Okay, I write a fair bit about copyright on this site. The integrity of your web content is vital and it’s crucial you control exactly how and where it’s used. Over the years we’ve had to deal with everything from stolen articles and photographs to the extreme, not once but twice, of having entire sites cloned. I’m a photographer and take any copyright breaches very seriously – if you’re going to steal my work expect to have a fight on your hands!
Which brings me to yesterday evening when a good friend pointed me to one of my images on a Facebook page being used without my knowledge. The cheeky f*****s had used my name on it which implied, falsely, my consent to its use.
There is no confusion about how it got there, and absolutely no doubt in my mind it was knowingly stolen. This particular image is only in one place online and had just been uploaded a few hours prior to its appearance on this page. It was lifted from my Flickr account where it could only be obtained by taking a screen grab and cropping. My account and this image are clearly marked ©All Rights Reserved and sharing on social networks is disabled. An idiot can tell from my settings that I do not want my photographs used without my permission. It was knowingly ripped off.
Naturally I left a rather harsh comment and sent a PM to the thieves demanding it be removed and pointing out that I expected a public apology. Their immediate response was to delete the comment exposing their illegal use of the image and to block me from making any more comments. Not the cleverest response. Of course I also reported the IP theft to Facebook.
Whilst the social network sharing is disabled the email owner option is not, so they did have the opportunity to ask my permission to use it. They didn’t of course.
I can only surmise that much of the content on this page, they post daily photos of Lanzarote, has been obtained without the consent of the photographers in this manner. Not only does it show a lack of respect for the owners of the images, it demonstrates a total lack of respect for both the rules of Facebook and international copyright law.
Sadly they are not alone. I see many business pages doing exactly the same thing, especially those based in tourist areas looking to show off their beautiful surroundings or gloat about the weather. Sharing on Facebook is fine, stealing from elsewhere to post is not. If you are reading this and know you’re guilty too, please stop.
Anyway, the result is that it’s now gone.
The irony is, had they asked politely instead of stealing I’d have happily allowed them to use the image in return for a credit and link of my choosing.
Conocer Lanzarote, if you are reading this I’m still waiting for an apology!
(If you want a rummage around my Flickr account do feel free, and if you want to use anything please ask and I’ll more than likely say yes!)