A Tesco shopper was left gobsmacked when she went to buy a mug – only to find it decorated with a picture of her pet PUG.
Ania Knapek, 22, spotted her two-year-old dog Frank on the stack of £5 gift mugs for sale at the supermarket.
But sadly the healthcare assistant won’t be raking it in from the royalties – because the pug’s portrait was uploaded to a free picture-sharing site by her cousin.
The photo had been taken at her home in Ramsgate, Kent, 18 months previously, back when Frank was a tiny little puppy.
She said: “I was just walking through the gift section when it caught my eye.
I thought ‘that’s my dog, that’s Frank!’
“It was pretty obvious and when I looked at the original picture it was clear. It was definitely a bit of a shock.”
Ania had uploaded the photo to Facebook and Instagram but at first she had no idea where the company had got the photo from.
Markings on the mug revealed it was manufactured by gift supplier Widdop and Co. based in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
She quickly discovered that her cousin Matt Szwedowski, who took the photo, had uploaded it to a site called Unsplash.
Unfortunately for Ania, the terms of the site say posted photos can be copied or reproduced for no compensation and without any permission required.
Matt, 29, who also lives in Ramsgate said he uploaded the photo just to get his work “out there”.
He said: “I knew what the terms of the site were but I never expected it to go so far, to see your picture on a mug in Tesco.
“It is annoying that someone is making money out of my work, but also quite flattering that they saw it as good enough to put on a mug.”
He warned aspiring photographers to “be careful” – and told them to “read everything”.
He said: “With technology today it’s getting easier and easier to take a good picture so people need to protect their work.
“It’s certainly changed the way I look at the internet.
“I will now only use websites like iStock so when a picture is downloaded I at least get some money.”
A spokesman for Widdop and Co. confirmed it had sourced the photo from Unsplash, but stated that they generally used very few photographic images on products.
Despite missing out on some potential cash, Ania said she does like the idea of little Frank’s face adorning mugs all over the country.
She said: “It’s still pretty cool that people I’ve never met are looking at him as they drink their tea. He’s such a little star.”