On October 4th a Tu-154 of Sibir, RA-85693, of which I happen to have uploaded a picture to the airliners.net database some time ago, crashes into the Black Sea.
On Sunday I get an email from a friend with congratulations for my succes, to have the Bild newspaper print my picture on the front page. (The Bild, for those who do not know, is by far the biggest German daily newspaper; I don't know how many millions of copies they sell every day.) He asks me how much they had paid me. I was quite surprised and had to answer that actually they did not pay me anything, and they did not ask me if they could use it, too.
So I went to get the Friday's newspaper (not too easy on a Sunday evening), and finally found one in a trash can at a bus stop. It turned out to really be my picture. Later that day I visited the newspaper's homepage, and there they used the picture as well. I wrote an email to them, asking them where they got that picture from. No reply. Today, I just sent off a second email confronting them with the suspicion that they used my picture without my permission.
If you like to compare and judge for yourself, this is the original photo:
Photo © Christian Bothe
and here is the page of their archive with their picture of the aircraft:
It isn't about money. I got a request from a small Ukrainian newspaper about the same picture, and I allowed them to use it, since I know the independent media in Ukraine are not having an easy time now, and if I can support them, I will. What really makes me angry is the total lack of respect for other people's work.
I'm really curious how this is going to develop. I am... well, the title of this post says it all.