Updated: Aug 4
Have you been following the news? In case you missed that out, let me do a quick recap for you.
Three women, including one whose prosthetic limb was cropped out of the picture, and another whose face they allege was pasted onto the body of a mastectomy patient, claim their likenesses were exploited and altered without their consent in a Spanish "body positivity" advertisement.
The summer campaign, picturing five women of various ages and ethnicities on a sandy beach and bearing the phrase "Summer is for us too," was unveiled by Spain's equality ministry on Wednesday.
But a few days following the campaign's debut, some of the ladies whose bodies were highlighted said they weren't contacted to obtain permission to use their photos.
According to UK tabloids, British model and motivational speaker Sian Lord, claimed she was left "shaking with rage" after discovering her image had been used in the advertisement but modified to conceal her prosthetic limb.
Barwell claimed that a picture from her "Mastectomy" series had been inappropriately utilized despite being fully copyright protected and that neither the Institute for Women nor the business Arte Mapache, which created the campaign poster, had the authority to do so.
The project artist, known as Arte Mapache, addressed the controversy with an apology on Twitter last Thursday.
"First of all, I'd like to publicly apologize to the models for having been inspired by their photographs for the 'The summer is also ours' campaign and for having used a typography without a license (I thought it was free.)"
The Institute of Women, a non-profit affiliated with the Ministry of Health, Social Services, and Equality, congratulated Arte Mapache for their "anti-fatphobia action" and for pointing out the mistake in the illustration in a tweet on Thursday.
Just because no one bothered to review the work before it was published, there has been a great deal of mess, regret, and expense. We are speaking about the Spanish government here. Consider the background checks that are carried out on the millions of other projects that are launched online every day.
Now let's imagine how different things would have been, if the Spanish ministry, Arte Mapache, or even the women used in the photo, had used Toroblocks monitoring service just a few days prior to the campaign's launch.
The very moment the Spanish Ministry of Health would upload the photo in their Toroblocks account, they would have known that the photos are been used by other people (the owners), so most probably would have asked Arte Mapache to seek for a licence of use.
If Arte Mapache had upload the photo of the campaign in their Toroblocks account, they would have also get notified by the system that the photos are been used by someone else and would ask for permission of use. That would save them from all the mess and the apologies on their Twitter account.
Now let's come to the women whose photos are used in the campaign. If they had used Toroblocks monitoring service, they would have got a notification by the system that someone is using their photos. So, they could send takedown notice or reach out for a lawyer's guidance.
You may have noticed that in recent years, more and more situations similar to the one mentioned in this article have come to light.
Sometimes people believe that anything they find online by performing a Google search is available to them for free, but this is virtually never the case.
As everything becomes more digital and the new web 2.0 - web 3.0 is still in its infancy, it is extremely important to secure what we create while simultaneously keeping an eye on its usage once it has been made public online.
Additionally, it is crucial to understand where your data is "traveling" in the digital universe we are leaving.
You know. Better to be safe, than sorry.