Pollie Watch: Unauthorised use of wind farm photo in Liberal Party pamphlet

This photograph was used in a SA Liberal Party pamphlet without permission.

The photo above, which I took on 28 June, 2011, has been used by the Liberals in the brochure “Wind farms can generate angst“. The brochure was published by Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, David Ridgway.  I have no recollection of ever having been asked for permission for the use of my photo, nor would I ever have given it for the purpose for which the image was used.

The caption under my photo used in the Liberal’s brochure read “Construction of the Snowtown wind farm in South Australia’s mid north dwarfs the house in the foreground, demonstrating how close to residents the Government is willing to build wind turbines. Photograph taken by Dave Clarke, February 19th 2011.” The turbine is about 1.8km from the house, making a lie of the statement in the brochure (need I say that this is not the only lie in the brochure).

The use of this image, without asking me for permission, is quite unethical; but to use it dishonestly and misleadingly and claim it shows a wind turbine close to a house when this is quite false, compounds the abuse.

I first published the photo on my personal site, Ramblings of a Bush Philosopher, in the Snowtown Wind Farm section.

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 5.47.57 PM
The offending anti-wind farm pamphlet, published by the SA Liberal Party.

Further action

I had a letter to the Editor about the Liberal’s use of the image published on in the Clare Northern Argus, 26 June. While several emails to the Liberals and to Mr Ridgway concerning their use of my photo had previously been ignored, Hendrik Gout of Mr Ridgway’s office contacted me following the publication of my letter. His initial contact was by email. He asked that I telephone him. I told him I wanted to keep all correspondence in writing. He ignored this, phoned me and claimed that I had given permission for the use of the image. I requested that he provide evidence of this; to the present (05/07/2013) no evidence has been provided.

I have given permission to various parties to use some of my photos under certain conditions. Of course I would not give permission for the use of one of my photos on a misleading and dishonest anti-wind brochure, particularly for Liberal Party propaganda, considering their anti-renewables stance; so if I ever did give permission it would have been because I was misled about who was to use the photo, and for what it was to be used.

8 thoughts on “Pollie Watch: Unauthorised use of wind farm photo in Liberal Party pamphlet

  1. Success? It seems that David Ridgway has not only stopped using my photo, but has also taken the misleading and dishonest anti-wind power brochure off his Net site. (I wouldn’t count on it yet, but it looks promising.)

  2. Well done; there are two issues here, aren’t there, which anyone seeking to be trusted in a public position should have sorted.
    One, that ANYONE should use another’s image without express permission and acknowledgement (and certainly not mislead anyone about it when challenged); and

    Two, that a Political Party should do so for propaganda purposes.
    Congratulations for being so “on the ball” and having the wit to ensure everything in writing.
    justjjoke (flickr)

    1. So, TCW, the fact that the photo was used in a dishonest way, aimed at misleading the public, doesn’t bother you? I suppose not. You have much the same ethical standards, or lack thereof.

  3. That is not what I said. I said, if you don’t like the way the photos might be used, don’t put them up there. Once you put photos on the net, they become the property of the World Wide Web, to be used by anyone, how they wish and you can do nothing about it, ethics don’t come into it. I have photos on the net and I accept that they may be used inappropriately, so be it, I have no control over how they might be used.


  4. Thank you Tania /TCW, so i can use images of you and your party friends freely i find on the net also for my own means . Thanks sweety xxxx


  5. Hi Dave,
    Here is a letter you should send to Clark.
    Dear Mr Clark,
    The Liberal Party is breaching the 1968 Copyright Act by using my image in the attached brochure.
    As you do not have permission (implied or written) to use my image, I request the immediate removal of this image in all your electronic publications and productions. I also request that any hard copy brochures using my image be immediately delivered to XXXXX for suitable recycling. Your other option is to purchase the rights to my image for the fee of $(insert large number here with at least 5 digits).
    You have 3 days to comply with my request. I will be taking immediate legal action if the requests are not complied with by (insert date)

    I’d be cc ing a local journalists into the conversation.

    Unless the Libs have written permission to use your image, they simply don’t have a legal leg to stand on. Seriously, you could represent yourself and win it easily. The legislation is very clear.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s