Sunday, July 8, 2007


Sorry for the scarcity of blog updates lately, but I am busily trying to meet my self-imposed work deadlines before I leave on vacation this week.

I visited a fabulous blog this morning. It truly captured the essence of cottage style. I read both new & old posts and I was entranced by the blogger’s sense of style.

I was about to add it to my Blogs To Visit, when I realized that the photos I had been admiring were most likely reproduced without permission from the folks who own the copyrights to them.

I sent a message to to the blogger to warn her against scanning photos from magazines and books. It’s illegal.
Yes, everyone does it, but several professional photographers that I know are starting to look for sites that reproduce their photos without their permission. If they find their work on a site, they have the legal right to ask that it be removed or demand payment… or initiate a lawsuit for unauthorized usage.

If you've credited the photographer (photo by Photographer X from Cottage Style), some tend to be less angry. They figure that someone might see their shot, love it and hire them for a paying job. If it’s un-credited they view it as property theft.

Many people don't realize that photographers (or sometimes the magazine or book publisher) own the copyright to each and every photo that they take. They make a substantial part of their income reselling or reusing them. No one involved wants them being used for free.

So, a word to the wise. I have Dan Mayers permission to use his photos on my blog in conjunction with our book. Other than his, I post photos that I’ve taken, my friends have taken or ones for products from companies (always crediting them).

Photographers expect payment for having their photos published on blogs. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I thought you should know about copyright laws. It's better than getting slapped with a lawsuit.

17 comments:

Vintage Rose Collection said...

Barbara, Thank you for addressing this very serious matter regarding copyrights and photograph theft. I have seen my own personal photo's of my home on sites without my permission and have recently learned they are being reproduced on CD for re-sale. Its an on going battle for so many...
Thanks for your insight Barbara!Hope to hear more!!!!

Love to you, Jo
xo

Heather said...

Hello Barbara

You make some really good points here; many people don't understand that copyright law applies to websites just as much as it does to other media. We were caught out a few years ago by putting a couple of photos on a website that had been supplied by one of our cottage owners ( we rent out waterfront cottages), only to be faced with a threat of a lawsuit. We removed the photos of course and learnt from it.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you said something about that. I had noticed blogs doing that and wasn't sure if it's legal or not. Now I'll know.

Theresa N.

Arlene said...

Very good point....I love the inspirational photos, but you are absolutely correct in that all the proper credits must be given!

Tara said...

Barbara this is a great post. My personal photos were taken without permission, thus the new watermark on most of them. not sure if that will stop them, but it's a shot! PS: Who said you could take a vacation!?

Splaneyo said...

Just found your lovely blog. Looking forward to seeing more.

Heather

PAT said...

Hello Barbara...

Thank you for visiting the back porch and leaving your wonderful comment! I sent an e-mail, this morning.

I've often wondered if I would see my photos at another site. I need to learn how to put the little watermark on them.

Thanks so much for this informative post.

I hope you visit the back porch often!
Pat
Back Porch Musings

Cindy @ My Romantic Home said...

Now, you have me worried...I guess I'll stop my Inspiration Friday posts. The last thing I need is legal trouble. I may go delete all the ones I've done in the past. Thanks.

Angela (Cottage Magpie) said...

Good information. I love seeing everyone's inspirational phyotos, but I have always been nervous about doing it myself so I haven't used anyone else's photos on my blog. It'll be interesting to see how things unfold. ~A :-)

Britta's Victorian Tea Parties said...

Hi Barbara, I find it sad that many of you need to put watermarks on your pretty photos just to protect them. It's like putting a blemish on a great work of art!

Thank You for pointing out copyright laws on the internet. It seems it is a H U G E issue for many designers, photographers, and website owners.

My friend refers to it as the biggest damper on her creativity--continually finding her work on other's websites.

There obviously needs to be new legislation to protect website owners.

Best Wishes,
Britta Lee Zweibohmer

Terry Grahl said...

Hello Barbara,

I think it's so great that your going after another dream and making sure we don't lose ours.

Sing Like a Bird...After every Storm, Terry ox

www.TerrysEnchantedCottage.com

Betty Jo said...

This is my first visit to your blog Barbara and it is beautiful. I found you through Cindy's gorgeous blog. I was thrilled to see this post, and if you don't mind, I would like to refer others to it. I'm a digital graphics designer, and photographer, and it is an ongoing battle dealing with on-line pirates. I truly see this as a very big problem on blogs as well. Thank you for addressing the problem. xoxo

Meredith said...

Thanks for sharing this information!

I think most bloggers do this out of ignorance, but those who make a profit from other's creativity have no excuse.

Betty Jo said...

Bravo! This post is spot on and so very needed. I followed a link to you from Cindy at My Romantic Home. As an on-line digital scrapbook designer I've had to deal with graphics pirating of my own work. As a fairly new blogger I've been concerned with protecting my own photos, and quite frankly, do not share my best ones! I'm going to do a similar post, linking to Cindy and to you, on my own blog, perhaps even today. Thank you so much! xoxo

Lana said...

Thank you for informing the public of this matter. I had a problem a few months back ~ someone with a myspace account in another country was using one of my original pieces of artwork as her background. She finally removed it, but had to be notified of the legality a couple of times. I'm flattered that someone likes my artwork or photos enough for their own use, but please ask!
I've enjoyed visiting your blog.

Lana

Betty Jo said...

Hi again Barbara, After posting on my own blog about copyrights and linking to your blog and Cindy's copyright post I've gotten a question or two. One lady asked if it is ok to post a photo on her blog of the front of a book laying on her coffee table. I honestly don't know how to answer her. Could you please tell me if that is ok or not, either through email bjm_photoATyahoo.com (change the AT to @), or with a comment on my blog. Thank you ever so much. No need to publish this comment unless you just want to. xoxo

beachbungalow8 said...

what about the fair use law? this is a very vague law. but none the less, it allows someone to use your work (without granted permission) as long as it's for educational purposes. which i believe most design blogs try to do.

i think this is more about being curteous to others and giving them credit where it is due.

obviously, i'm not talking about the resell of your images. clearly, that doesn't fall under the fair use law.

i have had major magazines thank me for placing pulled photos on my site-as it increases their exposure.