I really hate wasting energy on this, but I feel this is something I need to address. Here's the scoop:
Yesterday I was on Flickr, working through creating a certain type of link and in the course of doing so, found one of my photos there. I thought that was rather odd, since I had not posted that particular photo to my Flickr. Further investigation revealed that an online acquaintance had snagged my photo from my blog and posted it to her Flickr account. (Granted, she had credited the image to me, but she had not asked if it was okay with me that she posted as she had done.) This made me really uncomfortable, so I sent her a brief polite email explaining that I would prefer that my photos only be posted to my account. She removed it and replied "Sorry, but don't post them on the internet then!"
Now I had given her the benefit of the doubt that she really didn't mean any harm or perhaps didn't know any better, however, that last comment really got me. How is it that someone does something wrong and that the person that they do it to is somehow responsible? I emailed her back and patiently explained that I consider my photographs part of my art. I choose to share my art online, but that does not mean once I do that people are free to snag and use those images however they want. They are copyrighted to ME. At the very least, you should email and ask permission. In any case, I thanked her from removing it from her Flickr.
Later in the day, I discovered that she also had posted my photo to her Live Journal, with no credit and had created an icon for herself from it. At this point, I was pretty annoyed. I reminded her that Live Journal's terms of service includes the stipulation that you will NOT infringe on anyone's copyrights and asked her to remove my images. This morning, she emailed that she had forgotten about the fact that those were on her Live Journal and said "Your art I thought was your mixed media. I didn't realize you sold photos as well." Whether or not I sell my photos is neither here nor there. It's my art and unless you are ME, or ask for and receive my permission, you have no business using it in any way. The icon made from my photo is still up. I have reiterated that I would like her to remove it. *sigh*
So here's the bottom line:
I know that 99.9% of folks who read my blog and visit my website would never think of doing something like this. I truly appreciate that. This is not directed at you in any way. I appreciate you visiting my corner of the web and commenting and sharing the art world with me. I appreciate that you do it in a respectful way.
I am not by nature a bitchy person. In fact anyone who knows me, knows that I am exceptionally generous and easy going. However, if you step on my toes after I have tried to ask you nicely not to use my work without my permission, I am going to get testy. It's rude and disrespectful and it shows a lack of integrity. How would you feel if it happened to you?
I am hoping that this will clear up any grey area about how I feel about someone "borrowing" my art and that I don't have to waste my time addressing it again. There is a notation on copyright on my sidebar here and on each of the pages of my website. I can't make it any clearer than that.
If you heave read this far, thanks for your patience and for listening. Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.