I don’t care much for social networking sites like MySpace.com, but they sure can be a real help for media sometimes. The recent ‘outing’ of (soon to be former) Gov. Spitzer’s high priced call girl by the New York Times is a case in point. Front pages of newspapers around North America this morning have copied Ashley Alexandra Dupre’s MySpace.com images many thousands (millions?) of times over.
I suspect (and if I’m wrong please let me know) that Ms. Dupre’s images will not earn MySpace.com (or Ms.Dupre) a single penny (though I suppose it’s indirect marketing for MySpace in a way).
So now as a matter of course, if images (personal or otherwise) appear on MySpace they can apparently be copied at will by whoever wants to have them. Isn’t that a bit of a copyright issue though? I mean just because an image is on a social networking site does that by default allow anyone to copy and reuse it without cost?
The parent company of InternetNews.com, Jupitermedia makes a good sum of cash from its JupiterMedia images business which is all about reselling image rights.
How much would the rights to Ms. Dupre’s images be worth?
I’d bet that she’d end up making more $$ from her image than she ever made ‘as a working girl’ for Spitzer.