Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do the Right Thing

Just by chance, I saw one of my pictures on someone else's blog, unacknowledged, without my permission. Folks, this is not right. In the words of Kevan Atteberry, "What would your mother say? Hmmm?"

As I am fond of saying to my own children, "Do the right thing, even when I'm not watching." This is good advice for adults as well.

Fair use means taking without permission. But it doesn't mean not to acknowledge the source. Please folks, always, always acknowledge your source. As a writer of nonfiction, I am highly aware of this. The source of every quote and fact I choose to include in my article is meticulously recorded should I need to refer to it. Plus, it allows my readers to go further with their own reading, should they choose to.

I enjoy taking pictures. I'm not a professional but I've been complimented many times on the pictures I've taken. It makes me feel good to share a few images from my life. Why would anybody want to take them without acknowledging the source? And it's all the more distressing that it's another person in the business.

Do the right thing. It's easy.


Fiona said...

Ew, Vijaya, that's awful.

To clarify, though...

When you post your photos to your website or blog, you still hold the copyright and have the right to decide how the photos will be used. Taking a photograph from someone's blog or website without permission and reposting on another blog or website isn't "fair use" (even if you're given credit), it's copyright infringement. For text, a few lines out of a blog post could be considered fair use, but not large chunks of text, and certainly not a complete photograph. You have the right to grant others permission to post your photo as long as they attribute to you, but you have just as much right to not grant them permission at all, and if you decide not to grant that permission, you have the right to ask them to remove the picture because keeping it there violates copyright law. You get to decide.

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Fiona, for setting us all straight. I have always felt uncomfortable seeing complete poems on blogs, and now I understand why. Even if it is part of a collection, the piece itself is complete in and of itself.

Angela said...

Sorry this happened to you. As a new blogger, I've been sensitive to the picture thing, because I would feel horrible about using someone's pic without permission. I opened a topic about it at Verla's so I didn't misstep (because I am a techno-idjit) :(

Vijaya said...

Hey, even techno-idjets like us know it's not right to take someone else's pictures without permission. I'll have to check out your thread.

Janet Lee Carey said...

I like putting pics on my site and don't always have good ones of my own so went looking of okay ones to use. I found this site

Read the policy carefully. Photos still needed to be attributed using
the photo sharealike agreement on the site. Click there and read more.

Hope this helps.


Vijaya said...

Hey, Janet ... good to see you here. Thanks for the link. I may sign up for it, but taking my own pretty pictures is becoming a hobby of mine, esp. since no developing is involved. Long gone are the days of the darkroom ... (for me, anyway).

Susan Sandmore said...

This post has made me think. I use mostly my own photos on my blog, but sometimes photos I find on the net (for example, when writing about a movie). Guilty! I need to figure out how to best get permission and write in the photo credit, when it's someone else's.

Susan Sandmore said...

P.S.--I notice that you show covers of books when you review them. That's the sort of thing I meant. Is that considered acceptable?

Vijaya said...

Susan, I always get permission to put up book covers from the publisher for my website.

I haven't done that with the books I've reviewed on my blog. I'm going down a slippery slope here ... must go check the rules.