An ASDA supermarket in the UK (who are owned by Walmart) caused quite a stir this month when staff refused to hand over photographs of a parent’s newborn baby, even though she was one of the people in the pictures. The reason? “They look too professional”
Lauren Breed, 28 visited the ASDA store in Albans Road, Watford to print the pictures she had taken by family friend Katrina Matthews. It wasn’t until after the photo lab had done the printing that they broke the news to the doting mother. Lauren was told that unless she could prove she owned copyright she was not going to be given the photographs.
NetMums investigated the issue and got in touch with an ASDA spokesperson who confirmed the incident.
Due to copyright issues, anything other than a normal amateur photograph is assessed by a colleague in store.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but will of course process any photographs where a customer can provide proof of copyright.
Katrina has warned her customers publicly on her Facebook page by suggesting her customers should avoid ASDA if at all possible.
I strongly advise my clients to stay away from ASDA when looking to get their images printed.
So glad Lauren and Matt where able to get their prints in the end xx
Opinion is divided in whether ASDA were right in how they chose to handle Madison’s parents. It is comforting to know that a supermarket chain is making an attempt to look after photographers’ rights, but at what cost? This was no doubt a traumatising event for a new mother who was doing exactly what she thought she was entitled to. The real question is, who is this expert that does the assessing and how do they determine if a photograph is taken professionally or not? Indeed how do they determine if any photograph has a copyright attached to it? Seems quite a grey area.
To avoid further problems like this Katrina will now be offering her clients copyright release forms where applicable.
The story did end somewhat happily. Lauren Breed eventually took the digital files to a Boots chemist down the road where the photographs were printed without question.
Images used with explicit permission c/of Lauren Breed & Katrina Matthews Photography