Tag Archives: Images

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Oct. 15.

Waffle Wednesday: Bloggers, Photographs and Unauthorised Use

ww-wafflethIt can be difficult, getting the perfect photo for your blog. The lighting may not be what you wanted, or the angle may be off, or no mater what you do, you just can’t get the colour to reproduce properly. We have all been there, and it is a pain. But then there are moments where everything goes perfectly for you, you get a great photo, use it on your blog, and you are very happy with yourself. But then, lo and behold, it appears on another website. A website that took your image, your hard work without permission.

I have been known to right click on various images on my blog, and thanks to Google Chrome there is a direct option to search Google for this image. Mostly, no matches come up, except for on my own site, and that is a good thing. A couple of days ago though, I did find a match from another site. It was a site purporting to be an image library. And there was an image of one of my manicures on the site. I was never approached about it. I was never asked. They just added it to their site, which on their “about us” page was telling people that it was a site of high quality images, allowing people to download the best one to suit their needs.

NOTD-FrenchExcuse me? A site took my image, and was offering it for people to download for their own use? I’m not having that. On their contact us page, there was a spiel about how the images are not free to use. That they should be freeware, but might not be, and so you shouldn’t use them. There was also a contact form for copyright holders to request the removal of images, or if they prefer, have their link added to the recommended links page (it was a very short list of recommended links). Annoyed by the fact that my image was there without permission, and not wanting my link to be associated with what could be a very dodgy website, I told them that it was to be removed. Fortunately there was no argument, and a couple of hours later I had an email to say it had been removed. Problem solved, and crisis averted.

Meanwhile, I started checking through every image I have on the blog. Most of them came up with nothing. I mean, who wants to reproduce images of my face, but unfortunately I found another one. One of my most popular posts has always been about the SS ’14 launches from Shiseido. In it there was a photo of their Face Colour Enhancing Trio’s. A photo that I actually made a mistake with, in that one of the included brushes was pointing down, while the others were pointing up. It turned out to be a very telling mistake, as I found the same four products in 1 photo, with the same mistake, the same dimensions, and the same filename, as my image. That’s too many coincidences. That is my photo, again being used without permission or credit. This time on another blog.

Shiseido-Blush

Another blogger wanted to write a piece on the product, did an image search, and just helped themselves to my work. This irks me. Any blogger worth reading, to the best of my knowledge, takes great pride in their work. It is what makes blogging and the blogging community so great, because it is a person who is just genuinely passionate about a subject and wants to share their passion. So, to feel that one of our own didn’t have the courtesy to contact me for permission, or even credit my work, is a bit of an insult really.

Normally, I try to be polite, but I ran into several issues here. The blogger in based in Spain, writes in the Spanish language, and had no contact details on the blog, so I was left with two options. The first was to leave a comment saying that I was the copyright holder of the work, that it was used without permission, and that I needed the image removed. The second, which ultimately I have had to enact, is to approach Google with a copyright takedown request, as it is housed on one of their blogging platforms.

I hate having to do things like this, but at the same time I feel that my rights as the creator of the works should be respected. You can call me a moany bitch if you so wish, but I am really quite easy going on things like this. I love seeing people acknowledge my writing, my photos, my work as being excellent and that they want to use it, and well, I am completely fine with it. All I ask is that someone sends a quick email to say that they want to use such and such an image, for whatever reason, and that they’ll credit me as creator. Hey, if I can I will even sort out higher resolution versions of the image.

And finally, if you do go searching the web for images (and we all have) to use for something, I encourage you to acknowledge sources, be it a brand, an image library, or another website. If we do take the convenient way out, it is really only fair that we tip our hats to the ones that put the effort in to create the images for us.

How do you feel about unauthorised use of images? Do you regularly check and ask for images to be taken down? Do you watermark your images? Or do you think that people will just use them regardless and let them get on with it?

Robyn

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