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FORT WORTH (KRLD-AM) — Ever since a Star-Telegram photographer took the famous photo of Rougned Odor punching out Jose Bautista, people have been trying to make a quick buck from it.
The photographer and the paper are not happy about it.
Staff photographer Richard Rodriguez was shooting the game for the Star-Telegram that day.
“I’m just excited that it was in focus,” Rodriguez says.
Through his lens, he captured the perfect image, complete with Bautista’s helmet and sunglasses flying.
The photo spread like wildfire on social media — and it’s also made its way onto eBay.
“The misconception that I encounter a lot is that, ‘Well, it’s on the internet, so it’s free,’ ” says Rodriguez, “but that is not the case.”
Some people are selling that photo online without Rodriguez’s or the paper’s permission. Rodriguez says he’s frustrated.
“It’s really hard to see other people abuse my copyright and the paper’s copyright that way,” he says. “The image is mine and not for somebody to download or put on t-shirts and sell. That is essentially stealing.”
Rodriguez says in the growth of the internet, he has seen his work stolen more frequently.
“It’s been so easy to disseminate images and get them out to the public so quickly,” says Rodriguez, “and it’s so easy to right-click on an image online and download it.”
Since Rodriguez is an employee of the Star-Telegram and he shot that photo while on assignment, the paper owns the image’s copyright.
As such, the paper has been proactive in finding people trying to profit from Rodriguez’s work and putting a stop to it.
On a positive note, the image has made Rodriguez a household name among his peers.
“I’m not one who takes compliments or praise easily or well,” says Rodriguez. “It has been nice getting the recognition from my peers and other photographers in town who appreciate the image.”
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