Photographer, Michael Stemm, based out of New Brunswick, was shocked to see his photographs on Greeting Cards, Calendars, large blankets, etc. at local Walmart center.
Photographer had earlier shared his Photograph at microstock Photography to generate extra income back in February, 2018. He randomly uploaded one image and never read the Terms and Agreements and never checked his account again after uploading the Photo according to Globalnews.ca.
It turns out a Newfoundland-based company called Islandwide Distributors (IWD) had licensed Stemm’s Photo royalty free from Shutterstock for just $1.88.
Glenn had captured this photograph back in December, 2017 while walking across a snowy bridge in the City. He had shared it widely across social media and have sold cards and prints of it.
This whole experience may seem unfair on Photographer, but it was entirely lawful and within Islandwide’s privileges.
Photographer shares his experience and warns other Photographers in a video he posted at his Facebook:
He Quotes: “Walmart is selling my picture without my permission throughout all New Brunswick,” Stemm writes in the description. “I feel like I am being taken advantage of in this situation.”
His video has since gathered 127 K Plus Views and 2.4K Shares and over 600 comments… Well he did gain attention of Walmart Canada, which apologized in the comments and reached out.
Unfortunately for Stemm, he is not even able to withdraw the $1.88 he earned, as his account needs to reach a balance of $50 before he can withdraw the funds.
“I just don’t think it’s fair that they bought the picture on Shutterstock for $1.88 and they’re able to exploit it that much and get that much profit,” Stemm says.
“The lesson that’ll be learned here is: don’t use Shutterstock if this is actually how it’s going to be. I didn’t expect it to get exploited this way.”
Lesson learned indeed.