surprising – and disappointing – especially given that it’s coming from one of the companies that I honestly thought was most in tune with photographers.

  23. Send them an invoice for use of the image!

  24. I would wait for HQ to reply. If they don;t it is really a dumb thing to do… especially from a popular blog who has been already selling cameras for them! AND I just got my GR because of your blog!

  25. Incase Pentax”whatever” is reading… I’m clearly having second thoughts about purchasing a 645z. It’ll be based on your responds, on non-response to this matter.

  26. Jonas Nordlund says:

    A sad reminder of the all too common mindset online, but from a surprising source. I also dislike the apology — since when does trying to make something pretty take precedence over copyright laws? Is disrespect of copyright really so deeply ingrained in some cultures that they don’t see how vulgar that sounds?

    • Sadly, that would appear to be the case. 80-85% of the image theft issues I’ve had have come from Indonesia. I’m incredibly surprised it’s come from a large international company, though.

  27. wow is all I can say now about this, I’m a fan of Ricoh GR and have been eyeing the 645Z too. I was just talking to other photographers last weekend during the gallery opening night where my work was exhibited, the number one question that came up, to my surprise, was how do I protect my images?! I had no idea this is on most photographers’ minds, is it really this rampant and blatant?

    • Sadly, it would seem to be the case – especially in the third world. Nobody gives a s*** about IP. If it happened to somebody else, chances are it wouldn’t have made the radar anywhere, which is even worse.

  28. John Driggers says:

    I’m guessing, given the response, that this was the work of an unsupervised web designer working for a local distributer or camera sales outlet. That doesn’t make it right and, having had my photographs stolen too, I understand your anger. I am, however, also guessing that this was not a sanctioned advertisement by P-R Japan and that you have perhaps gone a bit too far–a bit too soon. Like you, I am waiting to hear what P-R says and whether the local transgressor pays the (hopefully) reasonable invoice.

    • Perhaps so, but whichever local boss let it through ought to be held responsible, too. They should know better.

      • I don’t think you went too far. It’s up to PR Japan to ensure that it and its distributors have in place proper processes for clearing website copy and images.

        • Thank you – that’s the procedure I’ve always had to follow when working for a subsidiary; I don’t see why it should be any different elsewhere.

    • It does appear this website is the work of a web developer. Clicking on the hyperlink at the bottom of the web page that reads “Developed by Pentax Indonesia” takes you to an Indonesian ad agency by the name of Duckochan. While this doesn’t excuse the illegal use of another’s image, it would appear to be a local effort. You may want to contact the ad agency to find out if that was the case before damning Ricoh HQ for something they had no knowledge about.

      • I’m damning the local distributor/ agency/ subsidiary, who most certainly knew because they’d have had to sign off and pay the bill. HQ should also know what their local representatives are up to. Regardless of who is actually responsible, you have to remember that all entities here are representing the same brand: it’s that brand we’re buying, and that brand who’s responsible for carrying the image and maintaining customer relationships. This of course does not mean the agency is not guilty!

        • horaceclark says:

          I don’t have any disagreement with you that whoever authorized the use of your image without permission ought to be sanctioned by HQ. I too have had images stolen, and have no tolerance for it. However, to suggest that every ad created by a local distributor would presumptively be reviewed and approved by HQ is jumping to conclusions. I do IP work for a global mfr, and while we have internal standards and protocols, we do not check every single ad copy in the 150 markets we sell our products.

          Assuming Ricoh HQ had in fact approved the ad, you are making the further leap that Ricoh HQ knowingly approved the use of a stolen image, which I find hard to believe. You are implying criminal intent, and encouraging the boycott of the company’s products on pure speculation at this point.

          If their subsidiary screwed up, however innocently, you are entitled to legal damages, but I think it’s only fair to await their reply, and get the facts right.

          • Ricoh HQ is responsible for its representatives because they carry the brand. I would be very surprised if a) the principal locally didn’t check before paying the agency; and b) regional let it through without checking. It is in their own interests to do so. If you represent yourself as being official, then be prepared to take responsibility for it.

            • Joe Gruss says:

              Sorry, you’re taking this too far, and I’m apparently not the only one seeing it that way. I understand your frustration, but your reaction is over the top. That isn’t getting lost on your readers.

  29. Extraordinary! I hope they compensate you handsomely.

    • More likely I’ll be completely ignored. These big camera companies mostly don’t give two small droppings about their customers or supporters.

  30. They have gotten away with it — for a while.

    • Too bad. They might have gotten away with it, but I’m going to do my best to ensure everybody knows about their lack of ethics.

Trackbacks

  1. […] top of that, I’ve had enough product images stolen by various unscrupulous entities – including major brands – that I’m going to make these as specific and unusable for marketing purposes as […]

  2. […] cultures that cannot innovate and marketing that’s unimaginative at best, cliched and downright plagiaristic at worst. Leica is stuck with legions of existing expectations and is almost a victim of their own […]

  3. […] of his blog AND a GR owner (largely due to Ming) I will be watching to see how this plays out. Name and shame: ?Pentax Ricoh Indonesia? stole my image ? Ming Thein | Photographer Call me Steve. Or Asshol*. I answer to both. Reply With […]

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