A few minutes ago, I got a @ message from somebody on Twitter saying, “Wondering if you’ve already seen this??!?!?” with a link to this blog post on Gawker, titled “Law Grads Ungrateful for Their Priceless Knowledge.” What makes the post noteworthy, from my perspective, is the stock photo they used to illustrate it:


The post has nothing to do with me — and, in fact, I’m neither unemployed nor ungrateful; on the contrary, I am very grateful for my legal education! Love thee, Notre Dame! — but I guess the author, Hamilton Nolan, or whatever member of the Gawker Media Empire was responsible for illustrating Mr. Nolan’s post, felt that a picture of me looking dorky on graduation day wearing my 2007 glasses (which, incidentally, I bought at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party on New Year’s Eve 2006-07 in Tempe) was a good stock photo to accompany the post.

I have no problem with the photo — I blogged it, after all! — but, in that context, under that headline, it’s not exactly the image of myself I’d choose to put out there. And technically, Gawker is violating my copyright by using the photo without permission. I do sometimes post photos on Flickr with Creative Commons attribution, but this wasn’t one of those — it was published directly on my server, and they downloaded it from this old blog post, which they then linked back to. That, at least, was good etiquette, and I seem to be getting a (very) small traffic surge as a result.*

Still, to be all legal and stuff, they should have asked before posting the picture. But, at least at present, I don’t feel inclined to make a ruckus about it (though I reserve the right to do so). Instead, I think I’ll follow Ryan Kessler’s advice, and proceed on the assumption that the Gawker Media Empire and I have an unwritten agreement whereby it’s okay to steal each other’s content at will, without asking. :) Filed away for future reference! Heh.

As an aside, I can’t help but wonder: was that photo pulled at random, in response to a Google search for “law grad 2007 dorky glasses” or some such? Or is there an ND Nation plant, or some other blog-troll from the bad old days — the sort of person who makes malicious edits to my Wikipedia page and the like — on Gawker’s staff, who specifically went looking for a photo of me to go under that rather unflattering headline? I have no idea, though absent evidence to the contrary, I assume it was random.

*UPDATE: Shoot! I’m not actually registering any traffic surge, because there’s no SiteMeter image on that old page! I must have forgotten to put traffic trackers there when I transitioned it over from TypePad to a static HTML page on my server. UPDATE 2: Fixed!

Comments on "Gawker steals dorky picture of me from my old blog, uses it as stock photo of “Ungrateful Law Grad”"

7 Responses to “Gawker steals dorky picture of me from my old blog, uses it as stock photo of “Ungrateful Law Grad””

  1. dcl Says:

    I suggest filing a lawsuit without bothering to send them a take down first. Much more expansive for their legal department to respond in that case. Show them just how ungrateful for your legal education you are. Make sure you file in the most local jurisdiction possible just to make their life more annoying.

  2. kcatnd Says:

    Hold plz…I know someone who works at Gawker. My agents should be greeting them shortly.

  3. JD Says:

    Considering that you got a job at literally the last second before the world went into a tailspin (see Defining Day of the Decade #9), you should be the LAST person they’d choose to illustrate such an article.

    Also, wouldn’t Gawker know better than to piss off a law student with a blog?

    (Hey, and speaking of those Defining Days, did you ever do #2 and #1?)

  4. David K. Says:

    What, you mean a company that buys known stolen goods and commits other felonies is doing unscrupulous things? I’m shocked I tell you, shocked.

    \ Not shocked at all
    \\ Sue the pants off them

  5. Howell Holmes Gwin Says:

    Can you comment on the law school bubble/glut we’re hearing so much about?

  6. Rebecca Loy Says:

    I don’t think there’s so much of a glut of lawyers as there is a recession that has hit all sectors of the economy. There’s simply the same number of people competing for fewer jobs. Therefore, it seems like there’s a a surplus, but if the economy was firing on all cylinders, people would be happily employed.

  7. David K. Says:

    Well Brendan could help if he sued Gawker, then he would have to hire a lawyer and they would have to hire lawyers.

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