With all the downloadable and savable content swarming webspace, copyright claim issues are quite rampant–most of them are quite trivial, unlike the one where eggs stir a cockfight between a photographer and a magazine.


The fight over eggs started when photographer Kathy Shea Mormino was informed by a fan that one of her pictures was posted on Survival Magazine‘s blog and Facebook account–apparently without her permission. Not only was the chicken and eggs photograph used without her knowledge but the watermark was cropped as well. The photographer commented on Survival Magazine‘s Facebook post, claiming the ownership of the photograph and asking for the photo to be taken down.


However, what should have been a simple “cease and desist” story was totally blown out of proportion. A representative of Survival sent Ms. Mormino a message that was rather boorish, if you will, as it contained profane words that reflect poorly on the magazine’s part.

Both parties have their own sides on the issue. The photographer claims that Survival did not take down the post when she asked them to do so. She ended up contacting Facebook concerning the copyright claim and it was Facebook that took it down.

On the other hand, the magazine claims that Ms. Mormino never contacted them directly but instead contacted Facebook about the post in dispute, along with other posts that had nothing to do with her photograph, all of which were taken down. This is how Survival justifies, or tries to justify, their profane answer to her as well as their threat to sue her for damages for up to $10,000.

The photographer however denies Survival‘s claims by backing it up with snapshots of the comment she made on their Facebook account–and most importantly the snapshot of the troll-ish message that was sent to her. Backed by these snapshots, she claims that the magazine has deleted her Facebook comment and that Survival‘s claim that she reported multiple Facebook posts is simply bogus. The photographer expressed that she only sent one report and that’s just for the post wherein her photograph was used without permission–one report and only one receipt for the said action from Facebook.

Below is Survival‘s nasty answer, which was sent to Adweek:

For someone who raises chickens you’re a complete and total jerk, you have cost us hundreds of dollars in promotions of our posts, and we will be sueing you to recoup that and legal fees which are estimated to be between 5-10k. What an asshole with nothing better to do than go around the web filing false take down notices. We will also be contacting all of your sponsors.


In addition, Ms. Mormino shows Facebook’s confirmation notice for the removal of the chicken photo, which she says it’s the only content she filed a take-down request for.

After the jump, you can read Mormino’s full statement:

The screenshot images in the photo collage speak for themselves. One can plainly see that I contacted Survival Magazine directly by commenting underneath my photo on their Facebook page at 2:00 pm on 2/12/14.  I identified myself as the owner of the copyrighted photo and requested that they remove it from their page. Survival Magazine deleted my comment, ignoring my respectful, polite request. I filed a copyright infringement complaint with Facebook and Facebook removed the photo from Survival Magazine’s FB page at 5:40pm. For Survival Magazine to claim that they took the photo down themselves, implying that their moral compass pointed in the right direction at any point in the course of these interactions, is patently false.

At 5:50pm on 2/12/14, an unidentified agent from Survival Magazine emailed me the profane response to Facebook’s take-down notice seen in the photo collage above. No person at Survival Magazine has ever identified themselves as the author of that email or as the author of the reply to the Adweek article, which calls into question more than just their professionalism. For some anonymous entity at Survival Magazine to claim that I filed a “false take down notice” is sheer insanity. There is no dispute that the photo is of my chickens and my chicken coops in my backyard or that I took it and watermarked it. Further, there is no dispute that Survival Magazine used my photo on Facebook and their website without my permission.

Finally, in response to the claim that I filed “take down notices on about 10 of our posts that custom content created {sic} by us and had nothing to do with her” I categorically deny that baseless claim.

I challenge Survival Magazine to produce an iota of evidence in support of the accusation that I filed more than one Facebook copyright complaint. Facebook provides notices to the complainant and offender when removing content from a page; those notices contain the complainant’s name and contact information as well as a section that requires the complainant demonstrate ownership of the challenged content. I filed one and only one complaint against Survival Magazine’s Facebook page. Any accusation to the contrary is 100% fabricated. Whether my photo ever contained a watermark and whether Survival Magazine ever removed a watermark from my photo is completely irrelevant to the issue of unauthorized use of my intellectual property.

Last, this is a very clear instance of theft of intellectual property by Survival Magazine. I would have excused the unauthorized use of my photo. Their bad behavior ex post facto, however, is completely inexcusable.