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:
**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.