A woman on a fitness site I belong to posted a question in the forum asking how she could keep people from viewing her photos. Someone responded, “Stop uploading them.” It wasn’t me, but I gave the same answer after reading the question.
Whenever we upload anything on the internet, whether it be to Flickr or any photo sharing site, publish or comment on a blog post, tweet or update our Facebook status there’s always a possibility that what we think we say in private (or uploaded under copyright protection) under an assumed name has a chance of being made public or stolen.
I am especially careful, but I do enjoy sharing my photos on the web. I don’t believe there is anything one can do to prevent their photos from being stolen, re-posted, used or redistributed once uploaded on the internet.
Some people use watermarks, copyright symbols, and online services such as tineye.com. I use a watermark, not because I think it will prevent people from unauthorized use of my photographs, but as advertising. Truth is, I don’t care if people use my work for non-commercial use. I’m flattered if something I photographed caught their eye and complements their blog post.
I do, however, mind when people do not give credit to the source of the photo. I have been guilty of not always linking a photo with the proper attribution, but i hope I at least had sense enough to publicly acknowledge the photo was not of my origination. It’s not a practice.
Most people are not using photos belonging to others for profit, and may feel it’s no big deal to swipe, use, and re-post it on a blog. That’s not the point. The point is we are using something that belongs to someone else, the least we could do is ask, if not give them credit.
Of the people who have contacted me via email and have asked to use my photo(s), I have never said no and in some cases have even emailed original files. I do ask that I be given credit as the photographer, my name doesn’t have to be in lights, but I do like seeing it in print, as well as a link to how the photo was used.
I’m no pillar of truth or without fault but I do try to treat people the way I would want to be treated. I wouldn’t walk into someone’s home and use or take something without asking first. It only takes a minute and I’ve never been told no.
There’s nothing new under the sun and are no original ideas; but what’s the hang up with acknowledging someone’s work or idea if it inspired you to photograph or write something?
I’ve always felt like my blog is an extension of my home. Not too many people are allowed to enter and just start taking stuff without asking, not for long anyway.