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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In The Public Domain

Every time I want to grouse about something, fate has a way of thunking me in the head and setting me straight.

I have a short fuse when it comes to copyright, both for written and art work. One reason I so rarely put photos on this blog is that I'm afraid of accidentally picking up a photo that is copyrighted. When I do put in images that are not my own, not only do I make sure they are copyright-free images, I also take them into Photoshop and change them up slightly--just to make sure it's not the same image.

Imagine my surprise when I read Anne Wayman, Yes, I CAN Use Your Picture. I didn't realize that you are giving blanket rights when you publicly post your photos unless you specify otherwise. Now, Anne Wayman has been a freelance guru for a long time and I respect her tremendously, so when she makes a statement like this, I listen.

I probably will continue to hunt specifically for copyright free images, but it's good to know that anything I post is subject to being used by others. Since I do plan to post some photos of my day to day homesteading adventures, I'll be adding a small copyright symbol, along with the blanket copyright notice after every post (since I've been scraped in the past).

Adding a simple statement and © should be enough to protect me, but some bloggers go overboard to protect themselves - in my opinion.

There is a gardening blog I have on my reader that delivers very little information but gorgeous photos of their garden. I am {this} close to deleting it from my reader though.

In huge text, they have 'COPYRIGHT (name redacted)' boldly pasted across each and every photo. I understand they want to protect their property, but it takes a lot away from the post. Not only does it look unwelcoming, it looks downright threatening. To be honest, I can see stunning photos in any gardening catalog. They aren't providing any background information on how they achieved their beautiful plants, just a lot of pictures.

They do want you to attend their seminars and workshops, so you can "learn" more.

Thanks, but no thanks.

This post is primarily focusing on photography, but artwork that is created by an artist is a different ball of wax. Under no circumstances should you be swiping actual artwork without the artist's permission. Artwork is automatically copyrighted from the moment it's created unless otherwise noted.

The digital age has made it very difficult for writers and artists to hold on to their property. Our work is constantly being pirated and there's no easy solution, but to educate people.

Think twice before using copy or art. All that work belongs to someone somewhere. And when you do use stock art or photos, be gracious and try to credit the photographer when possible.


Tomorrow is the last day for my contest. It might take me a while to tally up the number of times I've seen my tagline: The Apocalypse Is Closer Than You Think, but I hope to have a winner by this weekend.

You can still tweet, review or mention Touch Of Fire. Just remember to follow the rules, listed in the blog masthead above.


Poor Tank is getting his teeth cleaned today, which means he'll be anesthetized. I hate when that happens.

He's still relatively young so he should be fine. But my wallet won't be. The cost of a teeth cleaning has gone through the roof. And you would not believe what they charge to anesthetize a BIG dog.

But that's a grouse for another time.

Copyright © 2009 Maria Zannini --


Marianne Arkins said...

Poor Tank. And poor you. It's always a risk to put a critter under. And, yeah -- last time I had a dog's teeth cleaned it was nearly $300. Yikes.

Dakota is a chewer, thankfully. And, she doesn't mind letting me brush her teeth. So far they are still lovely and white.

Maria Zannini said...

I've never advocated going to the vet for routine cleanings. Every time you put a pet under you risk his life.

Nowadays, they make you do all this lab work to "assure" everyone that he will be a good risk.

I was a surgical assistant to my first vet for several years. My main job was to moniter the oxygen and anesthetic gas. --Keep the pet breathing normally and keep him under. In all that time we never once lost a pet.

It makes me wonder if this is just another ploy to take another couple hundred bucks from the pet owner.

Mike Keyton said...

Thanks for the info about photos. Some of the photos on my blog are mine, others have been carefully gleaned from the internet. One thing I did learn however, is that some photographers, who don't want their photos to be used post them as 'gifs' (I think that's the word) because their profession depends on selling their work as opposed to showing their work. Those photographers I have taken the trouble to email and ask and acknowledge, and one in particular has been very gracious.
Forthcoming posts on local history will feature the photos of Andy which are really something.

Maria Zannini said...

I think it's great that you've cultivated a relationship with a professional photographer. I'll be interested in seeing his photos.

Ref: gifs
I'll have to look into that. Generally, tiffs use up more memory and jpgs are blog-friendly. But I don't know much about gifs.

Thanks, Mike.

Jazzi Photo said...

I read Ms Wayman's post. What she is posting is not entirely true, and it's certainly not ethical, especially if she's using it for a project that she makes money on. In that case, a subject can sue.

Here is an explanation in plain language of the situation from

In the case of photographs, it is sometimes difficult to determine who owns the copyright and there may be little or no information about the owner on individual copies. Ownership of a “copy” of a photograph – the tangible embodiment of the “work” – is distinct from the “work” itself – the intangible intellectual property. The owner of the “work” is generally the photographer or, in certain situations, the employer of the photographer. Even if a person hires a photographer to take pictures of a wedding, for example, the photographer will own the copyright in the photographs unless the copyright in the photographs is transferred, in writing and signed by the copyright owner, to another person. The subject of the photograph generally has nothing to do with the ownership of the copyright in the photograph. If the photographer is no longer living, the rights in the photograph are determined by the photographer’s will or passed as personal property by the applicable laws of intestate succession.

I appreciate your postion on avoiding copyrighted photos. You may also want to look into the microstock agencies. There are many online that offer photos for a little as a dollar and no royalties.

Kind Regards,
Amy S. Enyart

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Amy,

I think it's a touchy subject all the way around. Unless ownership is stated clearly, you run the risk of violating copyright.

I prefer to err on the side caution, even if it means a lesser dressed blog.

Thanks for popping in!