Saturday, January 26, 2013

Picture Pirating

I have been recovering from the flu, as I am sure many of you out there have been as well, or at least know someone who has been. It was NOT pleasant, especially since my whole family (including my poor little 14 month old girl) got it at the same time. There's nothing like everyone laying around together for three days wallowing in each other's misery.

This morning, as I am forcing myself to get up and moving in hopes that I will improve as the day goes on, I decide to conquer my inbox....two days of not checking emails equals a daunting task when that time comes to open it up. I received an email from a fellow Etsy shop owner and it was brought to my attention that some of my pictures were being stolen and used by someone else, claiming that she makes and sells these items! WHAT??!!! Do people really do this? The shop owner left the links of all the locations of my products, and lo and behold...there were MY PRODUCTS! In her picture captions, she writes "these are some of the items I have made in 2013." I could feel the sickness coming back...So maybe I am being na├»ve. I know that photo borrowing is out there. I don't have a copyright logo or anything on my pictures. I take pictures of my products, and post on Etsy, my Facebook page, and occasionally here. I admit, I have been known to use a general photo from the Internet to support a cause or enhance a point, without the owner's permission. But haven't we all? Never a small, private business owner's picture of course. And NEVER have I EVER taken credit for someone else's work! I see that as stealing. I don't mind people using my ideas, and recreating something similar. That's why I post things on Pinterest and elsewhere...to share! But taking my actual photo and claiming that you made that item yourself? Am I wrong in freaking out over this?

So the reason for my post is what the heck can I do to prevent this from happening again? I privately messaged her on Facebook asking her to remove it, saying that I did not give permission for her to post my photo, but have not heard back yet. I realize I am going to have to go through and watermark all of my photos and that will take sooooo much time. But it will be worth the time. I put a lot of hard work into creating and maintaining integrity in my business and it stinks that sorry, lazy people have to go and ruin it. Have any of you ever experienced anything similar? Please share what you did!! I need advice!

12 comments:

  1. Yep, a watermark will fix it. You can use pictures at Wikimedia Commons (everyone can), if you need a photo you don't have of your own, to use on your blog. I still offer the source when I use them.

    Sorry your pictures were taken... that's ridiculous x200.

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I will definitely look into Wikimedia Commons too if I ever use a photo other than my own. Most of the time I try to stick with clip art images to stay on the safe side.

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  2. I cannot believe there are people like that. I am so sorry you have to deal with this situation! Watermarking is definitely a good idea!

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    1. I'll be spending the next few weeks editing my 100s of photos :/

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  3. UGH. How freaking annoying. People are dumb and of all times...when you're sick? Sheesh. Sorry dude.
    Kaylynn
    colbkayandtrae.blogspot.com

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    1. I know, the lack of common sense in people is scary sometimes.

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  4. What a shock that must have been seeing that! I am guilty of not watermarking my photos either, but then again, I don't sell anything I make online, so I have a nonchalant attitude if someone swipes my photos. However, I would be royally ticked if someone stole my pictures and used them for profit.

    I am guilty of posting other's pictures on my blog, but I always leave the source below the photo and link back to their site. If anyone ever asked me to remove the pictures, I would have no problem complying.

    Sorry you are going through this. I hope you get it resolved soon!

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    1. Thanks Theresa! I hope she takes them down...I checked today and she still hasn't. :/

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  5. Stuff like that makes me literaly ill...people sometimes drive me crazy...I guess they think because it's on the internet...it's free! Glad to hear you guys are on the mend!

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  6. How awful. I suggest you do watermark everything. It won't stop it completely, but it will make it harder for unscrupulous people to try to claim your photos. I am in the process of watermarking all the pictures from the early days of my blog. I still have about 10 months of posts to go, so I know what you mean about time consuming.

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    1. How are you adding the watermark to your photos? Do you need photoshop to do it?

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  7. Ugh, Megan... that's terrible. No, thankfully I've never experienced anything like that and I definitely don't think you should consider yourself naive for not assuming someone would steal your products. It's ridiculous the lengths people have to go through to protect all internet content nowadays. I may honestly create my own watermark, too, just from this post. So thanks for the inspiration! :) Also, sorry to hear you got the flu. So did I... terrible. Hope you're feeling better!

    xo,
    Steph

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