PodTech steals photo, stonewalls photographer

For a "new media" enterprise, PodTech is great at pissing off the new media. The podcasting company still hasn't resolved a dispute with photographer Lan Bui. In March, PodTech used a photo by Lan in a commercial kiosk display. They didn't ask Lan's permission for this use, thus violating his creator rights. Blogger Violet Blue has a tidy summary of the story and a spot-on analysis: PodTech managed to talk about the issue for weeks without actually writing to Lan. According to PodTech employee Robert Scoble in a Yahoo vlogging group, Lan wants $3000 while PodTech is offering $1000. Lan, says Scoble, says that PodTech is not in a position to negotiate. Then again, PodTech is in such a sorry state that this legal scuffle is worth its weight in no-such-thing-as-bad-publicity.

(Irony disclosure: Nick Douglas, the author of this Valleywag post, had a habit of using photos by photographer Andy Peterman, aka Thomas Hawk, in cases where strict interpretation of copyright law and Creative Commons licensing did not allow such use. Andy was sort of a "friend of Valleywag" and a friend of Nick, Valleywag credited Andy for his photos, and Andy never seemed to mind. After Valleywag wrote some posts that Andy didn't like, he asked Valleywag to remove such photos. Valleywag is complying to Andy's request. God, that was dull but necessary.)

Photo: The offending display, as published by Lan Bui.