Photojournalist commences copyright proceedings against Daily Mail

A Sydney based photojournalist has launched legal proceedings against the Daily Mail Australia alleging copyright infringement, Mumbrella can reveal.

In a case listed to commence before the Federal Court in Sydney this morning, Richard Milnes is alleging the Daily Mail used a number of his images in their stories without payment.

The case revolves around now defunct citizen journalism website, Demotix, which came under fire for not paying photographers after parent company Corbis Images was acquired by Visual China Group from Bill Gates in 2016.

It appears Daily Mail Australia had licensed the images through Demotix but Milnes had never received any payments.

Daily Mail Australia has been previously in court over allegations of copyright infringement with the company settling with News Corp over claims of lifted stories in 2014.

At the time the Daily Mail responded to the complaints by citing instances where its own copy and images had been taken by News Corp without permission and accused News of not understanding the fundamentals of online journalism.

In the latest complaint, the photojournalist launched his action last month.  In a Instagram post dated February 12 Milnes wrote;

“Just finalising the paperwork for the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in a case against a certain notorious media outlet who thought that they would try to get away without paying me for using numerous of my copyright photos.

“Well I spotted them and now they must face the full force of the Australian legal system.

“In this industry there is widespread dishonesty and incompetence when it comes to paying freelance photographers and some of the biggest organisations are some of the worst.

“Once I have hopefully won my case I will then pass on my legal knowledge to other photographers who can also fight back against the exploitation we face.

“I will also be pursuing others who I have spotted have been cheating me (and no doubt others) such as The Mirror in the UK. *sits back in black leather chair and strokes fluffy white cat* Btw if any rich celebrities who have a grudge against a certain media outlet (no prizes for guessing which one) and would like to help me get revenge and justice – e.g. Karl Stefanovic, Sam Armytage, etc want to help fund a legal team for me then get in touch.”

In a follow up comment to the post, Milnes wrote:

“Demotix/Corbis Agency who I used to be a contributor to foolishly allowed media outlets to access images and ‘self-report’ usage. Of course only a fraction of what was used actually got reported. I have a detailed record of everything that was used though. I sent out an invoice but they have not paid it so now it goes to court and they may end up paying a lot more.”

Both Milnes and Daily Mail Australia have been contacted for comment.


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