Andy Duann, the student whose photograph of a bear falling out of a tree after being tranquilized went viral online last week, says the school newspaper program that distributed his photograph has acknowledged his copyright to the image.
Duann and the program, based at the University of Colorado at Boulder, have been in conflict since the image went viral last week. The school said they compensated Duann, an engineering student, $250 for the image and then allowed wire services and other news organizations to reproduce the photo with a credit attributing their newspaper and the student.
That upset Duann, who claimed his copyright had been infrinted upon. The student told Poynter he was seeking legal advice after the ordeal.
The Associated Press, who had re-transmitted the photo to its clients, issued a “photo elimination” on Saturday after the copyright issue came to light.
In an internet chat on Monday, Duann told me the director of journalism and mass communication at the school verbally acknowledged to him that he retains copyright of the image.
“I actually (thank the) school’s newspaper to [sic] expose my picture,” Duann said. “But I just want them to respect me and give me the copyright. That’s all I want.”
Though Duann has been offered compensation in exchange for the reproduction rights to his image, he says he’s not concerned about money.
“Photography is just my hobby and interest,” Duann said. “I don’t mind people using my photo, but I want them to respect me. That’s all.”
Duann claims the school’s journalism program did not pay him $250 to run the photo. Poynter says it was asked by Duann for $200 in order to use the photo, but was later told by the student that he wanted to wait until the copyright issue had been sorted out.
I placed a call to Christopher Braider, who Duanne said was the director of journalism and mass communication. Braider was unable to speak at the time I made the call.
Note: The photo of the bear at the center of the controversy was used in this blog entry with the permission of Andy Duann. No compensation was given for use of the photo.