DKNY Caught Using Photographer’s Images Without Permission Or Compensation

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New York street photographer Brandon Stanton, who runs the Humans of New York site, was approached by DKNY a few months ago for the purchase of 300 of his photos. The company wanted to use the images in their store windows all over the world, and offered Stanton $15,000 for them. Even though Stanton declined the offer, the company has been using his photos anyway… for free. Stanton found this out when a fan sent him photos from a DKNY store in Bangkok. He says, “The window is full of my photos. These photos were used without my knowledge, and without compensation.

Stanton explains why he turned down the $15,000 in the first place: “A friend in the industry told me that $50 per photo was not nearly enough to receive from a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. So I asked for more money. They said ‘no.'” Stanton declined to comment on how much he upped his price to when we asked him this morning. However, street photographer and Gothamist publisher Jake Dobkin has experience with these types of deals, and tell us, “I made $900 for a full wall at the Louvre [at a retail space in the museum], and that was only after the guy who wrote the book threatened to sue them for running it without asking. The fair value was probably about $2,500 or $3,000.”

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