A copyright row has broken out after the winner of an online photography competition was accused of stealing the winning image from another photographer and disqualified.


The original image, captured in 2009 by Hengki Koentjoro, who sent it for publication by AP today to highlight the case

Hengki Koentjoro, a fine-art photographer from Indonesia, says his image was digitally manipulated and flipped horizontally when entered into Samsung’s ‘Live in the moment’ competition, which is giving away an NX300 camera to four category winners.

The controversial image had seemingly been entered by an Instagram member using the online name ‘bogdhan’, who has since been attacked in comments made by other users of the image-sharing website.


The image as it appears on the page of an Instagram user who has been accused of breaching Koentjoro’s copyright

The photo was submitted to the ‘MyCommute’ section of the contest earlier this summer.

Koentjoro, whose work was featured in Amateur Photographer (AP) last year, says he was only made aware of copyright theft following a tip-off from a friend weeks later.

Speaking yesterday, Koentjoro called for more education about photographic copyright among the general public.

He told AP: ‘Let’s warn other photographers to be careful with their work.’

At the time of writing, the Instagram user in question could not be reached for a response following a request sent by AP via the comments section of his online account.

Koentjoro said future competition organisers should demand to see raw-format image files when judging entries.

Rules for the competition, which was launched by Samsung’s base in South Korea, allowed entrants to submit photos via Facebook and Instagram.

Koentjoro has since received a statement from Samsung which read: ‘Thank you for alerting us in regard to this issue. We take copyright infringement very seriously and it is very unfortunate that [the] present case has taken place.

‘We have disqualified the applicant of this picture, and he is no longer the winner of the contest – neither will he receive the prize.

‘Further, we have taken down the announcement from all our channels.’

Samsung has not made any further comment on the issue.

  • Footloose

    I was just wondering, since Hengki Koentjoro took the winning image, will he get one of the NX300 cameras? It would certainly set a precedent, but also send a message to those thinking of nicking other people’s work.

  • Exon.

    bogdhan means godhand. That is a nickname selected by an egomaniac karate teacher in Japan called Masutatsu Oyama (passed away), who was also famous for killing inocent animals just for fun (bulls). So bogdhan may be also an egomaniac and Oyama’s fan.

  • Karin Markert

    I agree with more education re: copyright protection of photos. One of my photos was taken, reshared, mislabled and has since made the rounds with a large number of alterations. Google “Fake Hurricane Sandy Photos”. The Tomb Guards in the Rain photo is mine, taken from my FB page a month after I originally shot it. Even an Army PAO officer thought it was a public domain photo, fully knowing it is my original photo. Fascinating.

  • Matt Payne

    Does anyone else find it slightly ironic that a company embroiled in a spat of stolen technology lawsuits with Apple is now involved in this controversy? =)

  • doug

    Instagram, glad I deleted my pictures on this site..

  • Roland

    Not all cameras or negative scans are in RAW format.