03 Oct2008

This isn’t news, it happened a couple of months ago, but I must have been away or had my head buried in Greek ruins at the time, because I missed it. Basically, a photo or two of Anton Sheker was apparently used in a newspaper article and not credited to him, read about the entire episode here. He then tried to bill them for its use, he wasn’t paid, was then apparently threatened with a criminal lawsuit, and he has fought back by filing a copyright infringement and damages suit against the newspaper. GOOD ON YOU ANTON! It’s about time that newspapers et al understand that stealing a photograph or using it without permission is in fact WRONG. I have had several pictures “stolen” or used without permission from this blog before, but in all cases that I was aware of, I was able to extract apologies, get the photos removed, etc. so a lawsuit wasn’t necessary. But I fully support Anton’s (even though I don’t know him from Adam) cause, and I hope the case prospers in his favor. I would also ask readers to remain vigilant when they read newspapers, magazines and other media and they spot photos that appear to have come from another uncredited source… I know that is how I found out about a lot of the photos that were taken from my blog in the past. Good luck with the case Anton!



  1. chungwan says:

    it seems like he spells his name Anton Sheker.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 11:49 am


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  3. peterb says:

    Hi MM,

    You didn’t miss this. This happened around October last year. You even have a comment on the original post. :)

    Oct 3, 2008 | 11:50 am

  4. Marketman says:

    peterb, I knew when the instance occurred and commented, but not about the lawsuit… chungwan, thanks, will revise spelling!

    Oct 3, 2008 | 11:51 am

  5. peterb says:

    Ah, you’re right. I haven’t seen any updates about the lawsuit though. I wonder how far it’ll go. Searching for news about this ended up in a website using Anton’s photos. Interesting exchange about copyrights there. I really wonder how difficult it is to ask for permission…


    Oct 3, 2008 | 12:35 pm

  6. witsandnuts says:

    Tsk, tsk. Also, Mayenne Carmona of Philippine Star plagiarized Maureen Dowd’s article in NY Times last July. And last week Jay Ortega (from the same broadsheet) copied a music review from Rolling Stones.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 2:39 pm

  7. kiko says:

    is there some sort of a “media watch” body that monitors this sort of thing?

    Oct 3, 2008 | 2:49 pm

  8. acid says:

    Is plagiarism an accepted mores of these newspapers? I also remember the Inquirer’s food section was also caught stealing from the net a while back. Grabe, these newspaper editors walk around defending the so-called “4th estate” and how noble their jobs are (which it is) but then they allow intellectual theft within their ranks. And you don’t even hear someone getting punished for that, kahit na memo man lang. How sad and pathetic.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 4:22 pm

  9. Anton Sheker says:

    I was wondering what the spike in traffic was..

    thanks for the post.. we are trying to get a group together under http://www.copyright.ph to post copyright related stories online to use is as a watchdog and a database to protect copyright online.

    It happens to a lot of people but the others just remain silent and dont bother with the problem…

    re: my cases we are going to pre-trial this month. mediation didnt work out despite that we dropped all monetary concerns and was just asing for an printed apology.. ayaw pa rin.. so off to court we go.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 4:47 pm

  10. acid says:

    To Anton:

    You’re up against a newspaper whose owner touts his judiciary connections like, as they say, ‘candies in his pocket’. Good luck to you, and hope you keep the online community posted on the developments of this case.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 5:22 pm

  11. risa says:

    All you wanted was a printed apology and they did not want to give it? Kapal!

    Oct 3, 2008 | 5:23 pm

  12. Chu says:

    I think extracting a full page public apology is even tougher than asking for money. This thing could drag on for a long time. I just hope Anton has alternative sources of income because he’s going up against people who could see to it that he will never work in this town again. Ewan ko lang sa next town.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 5:55 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    I stopped reading the Manila Bulletin a long, long time ago. If I ever have to place newspaper ads in future, I will also choose not to use this particular newspaper.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 6:52 pm

  14. Chu says:

    I do have a question about this case. Like you, MM, I have only read about it recently. Anton Sheker said the photos were from a commissioned project for a client? Where does the client figure in all this? Isn’t the client also an owner and is thus entitled to ownership as well? If so, does he not have a say not just when the MB used the photos but also if Anton should have posted the photos on the internet?

    Oct 3, 2008 | 7:01 pm

  15. Mrs. G says:

    What was the defense of MB?

    Oct 3, 2008 | 7:08 pm

  16. acid says:

    From what I understand, MB has tie-ups now with other newspaper publications like NY Times. I think they should also know that the paper that publishes their articles is into this sort of thing.

    Oct 3, 2008 | 9:16 pm

  17. Myra P. says:

    Chu, Anton has a good enough reputation to ensure that he can and will continue to work althroughout this suit. The owners of MB are deluded to think they “own” the idustry and can ruin him through sabi-sabi. MB is not exactly a broadsheet anyone ever reads anyway, much less one that prides itself in producing original content, so… it’s not Anton’s loss if he never works for MB ever again.

    Oct 4, 2008 | 2:25 am

  18. Jade186 says:

    What sort of criminal lawsuit was Mr. Anton threatened with, may I ask?

    Oct 4, 2008 | 6:12 am

  19. millet says:

    about time somebody did this.

    Oct 4, 2008 | 7:19 am

  20. Anton Sheker says:


    the project was for a stock photo project.. client has a right to use it only once, i retain full copyright to the images i take.

    I stopped shooting for any magazine or newspaper long before i filed the case.. knowing that i can get into trouble with the any of the publications because of copyright issues.

    Oct 4, 2008 | 8:56 am

  21. Anton Sheker says:

    Mrs G,

    Manila Bulletin is using “fair use”

    Oct 4, 2008 | 8:57 am

  22. shalimar says:

    acid: I also remember the Inquirer’s food section was also caught stealing from the net a while back.

    check this blog’s archives ;-) its probably Market Manila’s Yemagate scandal….

    Oct 4, 2008 | 3:23 pm

  23. corrine says:

    I’ve stopped buying newspapers. The only time was when news that AIG was being bailed out. Reason is the writing has gone from bad to worse especially the features section. Internet has become more entertaining. Good luck, Mr. Sheker! Ang bait mo naman…apology lang?

    Oct 4, 2008 | 9:15 pm

  24. BD says:

    Anton, here’s an unsolicited 10-cent. kudos to you for standing up but your prayers for remedy must be measured and darn realistic. I’m not sure if and when you can extract an apology but in my opinion the best next thing you could perhaps do is assert ownership of and promote your photos – in the broadest, most respected audience as you could get. I was wondering if you have substantial number of support, a nomination in Pulitzer’s featured photography category or a serious attempt thereat could be a good bet. A good write up on the subject is all what it takes. Use MB’s infringement to your advantage. As what they say – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Oct 5, 2008 | 12:03 am

  25. Vanessa says:

    Good luck with your fight, Anton! I don’t agree that this was a case of imitation. It was plainly stealing – nothing that I would find flattering.

    Oct 5, 2008 | 6:56 am

  26. corrine says:

    Suggestion…will it help if in the future you put the words for example…”copyright 2008 marketmanila.com” on all your photos whether posted in the net or not? I see some bloggers put these words on their photos. But maybe these can be erased or cropped? Oh, well…

    Oct 5, 2008 | 11:32 am

  27. Marketman says:

    corrine, the watermarks can be erased quite easily. there is a copyright notice in the about section and at the bottom of every page. but ultimately, one who “steals” a photo must be aware that what they are doing is plain and simply, wrong… I just hope people become more cognizant overall about intellectual property… the same argument can be said of a student who quotes a paragraph or uses a photo from a book or website that doesn’t attribute to source… it is intellectually dishonest… one would think this is an educational problem, but for a newspaper to do it? Unconscionable, I think.

    Oct 5, 2008 | 11:50 am

  28. Joy R. Butler says:

    I also applaud the efforts of artists to enforce and protect their copyrights. Unfortunately, It’s often an uphill battle because the cost of pursuing a lawsuit may be more than the damages that can be recovered from the infringer.

    You can take some inspiration from the stock photographer, Chris Gregerson, who represented himself in a copyright infringement lawsuit and won a $20,000 judgment. I discuss his case on the GuideThroughtheLegalJungleBlog.com


    Oct 6, 2008 | 8:43 am

  29. Chu says:

    Sweet… I should just start selling photos to the stock agencies. Thanks, Anton!
    Actually, if MB is citing “fair use”, all it had to do was reprint the photo with credits or issue an erratum. Wonder why they didn’t do that.
    Anyway, good luck to you.

    Oct 6, 2008 | 3:58 pm

  30. Jun says:

    I find it unacceptable for professional journalists to be plagiarizing and taking photos off blogs and websites. I had a shot of “pinangat” at a restaurant at Camalig, Albay and found out last week that a hotel here in Legaspi printed it half a page in their menu. I was quite shocked that I didn’t do anything about it .. yet. Maybe I’ll talk to them before I leave the country.

    Oct 6, 2008 | 4:01 pm

  31. Marketman says:

    Jun, I would definitely talk to the restaurant and ask them to at least put a source or credit the photographer.

    Oct 6, 2008 | 8:27 pm

  32. cumin says:

    Shameless. Media is fast losing its credibility. Good luck, Anton. I hope you get what’s due you.

    Oct 6, 2008 | 10:31 pm

  33. chocolatesky says:

    i have a question. there are a lot of job nowadays on the net that offer rewriting of articles. If you rewrite 50% of the article and they publish it is this still plagiarism??

    Oct 8, 2008 | 1:33 am

  34. Marketman says:

    chocolatesky, YES, it is still plagiarism. If you are going to bother to re-write 50% of an article, why not write one from scratch instead.

    Aug 8, 2010 | 6:59 am


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