Friday, July 27, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: Bloggers Beware

"Google is in an amazing position to be the target of tons of lawsuits that will set precedent for many important things for us on the Internet."--Joichi Ito

"Who gave you permission to use my picture?"

I don't know about you, but I don't want to get sued for lifting images off the Internet. After reading this blog post I have removed all images and photos from my blog that weren't taken by my most talented husband. Some of them I loved dearly since they perfectly illustrated the point of the post, but since I couldn't figure out whether or not they were copyrighted, I chose to take them down.

Any thoughts on this subject?


30 comments:

  1. Better safe than sorry. I'll use my own photos from now on.

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  2. Angelina, I started doing the same. I didn't have a whole lot of images up that weren't mine, but that post freaked me out!

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    1. I think she started a much needed revolution.

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  4. I saw this post by Roni Loren last week. At first it scared the bejeezus out me since I post photographs for my Inspiration Sunday feature on my blog. I took a step back and tried to figure out how to go about it in such a way that I won't have to fear infringing on an artist's copyright.

    First thing I do now, is check the Terms of Service of photo hosting sites. 500px specifically allows the re-posting of their artist's photographs provided the proper attribution to the artist is given. The photographer who sign up for their service agree to that, prior to posting their work.

    Also, artists can further protect themselves by embedding code on their own websites/pages to prevent people from taking the image without permission.

    On sites like Flickr, I go out of my way to ask the photographer's permission to post their photographs and embed that code to prevent image grabbing for those photos. I may no longer be using images found through tumblr because sometimes, you can barely find the original artist anymore to seek permission.

    This issue matters a lot to me, because I use photos as part of my blogging process. I also see it an an opportunity to meet and network with other artists who inspire me, and also away to give back to them. At the end of the day, vigilance, on both sides, for bloggers to ask permission or seek permitted work, and artists to add further protection for their work, must be exercised.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mieke, for this thoughtful and useful comment. I appreciate you taking the time to offer these helpful suggestions.

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  5. It has always made me a little nervous to borrow photos, and I don't do it much. I'm going to be even more vigilant now for a lot of reasons. Now that I am posting and possibly selling some of my photos, I am even more aware of what it means. I wouldn't want just anybody snagging snippets of my books and posting them all over as if they were their own or as if it didn't matter where it came from. The internet has definitely lowered our inhibitions and clouded the idea of personal work a bit.

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  6. I'm in a dilemma about this. For most of my blog posts, I'll be able to do without the use of images. But, I just started a monthly fiction contest two months ago. The contest is challenging writers to write a flash / sketch piece using the image I provide. I guess from now on, I'll have to use my own photos, which usually are not thought provoking. o_O The other option is obtaining permission from the artist. I did this once, and it took me nearly 3 weeks to get a reply. The situation is definitely one for all of us, all artists, to pay attention to.

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    1. So maybe now you will have to go out their and hunt down interesting things to photograph. Could be fun. ^_^

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  7. I did the same with my blog last weekend--combing it and removing images that weren't mine (except for book covers when I do reviews). It doesn't 'look' quite the same, but I understand now that those images *belong* to someone. As a writer, I wouldn't want someone stealing my words, so I totally get it.

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    1. I think it was the nudge many of us needed.

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  8. Hi, Angelina! I hope your summer is going well. :)

    I saw that post, too. So nice of Roni to share her experience with the rest of us.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. I think it needed to be said and she did it so well.

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  9. I have always been aware of this, and it's why I use so few pictures on my own blog. Copyright violations are rampant on the internet, though, and I have to wonder if artists are fighting upstream. Not that they shouldn't ... but we'll see how it goes.

    I'm a little surprised I haven't seen more discussion of this with respect to music. Someone once sent me a great fan trailer for one of my books, and though I thanked the person, I never posted it online because I couldn't verify the filmmaker had the rights to the music.

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    1. It's too bad we humans are smart enough to invent the technology, but not inventive enough to create boundaries to prevent the abuse.

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  10. Better safe than sorry. I've gone back through and deleted or replaced. You can do an advanced search on Google images.

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  11. I did the same thing - but left the clip art. Does the same kind of ownership apply to clip art as it does to photos?? I'm thinking not, but could be wrong.

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    1. I have no idea about clip art, but Carol left a comment below.

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  12. Thank you for this heads up! I'm definitely paying attention.

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    1. I was hoping everyone hadn't read it already.

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  13. Thanks for the great thought-provoking post. I usually get my blog images from Microsoft Office. As long as I am not using them to sell something, that's okay per their usage agreement. When Microsoft doesn't have an image I need, I use my own or purchase from istock.
    Anyway, that's how I've handled this. Hopefully, I'm doing it right -- I'm not well-versed in legalese.

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  14. Being involved with music before blogging, I was super conscious of copyright. When I first started blogging I used photos that were specifically noted to be in public domain. There are several websites offering free use of their graphics and photos. http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/ is one of them. As long as appropriate attribution is used (and it's explained on the site) there's no problem. More often now, however, I use my own photography. I hated to put a copyright reminder on my blog, but was surprised to find that some people had no conscience about 'borrowing' my photos for their own use. I would have said it's no different from stealing pirated songs off the internet... but I've learned that many people see nothing wrong with that either, since "it's just for personal use."

    And Melodie... yes, clip art is still artistic creation.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and suggestions, Carol. Your photos are lovely. I can see why people "use" them. ^_^

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  15. Really good points! My husband keeps reminding me to use my own, give creit or use free graphics. It's hard to keep track of all the things that we're supposed to do though.

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    1. I figured it would just be easier to use my husband's photos. It's a hobby for him and he doesn't really care if someone "lifts" them.

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