I was made aware of a photo of mine being used on Facebook by a company calling themselves TYR Strategic. The photo is definitely one of mine that was rotated and cropped for use in the TYR Strategic’s Facebook page for a post regarding press checks.
Stolen stock photos annoy me, but I am well aware that it happens. But what annoys me about this specific case is that they used my photo specifically to talk about the exact topic that I made this stock photo for. My blog post on Press Checks was from 22 December 2013.
On top of that, someone asked TYR Strategic what slide is in the photo and TYR Strategic responds saying they do not know because “the image was bought.”
That detail absolutely infuriates me because not only did they steal my photo from an article I wrote on the specific topic they are trying to discuss, they had the audacity to say they purchased, licensed, or otherwise compensated the copyright owner (me) for the use of the (MY) photo. This is completely false because I never licensed this photo to anyone.
It is one thing to use a photo without permission, but to publicly claim you have legitimate permission to use it is just plain dishonest.
If anything, TYR Strategic should have simply linked to my press check article on their Facebook page with their own commentary.
I have never heard of TYR Strategic until this was brought to my attention. They appear to be in Canada. But if I ever see one of TYR Strategic folks at the next SHOT Show, rest assured I will be bringing this issue up.
For the record, the slide in the photo is a One Source Tactical / TSD Combat Systems Glock 17 slide with an RMR cut. I actually did a review of this slide and the Trijicon RMR back in January 2013.
Lesson: If you are going to be marketing your company or yourself in any medium (old or new / social), you need to learn how to make your own content. If you are incapable of doing so, acquire it legally and ethically.