X used my images without asking, now what?
In our large, but totally awesome, Facebook community – this is the #1 question that we get repeatedly. Why?
Unfortunately, it’s because people don’t give a damn about respecting others intellectual property. Whether it is images, logos, music..you name it.
Now yes, I understand that many simply “just don’t know”….which I might be able to buy when there are private individuals (who don’t run businesses)…but I firmly believe -if you’re in business you have a responsibility to make yourself aware of intellectual property laws (including copyright)…and you have a responsibility not to infringe upon other’s property.
So why is this happening so often?
Good question..I think the biggest issue is that social media has blurred the lines between personal and commercial use – in the eyes of society…not the law. (Which is a whole another email for another day!)
Who is doing this?
Lots of people. In fact, it’s quite discouraging at how many businesses with snag a photographer’s image off social media or website and then post to their own commercial feed. Note: This is infringement. It doesn’t have to be someone passing it off as their own. In fact, so many believe that mere “credit” is enough to alleviate one of liability. Nope. Not always.
What can you (photographers!!) do about this non-stop taking of images?
It’s so easy for others to right-click save, screen-shot, or get an image from someone who doesn’t have any rights to give – then post it. It is time for us to stand up. Photographers. What is the point in putting out our end-product and then shout we want value from clients if we aren’t going to demonstrate our OWN value in that product by defending the intellectual property rights we have by law?
Yes, Friends. I get it. It’s sucks that you have to invest to protect….but you should be saving anyways. But I’m going to try to help out with that.
Here’s a quick copyright checklist that I want to commit to doing this week.
Protecting intellectual property is a real and serious necessity. It’s time to stop playing games. Now, y’all should know. Even as lawyer – I tend to give others the benefit of the doubt. This is why I find it important we educate while we are enforcing our rights.
Cause if WE don’t stand up for our work, who is going to?