What’s a freedtard?

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by John T. Fowler

A freetard is someone who wants to use your photos without paying for the right to do so, usually for some commercial reason.Often it’s a business or publication that “has no budget for photography” (Bet the business owner or editor gets paid!). Even more often it’s a “contest” where you’re promised “exposure”. That’s exposure almost as illegal and worth about as much to you as the other kind.

We have those photo contests in our own community all the time. One is underway now – if you win you get to see your photo in a commercial calendar for next year. That’s advertising, used to promote a business – where the use of photos should be paid for at handsome rates, because the firm/store/organization is using your photo to produce revenue.

Then there are the columns in our local papers who have a policy – “we don’t pay for pictures”. They’re stuffed end to end with costly advertisements.

Another culprit is the good cause. Many of us like to support causes close to our hearts. But one must wonder why such causes demand “all reproduction rights, in perpetuity, in any and all media now known or to be developed in future”.

Wonder they don’t want your first-born as well.

When you encounter them, know these scams and thefts for what they are. Decline to participate. Your reward for doing that? How much is your self-respect worth to you?

Editor's Note: At the Millstone, we ask for photo submissions, but we are all volunteers, we do not make money from your photos and the copyright remains with you.