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Missouri family photo swiped, used for Czech grocery store ad

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services Modified: June 11, 2009 at 8:13 am •  Published: June 11, 2009

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would be a simple case here: "You approach the company and say, 'Where is my money?'" he said.

It's trickier when dealing with a foreign company with no American connections.

Kimberley Isbell, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, is also a staff attorney with the Citizen Media Law Project. She says Smith could attempt to sue the company in a local court and try to get a Czech court to uphold the judgment. Or she could try to file a suit through their legal system.

''Part of the question is, do they even have the resources to make it worthwhile? Is it a small mom-and-pop grocery or the equivalent of Wal-Mart?"

Instances like these may be part of the trade-off of having a global medium to exchange information -- virtually for free.

''I can be sitting at my desk reading in real-time about how China is blocking Twitter, or someone in China can download my photo and post it on a billboard," Isbell said.

In the meantime, Smith says she has learned an important lesson about posting pictures online: Always use low-resolution images (so they don't look so good when enlarged) or stick a digital watermark on the photo.


Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.