the artside of the moon
A short note on Photoblogging
I used to use Stumbleupon as a site review and photoblogging tool. This pertains to that site, and some recent issues with photoblogging. A while back, I received an email from a "good samaritan", who had taken it upon himself to search the internet for copyrighted images, and to "dob in" those who were doing the wrong thing. He managed to find my photobucket account (because I had forgotten to lock it to public view), where I upload all the images I blog on these pages (I don't like to hotlink to websites, and it saves the bandwidth from the originating site), and had noticed that all images I had put in my account, were named with the originating website URL...
ie: I got one image from D2 STUDIOS INC, so I named the image d2-studios-com.jpg, and uploaded it to photobucket, where I also gave the image the following tags: "d2studios.com - David Derr". This way, I don't forget where I found the image, and if someone finds the image in my photobucket account, they know exactly where it came from, and how to find the site if they want to see more. It helps the original artist, by getting them more visitors, and if they are selling prints, then it might give them some extra cash. Fine, but not necessarily okay.
Giving credit where credit is due, is just the right thing to do. When an artist creates an image, a photograph, a text, it is automatically copyrighted. If I see a site which has a visible copyright notice, I will usually send the site owner a quick email and ask permission to use their images. They mostly say yes, and thankyou for asking. However, many sites do not have a copyright notice, and some will say "take the images with a link back", but it should be assumed that the artist would like others to know that they created the original, and it only takes a minute to enter a short link back to the original site, no matter where you are linking the image from. If you see a © symbol anywhere on the site, then you should ask permission.
If you are hotlinking it from the artist's site, then you should give credit. The artist is allowing you to use an image which is hosted on a site that they are paying for, so it's only right that you should include a short note with your review or your photoblog, saying "artist xyz made this beautiful image, and you can find more here [link]"
If you are saving the images from the site and uploading them to a free image host for your review, then you have to be careful of the copyright. The artist always owns the image, and some may not appreciate you saving them and putting them in another place for people to download, print, copy or mutilate (this is why you should always lock your photobucket account to public view. You can see the images, and you can blog them, but no-one can visit your account and see the images there). Also, if the image is already in an artistic community, then that community site often becomes co-owner of the image and copyright, so you must abide by their copyright as well. This is understandable, because it happens a lot.. in fact, it's out of control with tagging communities, email backgrounds and sigs, webpage graphics etc. This is where it's good to send a short note to the artist, just asking if it's okay with them that you have uploaded it and given credit. The artist can then keep track of who is using their images. As before, most will give permission. Others may not, and in that case you just remove the image and have a text only review.
This is a sample of the email I usually send:
Greetings.. I found your website tonight, and thought your images were beautiful. I would like to ask permission to use some of them on my site [link to my SU page] and would give you full credit and links as the original artist. If you can not give permission, I understand and will remove the image immediately. Thank you for your time..
As an artist, I understand how it feels to come across your images on another site, and it especially sucks if you aren't being given credit (or worse, if the site owner is passing the image off as their own, or selling them for profit). When someone asks me if they can use one of my images, I usually give permission because I appreciate that they took the time to ask. It just makes artists happy. We are using their images to pretty up our pages. It's the right thing to do to say thank you. Give credit where credit is due
give-credit.com | whatiscopyright.org | rightsforartists.com
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