Seeing red

As you do, when you wake up at 5am, I clicked on Hal.

Five am is a nuisance. It is too early to get up, but too late to go back to sleep before getting up at 6am.

I flicked onto comments.

‘Hi, borrowed one of your pictures …’

Borrowed? Give it back. Right now. Stolen more like.

Do I have © slapped all over my photos for some dimwit to ‘borrow’ my photos? Do I have a lengthy page of T&Cs to be ignored?

At 5am the roughseas were very turbulent, much to Partner’s annoyance.

‘Leave it alone, does it matter…?’

Yes, it does. Very much.

Mr Caswell received a reply to his on my blog.

I then wrote on the WP support forum and received some immediate and sensible advice. Thank you raincoaster and auxclass.

Next I posted on the borrower’s site, which I didn’t really want to do, but couldn’t resist offering him the choice of paying me for my photo or taking it down. Forthwith.

Given that he is in America, I generously gave him a few hours leeway.

Meanwhile back over on the WP forum, I was being advised to take out a DMCA immediately. This is where you report a breach of copyright under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to WP. So I did.

I am NOT flattered if someone steals my photos. They are mine. I have fairly clear T&Cs that say so.

I am not flattered if you steal my text either.

If you want anything I have created you pay for it, unless of course you are an animal sanctuary which is totally different. But otherwise, don’t steal my fucking work.

It’s not even as though I am the world’s best photographer for goodness’ sake. I copyright my photos out of principle. Not because I think anyone would steal them.

And yet they just have done. Not only that, but they were stupid enough to tell me they had done.

I looked up said blogger and discovered his main interest was God. Well, there’s a surprise. Hey mate, have you heard of the Ten Commandments? Thou shalt not steal, for example?

So basically, take your Ten Commandments, try abiding by them, and leave my photos alone. Thief.

Here is the photo in question.


Here is my response from WP, received after about five hours since I submitted the complaint:

Hi there,

Your DMCA Takedown Notice has been received and reviewed for completeness.

In accordance with the requirements set forth by the DMCA, we have disabled access to the material identified as infringing. Please note that we have notified the user who uploaded the material to provide them an opportunity to formally challenge this removal. If the user decides to submit a counter-notice you will be notified immediately.

Thank you,

91 comments on “Seeing red

    • Hey, you must know where I’m coming from with your background. If friends ie regular commenters wanted to use a pic with attribution, I would probably say yes. But for someone out of the blue to take one of my photos without even asking (I would have said no in this case) is, as you say, ridiculous, and downright rude.


  1. I hear you … loud and clear! What an awakening! What’s Hal, anyway? :)

    Glad that you got decent advice in WP forum. This has yet to happen to me. So far, I haven’t put anything at all on my photos, and have not stated any ToS …. guess, because I feel so insignificant LOL


    • I’m just amazed that someone took one of my photos! Go take your own photos. I don’t stick © over them for nothing. Hal is my Apple Mac laptop, I also have Hal desktop and Hal iPhones. So named because of 2001 A space odyssey where the computer called Hal malfunctions and tried to take over. My Hals tend to try and take over ;)

      The advice was very good. Brief, succinct and practical. I’ve read comments from one of them before and s/he doesn’t take prisoners, but has been unfailingly polite and helpful with me for what I suppose, is a pretty basic question.

      I did my T&Cs a while back. Everyone else seemed to have their copyright par stuck on the sidebar but I wanted to write something specific. Because of my journalism days I’m keen on asserting copyright anyway. Not because I think my photos are in any way worth nicking, I was also thinking about text, but it seems my photos aren’t that useless after all LOL.


  2. Can we safely say that you are pissed off with it???? [humour] I do not blame you, it so wrong for people to borrow[steal] a photo, especially without asking before hand. I do not know why people seem to think it is okay, after all that is why there is Shutterstock or Flickr to let people use pictures without any problem of copyright….But am happy to read that you chased it all up and seemed to get decent reply or support.. good luck with any finality. Update if any arises in the future…


    • You can indeed and there is no need for humour. I have been pissed off since 5am and remain so, however, not with anyone else. My rage and fury are directed at one person only (for today anyway).

      When I was part of a dogblogging circuit, it did go on quite often, but it was between people who knew each other, who linked back, and it wasn’t worth getting offended about.

      For someone I don’t know at all, to take my photo, and use it on their blog without even a credit is just unacceptable.

      I’ve not heard back from my official complaint apart from being assigned a number (what else?) so we’ll see. At the end of the day, I have a friend who is CEO of an internet company specialising in intellectual copyright, but I’m leaving him as a last resort. Mr Caswell stole from the wrong person, I tell you.


    • I would have thought not, although my answer would have been no, to someone I didn’t know, unless they wanted to pay. Nor does it take too long to browse around someone’s website to find out whether or not they are happy with someone stealing photos. In my case, I say I am not, and I would like a polite request before usage. It’s clearly stated, surprisingly, under T&Cs.

      Thank you for those hugs to calm me down :)


  3. I’m so flattered when someone steals my photos. I love my photos and it tickles me pink if other people get any kind of enjoyment out of them. That said, they’re not in demand. :)


        • I don’t blog for money. I wouldn’t call it for fun. But I enjoy doing it. You are confusing issues.

          1) Rationale for blogging
          2) payment
          3) theft.

          We all blog for our own reasons.

          If someone wants to use my work, they ask and I either refuse point blank, they pay me, or I allow them if they are nice people.

          When I have © on my photos it is there for a reason. My page of T&Cs is there for a reason. And that is, ‘do not take my photos or text without my permission’. Because that is theft. WordPress has now disabled the connection, so it would seem they agree with me.

          It is not photo praise. It is some idle fuckwit who has taken my photo, without my permission to enhance their blog. In what way is that praise? I don’t want praise. I want a polite request and/or money.

          I don’t need someone else to use my photos to make me feel good. In fact it makes me feel very bad. Very bad indeed.

          They weren’t nasty names. Is your knowledge of copyright as extensive as your knowledge of a/theism?


          • I have little knowledge of copyright and, to be honest, little knowledge of a/theism. I just write about things that cross my mind and put them with pictures I like. I’m not criticising your attitude towards your pictures, just expressing mine.


          • That’s fair enough. But saying you don’t care about copyright is like saying you don’t care about feminism/disability/LGBTQ/blacks/ethnic minorities/homeless/elderly etc etc. It doesn’t matter whether you are personally involved. A little thought, consideration, empathy and knowledge go a long way.


    • I am leaning towards an It. An American man who lists his first interest as God followed by his wife, sounds suspiciously to me like a very clear It.

      Whenever I read blogs I read two things. Firstly, because I am a nosy journo, I read the about page, assuming there is one. Then I read the copyright/T&C page in case I want to comment and there are rules (some of which are on the lines of Thou Shalt not Take the Name of Thy Lord in Vain, or words to that effect). When I’ve been asked to guest post (and didn’t) I always read the T&Cs before I even reply.

      How thick do you have to be to a) not read b) not think © on a photo is there for a reason and c) tell someone you have ‘borrowed’ aka stolen, their photo?


  4. Hey, whoa! You have a definite point and I’m glad I read your comments and responses. People shouldn’t assume that it’s “ok” to do anything they feel like with someone else’s property. It’s not. Too many people take the piss these days!

    Btw, roughseas, may I do a link to this post on my copyright page as an example of what may happen when (people take the piss) one does not abide by copyright? I would greatly appreciate it. :)


        • Thanks for the link back Kev. I’ll either update on here or put a new post with any updates re progress. So far Mr C has not replied to my polite comments or proffered the £100 I asked for :D


          • Did you notice my cleverness in the writing of linK and the picture having a chain…links and having your, link. Everything is linked to copyright…I bet most people don’t get it. Do you?


          • lmao. Sometimes I am. Haven’t been lately, but sometimes when I cannot sleep I’m up writing or blogging. Usually between the hours of 2 through to 5 or 6 by which time I’m either exhausted and go to bed for a couple of hours, or figure I may as well start the day and hope I’ll sleep the next night. I call it, the writer’s curse. Sounds like a good enough title. :)


    • Kev, sorry, bit distracted with food on the go :) Didn’t reply properly just to your request, apologies.

      I do think copyright is very important, and taking something without asking is stealing. Telling someone you have done that is really stupid!!

      But the DMCA seems to have worked :)


    • Well, it made no difference as he still took it! or rather found it on google and linked to it from there I suspect. I still think it is worth making the statement though, and you have some nice pix on your blog, those of Arles were gorgeous. It doesn’t take much time to slap © on your photos, and put up a statement somewhere on your blog about all your work being yours and if someone wants to use it, to ask. At least that way you have covered yourself and made it clear you don’t want your work stolen.


  5. Well, I suppose it WAS one big step better than simply nicking it without bothering to let you know. Easy enough to ask rather than tell, though.
    I’m afraid I have got rather lazy myself lately about quoting source when using pics from Wiki etc.
    I wonder a bit about this ‘Reblogging’ thing, too.. It certainly passes the credit back to the originator, and it can reflect genuine admiration, but at the same time it is often using someone else’s work to fancy up one’s own blog.


    • I couldn’t understand why he told me. How silly.

      Roughseas knocks on door of stately home.
      ‘Hello, I’ve just stolen your best silver, would you like to come and see it in the local shop where I’ve fenced it?’
      OK, it’s an extreme comparison, but the principle is the same.

      But your point is right. If he could manage to write a comment telling me, why not write one asking?
      Does re-using wiki pix matter? I rarely use pix other than my own, but I think on the odd occasion I have, that I have said they are from wiki or whereever. And a couple of friends sent me photos to use for my rescue animal post a while back.

      I’m ambivlaent about reblogging too. If people follow back the link and read the original I think it is ok. I’ve done it a handful of times. Mainly because if I have read something somewhere else that I want to post about, I want to give the credit, so a reblog is one way of doing that. According to my stats which I rarely read, I find that most people don’t follow up links, so at least a reblog does provide an idea of the post. Blogs made up of reblogs should be scrapped. If you don’t have an original thought in your head, you shouldn’t be blogging.


      • I do agree on the last point … I think.
        But then, I suppose it is valid to run a blog where one is showing a selection of selected posts. I remember a most popular blog I enjoyed visiting where all it consisted of was a daily cute picture traced on the web. Another gave a selection of news snippets one might not come across ordinarily. One could say that the tracing and selection process gave enough justification.


        • I think it depends how you do it. There are people who provide a weekly summary of useful links, I’ve read two good ones – one about blogging/computer/internet tips and another was a vegan blog summary of relevant world news. I find that a better way to do it than reblogs.

          I take your point, but I prefer some commentary from the blog owner. For example I read an interesting post the other week about Scott Ludlam, Aussie Green politician. The blog owner linked back to the original and provided some good text. Except it wasn’t his, he’d lifted it lock stock and barrel from the original blog. Either I was asleep (possible) or missed something, but to me it wasn’t clear that he had lifted the text. I don’t think it was an attempt to claim it as his, he just hadn’t clearly said – this is the full text of the blog I’m linking to, not my own words.


          • In short, be honest and be careful.
            In my early days of blogging I admired and exchanged lots of friendly and interesting comments with a poet.
            The shock when it transpired that all her poetry had been plagiarised was profound. She tried to wriggle, but the evidence of the earlier originals was irrefutable.


          • On the other hand, I was very cagey to begin with. I’m a bit more laid back now about it all – until someone takes my photos of course. Like you, I don’t use my name on my blogs, and actually enjoy having an alter ego (well more than one). I actually found FaceBook more of a pain than blogging, for the most part, the people I have met seem pretty straight.

            I’ve ditched a few people I followed, as I’m sure some have done the same with me. Not for lying, but you realise there is no commonality.


  6. It is common courtesy to request the use of someone else’s property, whatever it may be. The owner then has the choice to say yes or no.
    It appears, he finds it OK to take something without permission, but then by notifying you of this act he should be exonerated.
    I wonder how he’d feel if someone ‘borrowed’ his car, or tapped into his power supply without asking, which basically relates to the same thing.

    Hmm, I think I need to copyright my photos now too.


    • Haha. The car one is a good example. How many court cases have I sat through of TWOCs? ie cars taken without consent where the police couldn’t actually prove they intended to permanently steal the car rather than just joy riding. Except he had stolen my photo. Not borrowed it. Stupid word. I checked out his blog again and my really nice comment hasn’t appeared :D

      Yesterday, the photo had a missing link ? thanks to WP. Today it has gone totally and instead:

      (One picture removed by request—Copyrighted!)

      Cheeky bloody urchin. No he had not removed it by request. He was informed it was copyrighted and a blank square with a ? in it doesn’t look very good on a blog. So after that he clearly took it down. He hasn’t challenged my DMCA either. As if he would.

      What did he think the © stood for? Common usage? Looking at his blog again today, I notice that the vast majority of posts apart from his poor poems are reblogs. Colonialist mentioned reblogs up above in his comment, but a blog that is largely reblogs and STOLEN photos should be pulled IMO.

      Anyway, it was good of him to tell me he’d stolen it wasn’t it? :D I might keep an eye on him to see if he does it again though.

      I think you should because you have some cracking photos. And do yourself a T&Cs page or © page or whatever you want to call it. Or just stick it on the sidebar. If you want any help with wording, run it by me. It doesn’t have to be as wordy as mine – you can just say everything on here is copyrighted to me. Do not take my text or photos without my permission. Or something similar. If you want to threaten, you can tell them you will file a DMCA notice against them. Kev’s actually put a link back to this post on his copyright page to show what happens.


      • I noticed the square with a ? in yesterday had gone today.
        I’ve just read your T&C, there’s no way that could be mistaken for being allowed to take anything without asking.
        I will prob put something simple along the lines of what you have said above.


        • Yes the empty square didn’t do much for his post did it? :D I was browsing through to see if he had filched lots of photos, but the last couple of days seemed photo free … He does a lot of reblogs and someone on the forum suggested I report him for spam, but he also provides enough of his own ‘poetry’ to argue that one I suspect.

          The first par in my T&Cs is quite ironic given the circumstances now. I’d re-read them too before I filed the DMCA notice just to be doubly clear I hadn’t been ambiguous.

          I’m guessing he hadn’t even visited the blog initially. He must have found the pic on google, linked to it there, and then came to mine to tell me how lucky I was that he had borrowed it! Who cares, it’s down and done as far as I am concerned now.

          I think you should. I think everyone should but that’s another matter. And add a © to all our photos. If you don’t want to do the full watermarking thing for every photo, just do something like redhead’s tattoo above. It takes a couple of seconds. And if you are downsizing them anyway, why not add the ©?


          • I’ve found a bit of info on WP on the wording of copyright……..I assume I can use it without a problem.
            I batch process the size of my images in PS, as it saves doing them all singly, I wonder if I can do the same with a copyright sign, it would make it a lot easier.


          • If it’s standard WP advice then I would almost certainly think so.

            I think someone mentioned doing that on the thread I started in the support forum.

            Time Thief added some links about watermarking and one of them was a vid for PS I think, so maybe that might mention batch processing. I’ve not had time to look them up yet – playing with squeaky ball :D


  7. A decade or so ago I slogged my way through my share of the writing of a set of fairly progressive mathematics resources (I have co-authored around 40 and this series comprised 7 books). As author I got some freedom and, while I didn’t like everything about the series, was reasonably pleased in the end.
    In one particular province some buddies with buddies as school administrators got together and produced a set of consumable items–ones that had to be bought again each year–and proceeded to sell them freelance. Various schools adopted them and REQUIRED parents to purchase those too for the kids.
    Several years after this was going on I came across them and discovered my own material in them but with Buddy’s copyright! The nerve–copied in most cases word-for-word.
    I reported this to the publisher, who really owned copyright. They did nothing about it.
    That was over a decade ago and I am still furious over it. I know how you feel, trust me.


    • And I can imagine how you feel, even worse than me because someone earned money out of your work. What do you do? Shrug your shoulders and move on I suppose. You would get more stress by taking legal action against ‘Buddy’. Really sorry to hear that story though and that your work was stolen. All I can offer is empathy. (And a few nasty names directed at Not A Buddy At All).He’ll get or has already got his come-uppance another way. What goes around ….


    • Haha. National Day in Gib is a good day. We all wear red and white, and this man went one further and dyed his hair. Striking though – hence my photo. Obviously Mr Caswell thought it was good enough to use too, although when I told him I’d like £100 if he wanted to keep it up I never received a response. Shame.


  8. Love the photo. What a cheek to assume that you wouldn’t mind him ‘borrowing’ it. Did he credit you in the post? I’ve had a couple of people ask if they could share my pics, if they linked back to my blog, and I didn’t mind that at all. :)


    • No he didn’t credit me at all. Nor do I know him from Adam. Of course there are people I would say yes to, why would I not if I knew them and we had a good relationship. But for someone out of the blue, to just take the pic and expect me not to mind is just ridiculous. Nor is it borrowing.

      I find most people I have met on here are polite and courteous. If we read something on someone else’s blog, and refer to it, we invariably provide a link back. Or at the very least you mention someone by name. That’s very different to a stranger putting a photo on his blog, despite © KPJ being in the middle of it!


        • I was one determined woman yesterday, believe me. The only part of me that wasn’t on the warpath was the part that was laughing at his stupidity in telling me! I would never have known otherwise.

          But it was an interesting lesson, excellent response from WP, and I hope it shows people that a) copyright IS important b) you can do something about it and c) WP does indeed take it seriously and acted quickly.


  9. I used to use Zemanta in some of my posts just to be safe if I was looking for a general image, but it’s been missing from the WordPress features for a while now. Most of the time I use my own images but not always with a watermark. I used to have a generic copyright widget notice in my sidebar, mainly for my poems because strangely that would upset me personally more than theft and plagiarism of my images, but I think it disappeared after one of my blog theme changes so your post has reminded me I should probably update that p.d.q :) Hope you feel like you have a resolution soon, it’s a fantastic image and you deserve all the credit for it x


    • I don’t think I ever used Zemanta, but I also edit my posts in text rather than visual. So I hadn’t even noticed its absence.

      I think a sidebar short reminder to people is sufficient, I just wanted to write more than that, so T&Cs got their very own page :D

      Thanks for that, it’s not a bad pic, it was from National Day two years ago, and even I can take a few decent photos on National Day with all the red and white around. WordPress disabled the link to my photo, sent him notification that he was infringing copyright, and he had taken the empty box down when I looked today. So a satisfactory result all round.

      As you’re looking at making money out of writing and photos, you’ll appreciate the importance of copyright and theft of intellectual property. Most people on here seem to take the same view, although Andrew below, and Violet further above, don’t care.

      I think the default should be no taking of photos, and only if you are willing for someone to take your work, should you put a post up saying so. I’ll try and remember to post the comment I made to the offending blogger – he never published it :D


      • Zemanta was a bit annoying sometimes….and hit and miss! I think it works on recognising keywords in your text and then draws on an available database of images that might match…..which often led to a hilariously inappropriate selection to choose from so better to stick to your own if you can! I’ve found a phone app called InstaQuotes that is really useful for when I can’t find anything suitable and I can just write something over a landscape photo I’ve taken or a plain background just to have something a bit more interesting visually. In my last post I had some screen grabs and links to a blog that I was recommending and some instagram pages…..the blogger thanked me for the shout out, and on insta we all repost with the photographers user name attached so that might be a slightly different environment to just grabbing a photo, reposting and saying ‘I borrowed it’, hopefully?! I’m getting a nice collection of ‘foodie photos’ from my vegan challenge so far and hope to get a post up soon. There are some brilliant vegan cafe’s opening up in Brisbane doing chia puddings with coconut milk/almond milk and raw cheesecakes made with nuts, cacoa and coconut oil. So far I’m not bored and finding lots of variety and feel much better with heaps of energy. I did crave a boiled egg last week though! It’s hot today so I’ve had my take on an iced mocha smoothie with chilled espresso, banana, almond milk, organic cocoa and vanilla extract, yum yum! P.S I have never soaked and cooked so many pulses and chickpeas in my life xx


        • Zemanta sounds quite funny the way you tell it, but I can imagine getting frustrated using it if I actually wanted a pic to illustrate a story and everything was inappropriate or just off the wall.

          I’ll have a look at your post, I’ve got some catching up to do as usual and I seem to be missing posts frequently. I don’t think it’s Reader, I think it’s me!

          I think if you have an understanding of a shared culture that may well be acceptable. For example when I was on blogger, people would take photos of other peoples’ dogs (it was the dogblog circuit) when they wanted to mention you and your dogblog, so someone might write ‘here is darling Pippadog…’ insert pic of Pippa and a link back. Sometimes they’d ask and sometimes they didn’t. I suspect that may be similar to the Instagram network you are talking about. Although one woman got most shirty and unfriended someone from FaceBook for using a pic of her dog. Pretty unnecessary, especially when the other person was dying from lung cancer and didn’t have a bad word to say about anyone.

          I digress. What’s instagram like? I keep away from most of these things. Joined Twitter ages ago but never use it (I write too much). Set up a Tumblr account recently after WordPress was praising it. My page sits there, with my blog posts on, and I occasionally visit it and think it looks pretty.

          I am jealous of your vegan cafés. Here in Gib we are still at the stage of veg lasagna, veg curry, and veg stir fry. I can cook better – and do – at home. We also have a load of dishes marked as vegetarian by restaurants that quite clearly are not because the cheese isn’t veg, eg parmesan. Or we have fish dishes marked as veg.

          I loathe chia though. I had it once in some Spanish vegan meatballs and I was ill for the next couple of days. I’m not really an eggy person either, although Partner likes them from time to time (fried egg for breakfast today with the rest of his vile fry-up). I ate a few when our chickens were laying. Most of our evening meals are vegan because that’s just what I prefer. I get through a heck of a lot of veg though. One minute I have a fridgeful and the next it is empty.

          You’re obviously going good on it, so well done :)


          • Veg does bulk the fridge up somewhat….especially leafy greens, I got some Tuscan cabbage/kale yesterday and was grateful for it’s slimmer form :) I don’t know why but the words ‘dogblog circuit’ had tears rolling down my face…..unfathomable but I guess you have to see it to appreciate it! I really like instagram (despite it’s bad rep) because it’s like having a live portfolio of work and as long as you tag efficiently you can really network across it. I’m in touch with a lot of photographers and went to my first Instameet last weekend in Brisbane. Most people use camera phone photography on Instagram so it’s quick and easy and has a few photo editing apps. I also use an app on my phone for watermarking but can’t always be bothered to be honest! The Camera photos are very low res so a bit useless to be nicked…..however, I did hear of a site recently that was nicking from everywhere and passing off as their own work to get 1,000’s of followers. It’s like anything, if you avoid the dross and the girls taking selfies in their underwear there are some real gems; I’ve found lots of vegan recipes from people who post foodie photos and the ingredients, lots of vegan suppliers, yoga teachers and links to their websites etc. Brisbane River City Cruises have offered my a day cruise as their guest based on photos I posted on Insta last week, all good practice for me. You can also keep instagram as private and only accept followers that you want to (like facebook) mines public, as is the one I run for the tipsylit blog. I’m linking to my blog a bit more constructively now (and getting a bit more sensible about it). I’m just in the process of shifting my photography blog off wordpress though because it just doesn’t feel right and just keep my writing one here :)


  10. Wow, You are cross aren’t you!

    I agree with you that if you have copyrighted the pictures then they shouldn’t be borrowed, copied, shared or stolen.

    Personally I am much more relaxed about the issue. A number of my pictures have turned up elsewhere and I am quite ambivalent about it, neither angry or flattered. But I don’t copyright them so I take the view that if I post them onto the internet then without a copyright they become a public document and if someone likes it and uses it then that is fine by me.

    I think I’d like to see it from the perspective of the borrower. The fact that they told you suggests to me that he meant no harm, didn’t see it as stealing and probably thought you really wouldn’t mind. I wonder how he feels right now? I confess to ‘borrowing’ a picture once – a cross channel ferry in a storm, I didn’t think it would matter – the owner emailed me to point out my rudeness, I apologised and credited him for the picture and we both moved on.

    I have never complained to anyone about using my pictures and I once found a whole slab of my text reproduced but I can’t remember where.



    • Nope, as it got taken down. I was perhaps a little miffed yesterday, sufficiently so to Do Something, rather than sit back and fume about it.

      I remember we discussed this before and I thought about you when I’d published it, remembering your happy-go-lucky attitude. I doubt I would have let you keep up my pic if I didn’t know you. Or even if I did :D

      I did laugh at your © signature though.


        • Doubt it somehow as they aren’t staff but volunteers. I know TT anyway from our blogs as well as the forums, and I’ve exchanged comments with raincoaster before now too, who can be somewhat acerbic. Didn’t know the other helpful person though, who has multiple blog syndrome like the rest of us :D


  11. Caught ’em red handed. Good for you! There’s too many free stuff out there to steal other’s work. The nerve of people to think stealing is OK. Artists, writers, and bloggers fight this battle constantly. People like Violet are part of the problem. It’s not OK to steal from some and not Ok from others. It’s NOT OK period. (Textbook companies are notorious in the US for this…poor teachers who get so little praise are often flattered – but wake up – it’s stealing your ideas.)
    Glad WP did something quickly.


    • Not so much caught ’em as he offered himself up like a lamb to slaughter. I wasn’t ignoring a gift horse like that. Wonder if I can add a few more animal metaphors there?

      You sound like me. I don’t think it’s OK. At all. I take photos to illustrate MY blog not someone else’s. They want to use my material, they ask. I will probably say no, unless I know them and like them. Or they pay me.

      Yes, both Violet and Andrew, and like-minded people contribute to the problem.
      Interesting you mention the text books, did you read Maurice’s comment? :(

      I got top class support from the forum, an assurance that WP would take copyright theft seriously – and they did when I filed the DMCA notice. WordPress has gone up in my estimation :D


      • The problem is not acknowledging that it is theft.
        You appear to be saying it is OK for anyone to steal your photographs, but would you feel the same if photography was your livelihood?
        A stolen photograph could be an excellent snapshot, or a professional photograph, so the rules of copyright are there to protect the photographer, whether amateur or professional.
        Anyone turning a blind eye to that, may as well turn a blind eye to theft of any sort.


        • Thanks for clearing that up. I did acknowledge that it’s different if it’s your livelihood. Surely it’s a matter of choice if I’m not bothered about the distribution of anything I post online.


          • Of course it’s a personal choice what you do with your photographs, but isn’t it a rather selfish attitude that by not caring who steals yours, you are giving the green light to any thief who thinks it’s OK to help themself to anyone else’s.


          • I can’t see how violetwisp having her view of the matter gives a green light to anyone to use copyright material.

            If she doesn’t copyright her work that’s her choice….it is not protected, save by good manners.
            She is not being ‘complicit’, she is exercising her view of her work.

            People who do copyright have a right to expect their work to be protected.
            Different category.


          • If someone gets away with stealing from folk who don’t care, they’ll consider it the norm and keep stealing.
            I haven’t copyrighted many of my photos, but that doesnt mean I’m happy about having my photos taken without being asked.

            I worked in a photographic lab for many years were we printed many professional wedding and school photos. Not many professional photographers put a copyright on their photographs, this doesn’t mean it’s OK for someone to copy it, so where do you draw the line for the thief?

            I will add that since this blog post, I have added a copyright notice to my blogs to clarify this.


          • It’s only a different category if you understand or choose to abide by the rules. Saying you are happy for people to take your photos and/or text encourages a culture of doing so. People who are not interested in copyright are opting out by default. Andrew’s story is a good example. He doesn’t mind his work being taken. He took someone else’s and received an email about it. The more people say ‘I don’t care’ the more it will happen. I totally agree with Vicky’s point of view, especially as she has photographic qualifications and experience that most of us don’t have.


          • I don’t care to damn someone with a differing point of view by suggesting that they are assisting in attacks on the property of others.

            If you want to copyright your work, you do and, as you have shown, theft has consequences.

            If you don’t you don’t.
            And if you are happy for people to use your work then you may say so.

            I don’t see it as a necessary consequence that this encourages theft of copyright material.

            The whole thing strikes me as more of a question of manners or lack of them.


  12. Sorry he took your picture without asking you. I am glad you posted about what transpired and glad to know that WP does something about those who choose to take other people’s pictures without permission. Thank you so much for sharing this. Hugs!


    • I’m pleased he told me he had done it or I would never have known. Either you consider copyright to be an issue or you don’t, I do.

      I was pleasantly impressed with the WP service, from the volunteers on the forum who advised and told me what to do, to the Automattic staff who responded to ny DMCA notice, and disabled the link from his blog to my photo.

      And if it helps other people know that they can also do something, so much the better. That was partly the reason for the post – we can all do something about theft of our photos or our text – assuming we know about it, of course.


      • Exactly. That would be pretty funny.

        Two months ago I received an email from someone suggesting I check out this guy’s site on Fine Art America because they thought they recognized one of my photos and the guy had it among those he had available for sale.
        Well it turns out the guy had around a dozen of my images for sale as his own. But it didn’t stop there, the guy had spammed the photos all over, anywhere you could think.
        I was eventually able to contact the guy and he gave some lame excuse and took them all down.
        To make matters worse he didn’t even steal my best stuff!
        I mean come on dude, I have better photos then those that you could have stolen!!


        • What’s interesting is that we are unlikely to see our own work elsewhere – by work I’m speaking generally of my amateur pix and your professional photos – so we actually do rely on others. My original genuine worry was that my dog might end up on some dog calendar or something somewhere without my permission. I know we all think our own animals are the best, but he does have the dreamiest eyes :D (header and background).

          Your story is annoying on all fronts. Had he sold any of your work by the way, or did you never find that out? What a cheek. In my case, this was neither a good nor bad photo, but it did suit the purpose, hence the usage.

          I’ll be keeping an eye out in future for gators, pelicans, egrets and herons appearing elsewhere in future. Oh and Mr/s Eagle too. I’ll be sure to let you know.


  13. can’t believe i missed this. haven’t been visiting too many blogs lately as i have been fighting the flu. so far i am winning.
    but how tacky is that. ‘borrowing’ indeed. what a rude awakening.
    i began adding copyright info to my images over two years ago after having read something somewhere about having a legal leg to stand on in case of an infringement. your post is a case in point. am glad to hear that WordPress responded as quickly as they did, and that the image has been removed on the other site.
    for the record, i do not wake up at 5am, unless of course Timmy does, and thinks it is breakfast time at which time i tell him ‘it’s too early!’ and he settles down for another hour or so :) but that aside, a word to the wise to copyright their stuff, too. because, yes, it really does matter.


    • Sorry to hear about flu – lemon and hot water, honey possibly, glycerin and whisky if you want to knock yourself out.

      I am beginning to think it is funny, it seems surreal. When you steal a photo why would you tell someone you had done so? Especially someone like me, who is guaranteed not to let it go. But I don’t aim to be a brill photog, they are really easy piccies to illustrate my posts, some photos aren’t bad. That’s it. I was stunned to see someone had taken one.

      Don’t forget you were the one who originally told me to downsize. I used to leave them big years back when Pippa’s blog was the one I wrote on most because his piccies looked gorgeous blown up on full screen. I know you will understand that because of Timmy. I started the © years back, although what good does it do – apart from, as you say, having asserted your copyright, plus something in print saying you don’t authorise any text or photos taken without permission or payment.

      If this experience has alerted people to protect their work, then it’s been worthwhile sharing.


      • re flu – doing lots better than a few days ago, thanks. hot water, lemon, oranges, etc you name it, is happening here :)
        the composition of that image was perfect. there was the right lighting, and the silhouette of someone having a good time against the celebratory feel of the red and white background was a story by itself.


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