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?
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.