Ceasar Mitchell for Mayor Uses APN Photo without Permission
(APN) ATLANTA — Activists criticized the Ceasar Mitchell for Mayor campaign for using a photograph of the recent Tent City at the former Turner Field site on its campaign website, saying that he failed to actually visit Tent City or address homelessness as Councilmember or Council President.
“Atlanta mayoral candidate and pro-gentrification council chair Ceasar Mitchell… didn’t once visit the Tent City organized by families threatened with displacement by gentrification,” the Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America posted on Facebook.
“This same Ceasar Mitchell stole a photo of Tent City ATL to promote his own election campaign!” the DSA wrote.
Atlanta Progressive News recognized the photo as one taken by APN Senior News Writer, Gloria Tatum.
APN commissioned this photo, with dollars that come primarily from donations provided by APN readers.
APN published the photograph on April 09, 2017 as part of an article on Tent City.
The Mitchell campaign appears to have published the photograph back in April 2017, as part of a page on “Homelessness.”
The Mitchell campaign published the photograph as a backdrop, above the following text:
“Hunger, poverty and homelessness are longstanding problems in Atlanta. According to a 2016 Study conducted by WalletHub, Atlanta ranks as the 4th neediest city among 150 cities,” the Mitchell campaign wrote.
[Why the campaign would consider WalletHub, and not the U.S. Census Bureau or the National Low Income Housing Coalition, as the best source for this information, is not immediately clear.]
“Wait. So you’re telling me that the guy who has had 8 ethics investigations over the past five years decided to steal a photograph from Atlanta Progressive News for promotional purposes without their consent? Weird,” Matthew Wolfsen wrote on Facebook, sharing the DSA’s post.
Indeed, earlier this year, the Mitchell campaign paid an 8,000 dollar fine after failing to report more than 250,000 dollars in campaign expenditures and 34,000 dollars in campaign donations.
“Stop walking over people and taking what don’t belong to you!!” Sherise Brown, a Tent City organizer, wrote about the photograph.
“You didn’t acknowledge the photograher [sic] and it wasn’t a homeless camp. It was a protest. Mis used in multiple ways,” Brown wrote.
“You was invited Mitchell several times to come. You never did. Kwanza [Hall] and Felicia [Moore] were the only city council visit and listen to us… Never Ceasar Mitchell!!” Brown wrote.
Brown recently returned from the annual D.C. meeting of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants, where Tent City and activist Tim Franzen received awards for their successful campaign.
APN has sent an invoice to the campaign as of this morning, to Mitchell’s email as well as the email for campaign spokesperson Stefan Turkheimer.
It is not fair for the Mitchell Campaign–which would have had to pay to hire a photographer or would have had to use a more basic stock photo–to benefit from the donations of APN’s readers, to promote their own campaign.
The campaign appears to have taken the photograph down from off their website.
“I forwarded the legal matter regarding the use of the photograph to our campaign manager,” Turkheimer wrote.
Imagine for one second it was an Associated Press or Reuters photograph. APN is considering taking immediate legal action for the two months of copyright violation; and does not believe that Mitchell’s misuse of the photograph is covered by any fair use exemption to copyright infringement.