Monday, June 29, 2009

Public Apologies

cross posted at
re-posted here with permission from OomPoppaMowMow Snookums

To Darkley Aeon - 6-29-2009

Throughout the course of recent days much has been made of how your photographs were handled during the SLBD events by photoLIFE staff. I felt because of the amount of publicity that any conversations between us may be forgotten or not properly acknowledged so I felt it necessary to write this letter making it unequivocally clear the position of photoLIFE on how your photos were handled.

photoLIFE does not condone the use of any photographers photographs without their permission. I feel you were not properly informed of how the photographs from the Flickr site were used, and as a result, new policy has been put in place to prevent this type of occurance from happening again.

New Policy Change
"photoLIFE occationally uses textures submitted from the Flickr site for photography contest, and featured photographer displays. Those photographs on the photoLIFE Flickr site may be used during these types of settings. Those photographers posting to the Flickr site must now agree for any uploaded photos to be used in promotional settings of the Team photoLIFE group. The Purpose of this policy is to allow a smooth process to honor the work of individuals on the photoLIFE Flickr site. It allows our staff the ability to have your work posted in world for others to view without having to address each photographer individually which could take an endless amount of time depending on who is in word or not. Photographs uploaded to the Team Flickr site will never be sold or used for profit. Only display or contest purposes."

This policy was not in place at the time you were not informed about the use of your photos. I sincerely apologize for this happening. I hope that you see that efforts are being made to prevent this from happening again.

I sincerely regret the manner in which you were addressed in this occurance by the photoLIFE staff. New policy has also been put into place that addresses the way your complaint was heard.

New Customer Service Policy Clarification
"......If a photoLIFE user has an issue they feel needs to be addressed. It is the policy that all affiliates of photoLIFE treat each issue with the upmost care and respect........No desciplinary action should be made towards any individuals based on a formal complaint about programs or systems of photoLIFE..."

The final complaint that was made regarded the display your photo was on being set for sale. While I understand the implications behind such actions, I can not speak for anyone but myself in saying that photoLIFE has never sold the work of any photographer with or without asking.

After reviewing this case I have found that the nature of the item being set for sale suggest it was an error based on several points. The item that was set for sale was a wall approximately 20 meters long of around 20 photographs gathered from the Flickr group. Most of the photographs had the names of the photography studios from which they came from on them. The parent prim used in making the wall came from a product recently set for sale by the builder. The URL of the photoLIFE website appears on the wall. I know during our discussions you have agreed that you did not think the intended use of the photographs was malicious. While it is unfortunate that the wall being set for sale suggest an ill intent, I have no indications that the individual has ever attempted to steal or reproduce the work of any other photographer.

In regards to this incident , a new proceedure policy is in place
"....before the opening of any event, a review must be made by the owner or the general manager of photoLIFE to approve the site and or any displays that have been built or made for it. This review will check for any oversight or misplaced permissions that may be misunderstood or against company policy."

Finally, while I know this has been an unpleasant experience for you, for that I am truly sorry. Many people are not aware that we have had a friendly relationship and I know I can say I have always enjoyed the time we spent learning and discovering different photography approaches together. While I know relations have been strained, you are always welcome to be a part , however you see fit in the photoLIFE community.

-OomPoppaMowMow Snookums


Kylie Balogh said...

I applaud you for recognizing, correcting and apologizing. It's restored my faith in your business.

Anonymous said...

That's good business practice I think.