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Sometimes There are too Many Things

LeanneCole-city-20131107-0165

There is no post today for Photographers.com.au, seems they don’t want me to write for them anymore, I think, I don’t know really.  They have stopped responding to my emails so I assume that means that they don’t want my posts anymore.  I thought for today I could a post for you about some other things, photography related, but they are little things.

How to tell someone to stop stealing images!

When I did my post yesterday I received a comment from someone who thanked me for what I had said, but she had a small problem, she (D) knew someone that was taking her photos and then pretending that they were their own.  I think the person taking the photos was taking them from others as well, I’m not totally sure, but still, if you knew someone who was doing this, what would you do?

D asked me, but I didn’t really know what to say, so I thought I would ask you and see what you would do.  Maybe give D some ideas on how to stop this person from stealing photos and pretending they own them.

LeanneCole-city-20131107-0165When do the images belong to me?  Follow up.

I got emails back from the State Library of Victoria and the Block Arcade.  The first building is a publicly owned building, belongs to the State Library of Victoria, and the other is privately owned.

The State Library of Victoria have pretty much said the same as what we would expect.  That amateurs are allowed to go and take photos, in most parts of the building, there are some that are off limits.  You can photograph the building, but you cannot photograph the library patrons.  I assume if people are in the images, but not the subject, then that is probably okay.

There is a photography policy and this is what was sent to me:

The policy states:
3.2.3 Cameras and video equipment: Library spaces and buildings
Permission is not required for non-commercial or private photography within the public areas of the Library building but:
• photography of other users is not permitted
• permission from the marketing and communications manager is required for photography in the Keith Murdoch Gallery
• the marketing and communications manager, media coordinator or venue manager should be contacted if the photography is for commercial or public relations purposes. There may be a supervision fee and commercial use is subject to a reproduction fee.
All photographic or other equipment carrying bags must be presented for security inspection when leaving the Library.

LeanneCole-city-20131207-5412The Block  Arcade also has similar restrictions.  It is a privately owned building and therefore they have a lot more restrictions in place about taking photos of it.

Here is part of the email they sent me:

The Block is a privately owned heritage arcade, we are thrilled that tourists visit us on a daily basis and they take photographs for their own
“memories purposes”.

However, we do reserve the right ourselves to the commercial use of Block
Arcade images in conjunction with our retailers e.g. Card & Caboodle.  A
variety of cards and postcards and tea towels have been produced over the
years via this arrangement.

It is such a difficult thing to work out, and I think when I wrote the original post on this I stated that it really is up to you to find out what is and isn’t allowed.  When you can and can’t sell photos of places is so different for each different building.

The one thing I haven’t been able to work out is if there is a difference between using an image for art, or to sell to people to hang on their walls and for using an image for commercial purposes.  So many people think that they are different.  I need to find this out, perhaps that can be my next challenge.

One on One Photography Lessons

Yarra River Bridge looking at Southbank

Yarra River Bridge looking at Southbank

I have been working on  my One on One Photography Lessons and getting them ready to start advertising more.  I really want to push them.

I thought I could offer them as either one 4 hour session, or one 8 hour session that can be broken up into two 4 hour sessions.  I would love to do more of these.  I thought people who might be interested in doing them would be people who want to learn photography, but I also thought that people who want to get good photos of Melbourne when they visit could get me to help them get those images.  Of course, I know Melbourne fairly well.

I like this idea,  so am working on webpage and hopefully can start advertising them.  That will be the next thing, how to advertise them when you don’t really have any money.

Enough of the little things, enjoy your day.

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107 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    If it were me I would state copyright law to them and possible consequences of infringement. Are you or this person ready to back this up?

    February 5, 2014
    • It isn’t me Jackie, but I think that D would appreciate this. I think that is a question for her.
      You sound so serious. Nice.

      February 5, 2014
      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

        Well, if you just tell them to stop, I doubt that will do anything. As with children, I don’t think it’s a good idea to “threaten” something unless you are ready to back it up with actions.

        I volunteer on a website where we post photos of gravestones and sometimes this comes up. About 800 of us have discussed it in depth about people who “lift” photos without asking and it is copyright infringement. I state on my ID page that I share freely but it isn’t WordPress. There are people who wrongly believe that once a person puts a photo online that it is free for the taking.

        It could help to have a statement or declaration on each webpage that taking a copy of photographs from the webpage is copyright infringement. Photographs, like written material, belong to the person who created them.

        February 5, 2014
      • I agree with everything you have said Jackie, sometimes you have to be blunt and just say it. I have some copyright info on my blog, I should put it on my website as well.

        February 5, 2014
  2. i’m sorry to hear that, it is truly their loss. you are one of the most well spoken and talented photographers i’ve ever seen – beth

    February 5, 2014
    • Thank you Beth, that is such a lovely thing to say, it is good to know that people like what I write.

      February 5, 2014
    • I agree with Beth!

      February 5, 2014
  3. Leanne, I like the title of your post, and I agree…sometimes there are too many things. There are times I think I have a split personality. I become angry that photographers.com didn’t respond to your emails, and incensed that someone stole a photograph from a fellow blogger. Yet I feel an acceptance that we can’t control so many things. We live in a world where we all put everything “out there.” The rules become blurred. At the end of the day, everyone has to live with the consequences of their actions. This will mean something to some people, nothing to others. The kindness we show to others is what is important, and is something that you do everyday through your encouragement of fellow bloggers. I think it will make a difference! (I Hope this made sense!)

    February 5, 2014
    • I have to admit that the lack of response upset me a little too, I can understand if they don’t want me to write for them, but it would have been nice for them to tell me. I don’t know what is happening there. I agree with you are saying, some care, some don’t. We do live in a very me world. Thank you so much, that is so nice of you to say. Yes, you made a lot of sense.

      February 5, 2014
  4. lensaddiction #

    If the person taking the images is posting them in a public forum and claiming them then I would publically post that they were stealing the images. I would also start watermarking my images with something obvious like “SOMEONE IS STEALING MY IMAGES SO UNTIL THEY STOP I HAVE TO DO THIS” and see if they get the point

    I had someone doing it to my images and I confronted them in email and they replied that they had the right to help themselves to any images on the internet – ie if they were on the net then they felt they had the right to steal them.

    My images were posted on Flickr and they were linking directly to them so I turned all the images upside down (they were stealing 5 specific images) and I also complained to Flickr who were hopeless. In the end I found out a way to stop the theif using the API that they were using and then it stopped.

    No point being nice about it, a thief is a thief!

    February 5, 2014
    • I think that is a great idea, and watermarking them is a really good idea too.

      OMG I can’t believe that person actually said that to you, I wonder if he would feel the same way if you got the lawyers involved.

      What is the API? I haven’t heard of that.
      No there is no point, stealing is stealing.
      Great points Stacey, thank you.

      February 5, 2014
      • lensaddiction #

        An API is essentially an app that ties into the code Flickr is written in and allows them to create macros to search for and link to and lay claim to images. Someone sent me a link to the page that is on Flickrs own website as to what it is and where you can turn off the ability for people to do it to your images (its in the settings under your profile but not obvious what it is or where it is)

        Im not entirely sure if it was the fixing the API thing or turning the images upside down that solved the problem cos I did it at the same time but I stopped getting the massive no of views per day on each image. I have another kitten one that is showing symptoms of being linked to as well but I can’t track where its coming from so I have given up caring :)

        And yes some people genuinely think if an image is online they can do whatever they want with it, they have no idea about copyright and what it means. Thats a lot of the problem with image theft, its not malicious, people are just completely clueless!

        February 5, 2014
      • Wow that sounds really cool, I’ve never used Flickr. I might have to look into it now.
        I love that you turned the images up side down, how funny. Oh please don’t give up, then they win. Maybe you can write on the image something like, if you aren’t viewing this image on (whatever the site is) then this image has been stolen.
        I try to educate people about copyright as much as I can, but unfortunately the people who come to my site already know most of the time.

        February 5, 2014
      • lensaddiction #

        Yes I did put on the image description why they were upside down, it took about 3-4 days and then all the traffic disappeared

        I like Flickr, it is a good way to showcase your images without the limitations of Facebook and when you need to put images on your blog you can link directly rather than having to upload to your WordPress site. Happy to discuss in email further if you want more detail. I have been on Flickr since Sept 2006 :)

        You would be surprised what people don’t know about copyright, as a photographer I had to learn a lot more about how it applies to people shot in different environments, public buildings and spaces arent quite as simple as you expect and it also varies a lot from country to country. Is an important topic and should be discussed as its relevant to any photographer intending on serious competition or making money through their work.

        February 5, 2014
      • I have a website with a photocart that I got when I was doing the cycling, now there isn’t much on it, but it is a good place to show my work.

        Actually I wouldn’t be surprised, I have seen it so many times, when I was photographing kids on bikes, I used to get it all the time, kids who thought that it was fine to take the photos. I am finding out about a lot of that now, nothing is ever as simple as you would think.
        I have discussed it here from time to time, though I can really only talk about copyright rules for Australia. It can be so different from each country.

        February 5, 2014
  5. Leanne, I am with Beth and am stunned that these people would let you go with all the knowledge you have. I am really sorry for your loss.

    As for people stealing images. I’ve had it happen to me only my words. Since this happened, it took a long time for me to feel confident about my writing and I still am shaky some days. So emotionally, it does carry a whallop, and (D) my sympathies are truly with you.

    As for what to do. I would contact that person, and tell them I was ready to take lawful action. As long as I have a record that those are my photographs (which I do and I would hope you do, (D)), then the proof would be on your side. The thieves have no way of proving that the photos are theirs because they do not have the stats on them, as you would.

    To have someone do this is unthinkable and rotten to the core. I don’t know specifics in legalities, but I would seek counsel from whomever and wherever I could obtain it in order to pursue putting a wrong back to a right.

    (D) I hope this helped. My heart really goes out to you because I know how deep a betrayal can and does go. I really hope you can straighten this out, and have people more then willing to help you as well. ~Amy~

    February 5, 2014
    • Yeah, it is disppointing, I just wish I knew what had happened, it was strange not getting any response from my emails. Oh well.

      I remember you telling me about this, it would be hard to come to terms with.

      Yes, threatening legal action can be a great thing, but as Jackie said we have to be prepared to go through with it. I don’t know if there are organisations that you can belong too that will help you fight this sort of thing, must look into that.

      Thank you Amy, I am sure this will help D.

      February 5, 2014
      • Leanne, what just came to me as I read your response is this: You are planning on putting NEW into your life with your classes. Perhaps this letting go experience was needed in order for this NEW to happen. Just a thought. Love, Amy

        February 6, 2014
      • Yes maybe Amy, I really want to do the one on one, and think they will be a great way to teach. So yes, new things are happening. Thank you, it is a wonderful thought, all smiles here. :)

        February 6, 2014
  6. may there be clarity and ease for you
    one mindful breath at a time!
    you’re always welcome to take my picture
    no fee, no copyright, no problem :-)

    February 5, 2014
    • I’m afraid I’m not that generous with my images. Thanks

      February 5, 2014
      • i don’t blame you.
        you can take a picture of me,
        but not take my pictures :-)

        February 5, 2014
      • Exactly,

        February 5, 2014
  7. lightaustralisphoto #

    Whilst I think it is near impossible to stop anyone stealing your photos, there are things that can be done to deter and perhaps scare the less savvy away. One thing I use on my blog site and also my facebook site is a licensing statement, link here: http://lightaustralisphoto.wordpress.com/creative_commons_license/
    I use the link on all posts I make and hope it will give me a legal stance should this ever happen to me.

    February 5, 2014
    • I think in Australia, if you took the image, then you own the copyright, unless you took it for a customer, then it is different. I don’t register my images, but I wouldn’t have any trouble proving they were mine, if I had too. Unfortunately there are people out there that think taking images from the internet is just fine. If it is on the internet then it must be free. So sad really, kids are the worse. Thank you.

      February 5, 2014
  8. What if each time you posted an image it contained our unique thumbprint of sorts…some sort of data that’s embedded and what if a service existed that you could pay for to scan the Internet for such images. Wait….doesn’t that exist already?? And more importantly, beautiful, rich photos!

    February 5, 2014
    • I love it Laura and yes there are ways of telling if some one does, it can be time consuming though. Thank you.

      February 5, 2014
  9. Great post, Leanne. And great responses from your community.

    I don’t know why some people think it’s okay to not respond to people.

    You did a great job there! You always do a great job, with everything you do. It’s their loss as Beth said.

    Regarding taking photos, you have to assert copyright. It is happening with books too. My publisher gave us a letter to use to send to the sites to get them to take it down. So far I haven’t found mine pirated though, so I haven’t had to use the letter.

    February 5, 2014
    • I know what you mean, I hate it when people don’t respond to emails. That reminds me, I have to send one to you.
      Thank you so much, perhaps it is time to move on, try some new things.
      That is a great idea, I think we do have to assert ourselves, in the end they only get away with it if we let them.

      February 5, 2014
  10. Leanne, I joined your blog less than a year ago and as I mentioned then, I was attracted to the idea of seeing images of Melbourne and Victoria. Also, I was curious to follow someone with energy and passionate about having a blog site. Reading the blog above I have one suggestion. But first let me say. I have had great trouble keeping up with your posts. Desiring to read them at leisure and valuing them as I do, I have stored them, but they are like rabbits! So my suggestion is: feel the quality, mind the width. Or in plain words slow down and post once a week and make it a killer with your curated gorgeous always interesting images. Power to you….Mark in Sydney

    February 5, 2014
    • I could do that Mark, then again, many others would be disappointed. I like posting almost everyday because it keeps me motivated, I found when I didn’t do that, I would stop posting. I don’t have a problem with people not keeping up, it happens, and some people only come and read some posts. Then again, it could be a lot worse, some people do about 30 posts a day. Thanks Mark.

      February 5, 2014
  11. Always an emotive topic! I co-moderate a photography forum on G+. One of the tasks of the mods is to sniff out breaches of copyright. If we find ‘lifted’ material we warn and remove then if someone reoffends we ban them. There are 2 very good tools for identifying images that don’t belong to the poster – Google’s own reverse image search and something called TinEye. Both are available as extensions for Chrome. I just right click and select Tineye and it tells me what it finds. Also check whether you have properly protected your images on sites like Flickr. My images are posted under a creative commons licence – they are freely available subject to 1) attribution 2) non-commercial use and 3) no derivatives (i.e. they can’t alter the image). This allows charities and researchers to use the images but not people trying to make a buck. If I found someone breaching my terms I would not hesitate to name and shame providing I was 100% certain of the facts. There has been an unpleasant incident with a lady on G+ recently. She had developed a good following and took excellent pictures. Until someone recognised one and showed the matching images, one of which I think was even on NatGeo. Vitriol and bile was heaped on her accusers but most people just blocked her. The evidence was overwhelming. Sooner or later people get found out. Their moment in the sun passes and with luck they get rained on hard. It is worth doing periodic test searches on your own images to see whether they show up elsewhere. It is so easy.

    February 5, 2014
    • Some great advice there Andrew. Thanks for the tips on finding your images. I have been lucky so far and haven’t ever found any of mine being used without my permission. I think I would confront the person though. I would tell them to take it down. I don’t know why people think it necessary to steal and then claim they did them. We live in a weird world.

      February 5, 2014
  12. Good grief how complicated and how rude of Photographers.com.au not to let you know either way!

    February 5, 2014
    • It is so strange, I have no idea what happened, the last time I heard from him, before Christmas he seemed very excited, and then I never heard from him again.

      February 5, 2014
  13. Hi Leanne,

    The photostealers tumblr http://stopstealingphotos.com/ outs people who put their name on others work. Sadly, some of them are quite unapologetic about it.

    With photographers.com.au, I wold not be surprised if they invited you on board to attract your followers into subscribing (I know I did). I would look at it as a valuable learning experience and move on.

    All the best with whatever is next

    Andrew

    February 5, 2014
    • I think that is a great idea, I think there should be more things like that. I think a lot of people just don’t think that it is wrong.

      I have no idea what is happening with that site, I can’t get any response, and I have tried a few times. I am quite concerned. Mainly because I paid money to be on it.

      Thank you Andrew, new things are happening.

      February 5, 2014
      • Ouch Leanne. I did not realise you had handed money to these people. My first thought is to look at the agreement between you and the sight and if you did not receive what you paid for, you may have some rights to at least a partial refund. Consumer affairs Victoria may be able to assist with this. While you are not getting any email, there are other ways to locate them. A domain name search should provide more information.

        February 6, 2014
      • Well the site is still doing what I paid it to do, but I won’t be renewing. I was getting paid to write the blog posts, so that is something. I haven’t got much work from the site, and really don’t think it would be worth doing again. I have just paid to get my one on one photography lessons onto the Tourism Victoria website, which I am happy about, might see if I can get them onto some other sites as well. Thanks

        February 6, 2014
  14. Let’s face it there is very little you can do if someone decides to steal your work…..that’s sort of the risk you take when you share stuff on the internet.

    February 5, 2014
    • No not a lot, but we can keep educating people and letting people know it is wrong. Thanks Mark.

      February 5, 2014
      • Oh don’t get me wrong Leanne I think it’s very important that we keep educating people, that’s why I have copyright notices all over my site, but sadly there will always be unscrupulous individuals who just don’t care….and against those we are pretty helpless…..other than the protective measures you outlined the other day. Did you get my reply to your email btw?

        February 6, 2014
      • Yes, it is sad that those people will always be there. Oh yes, I did get the reply, thank you for reminding me, I will go and respond now.

        February 6, 2014
  15. Stealing images is very rude, and it is much going on! It is hard and what can we really do about it. :(

    February 5, 2014
    • I think letting people know that it is wrong, many people know but don’t care, there needs to be more, like WordPress closing down blogs where people are shown to have stolen images. I try to be very careful about it now.

      February 5, 2014
      • yes that is good that they are closing blogs! Just today heard about 2 cases, where stolen images has been on some magazines… :(

        February 6, 2014
      • Are they, really, that is great. It would be good if WordPress paid more attention to this.

        February 6, 2014
  16. Sorry to hear that they aren’t responding to you. I never like it when my emails go unacknowledged too. I’ve sent out redrafted writing pieces to publications and I just never hear back, it’s frustrating.

    I’ve never had anyone steal my photos before (I don’t think my images are that good anyway). Someone once asked me if I was afraid that others would steal them. I responded yes, but I just hope that people are nice and don’t.

    Take care this week ahead – it’s going to be a hot one again. And I still remember we were all complaining how cold summer was back in December :)

    February 5, 2014
    • I know, how rude is it. I had a company recently that didn’t respond to me, so I told them that if they are going to be silent with me, then I will be silent about them, I was mentioning them a few times on my blog, but I refuse to talk about them now. How hard is it to respond and say, thanks, but not thanks. It would be so much more polite.

      I haven’t had it happen to me, that I am aware of. I hope it hasn’t happened, I think it probably has, but I haven’t found anything. People just take them, unfortunately, there is a mentality that if it is on the internet then it must be free.

      We got a new air conditioner, so looking forward to testing it out this weekend, hopefully it will work a lot better. You take care too, stay indoors. I was thinking back to December earlier to day too and thinking the same thing.

      February 5, 2014
      • So sorry to hear about that too! The very least they could do was shoot you a very quick acknowledgement email of sorts. Maybe some people don’t take blogging seriously, or an online blog profile seriously. In this digital age, personally I think this is a very silly thought.

        I think I will start being more careful with my images since I do put considerably thought into what makes it on my blog (I am trying!).

        I hope your new air conditioner doesn’t let you down :)

        February 5, 2014
      • It would have been nice, it is just so confusing, I don’t understand what has happened. I thought they liked what I was doing.

        It is good to be careful, you should still post them, but make sure they are small files and it can’t hurt to watermark them. Limit what they can go with the images.

        I think the new one should be brilliant, can’t wait, OMG did I just say that, haha. :)

        February 5, 2014
  17. Copyright infringement? Get at them with the full force of the law, sue them until they bleed. Otherwise, everybody will keep on thinking ‘Oh, it’s on the internet, let’s just use it because it must be free.’

    I have a no-nonsense copyright statement going with everything I publish and everybody who violates my copyright gets a message from my lawyer (maximum license fee, damages, the whole works)

    February 5, 2014
    • I have admit that it probably is the only way of doing it. It would be good if organisations that we belonged to could back us up so if you find someone with your image you could send them something that would let the person know you mean business and have someone behind you.

      I like that, I might have to look into that, though I haven’t found anything that has been stolen yet. I might have to get a lawyer. Thank you Johann, you have some sound advice here.

      February 5, 2014
  18. There is an interesting post on this here: http://aperture64.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/being-infringed/

    February 5, 2014
    • Thanks Noeline, I am sure many will find this interesting.

      February 5, 2014
  19. Professional courtesy demands that they answer your emails. If they don’t, it’s impossible to tell why. Unfortunately, it does no good to heap vitriolics at them, as satisfying as it is to the ego. You just have to move on and trust that something better will come up.

    Meanwhile, you might want to make a portfolio of your work and post it as a separate page on your blog. You may not be able to sell the images you took for Photographers.com.au, but there should be nothing to stop you from displaying them.

    You can also create a separate page for any photos you think would be salable.

    Also, if you’re thinking of charging for your photography classes, you might want to consider that there’s so much good, quality free stuff already on the Internet on the art of photography, Digital Photography school is one such that I subscribe to, although I haven’t looked at anything in ages. I still get their emails. Not sure where you intend to go with this, as it wasn’t clear in your post.

    You got to much talent to let go to waste. Surely there’s something you can do. Best wishes and good luck. :)

    February 5, 2014
    • I would have thought the same, there are so many companies that do exactly the same thing, you never hear from them. It is disappointing. Well I don’t think I have heaped anything at them, I am just confused.

      The images I had on the posts were mine and didn’t belong to them, so no issue there.

      I have a website for all that sort of thing, somewhere to showcase my work.

      The idea of the classes I am talking about is actually meeting people and teaching them individually how to use their camera, many people take classes to do it, so what I want to do is more individual. I have had some interest in it, so it will be good to go in the that direction.

      Thank you so much Cris, that is a lovely things to say.

      February 5, 2014
      • I wasn’t accusing you of throwing vitriolics at them, only meaning in general. If I were there, I’d go to your classes. :) Actually, I’ve not had enough focus to actually sit down and go over the manual that came with my little point-and-shoot, which is quite extensive, actually. I have a hard time remembering it when I do read it. I’ve always had memory problems. That’s probably why I usually set my camera on auto. I used to be better when I had a film SLR, but all that equipment got stolen by some druggies. :(

        February 5, 2014
      • I tried to be careful about what I said, I think it be bad if you aren’t. I just don’t understand.
        Reading the manual is always a good start, then it is about just using it, no one ever remembers everything, I tell people to read it as far as knowing what it does, then one day you might say, I want to do, whatever, but you will remember that the camera can do it, so you can go and read about it. What a shame to have your camera stolen, that is terrible.

        February 6, 2014
      • Always appreciative of your comments and your artwork. :)

        February 6, 2014
      • I feel the same way, thank you. :)

        February 6, 2014
      • :)

        February 7, 2014
  20. Well it is certainly Photographers.com.au’s loss. Actually, I don’t know how you keep up with all the things you do on social/web media – I barely have time to do my one a day posts and I keep my verbiage to a minimum (usually) :-)
    There is a subtle point in commercial work vs art work – I can see their objections if you are using their building to promote a product, but as a piece of art – then I feel this is a different matter.
    Regarding the theft of images – I guess I’d need more information on just how D knows the person – but a letter threatening legal action from an attorney/solicitor should be enough to strike fear in the person doing the theft.
    Little thing add up…thanks Leanne!

    February 5, 2014
    • I have a routine going Robert, haha. I do what I can, but sometimes I think it isn’t enough.
      That is what I would have thought to about art images, but I am not sure. I should send them emails and see what the different places say about it. What exactly is commercial work? I might do that.
      I think that is a great idea for D as well, and something she should consider. I don’t know how well she knows the person either.
      They certainly do, thank you Robert.

      February 6, 2014
  21. How rude & unprofessional for them not to respond. Well – their loss…
    About the “thieves” in this world – Yes – they make me angry taking what’s not theirs. But – in the end – it’s their misery. I know it goes a whole other level when someone does this for a living. And – I hope people can suggest things to those who could use the tips/suggestions for safeguarding their photos.
    {Hugs}

    February 5, 2014
    • Thank you RoSy, I am just not sure what happened, it is very strange. Lots of people have made many suggestions and I hope D can find a solution to her problem.

      February 6, 2014
  22. You’ve opened Pandora’s Box, and in a good way. It’s a huge issue and complicated one–one that does concern me. I do believe that people download my images. In fact, one person (who I know) told me after the fact. We open ourselves to the human condition’s assest and liabilities when we place our photographs into cyberspace. Speaking of cyberspace, yet another subject to investigate is the number of cyberspace lawyers who are working for companies to sue people who use images. Bloggers pull images off the Internet to use in their posts. I was doing that from Google Images to show examples of say an architect’s work, and now I doubt that I will do that. Just place a link to show the example. We need some sort of cyberspace policy to protect us. If one decides to place a photograph on the internet, I suppose there is a line of thinking that says: we open ourselves to the miracles and pitfalls of technology. I wish that WordPress would protect its users. My sincere thanks to you for creating this dialogue about a serious issue.

    February 5, 2014
    • It is a Pandora’s Box for sure. I don’t know the answers, can’t even pretend to, but it would be nice if there was a way of protecting ourselves, even if WordPress shut people down who do it. When I started doing my Influencing Me posts I was getting images from the internet, then I started to worry that I would get into trouble, which is why I started doing the Introductions, I would get permission to use the images. I still use images for some posts, but I try to use ones where the copyright would have run out, like old paintings. It is scary, but hopefully something can be done to stop people from taking the images and saying they took them.
      Thank you Sally.

      February 6, 2014
  23. Just recently, I’ve started adding a well-camouflaged watermark to my images posted on the Web. While not readily visible, should an image of mine be stolen and the visible watermark removed, I have the hidden watermark to fall back on should ownership ever be contested. An example would be placing my copyright in a stand of grass using the same shade of green, but setting the opacity just a smidge lower than the surroundings. It’s not really visible to the naked eye as-is, but if you enlarge the image and know what to look for, it’ll be just visible enough to support your ownership argument.

    Love your blog, Leanne.

    — Earl Harris

    http://shutteratthethought.com

    February 6, 2014
    • That is a great idea, I do the same on some of my images, try to blend it into the image, though I hope that if it came to a dispute, me having the original raw image, having the psd for it and the full size res image, and the other person only having a low res copy, that would more than prove it was my image. I can prove providence, is that the right work? I think we have to do what we can, and what you are doing is a great idea Earl.
      Thank you, that is always good to hear.
      PS I am going to have to go and see if I can find that watermark now.

      February 6, 2014
      • You are spot on about having the original RAW file to substantiate ownership, but I am hoping it may be persuasive letting the thief know that you can prove ownership of the exact image they have on their site.
        I enjoyed this post on your blog, as always.

        February 6, 2014
      • That is true, though as Jackie said we have to be prepared to back ourselves up. I’m glad it hasn’t come to that yet, and I haven’t had to worry about that sort of thing.
        That is great Earl, thank you. Oh, I couldn’t find the watermark, very clever.

        February 6, 2014
  24. I reduce the size of my photos right down to the smallest I can so that even if people take them, they are no good for being reproduced or printed. I also watermark them, but that can be cropped out.

    It is disappointing if the site doesn’t want any more of your posts, but it is just downright rude not to respond to emails. Maybe there is a circumstance you don’t know about yet. I’m hoping that’s what it is.

    February 6, 2014
    • That is pretty much what I do too Carol. Reduce what they can do with the image.

      It is so disappointing. I don’t understand what has happened, the last email I got from him he was talking about giving me more responsibility. I am hoping, as you said that there is some circumstance that I don’t know about, but to be honest, not sure that there is. I even tried messaging his brother, and got nothing back. My biggest concern is that they have another website business that has taken off and the photographers one is going to the wayside, which isn’t fair, I paid over $300 to be part of that, so what happens to me. Nothing has changed on the site for long time.

      February 6, 2014
      • That does sound weird. I hope they haven’t had some sort of family disaster that you don’t know about.

        February 6, 2014
      • I’ve been thinking the same Carol, I don’t know what to think. It is hard when you can’t seem to make contact.

        February 7, 2014
  25. Note to D,
    If I were D I wouldn’t put my pictures where somebody can get at them.
    If that is inconvenient then I would have to agree with Johann Brandstätter in saying find out who is “stealing” them and sue them for copyright infringements.
    Although, you could also send them an email saying, “I know that my pictures are tempting to steal but I would appreciate it if you gave me credit for them and not put your name on them so I don’t have to sue you. If your making a profit off of them then I would also appreciate a small percent (35% for being the photographer) of the income.” Or something to that effect.

    February 6, 2014
    • They are really great ideas, I hope she reads this and sees this.
      Thank you for saying this.

      February 6, 2014
  26. :-)

    February 6, 2014
  27. I’ve always been told that using it as ART and NOT selling it or making money off of it in any way is okay…. I always try to give artists or photographers credit with links to all their other sites, but there are a million pictures out there on the internet where someone has taken a picture, painting, etc. from someone else and then do something to change it and then say it’s theirs. I don’t agree with this, but it’s so prevalent, that you can’t always know if they are the original artist or not. Lots of Royo, Nene Thomas, Jessica Galbraith as artists whose work I just happen to know is theirs and yet someone else is claiming it. Posting stuff on the internet is difficult (my opinion) cuz people CAN and often do steal not only pictures, but writings, poetry, etc. yet if they didn’t post the original out there to be seen, it would really down grade their chances of “being seen” or becoming known. (Still love your work!) and if I saw my stuff out there I’d confront them about it and ask, but luckily no one would want any of my stuff… LOL :D

    February 6, 2014
    • But what if you frame it for an exhibition and sell it, it is art, you have sold it as art, and you aren’t selling it with a product or using it for commercial purposes? That’s the bit I am unsure of. I know I can put photos of pretty much anything on my blog, it is considered my own personal use. I don’t agree with the appropriation of others artwork and then making it your own, that is wrong and illegal, as it turns out. YOu might be surprised Keli, great points there, it has been a great discussion this one, and so glad so many people want to say something. Thank you so much. :)

      February 6, 2014
      • Well, if it’s any help, my daughter-in-law paints, frames them sometimes, sometimes not, but goes to shows and sells them. Since you are the one who took the photo, and framed it, I would think that if you sold it that would be fine. It’s not like you trying to sell and make money off of other peoples work. If that makes sense. :D

        February 7, 2014
      • It is interesting, as people seem to view painting as something different. I will have to see about this, I need to do some emails. It does make sense, but then money is still being made. MMM, okay I’m off to send more emails. Thanks Keli

        February 7, 2014
  28. Prohibitions on security grounds are understandable, but I often wonder what actually enforceable rights people have over images of their property. Not many, I would think, or most paparazzi would be sued out of business.

    February 6, 2014
    • That is true, I don’t really know, I have never been in a situation where it might have been a problem. Good thought though, thanks.

      February 6, 2014
  29. Impressive architecture!

    February 6, 2014
  30. Mel #

    hat’s a shame because I find your posts so very helpful.

    February 6, 2014
    • Thank you Mel, though I will probably just put the posts that I would write for them here. So you can still get them.

      February 7, 2014
  31. About how to tell others not to steal images. I saw someone using an interesting tactic as follows:

    X has stolen a picture from Y and posted it to his public Facebook page. Y knew it and he posted his original picture as a comment on that post and said, “Hey, your picture looks 99% the same as mine! Have we actually met when we took the pictures?”

    Guess what? X promptly issued an apology and credited Y for his work. :)

    February 7, 2014
    • Brilliant Billy, I love that, wish you could do that with WordPress. Thank you.:)

      February 7, 2014
  32. Reblogged this on Emmmyjay's Excellent Adventures and commented:
    I post photographic images on this blog,, as well as at http://www.IrishCustomTours.com, that are my, copyrighted intellectual property. These are for your enjoyment and contemplation, however, not for your commercial use or financial gain. Please respect me, and all other bloggers/[posters/photographers/writers, etc. If you wish to duplicate any of my work for any use, PLEASE contact me first. As always, I am grateful for your consideration and attention.

    With thanks to @LeanneColePhotography for this post.

    February 7, 2014
  33. How to stop one from stealing content?

    There’s one service (free) called copyrighted.com that allows you to copyright protect your work product, whether it be photowork, blog content, etc., on the web. The other part is that an up-to-date web browser permits any user to download a whole webpage. It doesn’t matter if you coded a page to prevent right clicking, or have disabled downloading capability on photo sharing sites like Flickr. While it helps to include metadata (EXIF) with your photos, it doesn’t prevent someone from altering the data. Most thieves likely will not alter or delete metadata if they are prolific in their thefts. As for legal recourse, like suing the thief, you need to be willing to incur legal fees and know the recovery of damages is likely. It helps if the thief is earning substantially from the stolen work to recover damages. The best approach has always been limiting the size of an image posted to the web, nothing bigger than 850-875 pixels on the longest edge. Resolution doesn’t matter as much, because the image quality will degrade rapidly as the size is increased. Doesn’t matter if the image is 72 dpi or 300 dpi. I did this experiment myself.

    As Elisa noted above, everything is out there on the web. As a consequence, it’s changed how the copyright protection is perceived. A few weeks ago, a blog follower had right-clicked a photo that showed my daughter hugging her horse and implied as much she was going to print it. I had no idea if her purpose was for personal use, exhibition, or to sell. I’d like to be asked before anyone would save a photo, especially if it involves my kids. If the purpose was for exhibition, licensing is required. For sale purposes, the answer is no. If it is meant to sit on her desk, ask and I would’ve given permission.

    February 7, 2014
    • I got rid of the bit at the top, not necessary, I hope that is okay.

      I think that is great, you answered some of my questions here and I am so glad that I post images smaller than what you suggested. I didn’t really know about the 72 dpi verses 300 dpi, so I won’t worry about that any more. I think what you said about suing people is true, it will cost money and you have to be prepared for that. There are avenues on the internet I think though, depending where they have the images.

      I like to be asked as well, I don’t think that is too hard. I often give fellow bloggers permission to use an image for the purpose of using it for writing, or something like that, with the idea that I will be given credit for the image. I make that a must. I hope that the images I put on the internet are only good for the internet, so I should be able to find them if people are using them.
      Thank you David, some great advice there.

      February 7, 2014
  34. Sorry I missed this yesterday. All outdoor concerts in Ottawa, Canada have rules against cameras with removable lens! In short my days of outdoor concert photography have come to a halt! Ostensibly this is because we are there to hear music, but its really because the musicians want to own their image and have no idea about cameras.

    February 7, 2014
    • I love the last part of your statement there Victor, I think that is the real reason here. So weird, you would think people putting photos on the internet would be great for them. You would think they could put the same restrictions on themselves as buildings, you can take photos for your own enjoyment, but you can’t use them for commercial purposes. I think they are missing the point and missing out. Thanks Victor.

      February 7, 2014
  35. isidorocgomez #

    Reblogged this on ISIDORO C. GOMEZ.

    February 8, 2014
  36. We have the same problem with writing books and our books being offered for free downloads from despicable sites. One of the worst sites is now offering to carry the authors’ books, with the announcement that they will stop allowing free downloads of the author’s work on their site–the caveat is that if they can make money off your book, they will disallow the free downloads, but if you don’t sign up with them?

    I’m certain some have “shared” my photography as well. A good friend has had her photography of Scotland stolen to be shared on other author sites as if they took the photos themselves. When I buy stock photography and create pictures, I put enough of a claim on it to hopefully avoid theft of the pieces since I am responsible for their further use, such as my website and sometimes I’ll add my book covers on them, so if they’re shared, everyone will know they belong to me. But in your case, you don’t want to ruin your beautiful photography. It’s an ongoing battle with those who feel the right to steal and to make money or status off it.

    February 15, 2014
    • That sounds like extortion, or something similar. Do you get a choice if they carry your book or not? It just doesn’t seem right does it?
      It really is an ongoing battle, it is hard to know what to do. I keep hoping that if I write posts about it, then people will start to understand and that education is a good way to get the word out, but some people just don’t get it. Good luck and thank you for sharing your experiences.

      February 16, 2014
  37. Sadly, too many people assume if it’s out there on the internet, it’s free for the taking. A lot of my graphic artist friends will only post images if they’re watermarked (right across the image, not down in a corner, that’s too easy to crop away). Sites like tumblr only serve to encourage copying/stealing (there’s no way to stop someone from doing that there, even though they make reblogging with credit so much easier).

    I’m sorry you didn’t hear back from photographers.com.au – their loss, but that doesn’t make it easier to take.

    February 21, 2014
    • I have to say, I totally agree, people really do think like that, especially young people. I also agree about tumblr, and I think Pinterest is the same, it just encourages it.
      I am sorry too, but I will still write the posts that I would write for them, but just put them here.
      Thank you Gwynne

      February 21, 2014
  38. Thanks for yet another informative post on photography! Keep up the good work! Love your photos!

    February 27, 2014
    • No problem at all, I will do my best, thank you.

      February 27, 2014

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