If It’s On The Internet, It Must Be Free!

This is a follow up to my last post of unauthorized use of photography. Many people, probably most people, think that just because something is on the Internet it’s free. This has to be one of the biggest misconceptions about the Internet and copyright. In the case of the photos below they seem to think that if you give credit to the photographer that’s all you have to do, then you can do whatever you want to with the pictures. The person that’s used my photographs from Tahiti on their web site at least said “Pictures are taken from Garry Black Photography”. I get a kick out of “taken”, yes they were taken and without my permission. I have several options, I could ask that the pictures be removed; I could invoice them; or do nothing at all. What would you do?

For some of the starfish infringements I sent a take down notice. One person who was using it as an avatar on a wedding forum site was quite upset when she found out from the administrators that she couldn’t use it any longer. This is what she wrote on the forum “Anybody else get their avatar deleted for copyright reasons? I had mine up for almost 2 years and now I lost it since I don’t “own” the image. I get it, but really, I mean it was just some random image of a starfish, I’m sure nothing they ever would have gotten sued over. Now nobody will know who I am since I will have to put up a new avatar.” The funny thing is that this person is also from Ottawa, my hometown.

Unauthorized use of Tahiti photos

I’ve removed the web site’s URL  and name from this photo.

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