As if we needed further proof of the vast reaches of the internet, and the frightening reality that what people put on the net stays on the net, comes the story of the Smith family of St. Louis.
Danielle Smith had taken a photo of her family last year and sent it to friends, as well as posted it on social networking sites. The photo shows her and her husband holding two kids.
About 10 days ago, one of Smith's college friends was driving through Prague when he spotted their huge smiling faces in the window of a store specializing in European food. He snapped a few pictures and sent them to a flabbergasted Smith.
"It's a life-size picture in a grocery store window in Prague — my Christmas card photo!" said Smith, 36, who lives in the St. Louis suburb of O'Fallon.
Mario Bertuccio, who owns the Grazie store in Prague, said the photo was from the Internet. Details were sparse, but he said he thought it was computer-generated. When told it was a real photo — of a real family — he said he started taking steps to remove it.
"We'll be happy to write an e-mail with our apology," said Bertuccio, who said he would send the Smiths a bottle of good wine if they lived in his eastern European country.
The Smiths and photographer Gina Kelly hadn't authorized anyone to use the pictures. Kelly said she has asked a professional photographers' organization to help figure out how her image wound up in Prague.
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