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Nikon Accused of Stealing Photographer’s Work

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August 5, 2005 - Camera giant Nikon has found itself in hot water over allegations that it used a stolen picture in a Korean ad for their D50.  

"One of my photos on my personal homepage was used on an internet advertisement for Nikon’s new product D50s," photographer Lee Tae-Young told the Korea Times, who originally reported the story. "Even worse, the camera image shown on the ad was not a Nikon product, but a Canon 300D," he said.

The Korean ad agency that produced the ad, Communication It, admitted that they stole the picture and used it without the photographer’s permission. "For reference, we have collected some photos from internet sites, including Lee’s, but by our mistake, Lee’s photo was used for the internet ad," Kang Jun-Shik, a manager at the ad agency, told the Korea Times. An apology has been posted on the ad agency’s website.

Tae-Young told the Korea Times that the Canon logo on the camera in his photograph had been digitally replaced with a Nikon logo. The ad shows a boy, held by his father, holding a Nikon digital camera in his hands with the tagline, "Being a good father becomes easier. As my father records me with a Nikon Camera, I also record my child with a Nikon."

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