Non Means Non

Queen West View EastToday I got the following Google alert telling me one of my photos had been used and accredited to me.

Google Web Alert for:

The new patios of summer ’09: Fresh grazing grounds for outdoorsy
May 11, 2009 The new leisure class: Queen Street will benefit from some of the city’s new patios (Photo by LexnGer). With spring heating up into summer,

Normally this is very exciting news and I’m delighted to see my photos used.

This time however I was a little surprised and more than a little annoyed.

My photo is used in a article by Davida Aronovitch in their online section. Toronto Life is a commercial enterprise and my Attribution-Non-commercial license states explicitly that my photos are available for non-commercial use only.

In fact, is one of the primary reasons I have a non-commerical license on my . They are a direct competitor to since they publish a guide to cheap restaurants every year. If my photos are going to be used to promote a Toronto restaurant guide, it should be ours!   [update – I am the founder, editor & publisher of for those of you who are visiting for the first time]

Truth is if Davida, or whoever added the photo to the article, had asked me I would probably have said “okay” because it’s not really a big deal. But they didn’t.

So I’m going to ask for them to either remove the photo or add a link to . Cluck, Grunt & Low

(May 12 update) A friend just pointed out that Toronto Life is also using my photo on their article on

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

4 thoughts on “Non Means Non

  • May 13, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Letter to Toronto Life

    As many of you have voiced your support on my Creative Commons issue with Toronto Life, I thought I’d share the letter I sent them about their use of my photos without permission. [original post about that is here] Hi, I’m writing because 2 of my photo…

  • May 13, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Nope, not cool. I’ve just posted the letter I sent them. Let’s see where this takes us.

  • May 13, 2009 at 11:06 am

    good luck with getting restitution and satisfaction. you should ask for whatever would be the appropriate rate for the use of a professional photographer’s fee. they seem to have knowingly stolen and used your images for their commercial enterprise.
    chances are high they have done this with other images as well thinking perhaps that anything on Flickr is fair game for them to use. they would lose a legal suit in such a case, so demanding an appropriate fee is completely fair. they could face penalties if they have repeatedly, intentionally misused Creative Commons labeled images.


What do you think?