New Times, old photo?
May 14, 2010
In a much to do about nothing scenario, New Times co-publisher Alex Zuniga sent out e-mails that said both CalCoastNews and Arroyo Grande High School had broken copyright laws because they had put a New Times photo of the high school on their websites.
Meanwhile, school officials argue that their photographer took the picture and not the New Times photographer who has since published it as his work.
The controversy began when the New Times asked CalCoastNews to remove the photo from their site.
“I thought you should know about an unauthorized image that you are currently using with the Arroyo Grande athlete story, Zuniga said in an e-mail to CalCoastNews. “Somehow someone figured it to be a copyright free image for some reason. Obviously, it isn’t. So, if you could please let them know about that and have them replace it or taken down soon, I’d appreciate it.”
CalCoastNews responded by saying the image was from the school’s website and is a legal use.
“That would be true if the Lucia Mar School District owned the photo, but they also are using the New Times copyright photo without permission,” Zuniga responded,. “I have asked them to do the same thing (remove it from the website) with the image.”
Lucia Mar School District officials said they took the photo down while they worked to verify the creator. They plan to put it back up because they have since discovered it is not the property of the San Luis Obispo New Times.
Meanwhile, Zuniga said the school district has now agreed the photo is the property of New Times.
“We were able to talk with Alan (the head of the IT for the website) and the photographer who was initially thought to have taken the photo,” Zuniga said. “Both were able to clearly confirm that the photo in question is not theirs. Alan has taken the photo down but we’ve given them permission to use the photo in an existing slideshow, assuming they can technically get a photo credit on it.”
Update: The last quote from Zuniga was added on May 15. CalCoastNews removed the photo.