Marta Gabriel, the owner of Thunderball Clothing – the company that crafts the clothing worn onstage by Arch Enemy singer Alissa White-Gluz – has issued an apology to J. Salmeron, the photographer who was recently banned and blacklisted by the band after he reached out to Marta regarding the misuse of his work.
Gabriel wrote through her social channels:
“I would like to publicly apologise Mr J. Salmeron for reposting one of the photos he took, on my Instagram page, without having his permission.
“When few months ago I was reposting his photo from the Instagram page of the Arch Enemy singer Alissa White-Gluz, I was simply proud that such a great artist is wearing a clothing piece that I made, and wanted to share these news with my followers.
“As I did the repost with an app that included all original credits and watermarks, I thought that it’s OK. I meant no harm, and it wasn’t my intention to promote any product, however, I do agree that it might looked like that, and I understand that the author of the photography could feel upset about it. And I am sorry about it.
“After I received an email message from J. Salmeron, who introduced himself as a lawyer and author of the photography, I interpreted it as another spam or scam (well, all of us receive this kind of emails all the time).
“I saw the amount of 500 Euro and the name of Alissa White-Gluz, from whom I reposted mentioned photo, so without going deeper into that message, I did what I thought was most logic – I contacted her, forwarded the original message that I got, and asked her what to do.
“I was instructed to take down the photo (what I immediatelly did), and was informed that someone else will take care of it. That again seemed logic, as I was aware that I’m not at the position of taking any actions on behalf of Arch Enemy, nor their members.
“I had no other contact with J. Salmeron, I haven’t heard from him since then, and to be honest, for the last 6 months I had no idea that something is wrong, especially as the photo was taken down.
“That being said, I would like to apologise J. Salmeron once again. Not only I’m willing to discuss with him how to compenaste him and fix the situation, but also how to make sure similar situation won’t happen ever again. After all, we’re all playing in the same team, and we all have one thing in common. We love music.
“Marta Gabriel, Thunderball Clothing”
As previously reported, Salmeron – who works as a photographer, writer, lawyer, and the editor of the Metal Blast website – penned a piece explaining how the whole thing started when he photographed Arch Enemy back in June at the Fortarock festival in the Netherlands.
J. wrote that after the event, one of the photos of singer Alissa White-Gluz he had snapped and shared via Instagram “was very well-received by everyone, even by Alissa herself, who re-posted it on her account.”
However, the problem for the photographer started when a company named Thunderball Clothing – which creates the clothing worn onstage by White-Gluz – had shared the imageto promote their products. He wrote:
“Since the post had been made on the account of the company, it was obvious that its purpose was to advertise. It was placed on an Instagram page that had a link to their online store, and my image was used to show the products that they had created for Alissa.
“In other words, this wasn’t merely a fan using the photo because they liked Arch Enemy (which I would normally tolerate), but instead a business, profiting from my work without even asking for my permission.”
After sending Instagram messages to the company he says were ignored, the photographer noted he wrote a direct email to the owner, in which he noted:
“My name is J. Salmeron, I’m a photographer and [an] attorney based in the Netherlands.
“I’m contacting you because yesterday you posted my photo Alissa White-Gluz, taken at Fortarock, and used it on your site to promote your products (the photo is uploaded here: [the link is now broken]). So far the photo has gathered more than 200 likes and has been viewed, of course, not only by your over 10 thousand followers but also by anybody looking for tags related to Alissa White-Gluz.
“Your use of my photo is unauthorized and, as I’m sure you are aware, represents a clear and blatant breach of my copyright. This infringement is, of course, made more serious when we take into consideration that your use of my photo is in connection with your business, which you are trying to promote with this post.
“In general, I charge a fee of at least €500 (five hundred Euro) to businesses that have posted my work in an unauthorized manner. In this case, however, I would be willing to forget about this problem and let you keep up the above post in exchange for a donation of €100 (one hundred Euro) to the Dutch Cancer Foundation. This is an organization that seeks to benefit cancer research as well as improve the quality of life of cancer patients. I can send you a link for the donation (which would be direct to the foundation, not through me) if you accept this method of payment.
“I am looking forward to hearing from you.”
Saying he sends notices like this one “all the time” and that he “sincerely thought that things would go smoothly,” Salmeron wrote that this was the point where “the shit hit the fan.”
J wrote that the owner of the clothing brand didn’t reply to him, but reported the issue to the band’s management, who then reportedly sent the photographer the following email:
“I would like to ask why you are sending discontent emails to people sharing the photo of Alissa? Alissa’s sponsors and fan clubs are authorized to share photos of her. Thunderball Clothing is a sponsor of Alissa and Arch Enemy.
“Arch Enemy loves to have nice cooperation between photographers, fans and festivals, and sharing moments from the concert is a way to stay connected. Generally speaking, photographers appreciate having their work shown as much as possible and we are thankful for the great photos concert photographers provide.
“Please let me know if there is really a problem here or merely a misunderstanding.