In March of 2009, W. Neil Barret posted a picture to his Flickr of the cake he had made… as a resignation letter. It made some waves on the internet, and everything went better than expected. At least, until Steven Slater took his fabled slide down the evacuation chute of JetBlue Flight 1052, and Jenny DryErase lit up the internet with her dubious markers.
Because it was at that point that People.com decided to run a photo gallery of “Memorable Quitters,” and they wanted to include Barret. And his photo. For free.
And therein lay the rub.
According to Barret:
I replied to People and said they needed a license to use my photo – meaning they have to pay me to use it. I did not receive a reply.
On August 11 my image was used without authorization and without payment on People.com, in an article titled “Take This Job and Shove It! 8 Memorable Quitters”.
I sent a cease-and-desist letter demanding my image be removed from their website. Six days later I receive an e-mail stating my image had been removed from their website. I received an offer at that time of $75 for the use of my image. That may have been reasonable if my photo’s copyright had not been willfully infringed and used for six days.
What is a humble quitter to do? Well, not quit, certainly. And so Barret crafted an invoice cake, which arrived at the offices of People yesterday. To be honest, we’re simply impressed with his decorator. But maybe we’ve been reading too much Cake Wrecks.
Well, congratulations People. Now you can have Barret’s cake and eat it too.
What, you thought we would get through the whole post without something like that?
Click the image above for a larger version. Barret’s original cake picture, rights reserved, can be found here.
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