Local photographer accused of plagiarism

SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – A professional photographer from Florida contacted WKBN 27 First News saying her photography work had been stolen and was being used by a local wedding company as samples of its own work. First News Reporter Ryan Halicki has been digging into the matter.

Dana Goodson received a call a few days ago that left her pretty upset. A photo watchdog group called Photo Stealers asked Goodson if she knew that photos from her wedding business were showing up on the website of a Shenango Valley business called L&B Photography.

“They asked me had I heard of this individual or had they worked with me when they lived in Florida,” said Goodson. “It is not anyone that I had heard of, and they had not worked with me.”

Photo Stealers posted several photos, claiming they actually came from Goodson, but L&B was using them as examples of its work. Goodson said the images were altered to remove her identifying information.

“This individual had cropped the watermark from my images and had either used their watermark over it, or just cropped it out,” said Goodson.

Halicki checked the L&B Photography website and the photos were not online.

The controversy started after a bridal show this past weekend in Sharon. Goodson said Photo Stealers showed her a picture that was very surprising.

“Photo Stealers was able to obtain an image of this wedding photographer in front of her booth at the show, and in the background of the booth I can see my images,” said Goodson.

Halicki went to L&B’s website early in the day on Thursday and noticed there was a contact number for the business. When he returned to the site later in the day, the number had been removed. L&B never returned Halicki’s calls.

Photo Stealers said they were tipped off by someone indicating Facebook posts from L&B’s now deactivated account didn’t match their website. A Google image search was used to investigate the claims.

The local company that runs the bridal show has taken action. A representative said they are turning the matter over to their legal counsel and “it was obviously a matter between parties that were not, and are not, related to us.”

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