Copyright infringement is about educating the dull-minded and the opportunist about the value of the work of others. As a shooter I have studied copyright law, heard it discussed and lectured, been on the ‘hurt side’ of organizations and individuals using my work uncredited and unpaid, been wrongly sued for copyright — and then reprieved. And now after launching this site, through my analytics of the page hits, now discover that my pictures may be enjoyed, but are also being downloaded indiscriminately from places all over the country and all over the world.
And I know that because I installed a plugin called ‘Clicky’ to take a peak at how much traffic I was getting, to know if anyone was out there looking at this stuff, and then discovered that certain images were being downloaded and more than once from different locations. Not just viewed, but downloaded.
This burns my ass. First, I was getting a little buzz from the way this site was coming together and now I am feeling that I have to be protective of my work by labeling and watermarking everything. Making it a little ugly, too, in the process.
It occurs to me that some of my shots, which are labeled with known names may be picked off with ‘internet bots’ — automatic programs that “look” for stuff online — combing the net for materials that would be valuable to organizations or individuals, maybe there’s some high school students out there looking for last minute images to make their school report due in 5 hours time more complete and then there’s those more unscrupulous looking for images to pass off on a client as rented/licensed images, or worse, their own work.
In any case, although the work is labeled now, it can be easily cropped and unlabeled again. People are going to steal if they really want to steal. But it’s so, so smarmy.
My words to the wise. DON’T DO IT! Don’t take my work. Don’t take anyone else’s work. Do it yourself. OR ASK! ASK TO USE THE WORK. Or better yet, pay for it. OR OFFER TO PAY FOR IT.
You out there? Say something.
Others have said it before and more eloquently than me. Here’s one more note on the same theme…