Thursday, December 12, 2013

From ~DM to ©DM - A Case of Stolen Photography v2

[Editors Note: This was one of many older draft postings I figured I would finally publish. This posting was originally written in June this summer, and then finalized this week while my two sons were banging away at the keyboard (hence the slightly disjointed sentence structure)...]

As I drove through Wheatly this summer to see the great breeding birds (Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow)  at the campers cove location, I had driven by a nice little natural area called Two Creeks Conservation Area. Naturally, I had blogged about driving through Wheatley and passing this nice conservation area. When I mentioned the area, I figured I would link to it, so I googled it and found that it had an official website! So low and behold, I serendipitously realized they were using my Bay-breasted Warbler photo I had posted on my Flickr account from a few years ago!

This is my original photo. Notice the "Tilda" symbol ~ which had its own meaning to me

Stolen Photo! I don't know if I should be angered ... or flattered?

So, there is no mistaking it, the photo above is my photo. I have it posted online on my flickr account here:

Following up with Two Creeks Conservation Area-

I emailed the webmaster/manager of two creeks with a very clearly and politely asking them to give me credit for the photo or to simply remove the photo. Their first answer (after I clearly explained that they had taken my photo): 

Wheatley Two Creeks Association
To MeSheilah M

Jun 11
thanks Dwayne. How did we get a copy of your image? If you sent it, we assumed you wished to have it posted.  I will certainly relay this to our webmaster.  

Rick T
president, Wheatley Two Creeks Association

Then after clarifying one more time that I had not submitted photos to them, they reply:

Wheatley Two Creeks Association
To Me

Jun 22
  Hi Dwayne,

I doubt it was our webmaster who searched for and found your image. I'll explore this a bit further. We'll either give credit or delete it.



So there you have it. I don't know if they are acting ignorant or if its the real deal.  I know people "borrow" photos online all them time, but if anyone every emailed me that one of my photos needed to be cited properly, I would probably be quick to make the situation right.

I'm not going to let this incident bother me or prevent this incident from further sharing my photography online. I'm not going to pursue legal action. I'm not going to inject annoying watermarks either. I just thought I would share this story. In a way, image theft might be the most sincere form of flattery.  I have a list of 10+ people/organizations that have used my photography, and I guess this might be one more satisfied (but reluctant to give credit) customer.

Good birding!

PS: To get the special character © ... You simply hold [alt] as you type 0169.

1 comment:

  1. I feel for ya on this matter. Seen it with mine through social media. I find it more annoying than flattering as I see someone copy/paste my photo on their own feed and take in the praise from their friends who are lead to believe it is that person's shot. I just don't get how someone could do something like that. *sigh*



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