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January 26, 2007



I could tell you things about people running $multi-million businesses in the catering industry that would make your hair curl. And I've hardly started yet. I guess you either get very heavy or just smile and ignore it.


I think it's very disappointing that they didn't immediately identify you as the photographer, but then they would have had to publicly admit that they had stolen a photo from a blog and used it for commercial purposes without acknowledging or compensating the blogger. Do you know any attorneys? If you do, I wouldn't hesitate to send them an official looking letter asking for payment for photo use. Especially since you have the message where they admit it's not their photo.

I am often discouraged at how the mainstream media treats bloggers. I recently had a major news site invite me to contribute a recipe for the kitchen area of their site. When I inquired as to whether they would link to my blog in the piece if I submitted something (they were not offering to pay me), I never heard back from them. Apparently they think I should work free for the glory of having something appear on their site.


Thanks guys. Actually, Kalyn, I am an attorney, but I wouldn't send a letter like that unless I decided that I was willing to follow through on it. Which can turn out to be a lot of bother.
This business gets a lot of good press, and are generally portrayed as being charming- so their behavior is particularly disappointing.


Sad, do you trademark or copyright? I think this blog does: http://foodiefarmgirl.blogspot.com/

It is theft, i wish there was something you could do.


That is very much more than disappointing. I think I'd be rattling their cage pretty loudly. That is really bad business, just not right.


You would think that a "20 Million Dollar a Year" business would take their own pictures.


$20 Million a year is probably the gross revenue, and that might easily correspond to twenty or thirty employees, including one IT person who also has to maintain their web site. Obviously what they did was unethical, but the appropriate response is probably exactly what you did: notify them and then post about it to raise the general level of awareness. Anything else is likely more trouble than it's worth.

I do think you're right to be slightly vexed. On the other hand, it's quite a testament to your mad food styling skills.


I do copyright, jon, but as anapestic says, these things can be a big nuisance to pursue. That's why they do it, of course, they know follow up is unlikely. Which is why I probably should really "rattle their cage," as Tanna suggests.

But my time and resources are limited, and I guess there are other issues that make me more indignant, if I'm going to go whole hog on something.

Hey,'pestic-I am kind of proud of taking a picture of chili that doesn't look completely barf-like. Good stuff- but not so photogenic!

the chocolate lady

Oh, bless my soul! I do not think you are being the least bit fussy at all!


I've worked in the publications business for more than 15 years and I cannot imagine lifting a photo.

I won't do any business with that company, that's for certain.



I've been a fan of D'Artagnan for years -- in theory and reality. UNTIL: This past Christmas ordered a goose to be delivered Christmas eve day. Assured it was serve 8 generously. It arrived and was a good 3 pounds under the promised weight. We were in the boondocks without a market within 40 miles. Needless to say, we managed by serving up piles of vegetables.

I wrote and asked for an explanation. No response. Nothing.

Very disappointing.


I have eaten more D'Artagnan pates and terrines in my life than I can count, but they've lost me as a customer, thanks to their shabby, thieving behavior. It stinks that they wouldn't do the right thing by you, but I'm glad you pushed back on 'em, anyway.

I agree with our anapestic. Maaaaad food-styling skills, that's what you have. :)

Baking Soda

No, you're not being too fussy and I think you handled this very very politely and straight forward. Their response was too easy. This is simply not done, I don't expect this kind of behaviour from a company which I think should have easy access to any sort of photo material (ordered and paid for!).

Kudos for your food styling skills, that's for sure!


Unbelievable! You'd think that by now companies would have wizened up to the fact that online foodie circles are pretty small, and that flagrantly stealing internet content and assuming it will never be discovered is more than a little naive. I wonder if the money they saved by not paying for a stock photo is worth the loss in revenue from all the customers you've turned away? ;)


Thanks for the kind and supportive words. Powerless gnat that I am, I am greatly consoled by your collective niceness!


I had something similar with a multi national tea company when I wrote a piece about them which they read, then a while later they started a new advertising campaign using part of my post, unfortunately ideas can't be copyrighted, but a bit of credit would be nice, also ethical.


I am a firm believer in carefulling selecting the battles I choose to fight. But, it looks like however small our numbers are, from the above, I think you may have rattled their cage just a wee bit!!


You know, Melissa, I doubt if they even realized the photo came from a blog. Probably someone just googled photos of "buffalo chili" (Pretty funny, as there is no reason it would look different from non-buffalo chili!), and grabbed the first thing they saw, without even checking where it came from. They don't seem to care about the tiny bit of adverse publicity either, as no one ever contacted me again.
Neil-did you ever ask them about it?
Tanna-I hope so, because it really was a pretty stinky trick.


D'Artagnan's website is and always has been hilariously bad. Whoever puts it together clearly has no concept of design or Internet manners. It's annoying, but I wouldn't attach any motives to the initial theft or the subsequent removal; they just don't get it.

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