Monday, September 07, 2009

Wal-Mart Watch: Thou Shalt Not Steal

In November 2007 I shot a number of picture in China and uploaded them to Flickr. I enjoy visiting Wal*Mart and Carrefour stores in China, they amazing places where I can rub shoulders with regular people. In a remarkable transition these huge Supercenter stores are actually located under the People’s Square of Chinese cities. On the surface are huge statues and murals of Mao and the other heavy hitters of Chinese communism, below is the fruit of consumerism and capitalism. The Chinese people vote with their feet. I posted my picture of the entrance of a Wal*Mart Supercenter under People’s Square in Guiyang, Guizhou Province here:

In August 2008 posted the article Lest Anyone Forget concerning the unionization of the Wal*Mart Supercenter in Guiyang that I had photographed. The author of the piece, Michael Mignano copied and pasted my picture into his article. There’s really no other explanation for this outright theft of clearly copyrighted material.

The Walmart Watch website exhorts the reader “write to congress”, “tell your friends”, “share your story”. You can contact lots of people but you can't contact Walmart Watch. I tried. You can leave them a comment but you have to identify what kind of supporter you are (donor, volunteer, press enquiry) from a drop down box. I demanded that they remove my picture but they've ignored me.

So, who is Walmartwatch? Their "About Us" page doesn't identify them. I had to trace them through their domain registration information: Their domain is registered to:



1775 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

Contact them there? Ha! From their domain registration information, here's their email address: Administrative Contact , Technical Contact : UFCW INTERNATIONAL UNION

So let’s recap; A website that advocates fairness on the behalf of the largest retailer in the United States in an effort to unionize Wal*Mart’s employees steals one of my copyrighted pictures but they hide when I attempt to contact them to request that they remove my pictures. I requested just this on their contact page they’ve ignored me.