You Decide: The Tug Over the Pug


Tracey Gaughran-Perez says that she took the picture on the left, and that Fox broadcast a tweaked version of it, seen on the right. From hide caption

toggle caption From

Imagine if you were at home, just relaxing in front of the TV, when you suddenly see a picture you took of your beloved Fluffy or Fido appear on the screen. Sure, you think your pet is the cutest, but would you really want their image broadcast into thousand of homes without your permission?

One blogger in Maryland says that is exactly what happened to her, and she isn't happy about it. Tracey Gaughran-Perez says a picture of her pug Truman was ripped from her blog and used by Fox in a Holiday Greeting spot without her permission. Let us know what you think — does that look like the same dog to you?

On the show: Copyright on the Internet.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

It is definitely the same picture. She should demand a royalty from Fox. I would be pretty frustrated if I was her as well. Especially when you think about the fact that this is one of a few large companies actively running campaigns against copyright infringement.

Sent by Jake | 1:12 PM | 12-31-2007

I am going to say it is not the same picture.
It is very similiar but, look at the background. Would Fox really go that far as to photoshop something when they could just get their own picture? (wait we are talking about Fox here) I could be wrong. Doesn't the one of the right have a hat on? and the left does not?

Sent by Kayci | 10:54 AM | 1-2-2008

Kayci: those two Photoshop changes (changing the background and adding a Santa hat) would take me about 15 minutes, and I'm not particularly Photoshop proficient. Compare that to going out, finding a pug, getting a Santa outfit, setting up the shot...

It's definitely the same photo, digitally tweaked.

Sent by Stewart | 11:39 AM | 1-2-2008

It is the same dog- no one has the pathos of Truman Gaughan-Perez. The poor boy is scarred for life! Fox should be ashamed, especially after the heck they gave John McCain for trying to use 19 seconds of debate footage that had their precious Fox News logo in the background for part of it. Talk about hypocrisy. Thank you to NPR for doing their part to bring this to light!

Sent by BaltimoreGal | 5:05 PM | 1-14-2008

Tracey's got a case. Does Fox have proof of the pug? Or was the photo pilfered?

If the owner of the other photographed pug doesn't come forward, it's cut-and-dried to me.

Sent by WhyMommy | 5:33 PM | 1-14-2008

It's absolutely the same dog.

Fox is very, very strict about infringement upon their copyrighted material so they definitely owe her something. Otherwise, they'd be huge hypocrites. Well, MORE so...

To Kayci, the background is the football field. The dog was cut out and superimposed on it and the hat is superimposed on the dog. Takes about 5 minutes in Photoshop.

Sent by Izzy | 5:35 PM | 1-14-2008

Why she is going to bat for a picture of her dog being lifted, when she didn't go to bat over her child's picture being lifted and defaced, is beyond me. That's right, Fox has more money than the website Violent Acres.

Sent by Donna | 7:04 PM | 1-14-2008

Since Fox has admitted to Tracey that it is in fact her photo should be the end of this question.

Sent by Melissa | 12:59 PM | 1-17-2008

Did anyone notice the shadow? The shadow around/below the dog. Is it the same? I'm an amateur photo 'morph-er' but, I don't think it's the same dog.

I blogged about this story here:

Sent by jotter | 6:53 PM | 1-17-2008

What's amazing is that this blogger would cause a ruckus over something she does herself. uses celebrity images "borrowed" from other sites just like the NFL "borrowed" the pug photo.
Pot? Meet kettle.

Sent by Judith | 9:57 PM | 1-17-2008

Jeez! Read her blog! Why the hell would she make it up?

Sent by Kate | 3:37 AM | 1-20-2008

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from