Colorful Old San Juan

Photo Pirating

This topic comes once in a while on different blogs and publications. Folks discuss copyrights and protection of their photos from unauthorized use, different techniques and their views on the subject. Personally I have never registered any of my photos with Copyright office, I don’t put any watermarks on it and I allow download of fairly high definition version of my photos. I don’t go as far as to allow download of the original photos, but you can download it at X3 size from my SmugMug gallery. For folks who use it for non-profit purposes I ask to provide link back to my site. I do not allow unlicensed use for any money making reuse.

I have never tried to see if any of my photos are floating out on the Internet, mainly because I have no time to seat and search for it. It never been high priority and I actually didn’t think that they have any reuse or large viewing audiences, other than you fine folks, who come here to my blog, my SmugMug gallery or see it on the flicker or 500px sites, or via occasional re-blogging on your WordPress sites.

So out of curiosity, last night I searched for couple photos via Google image site and was shocked and surprised to find dozens to hundreds of links to sites that have some usage of my photos. Blog posts, photo galleries, screen savers, screen backgrounds, mobile applications, to name a few reuses that I found. I did not see a single reference back to any of my sites or my full name. Most reuse had no names at all, some crediting other people (this one is super annoying), some had my first name only (how helpful is that?).

Will I do anything about it? Probably not. When I saw android mobile app (free) that uses one of my photos as background, my first impulse was to find contact information for folks who develops this app and write them a letter to either take my photo out from this app, provide credit information with link to my blog, or share $$$ that they make from advertising in the app from their 50K+ downloads , yeah, right! But reality is that I would probably spend a lot of time, a lot of energy and aggravation and get nothing in return from all those efforts. So I’m not going to do that.

Yes, it is annoying that folks out there on the World Wild Web use my products without giving any credit or sharing any profits. I have no time or desire to spend my time going after people like that. I do believe that there are still good number of folks out there who are honest and if they really like some of my products then they will find a way to provide credit back to the author or license it properly. But I don’t loose my sleep over all those photos floating out there. If I did, I would probably never sleep…

Do you sleep?

Today’s Photo

Old San Juan has couple streets that are used only by pedestrians, they a like a little shortcuts. This is one of them – Escalinata de las Monjas.

Colorful San Juan - click to see in high def!!!

34 thoughts on “Colorful Old San Juan

  1. I presume you do have metadata on all your images, so you really should be credited or contacted for permission by companies creating software or apps for profit. Unfortunately, if you put it out there and it is freely downloadable, then it is likely someone will use it and not acknowledge the creator. I have the same attitude regarding my photos, but am not so open minded about my designs and illustrations, which involve a lot more time and effort.

  2. There is a big community of responsible online users and irresponsible ones (some never have access to credit cards or sth to pay in the far countries). I have the same idea with you when seeing my work copied around (in newspaper, blog, books…) without asking anything. We can’t spend too much time just to go around and ask them why they do that. That could be a great great waste of time. I still survive with our own life and get credit with my own work from respective (or payable) users. That’s ok and fair 🙂 I accept that, like you!

    Thank you!

  3. Not that it will be any change soon (I fear), but issues around Internet piracy are emerging as a major component of school technology curriculum. Perhaps some of the next generation will make an impact on this type of theft. As an educator, I continue to hope in the next generation!

  4. Only yesterday I commented on another blog regarding the same problem. I think that number of people who would commit such a theft is still far less than the number of honest people. So it is the correct attitude to ignore the culprits and keep up the good work for good people around.

  5. Thanks, for sharing this bad news. But, what did you do to find your photographs elswhere? I only found refferers in my blog statistics as a proof, that someone has stolen some of my pics and put them on pinterest

    1. Go to and search for image by uploading one of your photos. it will show every known location where your photo is shown, plus similar looking photos.

  6. I am sorry this is happening to you and all of us. Even my photography, certainly not professional, is undoubtedly floating around the Web somewhere. I do watermark most of my images these days but seriously, how hard is it to remove them with any free software. I share your angst, the only thing we can do at this point is move along. It’s not worth losing the sleep or the high blood pressure. Nice post!

  7. I think many people who don’t give proper attribution are just lazy. It’s unfortunate but part of the landscape. The alternative is to not post on the Internet which has its many downsides too. I’ll continue to share my work and hope people act in good faith but there are no easy answers.

  8. I absolutely love your pictures.

    When I use a photo that is not my own for my blog, usually put a credit for the photo on my site, unless it’s a freeware photo. It’s that easy and that respectful.

  9. The most disturbing part is that others are taking credit for your work. By the way, the old San Juan photo is incredible. how do you get such vibrant colors?

    1. thanks! I take all photos in RAW format, so it has a lot of detail. Then in post processing I either process it straight in Photoshop RAW or first put through Photomatix, which makes them HDR like. Sometimes I try both and see what I like better.

  10. Great pictures – I’m not surprised about your pics out there – first of all they are very good so people want them and it’s the sea we swim in this internet – everything is up for grabs..good attitude – better to be at peace than angry!

  11. When I used to post on flickr, every single portrait of a girl with tattoos was ripped off by the commercial tattoo sites that were selling books of designs. A portrait of a friend of mine who recently passed away has been published repeatedly without anyone giving me credit. It must have been the only recent picture of him that was any good. Such is life.

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