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Friday, April 4, 2014

Copy and Paste and a World of EXCUSES for Copyright Infringement of my Photographs



We live in a world of copy and paste where copy means copyright infringement.  I accept that uploading an image or other data to the Internet carries a risk of being used and abused by others. However, there are limits, right.


At the beginning of March, 2014, I read a blog post by Cole Thompson titled: Watermarks Drive Me Crazy!  where he talks a little about Google image search. You can upload an image or URL to Google image search to track down images the same or similar to yours. In other words, you can find those who have infringed on your copyright.


I randomly chose a photograph that I used on my blog, and to my surprise, I found that this photograph was being used by several bloggers, a magazine and a law firm in Italy specializing in wealth management.  This was done by the simple copy and paste method. I wrote them all. The bloggers all responded within hours, and they all apologized and credited the work as mine. The law firm never responded, but they did take the photograph off their website. The magazine responded (they have credited my work), but they responded with: “… first of all I wanted to apologize for the confusion, this work was done for a university project and never published or sold.”


And this is what I want to point out.


If you have done a wrong e.g. copyright infringement, just take responsibility for doing it. Don’t make up an excuse PERIOD.


This morning I found several of my photographs have been been taken and used by some bloggers, without permission nor credit, and a construction company website as well. 


I wrote to the bloggers asking them to please credit my work.


Here's an example for you:

Dear Rahul,

I found that you have used one of my photographs without my permission. Although I do appreciate that my work has inspired your work, I need you to credit me and my work with a link immediately.

Matthew G. Beall Photography Two Trees and a Bench 2012  

Please send me an email letting me know you have done it.


This is the half ass I am not responsible for stealing your property arrogant reply I got:


Dear Mathew

“It was available on public portal. My blog is not on photography either. If you are that particular i would rather replace that photo with something else. Its surprising that you have noticed it 3 years after i had posted. Anyway don't want to hurt your sentiments or invade your privacy. The needful will be done immediately.


Of course, such arrogance demands such a response. And so here's what I wrote back:

“Let me give you some advice. Do not make an excuse for something that was wrongly done. Simply except responsibility that it was a mistake. Mistakes happen. Take it off your site immediately.”
 
 The bottom line is this: IF you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, own up to it!

Oh, those of you that use the work of others. Learn these words: permission. attribution.


2 comments:

  1. I have just about heard every excuse possible, they must have the same excuse book ;)

    ReplyDelete

Matthew G Beall Photography is an American vision driven contemporary black & white and color fine art photographer and painter in Germany.

Thank you for taking a look at my black & white and color photographs.

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All Work is Copyrighted.

Matthew G. Beall Vision Driven Black & White and Color Photography 2008 - 2014 ©

All rights reserved. This artwork cannot be used without written consent.

If you use this artwork without express permission, I will take legal action against the infringer.