Please, link to the photographer

I have a habit of surfing the WordPress photography tag to see what’s out there.  If I see something I like, I read the blog entry and toss out a comment – after all, everyone loves to see feedback, especially good feedback.  The problem with this approach is that I’m often snookered by bloggers who rip images from someone else for their posts (often not photography related posts either, a whole other rant.)

I’d say about half of these bloggers actually give the photographer credit, which is great.  Well, it’s great assuming the photographer is ok with that – the Creative Commons Flickr approach means I can’t always tell.

About half of the bloggers don’t actually give the photographer credit.  That’s super annoying in more ways than one.  For me, the viewer, the most annoying part is that I can’t tell who took that amazing shot, and I can’t go look at any more of their work.

There’s this handy little link in the media library that allows you to add a link to your images – I wish everyone who ripped images would put in a link so that we can see where you got the image from.  It’s not difficult.   I’m sure the photographer would appreciate the traffic as well – assuming you had permission in the first place to “borrow” their image.

On that note, if I haven’t mentioned it before, I’ve taken every image on this blog with the sole exception of my Project Joy work – of which I’ve posted exactly one image that my grandmother shot. 

That huge obnoxious watermark is there for a reason – it’s my work, don’t take it.  It’s copyrighted.  I know some people believe that if an image is on the internet it’s fair game (or fair use, the legal term.)  That would be why I haven’t opened a Flickr account myself, or posted much on Facebook.  I love to share, but someday I’ll get burned – and I probably won’t even know it.

So please, people, let’s go link crazy.  Give credit where it’s due and let us see who that amazing artist is.  We’ll only appreciate your good taste all the more.

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12 thoughts on “Please, link to the photographer

  1. Well said.. I can’t stand when I find people use my images without even asking. All I ask for is credit for the photo and normally I will let you share (tastefully). This is why I have begun to really make sure stuff is watermarked, and I try not to take away from the image with the placement. I know many could probably at the least crop them out, but at least it will take some effort. That’s also why i have hesitated with flicker, and I make sure facebook photos are watermarked now too. Call me anal/greedy, but people made me do it.
    Take care
    Anna

    • It’s not greedy! You took the shot, you own the shot – they have no right to it unless you grant them one. It’s a shame, really, that we have to feel like it’s our fault for wanting to keep our pics.

  2. I totally agree with you. Whenever I post a picture is not mine, I mention the source. As you said, if you like that picture you have the chance to see some more!!

  3. You were kind enough to comment on my blog today. I never watermark my images but now think maybe I should. Is using other peoples images without permission really that widespread? And how would you know?

    • Hi Mark (no blog link? what’s up with that 🙂 ) Yes, image theft is a big deal, not only among average people, but for news publications and websites. The main reason I know is because of this site: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/ – the canon forums, where lots of professionals and amateurs alike visit. If you regularly check the Business threads, there are a ton of people asking how to stop someone from using their images without permission, or people link news stories about businesses who stole images and got caught. Most of the pros complain about people ripping off Facebook images without permission, but I’ve seen some really bad stories in the last year, including a product shot that was ripped off by the manufacturer and actually watermarked by the thief! (I should mention that the people posting prove the image is theirs and then link to the thief – no wild internet rumors going on.)

      One of the big pros on this forum commented that if you put images on the internet, they will be stolen – eventually. He and many others recommend a big, obnoxious watermark and exif data that proves the image is yours in case you ever have to go to court. I’m not sure how things work where you live, but here (the US,) it’s a really good idea to send your work into the copyright office – otherwise you can win a lawsuit but not really collect damages. Most people settle for getting the image removed, usually by working with the hosting internet company.

      Sorry for the long response, but I do know it happens 🙂 And I do suggest you use some kind of watermark – it’s just a really good idea.

  4. I wish one of my photos was good enough to be stolen and make money out of it 😉 Ok, to be serious… I know
    this is a big time problem. I hate watermarks, it really ruins a good photo, but at the same time non of us want to be ripped off. Not as if I make any sort of living out of my photos, and I truly believe there are million times better photos than mine, but never know who likes what, what is someone else’s taste. A good alternative is a flash gallery that doesn’t let the viewer save the photos in any way. It has a downside too, cannot be inserted into most of the free blog themes…

    PS: Thanks for visiting my blog and the comment:-)

    Cheers,
    Reka

  5. Well stated. I also do not use a watermark…ooops, maybe I shouldn’t have let that cat out of the bag…. but I usually only post small images on my blog. Yes, they may still be stolen, but I am relying on faith in my fellow man (I know…naive) and the backing of the copyright laws. I would, of course, prefer to be credited should someone want to use an image, but if an image IS stolen and used for commercial purposes, I will have an attorney go after the full $150,000 fine the government allows. (If more people were aware of the law they MIGHT think twice) Do we ever really know if something is being used unlawfully? IDK, watermark is probably the best idea. It is also reasonably inexpensive to fill a DVD with as many images as possible and copyright the entire catalog which, in turn, protects each individual image within that ‘work’.
    This ‘stealing’ of work is also what is quickly bringing about the demise of the record industry. I doubt that most people would print money in their basement, but they will take pride in downloading $2000 worth of songs from their friends MP3…same thing.

    • Good points – it’s amazing how many people think that theft of something like music or photographs is no big deal. Heck, I even had a college prof once recommend to his class that we download a font for graphic design without purchasing it. His rational was that we were too poor (students) to pay for it. Thanks for reminding me about the dvd thing – I really need to buckle down and send one in – $30 a pop isn’t too bad to have them all registered.

  6. Very interesting and informative post. Its just so difficult to keep track of images. Watermarking is probably the way to go but if the images are small enough, I figure it doesn’t really matter

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