This is one of a couple of recent cases where a photographer takes an image, and that image goes viral and the they lose effective control of it (the other is the Monkey Selfie image).
The reality is that an image like this may well spin out of your control. In the article on the supermodel image, the photographer even notes they considered giving up photography for a while.
My reaction to that is — it’s a photo. Sometimes it’s worth writing it off and moving on, folks, especially when the fight is a losing one and the stress is affecting your health or impacting your ability to be a photographer. Is an image really worth that?
There’s your legal right under copyright. There’s the practical reality of a viral image and putting that genie back in the bottle (you can’t). And there’s keeping a sense of perspective that should tell you that at some point, you should focus on taking more pictures, and not on the lost fight of trying to regain control of an image where you won’t win and the payback is not going to be worth what it costs you.
I’m not suggesting you don’t try to protect and control your images. I’m saying that at some point, you need to realize it’s time to move on — especially when it’s impacting your interest in actually being a photographer. No image is worth that.
Given the fight between Hatchette and Amazon, with the authors once again cannon fodder in the middle, and Amazon trying similar tactics against Disney, I have similar thoughts to Marco. I’ve been revamping some of my affiliate stuff (to good results so far) — small potatoes given that a good month barely pays my hosting bill — but I think ultimately this is two companies strongarming each other and they’ll work it out, and I just hope the little people stuck in the middle don’t get hurt too badly as the giants wrestle. I definitely know that my choosing to not buy or sell through Amazon wouldn’t impact the decision one teeny bit — and bluntly, there’s no affiliate program that would be remotely as useful to me as Amazon. I’ve experimented with them, and only Amazon has the general access to the population and diversity of product to make it worth the hassle.
So for now, I’m moving forward as is, but not without some ambiguous feelings about it.