Back in August 2012, as part of my Photographs on a Friday series, I wrote and made a handy info cartoon about my thoughts on image usage regarding graphics and photos that I have created and appear on this blog.
Inevitably, sad as it makes me to acknowledge just how inevitable this is, I found out that a blogger has recently appropriated a couple of images from Imagination is spicy and is claiming them as their own work.
What makes it almost funny, but not quite funny enough for my taste, is what they chose to use is just about the laziest thing I can imagine stealing. Ever. It’s these two images which I took for my March blog giveaway, with them removing the original winner’s name and re-typing text in a clumsy bit of manipulation on the second image:
With thanks to Nina and her readers at Muffin queen and her photographers who uncovered this person’s prolific theft of other people’s images and content and fellow Blogger Domček, who tracked back and posted the correct URL for the images from my blog.
All I can re-iterate from this experience is: I’m generally okay about sharing my own images, if I am asked first, or as bare minimum get a name credit, blog link or both.
I am glad to report that this particular instance of image theft has had a happier ending. After some assistance in writing a message to the blogger who used my images, explaining the legal ramifications, they were promptly removed from her site.
If this should happen to any other readers there are some things I’d recommend:
1. Do go and read about the steps leading up to filing a DMCA notice or other legal action. If you know how far you can or want to go with a legal process it will help you formulate your response with more knowledge.
2. Give yourself time to think about how you want to proceed. If I’d attempted to contact the blogger in my initial shock and anger it would have been an ill-judged and personal response. Try to aim for a calm, professional tone in communicating and stick to the facts.
3. Don’t give up before you try! It’s easy to think that it’s not worth getting into a disagreement with someone over a couple of non-professional images. It may not turn out to be as quickly rectified as my example, but, if I hadn’t tried then there would be a blogger out there thinking that it was perfectly okay to take people’s work and call it her own. Hopefully this experience has informed her of the potential consequences and she will no longer continue with that behaviour.