Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Who Is Mario Bauer, and Why Won't He Cite His Sources?

(Indpls Times)


(Indpls Times)

Bumping around the intardnets the other day, I discovered a South American (I believe) auto racing blog website.

In it, I found several photographs that looked eerily familiar to me.

Upon further investigation, I deemed these exact images to have been “borrowed” from my Picasa nostalgic racing photos site.

Naturally, I confronted the author responsible, Mario Bauer. Admittedly, having dealt with this type of situation several times in the past, my tone was rather accusatory, ...firm but fair, in my opinion.

Since that time, several things have happened.

-Mr. Bauer has removed the images in question, (which was never my intent), effectively eliminating the evidence in this instance.
-Mr. Bauer has blocked me from commenting on his blog.
-Mr. Bauer has removed all public comments I made on his blog.
-I discovered a second post on his blog, where Mr. Bauer uses yet another exact image from my Picasa site…again, without citing his source. (I will reveal my evidence in this case later.)

He says he has never heard of me, and has never taken any images from my Picasa site.

I don’t believe him for a minute.

The following are pieces of the discussions I’ve had with Mr. Bauer, and others, via the intardnets.

I do not have the exact wording of the messages I left on Mr. Bauer’s blog site, because he deleted them all.

If he wishes to provide me with them, I will post them here.


This was Mr. Bauer’s initial unedited reaction to me confronting him about the images in the first blog entry I discovered:

you probably didn't read the disclaimer, to be found at the ABOUT THIS BLOG
section. This post is more than two years old, I really can't tell where these
pictures very taken from.

I doubt very much that they have been "lifted" by myself from a source with
clear copyright indication, as you you seem to suggest. Simply because I DO ask
for permission first, if the picrtures are copyright protected. That's also
clearly stated in the disclaimer.

However, if you'd like to indicate the source and wish to be noted as copyright
holder, I will definitely correct this. You mentioned you got them in a Picasa
album, but you haven't actually made clear if you are the copyright holder.

By the way: Did you know that you pass on your copyrights to the site owners as
soon as you publish something in Facebook, MySpace, Picasa, etcetc...?

However, I'm awaiting your instructions on what I should do to remedy the
situation, OK

This is his second response, unedited, after I asked him if he put the story together, and his source for the images:

Yes I didi put the story together and especially from US motorsport I got a huge file with hundreds of photos that were made available in a forum. I think it wasAtlas, or so. So if there's a picture and no credit, how would possibly know where it is from? Just for the record: In the link you just provided tghere's a difierent credit to the picture. It says "UPI PHOTO, photographer unknown" So what's the real deal then? You can't claim copyright of a picture that belongssto an agency and been taken by someone else. I'm REALLY confused now!

This is Mr. Bauer’s third response to me, again, unedited, after I drew his attention to the disclaimer at my Picasa site:

None of the pictures in my blog have ever been taken from your "Picasa photo
album", I didn't even have any knowledge of your personal webspace till you drew
my attention to it today.

Furthermore you're clearly neither the photographer, so you do NOT
own the intellectual property to these pictures, nor do you seem to
have acquired the copyrights yourself. So far I cannot see on what grounds you
claim to eligible for a credit of those pictures.

Should you have any proof you actually do own the copyrights of these pictures,
please do come forward with adequate proof. In that case I will be more than
happy to review this.

This is my exact response to the above message from Mr. Bauer. I could feel the whole situation turning slightly ugly, so I saved my response as a Word document:

I never claimed I owned the copyright to the pictures not taken by my father, a reporter and photographer. The photos my father took are indeed my property, because he willed them to me at the time of his death, and because I am in possession of the original negatives. (My father kept all the negatives of only the photos HE took.)

In regards to the picture of Fangio at Indy and the Jimmy Bryan "no hands" picture, I'm claiming that they WERE lifted from one of my sites at some point by someone, because, as far as I've been able to discern, none of them had been seen publicly in 50 years (if at all), or especially on the internet, until I scanned the original prints and made them available.

It is possible my father took the images in question, because he was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at that time, but, because I do not have the original negatives, or any other proof of the images' sources, I credited the applicable news service printed on the back of each. Additionally, if I had no evidence at all of the image source, I stated "photographer unknown," just to keep things on the up and up.

I would think you would do as much.

I'm not asking for the world. The possibility that those images were originally gleaned from somewhere other than my websites is EXTREMELY remote.

All I'm doing is pointing out where they most likely came from. There's no doubt in my mind where they came from.

What kind of proof do you need?

I've dealt with this kind of thing since I made the photos public following my father's death in 2002...usually in places like Atlas (I infrequently post there as "Walter Zoomie"), where racing nostalgia is discussed, and I've found that people accommodate my wishes that some kind a credit is given, most importantly, to my father.

He could have shit-canned the entire collection of images, and he actually considered doing so until I expressed an interest in them shortly before his death.

My goal in making these images public was to do so as a sort of tribute to him, not for my own fame or fortune, and it has been something I oftentimes regret doing.

I am not one to "lawyer up." If you can't see your way clear to doing the honorable and decent thing, that's your problem, and we have nothing further to discuss.

This is Mr. Bauer’s final, and unedited, response. It was at this point that he removed the images in question, and blocked me from communicating with him:

THE NERVE some people got!
I am always friendly and polite. As long as I’m approached that very same way that is. On the other hand there are time wasters out there you wouldn’t believe.
Yesterday, for the first time in 24 years of journalism, I had someone complaining not having received proper credit for three pictures that had been part of this post. Got me worried at first.
Turns out the photographer of these pics is unknown, even the source is unknown, yet there’s some dude with this „ I found those same shots in my drawer so I should be credited and if you don’t do what just popped up in my mind, you’re not a decent person“ kind of attitude that insisted on me doing something I have no obligation whatsoever to do.
So, Pal, you could have had – nonetheless – a link to your “precious” little site and a note explaining the little story you told me. Be it true or not. That’s not going to happen now.
You should learn to approach people like me as fellow race enthusiasts and competent in what they’re doing. Thanks to your wise ass attitude you got the opposite. Still no credit for you because I’ve removed the darn pictures for good. Not because I accept having done anything wrong. Not at all ! I just feel time is too precious to be wasted on some blown up ego.
Should I find out who REALLY deserves the credit, those pictures WILL be back, credited to whoever is REALLY entitled to such mention.
End of story


The thing is, I've never had a problem with others using the pics on my site. I've donated many of them to various authors and projects (from whom I've never taken a dime), with the only stipulation that my father is given credit for his work, and the other photogs/news agencies be given credit for theirs.

That was all I was asking in this case.

Like I said before, much of these rare images had never been seen before by anyone, and the ones that had been seen (in print media) hadn't been seen by anyone in 50 years.

Because I am a giving and loving sort, kinda like Gandhi or Mandela, I wanted to share these images with the world...for free.

It has been a major pain in the ass for seven years.

I peruse the 'net every now and then to see how much of this stuff is out there without a source being cited, and I frequently get my shorts in a wad about it all.

I'm a dick like that though.

I'm not claiming to have been "damaged."

I'm not claiming copyright to the shit my dad did not take. (I've never tried to sell any of it).

These rare images, some never seen before, would have been lost forever had I not put them on the net.

Some of them were my dads (to which I have rightful ownership), some were not, and I've always notated them accordingly.

Any Journalism 101 student knows to cite his source.

Granted...at the time Mr. Bauer put the article together, he may or may not have been fully aware of the images' source.

However, once the author is apprised of the images' source, he should correct matters...a simple thing to do in the intardnets age.

That's all I'm saying.

Now for some proof...

(Indpls Times)


(Indpls Times)




Seriously...how many people on the planet (besides me) could produce an image like this?

The original prints of three of the four photos in Mr. Bauer’s original story...(now deleted)

The backside of the same three photos...


(Indpls. Times)

Cool. A second post from Mr. Bauer’s blog, and another image from my collection! You can even see the grease pencil crop marks on it. Awesome!

A screen-shot

The Picasa image.

Here's a picture of the original!

And the back...

Enough evidence now?

Mr. Bauer....a simple "UPI Photo from the Rick Johnson/Paul Johnson Collection"...or some such, is all it takes for me to be satisfied that your source has been cited.

Hell...you could delete my name if you want, and no internet link to my site is necessary either.

I understand how disheartening and embarrassing it may be for an experienced journalist of 24 years to be called out by a dumb Yank truck driver.

Regardless, man up and make it right!


The proof must have been overwhelming. Mr. Bauer has removed all photos in question, while at the same time disavowing that the pictures came from my collection.

When asked why it was such a big deal for him to credit his source when it was pointed out to him, this was Mr Bauer's reply:

Talk about pathetic.

I win.