Today a lovely private message to my blog has prompted me to write a blog post about a certain topic – image stealing.
See, recently I have been sharing some of my photographs to Pixabay and Morguefile, which if you don’t know are sites where you can get legitimately free for use, both for personal and commercial purposes, images. Quite a few of my photo manipulations have background images I have taken from these sites, so I wanted to in turn donate some of my own.
The photographers who donate there do not ask for attribution either – which includes me.
I also have some images on Pinterest – which are not exactly “free” but I guess can be shared around for interest sakes.
So this person who contacted me, and didn’t know I am a contributer there, was concerned because she did some detective work and traced one of my pictures on Pixabay back to my blog and thought perhaps someone might have stolen it and put it up there, and felt I should be aware.
I find this lovely and I really appreciate that someone thought to do that. All is good though because it was an image I donated myself! :)
I want to talk about image stealing though because it is something that is happening ALL the time on the internet.
It’s wrong, plain and simply it’s just wrong.
To be honest though BEFORE I ever began to get into photography and in my early days of blogging I might have thoughtlessly plucked a few images myself from google. (I think I amended that) to use in blog posts.
SO many people do it and they don’t think anything of it…..but, using anyones image for ANYTHING, including a harmless little blog post is really ultimately not the right thing to do.
For a start it’s just rude to take something without permission.
As a photographer now myself some images have taken quite a bit of effort to get.
We do crazy things in the quest for the perfect pic sometimes….trekking up and down mountains…stumbling over logs, fighting the weather, getting harassed by flies and mozzies and…..well….it takes EFFORT to get these pics at times.
Not only that, camera equipment is expensive! It costs money for fuel to get to locations, models cost money, costumes…props….travel expenses to exotic countries etc etc… And our time!
So when you pluck an image from google… “Ooh I’ll take that – click!”….well, you’re not just taking that image, you are taking all these other things too – and offering no credit to the person doing all the hard work!
So, please don’t.
Instead go to places like Pixabay and Morguefile where photographers are giving you permission to take their images, for free, no strings attached.
I belong to a facebook photography site and just the other day someone posted that they accidentally discovered that someone had stolen an image of theirs – of their nephew mind you, which is even worse, and had put some words on the image and were SELLING that image online – as their OWN!
That is just the ultimate of all wrongs- to try and make money from stealing someone else’s photography!
Mind you, I’m sure it goes on a lot out there.
The only way to make it less likely – (for people to make any money anyway) is to only ever put your photo’s up in a small size so that no one can print it out in any way that is going to be decent.
Watermarks are a waste of time as they can be removed so unless you want to completely spoil your beautiful photograph by splashing a HUGE watermark over the entire image…well, it’s pretty pointless either way.
So anyway…here’s the thing.
It – this message to my blog clearly demonstrated to me that the risks involved in image stealing are not worth it. People like the one who contacted ME, might dob YOU in for pinching images. There ARE honest people out there! There is also a reverse image search that can trace an image back to its original owner.
So, the moral to the story is just DON’T especially when you can do the right thing and get images that have been actually donated as free for use.