Photographers have to be vigilant about copyright because there are so many people out there that take advantage of others’ work it is heartbreaking and expensive.
And you might not think of Walmart’s Photolab as a potential vector for this to happen but there are reports on PetaPixel and Reddit that a recent policy change could enable copyright theft if abused.
PetaPixel spoke with a Photolab employee on the condition of anonymity who told the website:
“About two weeks ago, a new policy came from our corporate headquarters in Bentonville, AK,…The policy stated that due to a message on the kiosk screens, stating that there is a copyright policy, most customers just click out. Corporate informed the labs that the associates are no longer required to ask about any copyright issues. The new policy actually requires us not to ask at all, whether the photo is professional or not. In addition, the store I work at wanted the associates to sign the new policy stating that we understand the new policy and that we, as associates, would not ask about copyright issues.”
Then again, some users on the same Reddit forum reported that they had difficulty printing photos they owned which means that Walmart’s new system might be more about retaining customers than screwing over photographers. Still, the potential for abuse remains. So far the retail giant has not responded to PetaPixel or other websites' requests for comment.
Have you ever used the Walmart Photolab? What do you think of this story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Don’t forget to check out some of our other photography news articles on Light Stalking by clicking here.
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