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FIDE Filches Photos

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While they're doing their best to make things bad for the players that doesn't mean FIDE has forgotten about the rest of the people in the chess world. They've moved on to taking player photographs from around the web and reproducing them without permission in their online player profiles.

Chess journalist John Henderson needed only a few minutes to find dozens of his photos at fide.com, including most of the top American and Chinese players as well as Vladimir Kramnik. All were apparently taken from various reports at ChessBase and The Week In Chess websites. No photo credit is given and no one contacted the easily contactable Henderson to negotiate a purchase or ask permission.

Copying content on the web is so easy that many people sincerely believe that it's legal. But copyright infringement is just as serious online as off (just ask the RIAA what they think of MP3 file sharing). FIDE can't hide behind the "criminal or stupid" defense. It is also very unlikely that each player submitted his own photo and it happened to be one taken by Henderson. (FYI, the subject of a photo does not own the rights to that photo, particularly if they are a public figure or competitor in a publicly viewed event. On the other hand I don't know of any photographer who wouldn't give his subject a copy for personal use.)

I suggested that Henderson just submit an invoice to FIDE for all the photos he can find on their site. If someone uses one photo accidentally and removes it when asked, you can be more understanding. I was on both sides of that situation several times when I was editor-in-chief of KasparovChess.com. But FIDE ripping off chess journalists is sad. Photo credit and a link is all most would ask, but FIDE seems to be intent on poisoning the water of ever well it can find. They continue to make enemies of the people that could help them.

More amusing is that they can't get the photos right either. Sergey Shipov has replaced Alexei Shirov!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 8, 2003 2:45 AM.

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