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My stolen photo

My stolen photo

Last weekend we decided to have a look at a house being sold a few doors up from us.  During the “Open For Inspection” the realestate agent, Craig Currie, invited prospective purchasers to visit his website for a floor plan and more information.  We are 12 or 18 months away from being in a position to purchase a house, but decided to look at the website anyway to see the floor plan.  I went to and clicked on “Properties” and was shocked to see one of my own photos had been stolen and used without permission.

Realestate website screenshot with my stolen photo


I immediately recognised the photo as one I had taken in 2011 with my first DSLR camera.  I was experimenting with long exposure shots of the Lakeside fountains, Pakenham, at dusk.  I wrote a blog post at the time about shooting long exposures, but back in 2011 I was publishing photos to my Flickr account.  Checking the photo I’d uploaded to Flickr in 2011 against the picture I was able to copy from the realestate webpage confirmed they were exactly the same.

Fountains at Lakeside, Pakenham.

My original photo on Flickr

Realestate website photo

Photo taken from the realestate website

The “Properties” link on Craig Currie’s website actually linked to his page, which is where my photo was appearing, so I wasn’t exactly sure who had infringed my copyright.  A search of other profiles of Pakenham agents didn’t show any similar photos, so I was suspecting Mr. Currie.

When Craig Currie contacted me by text message to enquire if we would like to make an offer on the property, I responded by informing him that he had used a photo that was copyright to me.  I asked him to either remove the picture or compensate me for its continued use.  His response was to claim the photo was supplied by someone called “Photojenik” and to ask how much it would cost to continue to use the photo.  I told him $200 would be a reasonable amount, but he instead promised to have the photo removed.

Craig Currie reiterated several times that he had never heard of Flickr and that the photo was supplied by Photojenik, who he said was a local photographer who specialised in realestate photos.  Mr. Currie said he would pass on my phone number for her to contact me.

To Craig Currie’s credit, my copyright photo was removed, but I haven’t heard from Photojenik.  I know photos are stolen and copyright infringed all the time, but that doesn’t make it right.  If Photojenik is a real person or photography business, then stealing another photographers image is pretty low!  But is Photojenik real?  I cant imagine a photographer without any online presence, however Google and WhitePages searches for that name come up with nothing.

Yelarbon, Queensland

Yelarbon shops

Yelarbon, Queensland

You may have heard in the news recently about the small Queensland town of Yelarbon being auctioned for just $1.  I have a strong connection to that town, my Dad grew up in the area and we still have family there today.  As a kid I would tell people we were going on holiday to Queensland and let them think we were heading to the Gold Coast, or some other tourist destination up north.  The reality was we would visit the family in Yelarbon for our holidays.  Not that I minded, there were tonnes of adventures to have with my uncles and cousins.

The Auction

Despite the “$1 Town” headlines, there was actually three separate auctions for two groups of shops and a derelict house.  With no reserve price, the properties could have been sold for just one dollar, but the combined sale price at Yelarbon was actually $156,000.  I had to laugh when the Toowoomba Chronicle added a note at the end of their Yelarbon Auction story that said “Several businesses and other homes were not for sale” to clarify it wasn’t the entire town for sale!

Check out the video posted to Facebook by Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise TV morning show.

My Yelarbon photos

I last visited Yelarbon in March 2015, for the funeral of my Uncle Bob.  It was my first visit for over 20 years, and only my second as an adult, but nothing much had changed.  One of my favourite past times these days is photography, in particular street photography, walking around a city or town and exploring, finding interesting subjects or points of view.  Following the funeral, and the wake at the pub, thats exactly what I did, I grabbed my camera and took a walk around town for a couple of hours before sunset.  Seeing the one dollar auction stories has inspired me to share my Yelarbon photos here.  Below is a gallery showing my pics from that afternoon.

Exploring the town was a trip down memory lane for me, except most of those shops in the main street I would visit with Mum as a child were now empty.  Hopefully now those shops have new owners, there will be some life breathed back into Yelarbon for the next time I visit.

These Yelarbon photos and more appear on a special “interstate” page of my Vic Pics Gallery,
where they can be purchased as prints or downloads –