This guy takes sweet photos and seems kinda stoked when they appear on other people's facebook pages. He doesn't ask any money for them and doesn't make any money from them. I guess that's one way to go about doing things if you're going to use other people's images for your art. I'm ok with this.
This guy also takes sweet photos. I once called him up to see if I could use one of me on my facebook. He said "Fifty Bucks!" but was just taking the piss, later confiding that I was perhaps the first person to ever actually ask him, after years of seeing them crop up all over the internet. The photos are watermarked, and the watermarks lead viewers back to his blog. His blog makes money from advertising. Although he occasionally has dubious taste, I'm also ok with this.
This lady sometimes also takes a good photo, but is pretty keen on you not using her photos without paying, which kind of makes her the cycling photography version of Metallica. But boy, does this rub me the wrong way. It raises all sorts of question about who owns the image, especially when the image is taken as seperate from the artistic representation of it. There are lots of photos of me in her various galleries. Does she have the right to profit off my image? I'm not sure. But like Metallica she seems to be picking the wrong demographic to complain about. Metallica fans were generally also Napster users - dorky white teenage boys - and these fans deserted the band in droves after the suit succeeded. The people that Ms Cole is asking to cough up are the people in her photographs (and incidentally, are also - generally - dorky white boys), and if they ask her not to photograph them - or keep stealing her photographs until she decides not to take pictures of them - then she won't have anyone left to shoot.
Don't get me wrong. I've got no issue with people wanting to make money from their art. But in this digital era, taking photos of people and then asking them to buy them off you seems almost quaint, like a scam some hustler would try in a third world city. Like musicians before them, photographers are being forced to think of new ways to make a profit. And that's alright - perhaps even a good thing - but there's not much worse than hearing someone complaining about being left behind.