Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cooking Up a Big Brouhaha Over a "Borrowed" Pizza Image

Okay, here's some plagiaristic internet fun I ran across this morning checking my morning tweets:

"RT @steamykitchen -bitch on Philadephia Examiner stole my photo mine: fucker."

The internet has been called one big copy machine, but I think the established protocol is to, at least, credit where you "borrowed" an image from. I try to do this or add "From: ???" if I am uncertain of the source.

Here is Lindsay Lovier's column that stirred up the hornet's nest & I've included the many indignant comments. After all that tommyrot is Jaden Hair's Steamy Kitchen original:

Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Gorgonzola, Figs, & Prosciutto

April 2, 8:48 PM - Philadelphia Restaurant Examiner - Lindsay Lovier

Tired of hot dogs and hamburgers? Enjoy the warm weather Italian-style and grill a gourmet flatbread pizza. The thin crust and lack of oversaucing & cheesing makes it healthier than the traditional version. Plus, it couldn't be simpler to whip up on a Friday evening. Pair with a microbrew or a glass of wine.
One of my favorite versions is the gorgonzola, fig, and prosciutto combo. Whole Foods sells a terrific fig spread and their naan is a great thickness & size for appetizers, but for larger pizzas buy store bought dough. I use this recipe from as a base, then add and subtract ingredients as I see fit. Feel free to leave off the prosciutto & add pear or apple and walnuts if you're vegetarian - it's just as good!

Fig and flatbread pizza...toss it on the grill, open a bottle of wine & presto!


16 oz fresh pizza dough (store bought from Trader Joes)
Flour for rolling
Olive oil for dough and grill
½ cup fig jam
4 ripe Mission figs
3-4 oz of Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
3 slices of prosciutto cut into 3” strips
1 TBSP chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Bring pizza dough out of the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
A gas grill is recommended. Heat the BBQ on high for 10 minutes with the top down. Scrape the grill.
Flour a large cutting board or a counter where you can roll out the dough. Flour the top of the dough and roll out the pizza into a roughly 6” by 10” shape with a ¼ inch thickness. Keep in mind when grilling pizza the dough does not need to be round or perfect, it can be any shape when you put it on the grill. Brush olive oil onto the surface of the dough so it is lightly covered.
Open the grill cover and lower the grill heat to a medium high flame. Pickup the dough up and carefully lay it on the hot grate. As you are laying the dough on the grate it will stretch. Make sure it is relatively flat on the grill don’t worry about the shape of the pizza it is not important when barbecuing.
Close the grill cover and let this cook over a medium high flame. After 2 minutes, open the grill and with the tongs check the bottom of the dough. It should be golden with grill marks. You can cook it for one additional minute if the dough is not golden. If there are bubbles on top of the dough you can use the tongs to pierce them. Turn the dough over and bring the heat down to medium low to low.
Spread the fig jam and then crumble the blue cheese over the pizza. Lay out the figs and close the cover, cooking for 4 minutes.
Open the grill and check for doneness. If you need another minute, leave the grill on or if it looks done, turn the grill off.
Scatter the prosciutto strips over the pizza and then sprinkle the chopped parsley on top.

More About: Philadelphia · CHOW · pizza


StupidMove says:
As a journalist, I can't believe you would even consider lifting something off the net like that. Shame on you. If you worked for a real newspaper, you'd be fired.
August 30, 10:42 AM

MH says:
Don't judge all Examiners by this mistake and lack of judgment. There are many who slave over creating their own photos and artwork. We also use AP photos, royalty free stock photos, take our own location photos when covering a story as well as get permission when we use existing photos. In this case, this photo use is blatant and unethical. There’s a major problem on the Internet with lifting. I can’t tell you how many times my articles have been used in other’s websites, newsletters, etc. without linking back to my original article. They take my research and story. They may credit me, but I’m not paid for my work without linking back to the Examiner.
August 30, 10:38 AM

KarenE says:
This is the sort of thing that harms every Examiner writer. All you had to do was credit the photo.
There are a lot of professional journalists who write for Examiner as well as many other media outlets. We have been trained in journalism and ethics. Examiner is giving "citizen" journalists a huge opportunity but with opportunity comes responsibility, and that means if you don't understand something , ask, if you aren't sure of the rules, ask. It is crystal clear on the Examiner site that you may NEVER use a photo without crediting it unless it is your shot. You have a channel manager. They know the rules if you don't . ASK!
Examiner is a wonderful outlet for those of us who love to write and an equally wonderful resource for the public to find information they cannot find anywhere else.
You need to issue an apology, credit the photo, offer to pay for it and link to the original site.
August 30, 9:37 AM

Janet- LaDue & Crew says:
Unbelievable. How could you think it would go unnoticed?! Jaden has worked so hard to get where she is today. For you to take the easy road by stealing her work, simply despicable.
August 30, 12:29 AM

RKCovington says:
Very disappointing that a web site, let alone this one, will tolerate an "author" that uses an image that was not taken, produced, purchased or even had ask permission to use prior to the image actually being used (Apr. 2). As this image (albeit it a larger size) was used in an article "published" on October 29, 2008 as seen at
Ms. Lovier also didn't give credit to the person that actually created the image (Ms. Jaden Hair), who is a TV Personality, Author, and photographer.
Was the original created under creative commons - doubtful, as the web page above didn't explicitly indicate it as such...
Actions like this tarnish the credibility of the web page, in this case If left unchanged, what message does this send to others that create content? To those who actually do will be less apt to create it, and to those who use content without permission/payment reinforce the notion that it is ok to steal.
August 30, 12:16 AM

Vivian B. says:
So wrong to steal the work of another. Hopefully the Examiner takes note of all the comments and does something about this. This really should not go unpunished.
August 29, 10:43 PM

Heather in SF says:
How disappointing to illegally use another person's photo. Poor judgement, poor journalism, poor taste. I hope the author of this article or her supervisor responds to these comments and apologizes.
August 29, 10:40 PM

BleedingSweat says:
Hey guys, I just reported this page. It has objectionable content in the form of a stolen photo.
City of Brotherly Love? Yeah...not thinking so right now.
August 29, 10:28 PM

Whitney says:
You should fell terrible for your blatant content theft.
August 29, 10:18 PM

catmum says:
shame on your for stealing the photo, not asking permission, not giving credit, not doing your homework/actual work. Shame shame shame. Jaden needs to be paid for her hard work. You should see all the work she has done to come up with the money shots. She even shares how to do it, if you weren't so lazy! shame
August 29, 10:07 PM
Observer says:
Oh no you didn't....foreshame
August 29, 10:05 PM

Chef Mark says:
VERY poor judgement, EXAMINER! You should immediately pay Jaden for the use of her photo lest she SUE YOU! Why are we seeing more and more examples of OLD MEDIA stealing content from small independent producers who work their tails off to produce their own work. Produce your own damn work!!
August 29, 10:03 PM
Engineer Baker says:
Seriously. Take it down, fire the author. It's plagiarizing, stupid!
August 29, 9:30 PM

Tana says:
Hey, BleedingSweat: don't quit reading the Examiner unless they: 1) fire the thief (or put her in the stocks for a while); 2) pay Jaden and attribute her photograph.
REALLY CRAPPY, Ms. Lovier. Ironic last name for the moment, huh?
Thumbs down! You should be ashamed of yourself.
August 29, 9:19 PM

donna c. says:
An affront to anyone who writes about food and photographs their creations for the education and pleasure of others who share that interest. Shame, shame, shame on you for stealing.
August 29, 9:11 PM
Quit Blogging says:
Stealing someone's work? Why bother to blog?
August 29, 9:02 PM

More stealing says:
the photo she uses in the gelato sandwiches article has been "borrowed" from baristanet
August 29, 8:56 PM
use real butter says:
Lindsay's bio needs to be updated with: unethical and thief.
August 29, 8:45 PM

BleedingSweat says:
Here is Lindsay's Bio:
Lindsay Lovier is a Philadelphia freelance writer, editor and girl about town. She’ll give you the 411 on Philly’s food and wine scene as she reviews everything from high-end restaurants to the city’s hottest hidden dives.
Hey, that pic you stole wasn't taken anywhere NEAR philly! Seriously, you should totally add photo-stealing wannabe to your bio.
If the shoe fits...
August 29, 8:39 PM

BleedingSweat says:
Honestly, I think that they should go ahead and pay Jaden even if they DO take the picture down! It was published and therefore there should be compensation. I also think that an apology should be posted on THIS recipe as well as a permanent link to the SteamyKitchen page that the REAL image is housed on.
I can't wait to see what sort of damage control if any comes from this.
The clock has been ticking for about an hour now folks! How long will it take for an official response?
August 29, 8:27 PM

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread


(See below for link to a set of 9 additional step-by-step photos on how I got this money shot)

While I love to make my own pizza or flatbread dough from scratch, sometimes I just don’t feel like getting my hands all messy with dough. I cheat a lot and buy packaged flatbreads from the supermarket and throw them on the grill or under the broiler for a quick pizza. One of my favorite fall recipes is Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbreads, briefly grilled on our barbeque grill.

The creamy gorgonzola with specks of blue-black cheese melts, the warmed slices of Granny Smith Apples and wedges of juicy figs cradle the shaved slices of Parmegiano-Reggiano. But we’re not done with it yet, sweet, sensual honey drapes each slice, some oozing over the edge, onto your fingers.

Feeling a little lightheaded and in need of a glass of wine with that description of Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread!

By the way, I know you’re gonna ask…that beautiful knife is from New West KnifeWorks Fusionwood line. LOVELOVELOVE it.

This was a bitch to photograph by myself - and I wanted to give you my step-by-step photography of the Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread…

I’m showing you photos before I used Photoshop, so that you can see before and after. I shoot in RAW with my Canon 40D and I used the 60mm macro lens to get nice, sharp closeups. I generally use Photoshop to sharpen, lighten the photo and increase the saturation just a bit to make the colors and detail really pop. I know many of you don’t have Photoshop (it’s expensive) but you can do the same in Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 ($99); and even in Flickr they have free online tools to help you lighten and increase saturation of your photos. I know Adobe has a free online editing tool…but can’t find it at the moment…if you find, will you please let me know?

I always try to fiddle with the photo and camera settings to take the perfect shot, which minimizes my use of software to touch up. But sometimes, the lighting is not just right or my white balance is a bit off and I’ll need to adjust. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, every single professional photographer does some sort of touch up, and it’s generally sharpening and color correction.

Here’s my before and after:

I’d love to show you what I do in Photoshop (it does make a big difference in the picture, but since so few of you have this software, I’ll have wait until I buy a copy of Photoshop Elements so that the tutorial is more relevant to more people.

In the meantime, here’s my step-by-step slideshow of how I got to my money-shot!:

Oh yes, please enjoy the recipe for Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 8-inch round flatbreads
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 apple, cored and sliced very thinly
8 ripe figs, cut into 6 wedges each
2 ounces Parmegiano-Reggiano, shaved with vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat your grill, half direct heat. Brush olive oil on top of each flatbread, especially the edges. Assemble flatbreads with gorgonzola, apples and figs.

Grill flatbreads over direct heat for 3 minutes, until the bottoms are toasted and browned. Then move to indirect heat and close cover for 3 minutes to finish melting the cheese and warming the fruit.

If broiling, set your rack to upper 1/3 position. Grill flatbreads without the toppings for 2 minutes to just get them nice and toasty. Then layer on the olive oil, gorgonzola, apples and figs and return to oven for 4 to 6 minutes until cheese has melted and fruit is warmed through.

Sprinkle shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano and drizzle honey on top.
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or dessert.

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