Monday, October 4, 2010

Don't be afraid to stick up for yourself when your photos are lifted

When you sit and work on a slide show for Associated Content or any other site, it's disheartening when you see others lifting your photos to use without your permission. 

So here's the scenario I had to deal with a few weeks ago.  I was doing publicity for a local event.  Knowing that I'll be doing the same next year for said event, I put up pictures on AC in the form of a 2 part slideshow in order to help promote the event next year.  Then I stuck the links up on Facebook for both my local website and for AC.  The next thing I know, I had over a handful of local Facebook friends posting MY PHOTOS on their Facebook pages.  I get that they were excited about the event.  I get and appreciate that they had a great time at the event and liked my photos enough to share them.  What they didn't understand was their actions were illegal and was directly causing me to lose money via page views.

Dealing with a plagiarizer is a different tactic although the premise is the same.  This is copyright infringement.  So how do you deal with people you interact with, your real life friends and family, when you know they really meant no harm?

First, don't fly off the handle.  That's southern speak for remain calm.   When it comes to people who don't work online or don't do much online period, chances are, they just don't know any better.  Second, send the "lifters" a polite message letting them know while you appreciate that they like your photos, you get paid from page views and they've just taken money out of your pocket.  Instruct them in a nice tone that if they wish to support you as the photographer, they can delete the photos they put up and proceed to share the link to your slideshow.  That way, others get to enjoy the photos and you get paid for your work.  In most cases, you'll see this is all you need to do.  If they are educated about photo copyright infringement, most often, they won't do it again.

What do you do if they don't take the photos down?  Well, that's really up to you.  Is it worth it to you to report them?  Is it worth it to cause a rift?  Only you can determine, based on the relationship you have with the person, whether it is worth it to pursue a legal path.

But whether it's an article or a photo, don't feel like you're being petty if you stand up for your self.  It's YOUR work and you are entitled to compensation for it.  Other people don't sit at their desks for 8 hours a day doing their work for nothing, yours should be no different.

Related Article:  It's okay for me to "share" any photo, right?

This post brought to you by Becca Badgett's Growing Blueberries in Gardening Zone 7

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