To Copyright or Not to Copyright

Wroclaw Poland Anonymous Pedestrians

“In comparing various authors with one another, I have discovered that some of the gravest and latest writers have transcribed, word for word, from former works, without making acknowledgement.”                                                                 Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder)

I have noticed that some bloggers add a little copyright status to their home page or add the copyright symbol (©) to their photographs.  I never do.  I think if someone wants to use a part of my work or repost one of my pictures then this is acknowledgement rather than theft.  I am flattered rather than offended.

I have come across some of pictures in other postings and used in travel websites.  I really don’t mind.  If someone asks I just say yes, mostly people don’t ask.

I first posted the above picture on March 14th 2014.  The statue is called the Anonymous Pedestrians and is in Wroclaw in Poland.  Recently a website used the image (un-credited) in a top ten list of creative urban art.  Since then, according to Google, it has been used over four hundred times in different websites and blogs, none of which link back to my original post.

I am interested in what fellow bloggers think.

Do you copyright your work?

Do you mind if other people copy or use it?

Would you complain about it if they do?

What makes me sad is that people have used my image but don’t tell the story of the Anonymous Pedestrians…

Read the full story…

37 responses to “To Copyright or Not to Copyright

  1. 400 times? That’s a lot. How did you learn that? I have put a lot of photos on my blog and have never worried if people were using them somewhere else.

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  2. Andrew I am with you on this one. In fact I am busy using social media hoping people will use and share my photos and posts. I have no intention of selling them. It is always nice to have a link back to one’s site or at least a mention but if not so be it. Like you I am flattered.

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  3. I hadn’t given copyright a thought until I had photo help from a fellow travelor recently. I thought it unkind if his photos ended up on the internet more than I initially worried about mine.
    What I have found prevalent are WORDS: stolen from fragments I’ve read somewhere else. If a comment doesn’t sound like the commentors language, Google it. Lately, I’ve found too many instances and wonder what kind of noise will put an end to stealing. Stealing of words seems to go unnoticed but I remember what I have read. Recently an artist found her paintings used by another source as their own. PLEASE! Stop stealing. In in doubt, shout it out!

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  4. I’m with Sue. Since I don’t plan to make a living at photography, copyright seems like far too much bother. I absolutely love that image of the Anonymous Pedestrians and the story that went along with it.

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  5. Interesting points raised here.
    I use the copyright on my work/photos, but equally, I am happy for nice folk to ask to use it (has happened on occasions, two this past month), and I’m generally in agreement. I see it as no different than reblogs really; I spent time creating the words or taking the image (although debatable the effort involved sometimes), but all I expect is the common decency to at least let me know. For me it’s not a case of “Bogoff, it’s my Precious One!”, just that some folk make financial gain from ‘borrowed’ images/words – which is not on. Helping fellow non-profit bloggers out is something else.

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  6. I usually just say yes if another blogger wants to use one of my photos, though it’s also right that they should ask and acknowledge the source. Even nicer when a publication finds a photo on my blog and pays me $1500 for it. (It only happened once!)

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  7. I put copyright on my photos not because I’m selling it, it’s because I’m the owner of the photos and that’s it, if anybody used it without permission and that’s fine, if I use somebody else picture I have to mention it because it’s a sign of a respect to people who captured it.

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  8. I watermark my one-of-a-kind photos: the ones that capture a point in time that no one else will ever be able to get. But I don’t care about general photos that anyone could get themselves if they go to the same place. Like most of the other people who have commented, I’m in this for the fun — it is not a living. So it doesn’t matter to me. But I do think that its unethical to take someone’s photo or words without permission. I’m always flattered to be asked for a photo and always allow it.

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  9. I’m in the “not unless you ask” camp. But then, I’m not really sold (pun intended) on the “sharing economy” – not until there is sharing for inputs as well as outputs. We all need to eat. I don’t expect to get paid for my blog or photos, but if the attitude that words and pictures (and music) are free for the taking keeps spreading, I don’t see how anyone bar a very small minority is going to make a living from creative work.

    I do occasionally use someone else’s photo on my blog, if I’m posting about plans to go to a new place, but it is always from wikipedia commons, with attribution.

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  10. Many times all one wants is mutual respect – if one likes the image enough to right click and save, they should have the courtesy to give credit to the artist/photographer. When someone profits by using another person’s image, that is wrong.

    Recently I attended a public meeting, and a slide show appeared – and there was my image of the ‘red’ hand skipping across the header of each page in many colors… My reaction was noted by those around me, and at the end of the presentation the developer’s pr person asked, ‘aren’t you proud that we used your image?’ I pointed out that no credit was given, so who would know it was my image, etc.

    Sometimes people truly don’t understand.

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  11. Hi Andrew, Funny timing! Yesterday a fellow WordPress person “borrowed” one of my photographs. Without the ask. And without a credit line. Weird! I’m one of her readers. Did she not think I was going to see it? Taking the friendly route first: I sent her a nice message, asking for credit or a link. So far she hasn’t responded. Blah! Enjoy the weekend, ~Theadora (As always, I love, love your work. My daily inspiration!)

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  12. So far as I know, nobody has ‘pinched’ any of my images, but then, I’ve never checked. I hate the look of photos with watermarks on them, however subtly it’s done, so I suppose I’m fair game. If that’s how you earn your living I guess it’s necessary. I’d probably settle for a few kind words 🙂

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  13. My idea about “Copyrighting” may be a little different than most … but I do not really “Copyright” anything … per se …. because I do not earn money based on either my writing or my photography and even if I did my attitude is such that I do not worry about being copied because life is short and once I am gone from this old world not much of what I have created or produced will be of much notoriety anyway. I am kind of honored when people want to use my stuff. I would appreciate attribution but actually I don’t even insist on that either. But everybody has their own uniqueness about protecting their intellectual properties and that variety is what makes this more of an interesting world to live in.

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  14. It is simply unacceptable to “steal” someone else’s images. There are plenty of places where one can find free photos, some which require acknowledging the source, and others do not. If you use something from a major publisher without following their protocol, you may be contacted by them.

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  15. not using (c) is like being part of an incipient communism, but a good one, I like the idea of nobody using (c) I like the idea of everybody contibuting, midofying or just sharing what ever is important for them, that is real development, evolution, progress, good for everyone in the long sight.

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  16. Coming in a bit late here but this came up after I queried the subject. I don’t copyright my images as I don’t make a living from it but at the same time I never put my ‘best’ images online as I do occasionally sell them. They are all ones I took years ago anyway. But I have had my words stolen and I found them, or someone else has, in print magazines and what I’ve done there is write to the editor to complain. That way, the thief gets a flea in the ear. I will happily extend permission to use both prose and pictures but I do hate it when I’m not asked. I use Pixabay and always give credit, ditto with Wikicommons.

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