Photographer calls out Bongbong Marcos supporter page for using photo without permission

·3 min read

A photographer has called out a Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte supporter page for using one of his photos in a promotional post without his permission.

Pampanga-based photographer Gerald Gloton slammed the Uniteam Bataan Facebook page for using his photo, as well as a Pampanga tourism logo by designer Dianne Marie, in a post promoting a Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte campaign event in April.

“Uniteam” is the collective nickname for candidates Marcos Jr. and Duterte.

“Aside from Dianne Marie’s Pampanga graphics, they used the photo which I shot myself in their publicity material — the worst part is they even blurred it. They released an official statement but not a single apology,” Gloton wrote on Twitter.

The image used in the now-deleted post by Uniteam Bataan was part of a photo feature published by Coconuts in November.

Photo: Gerald Gloton
Photo: Gerald Gloton

Gloton confirmed that he gave Coconuts exclusive permission to publish his photos online.

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“Uniteam Bataan used the photo I authorized (Coconuts) to publish, and even blurred my photo,” Gloton said.

Photographer Gerald Gloton slammed the BBM Uniteam page for using his photo and another designer’s logo without their permission in a promotional post. Screenshot: Gerald Gloton (Twitter)
Photographer Gerald Gloton slammed the BBM Uniteam page for using his photo and another designer’s logo without their permission in a promotional post. Screenshot: Gerald Gloton (Twitter)

Uniteam Bataan took down the post after becoming the target of online criticism and released a non-apology statement in which it claimed that the camp “respects artists” while also claiming that they believed the image was in the public domain because of how they found it through Google.

“The logo we used came from Google ‘Public Domain Images’ there are lots of the same photos on different websites,” the page wrote in its defense.

In a rather brazen turn, the page even blamed the designer for uploading her logo on Behance, claiming that the “No Use at All” symbol looks similar to the “No Rights Reserved” mark for Creative Commons.

That’s despite the fact that the current license scheme on Behance does not even offer a “No Rights Reserved” option.

While the Uniteam Bataan page has limited its post comments, that did not deter angry netizens from flocking to its page and lambasting the team.

“Wow, Marcos is really your saint, huh? No accountability whatsoever,” one user wrote.

“Why are you blaming the designer? Gaslighting pa more,” another pointed out.

“Do you not have anyone talented among your ranks?” One asked.

According to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, the IP Code grants authors, artists, and other creators, automatic protection for their literary and artistic creations, from the moment they create it.

Copyright.org also says that one cannot simply download or use images from Google without seeking permission from the copyright holder, unless the image explicitly carries a Creative Commons license.

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