Tourism Tasmania Suspends Campaign Display Following Photographer Complaints

Tourism Tasmania Suspends Campaign Display Following Photographer Complaints

Tourism Tasmania has got itself into a bit of strife after an Instagram display at Hobart was slammed for not having permission from the owners of the accounts.

Hannah Edensor
Posted by Hannah Edensor

The government-owned tourism agency marked the Instagram shots with the hastag ‘Discover Tasmania’, but the photographers have objected to the marketing tool, saying its display in commercial arenas like the airport was not part of the social media deal.

Per the ABC, photographer Cameron Blake said he and others featured had received legal advice that the agency was doing the wrong thing.

“We don’t want to have a fight with Tourism Tasmania, we just want to have better conditions, a bit more understanding of what efforts we put in for our images and the fact they’re still our images, even though we’re sharing them with them [Tourism Tasmania] to share with people coming to Tassie,” Blake said, per ABC.

“They’re not for them to just take and run wherever they like. No permission was given by us as photographers for those images to be used in that sense and we’re just a bit disappointed that there was no consultation or any sort of discussion about that.”

Per ABC, Blake also said that by sharing the images with a commercial audience, on top of the social media followers, Tourism Tasmania was taking advantage of photographers and their work.

But Tourism Tasmania insists that the use of the images is in fact legal, and doesn’t breach any of the copyright laws. It claimed that it avoided any wrongdoing by crediting the Instagram feeds of the photographers involved.

Chief executive John Fitzgerald told the The Mercury Tourism Tasmania was rethinking its position and was considering orchestrating a meeting with some of the local photographers to have a “genuine discussion about our process for sharing user-generated images on social media that use the hashtag #discovertasmania”.

“Our relationship with the local photography community and their ongoing contribution is important to us,’’ he told The Mercury. “They play a valuable role in our social media strategy and the sharing of Tasmania’s stories.”

Another photographer, Jason Futrill, also voiced his concerns and legal issues in a meeting with Fitzgerald, where he requested an “open discussion” in order to “foster a positive relationship through open and direct communication between photographers, social media users, influencers and the tourism boards”.

“This request was met with a very clear “no”,” Futrill added.

Per The Mercury, Fitzgerald had initially claimed photographers such as Futrill and Blake involved in the campagin had given “implied consent” to repost the images when posting their photos with tags like #discovertasmania and #hobartandbeyond, all part of the social media campaign.

The display has been taken down while the government agency resolves the issue with the social media photographers.

Lead image: ABC