Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Recently, I saw an image of mine being used on a local Boston business blog and their facebook page. I was never contacted regarding usage so I emailed the owner-editor asking them to remove my copyrighted image or call me to discuss usage fees. 
The business owner was surprised I didn't want my photograph on her site. She said "People are typically happy to have their images on my site." I did want it on her site, I just wanted to be paid properly for it or at the very least, asked. She also said "Did you see I credited you properly at the end of the post?" There was a credit but the credit was nowhere near the image. It was tiny and lost about a page away from the actual photo. And there was no link. So what the business owner thought was "proper" was not.
Now this business makes money. There are advertisements all over their blog and facebook page. She does speaking events. So it's interesting to me that she feels it's okay to swipe photographs and use them to help her business grow while not paying the proper usage for the photographs that are helping her business turn a profit.  
How do we protect our copyrighted work? Should professional photographers watermark every image? This image was taken from the actual client's site, it was not swiped from mine. So a watermark would not have worked in this case anyway.
And more importantly, how do we educate people? This person clearly thought it was acceptable to swipe an image and use it for her business without permission. To be honest, I probably would have let her use my image for free if she had simply asked first. 

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