It is the right thing to do, and I agree it needs to be spoken of more often and openly.
I have never thought about where the free images come from. I most always use my own photos for the stories I write and if I share an artwork project I share pieces of the pieces. It’s so easy for anyone to just steal photos from the internet, both individuals and corporations. The internet is a thief’s playground. All of this has inspired me to learn more about copyright and protecting myself. Our work could be hijacked and out there already and we don’t even know it. The internet is an infinite space.
I know there are many corporations and publications who republish without payment in exchange for a link to your website or original post but I haven’t had much come from that myself. It hasn’t led me to fortune or even coffee money, popularity or merely acknowledgment which is all I hope for a times.
Reading your response reminded me of this and why it’s such a big deal, but we rarely hear or see these stories in the news. These stories and we need more exposure. I’m a fan of Stanton and his work. His photography makes me feel good about the world and as always he handled the situation in a stand-up manner.