*Heres another post that will blast my popularity to shreds (if I ever had any to begin with).
A couple of years ago, I was requested to remove an image from my blog that I had placed in one of my posts. I had posted it innocently enough, unawares that in posting the image I was infringing any copyright issues. I could have argued with the complainant that in fact, the image was a still shot of a piece of a movie and that she had no way of proving that I hadn’t watched the same move, pointed my camera at the telly and taken the picture myself, at exactly that moment in the film….but then I would have been lying in addition to being a ‘thief’ (and that’s before I think about the copyright issues with the filmaker!). However, I apologised to the lady who bought that to my attention and I removed the image immediately.
Wherever possible nowadays, when using an image found online I do endeavour to track an image back to it’s original source and check out whether the image is copyright free or at the very least, to acredit the owner/administrator, because aside from flouting any copyright regulations there are other issues to consider too, like using someone else’s bandwidth.
It has to be said though that there are zillions of blatant copyright infringements going on in the blogosphere all the time.
It annoys me.
It may be because I used to work as a professional photographer myself that it irks me , or then again, perhaps it’s because I’ve been on the receiving end of copyright infringement too…or perhaps it’s a bit of both?
On four occassions in the last 6 months or so I have found my own E-Card images on blog’s where they shouldn’t have been and where permission was never requested for them to be used. In fact it was only 2 days ago that I accidentally came across the most recent infringement and despite my requests for the blogger to remove an image he lifted from my E-Card site he has thus far refused to do so. In fact he hasn’t even bothered to respond to my comments.
I endeavour to mark my e-cards with a © stamp and my name, and on both this blog and my E-Card site, Credo Christian E-Cards I make it clear that the images are not to be lifted by the light fingered. It seems however, that in cyberspace few rules apply. Partly because of the difficulty in enforcing the copyright of online images, and partly because for many people cyberspace is a veritable free for all!
Now, you may be thinking that I’m just a miser who should share what I have (I hesitate to call them gifts) but I actually think I’m being fairly generous in creating the E-Cards in the first place. I still haven’t paid my camera off (there was supposed to be a little assitance from someone who I took photos for but that never came to anything) and I pay out of my own pocket to have the images hosted on a professional site so that people can send my E-Cards at no cost to themselves. So actually it does bother me that people want to take the view that they can use what they want, when they want, how they want, even if it isn’t theirs. I especially dislike that some bloggers have even attempted to pass my images off as their own. It’s sometimes makes me wonder if I should continue to offer the E-Card service at all, but then why should I deny decent, copyright respecting folk the opportunity to use something which they tell me they love to use and appreciate using?
As we’re on the subject of breaches of copyright and blogging ettitquette….this brings me on to something else that is very much something I feel strongly about and that is when the same thing happens with text.
Many a time I’ve read an article or post and thought WOW! that blogger is super gifted and insightful, only to find the text elsewhere online rightly accredited to its proper author. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve stopped reading because they lift their daily posts from other bloggers or other online resources without linking to the original source, but instead claim it as their own, albeit by their silence.
Well, as one would expect, I’m not the only one with an opinion on these things and funnily enough Jackie has just posted about something very similar but from the opposite end of the opinion spectrum. You might want to read Jackie’s post before you continue reading here.
Now I have a lot of respect for Jackie (we share a diocese so I have to say that -just kidding!) but I must disagree with the stance Jackie takes in the post in which she writes to those who feel as strongly as I do about online copyright infringement:
“Please avoid my blog if you don’t like my style & go somewhere else. As I say I only had 2 complaints out of 50,000 visits but if you don’t want to be copied & pasted let me know..no problem..my blogroll is too long anyway.”
Now I don’t mention this for bragging purposes but I’ve had over 100,000 visits
it’s probably more actually as I’ve moved blogs a couple of times but we don’t need to get anal about it and only one complaint, but I took that one complaint very seriously. But then, one complaint is one complaint too many in my opinion.
I’m not speaking directly to Jackie in this next bit but on this subject I have to say that as far as I’m concerned it’s a pretty lazy blogger who without seeking the consent of a fellow blogger, cuts and pastes that bloggers whole post and then at the very end of it may (or may not) tell their readers that the post was written by another person.
I can speak form personal experience when I say that it’s really annoying to find your own post on someone elses blog, especially when your own post leads to a great discussion in their comment box that should be going on in your comment box!
Yup, that really bugs me.
I think it smacks of a lack of experience in blogging and in blogging ettiquette and generally it’s not a good way to foster friendships in the blogosphere, unless you happen to be more concerned with your blog stats than in fostering friendships? But then that would be pretty sad wouldn’t it?
My own feeling is that if you feel strongly about a post of mine you can by all means link to it….you can even include a 3-5 lined excerpt of the post but please don’t take the whole post from my blog and copy and paste it on your own. And lets be honest here, what does it really say about a blogger who lifts the blog-work of other bloggers?
That they can’t wite a decent piece themselves?
How would that blogger feel if they wrote something of which they were proud and that very post was copied and pasted on another blog and no link or reference was given to them….how would that blogger feel if they came accross it accidentally only to find a party going on in the other bloggers com box, some of which expressed how well written the piece was….would the blogger really want someone else to take the credit for their writing, their thoughts?
It just needed sayin’.
* tongue firmly planted in very chubby cheek.