Monday, July 20, 2009

A burglar's Calling Card: why not everything on the internet is free

Original Article as it appears on Kate Day's Telegraph Blog (Note that below the post she has a "Share This Button" I have placed the whole article in quote marks as it is exactly as written by Kate Day on

"This morning I arrived at my desk to discover that someone had published a photo of mine on their blog without my permission. The blogger had left me a comment on the to tell me where they had put the picture and had linked to my original image from their blog. Should I be flattered that they liked the photo or is it, a bit like a burglar leaving a calling card?
I would be very surprised if this blogger set out to infringe my copyright. It seems much more likely that he wasn’t clear about the law and while ignorance is no defense, no one likes to be one of those bores who can point out all the ways you might have inadvertently broken the law.
Equally, I spend a lot of time and a fair amount of money trying to get my pictures as good as they can be so I’m not thrilled about the prospect of someone running Google ads against my work without my approval. There are plenty of other ways to tell me if you like a picture after all!"
"Like a true devotee of social media, I asked my Twitter followers
Some were adamant that I should ask for the blog post to be taken down to avoid setting a precedent that I was happy for people to infringe my copyright. Others thought it was best to take it as a compliment, especially as the blogger had linked back to my original photo. Christian Payne, who happened to be one of the subjects of the photo, felt that the picture wasn’t contributing anything to the conversation either about the picture itself or about Christian’s interview with Nick Clegg that I had photographed, and therefore I should ask the blogger not to use it. A few asked if it was OK to use other people’s pictures as long as you attributed the photos to them (it isn’t). Online etiquette and copyright law collided in confusion.
I decided to leave a comment pointing out that the image was “all rights reserved”. This afternoon, the blogger took the picture down, deleted his first comment on my Flickr page and left another comment to let me know he’d pulled the post. So politeness won the day.
I would still argue that social media is worth risking piracy for but I did switch off the “Blog this” option on my Flickr account to make it just a little bit harder for someone to post a picture of mine to their blog."

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1 comment:

Art Rock said...

As she had the BLOG THIS button activated, I think you were fully right to do what you did, and I am doing exactly the same in my blog, leaving a linjk as comment on their Flickr page offering to take it down if they don't like it (without any issues so far I must say). If people do not want their images used in blogs without permission upfront they should disable that button imo.