Of Copyrights and gracious sharing
Hi guys. How unconnected can I be to be posting something as unromantic as ‘Copyrights’ on February the 14th. Valentines day for crying out loud!! Well, what can I say, read this at work and then take your lady or man out in the evening. I do not see the connection to my unromantic post.
Most of you know that I have had a few issues in the past with people using my images without crediting me, without my permission and even taking it as far as using my images as their own. This has been an issue that has really wasted my time too, thought I should post about our online behaviors in this century. Take the example of this chap who took my photo, posted it on his blog as his(even added his own logo in it) and then submitted it to a competition by Standard newspaper via their KTN Kenya facebook page (no point giving you links as that works in their favor).
*a screen shot showing the image as seen on the facebook page(as you can see, the image is supposedly by Vincent Achuka)*
*the same image but with mine as I posted it to show you the minor adjustment to hue done here*
So that paints the picture, but this is not the point of the post. The point is to pick our brains why we seem to be structured to do anything but buy the stuff we need. I mean it is understandable if I don’t even put a notification of proper use of my images on the blog(which I do by the way), oh wait, even if I did not have that, would it make it right to use the photos unlawfully? I think not.
I think it stems from our desire to want everything at the cheapest possible price…mostly free. Only difference is NOTHING is ever free. If you don’t pay for it, it is just because someone else has paid for it already so you can have it for “FREE”. We are used to downloading movies for “FREE”, music for “FREE” and when we attend the concert for the artist whose music we have “borrowed”, we want a complimentary ticket. How now?
This may seem like a rant, but really I just want us to all be sensitive about our online behaviors before they land us in actual trouble.
1. If you post it, with no credit to the actual photographer, I assume it is yours.
2. If you make it seem to be yours when it isn’t, you might as well have stolen a tv from someones house that they rarely visit(that’s criminal dude).
3. The least you can do when you get “FREE” stuff is let people know where you got it from so they get it themselves. The point of giving this stuff is to benefit in numbers knowing where to find you.
4. When people give you free stuff, it doesn’t hurt them to say thanks. :)
Is there a solution for photographers? Should we emblazon our logos all over our art just so that it can be seen everywhere(as opposed to the actual art being seen)? Is that the equivalent of having 10 locks on my door in the house? Would it work? I think it may, but then am I pushing my logo or am I pushing my art? I am of the school of thought that if someone really wants to steal your work, they shall but stealing my work shall not make them better, neither shall it make me a worse photographer. Also, no one can get rich over stolen photography(especially stolen online) so we can consider that petty crime.
*how I usually watermark my images*
*same image with my fool proof 10 locks on it to prevent/discourage theft*
So it begs the question of whether its worth it to spend time & resources protecting myself against petty crime. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below.
My suggestion though, it is very simple to credit our work so others can know who did it. Very simple, extremely simple. Have a wonderful valentines day.