This Blog’s New Look

20 07 2012

Some of you may have read Roni Loren’s latest blogpost, about how she got sued for using a copyrighted picture.

Money quote:

Well on one random post, I grabbed one random picture off of google and then a few weeks later I got contacted by the photographer who owned that photo. He sent me a takedown notice, which I responded to immediately because I felt awful that I had unknowingly used a copyrighted pic. The pic was down within minutes. But that wasn’t going to cut it. He wanted compensation for the pic. A significant chunk of money that I couldn’t afford. I’m not going to go into the details but know that it was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didn’t have for a use of a photo I didn’t need.

Holy. Cow.

This is trouble that this unpublished writer doesn’t need to risk… and just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean that it couldn’t bite back, big. So I’ve deleted all pics on this blog that I don’t own, or have had permission to use. It’s also an issue for Tumblr and Pinterest. I don’t have a Tumblr, but I’ve recently started using Pinterest. I just deactivated my account.

I suggest you read Roni’s suggestions for sourcing copyright-free pics. This is trouble that none of us need!

Thank you, Roni, for sharing your troubles.

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6 responses

20 07 2012
Jo Carroll

You are so right – but it’s not difficult to stick to the rules. And, when you think about it, photographers have as much right to be proud of their work as writers – if we respect their work and they respect ours – then we’ll all be happy.

20 07 2012
Julia Indigo

Absolutely. I’m sorry that Roni went through what she did, but her experience can serve as a warning to us all.
If writers can’t respect photographers’ copyrights, then why should anyone respect ours?

20 07 2012
Lorinda J. Taylor

I haven’t read the other article yet, but I just went in and removed those pictures of martial eagles that I used on one of my Third Sunday Blog Carnival posts back in April. I had given full credit to the source, but still … I’ve been a little uneasy about them all along. We do need to be careful about infringing copyright. Think of all the trouble I went to with my epigraphs on “The Termite Queen”! Pinterest is bad about this stuff. I have a page there, but all I ever post is my own book covers – I own the copyright to those!

20 07 2012
Julia Indigo

Evidently repinning book covers isn’t considered infringement… though I could be wrong.

I’m a bit worried about a couple of pics that I have permission of the *subject* to use them, but I don’t know who the photog is. Hmmm.

23 07 2012
Matthew Wright

Technically a book cover is copyright to the artist who created it – a ‘collage’, while copyright may also reside individually in any specific images within it, separately, if they were sourced from anywhere. Gets quite complex. But the issue is whether the rights holders feel they should do something about it. My publishers actually make covers downloadable, with warnings about their copyright status – I think on the basis that it’s a form of advertising.

That copyright photo adventure was a pretty bad experience for Roni – the copyright owner was correct but, I think, unreasonable. A take-down would surely suffice to settle it in any practical sense. And it probably cost the owner to pursue it that far – the only people who’ll have made anything out of it will be the lawyers (sigh). But then, ain’t that always the way?

23 07 2012
Lorinda J. Taylor

I should probably clarify that I draw my own book covers, using the Word drawing tools, and I never (at least not yet) incorporate anybody else’s art in them. So I’m the sole owner and can post them anywhere I like. Copyright certainly is a touchy subject.

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