Samsung Awards Man For Stealing
To promote their new line of Android-powered cameras, Samsung launched a photo contest last December, asking users to submit their best work. People submitted their photos to the â€śLive in the Momentâ€ť contest through Facebook and Instagram for several months before the Korean company selected a winner last month. Unfortunately, the winner, one @Bogdhan on Instagram, didnâ€™t exactly take the picture that won the contest and a free Samsung camera. The photo of a motorcyclist riding through some fog-covered trees was actually taken by Hengki Koentjoro, a photographer with a good bit of fame around photo-centric web sites like 500px.
Now, I know itâ€™s a stretch to tie this little example of theft to Samsungâ€™s alleged theft of Appleâ€™s designâ€¦but come on.
According to petapixel.com, Koentjoro didnâ€™t realize his picture had been stolen until a friend saw it floating around Facebook as the winner of the Samsung contest. The stolen image isnâ€™t much of a derivation from the original image, either. Before @Bogdhan submitted it to Samsung, he flipped it horizontally, gave it a slight crop and added an Instagram filter to it. Thatâ€™s it.
When the pictureâ€™s owner found it on Facebook, he set the record straight in the photoâ€™s comment section. Shortly thereafter, many other Facebookers jumped to his defense and called on Samsung to remove the photo and strip @bogdhan of his winnings. After all, this isnâ€™t just a story about a stolen photo; itâ€™s about a company who seemingly didnâ€™t do any research on who actually took the photo. One can assume they simply saw the photo, thought â€śhey this looks coolâ€ť and gave him a free camera.
Samsung has taken some actions to rectify the situation, including removing the photo and taking away @Bogdhanâ€™s title, just as they should have done. They also sent a nice little email to Koentjoro apologizing for their mistake. Those who represent the photographer, however, want Samsung to do much more than just apologize and try to pretend the whole thing never happened.
â€śThis is despicable,â€ť said Hitoshi Ohashi of TobinOhashi Gallery.
â€śThey have stolen the baby of a wonderful hardworking artist. He has been so generous in sharing his work with everyone and one of the results is that people see his work. I would never expect someone to rip it off.â€ť Hitoshi and his colleague Dr. Robert Tobin want Samsung to make a clear, public announcement about what happened and explain why they somehow missed that the photo had been stolen.
Itâ€™s interesting though, isnâ€™t it? A tech company such as Samsung running a camera contest and not, you know, checking the meta data or EXIF data to see where the photo originated.
Very odd, indeed.
Meanwhile, @Bogdhan has been quite vocal about the entire ordeal and has been taking on his detractors on Instagram.
â€śI suggest you all nicely stop harassing me with such comments and mind your own business,â€ť he wrote on his own IG profile.
â€śI read the rules before I participate and Iâ€™m very aware that it was respected. So stop being some guy kissassâ€™ers in order for him to claim a prize that he doesn;t deserve.â€ť
Most recently he posted a picture of an elderly woman and claimed he had the EXIF data to prove he had really taken the photo and, thanks to the Internet Justice League, (a fictional entity Iâ€™ve created for the purpose of this story) his grandson had the free camera taken away from him.
So very, interesting.
Image Credit: Hengki Koentjoro