Hate to even have to bring this up…

We’re going to have a little lesson here today instead of what I’d planned on posting.  It’s about not stealing images or content from other blogs or internet sites.  Why am I bringing this up you ask?  Because I recently was made aware of the fact that an image from my blog was posted on another doll blog.  Not only did this person not ask me before “taking” said photo, but they didn’t give me photo credit or even a link to my blog.

If you think this is not a big deal, you are horribly wrong.  It’s not only a “big” deal, it’s illegal.  It’s also so not cool.  While I do this blog for fun, I spend a lot of time setting up photo shoots, editing photos and writing the content.  I enjoy it immensely, but because of health issues, some days it is difficult for me.  So when someone thinks it’s just okay to do a right click and “take” one of the pictures I worked so hard on, it not only makes me very angry, but it hurts my feelings.

From a legal aspect–this is out and out theft.  The irony of this particular photo is that it’s taken in a part of my house that is very identifiable.  So if I were to take it to court, this person would lose rather quickly.  I also have the original, unedited photo file, so ownership of said image would be very easy to prove.  Bet they didn’t think of that.

Just because a photo is on the internet does not make it public property.  If you pay close attention, you will rarely see photos on my blog that were not taken by me, and when I do use them, I make sure that I give credit to the original owner of that photograph or a link back.  The only exception to that is the “Bad Ebay” posts, and I do that more to protect the person who posted the bad image!  However, if I were contacted by any of those people, I would immediately take the image down.  And I’m certainly not taking credit for any of them either.  I make that very clear!

At this point, I’m not going to say which blog has the photo on it.  I have sent them notification to take it down, or they will face legal action.  I hate to be so nasty about this, but as someone who spent a number of years as a semi-professional photographer, I get a bit defensive about my photos.  The bad part is this same post has another photo in it that I suspect was stolen from another site.  Also not cool.  However, if this person does not heed my warning, I will out them right here on my little old blog.  Hate to be this way, but I don’t want this to continue.

My point in this post is to make everyone aware that just taking photos from other places on the internet is NOT okay.  There are copyright laws that make this an illegal practice.  I know it goes on all the time, but that doesn’t make it right.  How would you feel if you had worked all day on a sewing or craft project, only to have a friend take credit for it?  Images taken from a retail website such as Target or American Girl are even covered by this, but rarely do they take legal action against the user, I think many of them look at it as free advertising.  But I do know that several blogs have posted images of leaked items and have been asked by American Girl to take them down or face legal action.  Just like I own the rights to my images and how they are used, so do these companies.

Okay, so what about Pinterest?  Maybe you don’t realize it, but Pinterest has actually gotten into trouble a number of times over this issue and was in danger of radical changes because of it.  I’ve actually gotten notifications of things that I have pinned having been removed because the owner of said image has contacted them and threatened legal action.  Yeah, it’s that serious.  Keep that in mind as well, just because it’s on Pinterest, doesn’t turn it into public property either.  Most people don’t pursue a lawsuit in this situation because again 1) free publicity and 2) most of the time, the pin links back in some way to the original image.  But just taking the image for your own use on a blog or website and not using a Pinterest link or linking back is not okay.

Sorry to be such a nasty Nellie this morning, but this not only hit a nerve with me, but I know it’s a sticking point for a number of doll bloggers.  This subject comes up periodically and a lot of people have serious misconceptions about what they are allowed to do.  I probably would have let them use the photo had they asked too, it’s just the fact that they did it this way and didn’t even give me a credit for it that made me angry.  Right in my “About Me” page, I state that photos cannot be used without permission.  My e-mail address is right there for all to see.  I hope perhaps they (and others) will think twice about doing this to anyone else in the future too.  It’s just wrong.

Please note: I DO NOT have an Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account associated with this blog, nor do I post any of the photos from this blog ANYWHERE on any of these sites.  If you see any of my photos or someone claiming to be me or associated with this blog at any of those listed social media sites, it is a fake account, and I would appreciate you letting me know.  I know this happened with another doll blog, and that too is wrong and illegal.

Thank you to the person who made me aware of my photo being used, much appreciated.

Suggested reading to those who are new to writing blogs as this matter is also covered:

https://thedollmag.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/work-it-like-a-boss-online-etiquette/

**UPDATE:  The person who did this has apologized profusely and taken the photo in question down.  They totally understand the frustration and like many, did not realize this was a problem.  I think this has been a learning experience for them and hopefully we have another person on the side of those who do realize that this is illegal and hurtful.

 

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Hate to even have to bring this up…

  1. Man, that really stinks! This happened to me once w/ one of my videos on YouTube. It really makes me mad when someone claims something of mine for their own. But to add insult to injury, they cussed me out when I told them to take down the video or I’d report them to YouTube. The video was removed, and their account suspended.

    • That will be the next step if they don’t take it down, I will report them to the Blog sponsor. That is awful that someone would act so ridiculous when they took something that didn’t belong to them. But that’s our “entitlement” society!

  2. Sing it, Sister! I am SO careful when I share on my blog but there is always a link from the image to its source. When the blog specifically states they own it (some take that time) then I get written permission first.

    I had a newspaper incorrectly credit my photo that I shared at LADL and they would not answer me to fix it. THAT really pissed me off. It even watermarked with “Nonna for LADL.”

    Keep reporting. That’s all we can do.

    • That is ridiculous, but that’s the tabloid journalism mentality too. A nephew worked for a local TV station that reported something that I had first hand knowledge of completely wrong. When I said something to him he said “typical, they are more concerned with getting the story out quickly than getting the facts right.”

  3. So sorry to hear this, Flo. As a fellow photographer I can understand how hurtful it is when someone takes credit for work and it’s extremely disappointing. I hope this doesn’t happen again for you and thank you for writing this post to serve as a great reminder to be respectful of other people’s content. Xoxo

    • We all have to stick together! I’m hoping that this post makes those that are not aware of the legalities of this issue a bit more informed. Too many people go into blogging without doing the homework!

      • Brianna has had blogs since 2nd gr, but even as a middle schooler today, I do require that she show me what she is publishing. The same standards apply as if you were publishing a newspaper. What we put out there in the world has to be fair and ethical.
        Borrowing other people’s images is hurtful because we all know what we go through to get those pictures taken!

      • I think that more parents need to be proactive in the time that their children spend on the internet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across things online and I’m like “Whoa!”–ranging from bad behavior to giving out way too much information. Even some adults are guilty as well!

  4. I did not know all the details about copywriting photos. This will be helpful for further use on my blog. Just to clarify, if I take a picture and post it on a blog is it legally mine?

  5. That’s terrible! I’m always wary to even put up pictures of the new releases from AG but I always add under that the image is American Girls, things like this make me want to start watermarking my photos. Alas, I’m too lazy to do that 😉 I think what you did was right and hey!, nobody likes someone stealing anything from them,

    • I will tell you that watermarking helps but doesn’t always work, just like with so many things, there are ways around it. I think this whole experience can be a learning one for so many people because there are many out there who don’t even realize that this is not acceptable. And perhaps we can make a united front in educating those who don’t so that they do, and going after those who don’t seem to care and do it anyways.

  6. I’m all for following the rules and making sure you’re not using others intellectual property without consent, but immediately attacking a blog owner with legal action will not score you any sympathy points. Next time, try contacting them and simply asking for the image to be removed first. If it’s that big of an issue, either watermark your images or have Google stop crawling your site.

    • I really could give a rats you-know-what about sympathy points. This was more a matter of making a point, not just to that blogger, but to other bloggers who seem to think this is okay. It’s not. Last time I tried to NICELY point out to someone about using an image that wasn’t theirs, I got blasted by commenters. Interestingly enough, the blogger got told by the company that owned the images to take them down–or face legal action. And I would have contacted the blogger directly, but as many on here do, she had no e-mail contact on her blog.

      Watermarking is a joke. Not only are there ways around it, but I’ve seen where people have actually photographed the computer screen and then used the picture that way. Watermarking is like the lock on your front door–it only keeps truly honest people out. As for removing the Google crawl–doll blogs are mostly image driven, it’s not like where you talk about politics or give a bunch of statistics. In order to be successful, you have to have photos. I get a decent amount of hits through Google crawl too, so that isn’t a very good option. The truth is people shouldn’t be doing this, or they will have to face the consequences. But I guess to those who grow up in the “everyone gets a trophy” world, they don’t know that sometimes you actually have to work for something instead of just taking it or getting credit for just showing up.

      And YES, it is a BIG issue. I suggest you read the rest of the comments here because I am definitely not alone in my feelings on this and not the only person that it’s a hot button topic about.

    • Oh, and since I suspect that the person who writes the blog in question is a relative and you seem to be so knowledgeable in respects to this matter, perhaps you should be overseeing what this person is doing and advising them!

  7. Agreed – this should be taught to bloggers and anyone looking for images online. One has a right to be credited for IP. What we will have to agree to disagree on is the method chosen for notifying someone that their IP has been used inappropriately.

    I have been requested to remove content from previous blogs I have administered. Not for copyrighted material, but the gentleman in question was very cautious about his name being used on the internet. A simple commented request and the post was altered to be more generic. No threat of legal action. No snide remarks. Easy and stress free.

    As an IT professional of 15 years, I am aware of various ways to assist in content protection on blog platforms. They may not completely eliminate the issue, but if it’s as important to you as it seems, you may want to research some WordPress plugins that deal with these problems.

    Bottom line – it was a simple mistake, discussions were had, problem solved. More care will be taken in the future.

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