Travel firms stand accused of lifting Facebook photos without permission and using them in brochures, which may well breach copyright laws. One firm, STA Travel, has removed an image from an online brochure and its social media channels after a former customer accused it of using her image without consent.
The electronic media, marketing and entertainment newsletter Mumbrella reports that two holidaymakers are seeking compensation and considering legal action after a photo taken on a Greek island and posted on Facebook “found its way into a travel company’s brochures and on to its social channels”.
Lawyers warn that businesses need to take extra care when publishing photographs of individuals. Photographs showing people who can be identified are considered private information under the Privacy Act.
Mumbrella’s story – which is written by Steve Jones, a respected journalist with extensive travel industry experience – says the photo appeared in STA Travel’s Europe Travel Guide and in brochures and social platforms for Bamba Experience, which is based in Mexico City.
The image shows student Anthea Jirgens, 24, pictured in front of a Greek village on Santorini. It was taken by her then boyfriend Scott Ennever and they say used without permission.
In an email sent to Bamba and cited by Mumbrella, Ennever claimed the photos remained his property and should not have been used. As the copyright owner, he claimed a number of exclusive rights under the Copyright Act 1968, including the right to reproduce the Work, and to publish and communicate the Work to the public (including by way of sale, broadcast or putting the Work online.
The story quotes STA Travel saying it received the image from a supplier who provided it “in good faith”. It has since removed the image and will be re-printing the brochure it appeared in. The Mumbrella story can be read here.
Written by Peter Needham