Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Brief(ish) Copyright Rant

What is it about copyright that people don't seem to understand?  Really, it's not just an issue of copyright but about honesty and integrity.  If the image is not yours, don't use it without permission (and if you get permission, properly credit the owner of the image), and certainly do not steal it and pass it off as yours!  In the chainmaille community, we've had a lot of issues with image theft lately.  It seems that every year we find at least one or two websites that are using another's images without the owners permission,  and in most cases, are trying to claim credit for them.

 I am really getting rather tired of this.  I can't put into words just how much it irks me that people do this (especially when I find that the stolen image(s) belong to my friends).  The chainmaille community is not very large, and most of us know most everyone else from various messageboards (be it Maille Artisans, The Ring Lord Forum, Mailler's Worldwide, Handmade Artist's Forum, etc.) and so tends to be a rather close community.  We help each other out with advice be it about chainmaille construction issues, advice about selling, etc., but we also look out for each other's images/designs when we find that they have been absconded with by another.

So to anyone that reads this, please, please please, do not use anothers' images without permission or pass them off as your own!!  I know dishonest people, will be dishonest people and will do this anyway, but sometimes these issues happen because of a lack off copyright understanding.  In short, if it is not yours, either do not use it at all, or ask permission and wait for them to approve your use of their images.

4 comments:

  1. I agree 100%! The sad thing is this crosses all lines in the handmade world. Maybe I have my "rose colored glasses" on right now, but I'd like to believe that the majority of people are honest and it's that handful of bad ones that ruin it for the rest of us.

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    1. It's different for someone to do a 'featured artist' blog post as they are giving credit to the person whose work/images they are posting. They should probably still ask permission, although most will probably say go ahead, but if they don't, they should at least notify them that they have been featured. But this is an entirely different issue than posting someone else's images on your site/blog/Facebook page, etc. where you simply use them and don't give credit. A viewer/reader will naturally assume that if you are not crediting the image/work to another that they must then belong to you. This is almost as bad as outright claiming the images as being yours when they aren't.

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  2. Thank you for this very clear post...agreed, if it is not yours please don't use it! It is one thing to feature an artist because you admire their work; most artists would be thrilled and honored to know that their hard work got noticed; but when you try to pass the work or image off as your own you are no better than any other thief.

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