U.S. Family’s Christmas Card Photo: Discovered in Czech Republic Grocery Store Ad

June 11, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A Missouri family learned recently to be careful when posting family photos on social networking sites, or even public family blogs. The adorable family photo taken for last year’s Christmas card was spotted by a family friend visiting the City of Prague in the Czech Republic, in a life-sized ad for a grocery store.

The Smith family’s Christmas card photo shows a handsome young couple holding their two adorable pre-school aged children, smiling and dressed in their Sunday best. Danielle Smith, 36-years-old, sent the Christmas card photo to family and friends, but also posted it on her social networking sites and family blog.

Apparently, a Czech grocery store owner also liked the photo of the happy looking family and arranged for it to be blown up, imprinted with the store’s phone number to cover his entire storefront, advertising his delivery service.

A college friend of Smith’s was startled recently when driving through Prague, seeing his friend’s family photo splashed across a Prague storefront. He snapped some pictures and sent them to Smith.

Mario Bertuccio, the owner of the specialty food market, admits the photo was found on the Internet, but believed it was computer-generated. The professional photographer who took the photo, didn’t authorize it to be used.

Bertuccio plans to remove the huge life-sized ad depicting the Smith family from his storefront and email an apology.

Smith is relieved her family photo was only used as an innocent advertisement for a specialty European grocery store. But the implication for other uses is frightening to Smith. Imagine if her cute family photo was used to sell something more sinister.

Meanwhile, Smith is not about to freely post family photos on social networking sites anytime soon, unless they have an electronic watermark or a lower resolution to deter people from reproducing them in the future.



One Response to “U.S. Family’s Christmas Card Photo: Discovered in Czech Republic Grocery Store Ad”

  1. Randy Taylor on June 12th, 2009 7:51 am

    A great example of what’s happening today. With billions of images uploaded monthly and unlimited global access, the magnitude of unauthorized and unattributed use is enormous. A new, free service – The Copyright Registry at C-Registry.us – addresses exactly this issue, enabling all copies of images online, including those the owner doesn’t know about, to link back to the contact information and web site of the photographer or rights holder. There’s no way to stop unauthorized use, but now there’s a starting point to track and link those uses back to the appropriate person, or in this case, family.

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of ChattahBox.com - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox.com or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.