This popular photo is not of Buffalo

Posted at 11:02 AM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 01:17:19-05

If you've done any shopping for Buffalo-centric items in the Queen City, you've seen this image of a snowy street with the caption "Buffalo, New York - Just another day in paradise."

There's just one problem - it isn't Buffalo.

The photo belongs to GettyImages and was snapped by Nicholas Belton. It was taken during the 2006 blizzard in New York City on Thompson Street between Houston and Prince in Soho Manhattan.

Alex Miller, a seventh grade teacher in the Buffalo Public School District, was given a framed poster of this image and he thought it didn't look right. After some extensive research, he connected it to GettyImages.

"The trees were pretty plentiful in that picture and there were fire escapes in the front of the buildings and it has the feeling of a west side street but didn't quite look like a west side street.," Miller explained. 

The photo is royalty-free, which means you pay for it once and can use it as many times as you'd like without having to pay any additional fees, though there are restrictions on pornographic, defamatory, libelous or otherwise unlawful use.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to the photographer, Nicholas Belton, who confirmed the photo was taken in Soho Manhattan in 2006. He said he doesn't believe that anyone selling the picture and labeling it Buffalo is breaking any of the restrictions on the use of the photo. 

Wegmans is one of the places selling it at some of their locations. 7 Eyewitness News reached out to a spokesperson who said after learning the photo is not of Buffalo, they will be removing it from shelves and offering a refund to anyone who bought the photo and wants their money back.

It's still unclear who sold the photo to outlets like Wegmans and souvenir shops. While it's misleading, legal experts said it isn't illegal provided all copyright laws were followed. "I want to get it corrected. I want a real Buffalo snow storm image, another day in paradise. Then, I'll have it on my wall," Miller said. 

There have been several ideas for how Buffalo can next be represented:


Share your photos with #NotBuffalo




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