Photographs of the Camberwell fire tragedy became the centre of a fierce rights row after a Labour councillor used the images in a blog without permission, believing they were copyright free.

Photographer Paul Wood accused John Friary, a Labour councillor for the London Borough of Southwark, of grabbing images of the Lakanal House blaze to use in his blog without seeking permission or payment.

Angry at the move Wood then demanded ‘twice’ his usual fee for this type of image.

Seemingly unaware of copyright rules, Friary sent Wood an email admitting he had used the pictures on his website in an attempt to reflect the scale of the disaster in which six people died on 3 July.

‘I obtained pictures of Lakanal from the web using Google and used a number of images from a variety of sources, none copyright protected or attributed,’ he told Wood.

Realising the error, Friary removed the offending photos from his website and later apologised for his ‘overly defensive’ response to Wood’s complaint.

‘I have spoken to the photographer and the matter is now resolved,’ Friary told Amateur Photographer (AP).

He added: ‘I have the utmost regard for journalists and photographers and it was never my intention to offend any one them,’ Friary said, via email.

Wood, who says he sought advice from the Selling Your Photography internet group, told AP: ‘The situation has been sorted out amicably? Mr Friary agreed to remove the images and has apologised. And he is making a donation to the Camberwell Fire Appeal on my behalf.’

Picture credit: Paul Wood