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Friday, October 17, 2014

What about copyright do you not understand?

Over the years our photographs, which are copyrighted, have been stolen so many times we've lost count. There are the incidents that we know about, that we have discovered or have been brought to our attention. You know for all the ones you are aware of, there are at least twice as many incidents that you don't know about.

One year in particular, our watermark was removed from one of our photographs, and actually replaced with another one. When I brought it to the thief's attention, she tried to justify her theft by saying she just did a search and my photograph came up, so she thought she could use it. Um, what?! So let me get this straight, you remove our watermark & put yours on it and somehow think that's alright? People get even more stupid when they're caught.

Our photographs have been cropped, altered, edited, whatever, you name it, which = stolen.
Last year one person who modeled costumes removed our watermark from one of our photographs with her in it, and rotated it. Why, exactly? I couldn't help but think she did that just to show that she can. But why would someone go to the time and effort to do that when we've long stated on the blog if you'd like any photograph, simply email us. We regularly allow our photographs to be used by models, bands, and media who ask.

At the beginning of the carnival season this year a carnival party promoter in the US took one of our photographs, removed the watermark, plastered their crap all over it, and used it in their ad. They didn't offer an explanation, but I know it was because they didn't think we'd find out.

It's not just photographs, it's also content that is stolen from our blog. In 2009, this happened. Couldn't bother to write their own post, just copied & pasted ours.

At the end of this carnival season we discovered two of our photographs in publications without our consent, our watermarks, or even crediting the blog as the source. So the above cheque is payment for that theft. I will say, payment didn't come easy. I was given the run around for months.

Ultimately this is vindication, in many ways, for all the examples of thievery we've discovered over the years. It's also for all the other bloggers out there who know their product continues to be ripped off, but they don't want to "make a fuss", so they just turn the other cheek. This I say to you: don't be a doormat. Stand up for what's yours. You worked hard didn't you? Schlepped out to all the events until the wee hours of the morning, produced your best work, so you're not going to be alright for some idle unprofessional armchair journalist to then steal from you and claim it as their own are you? Don't tolerate that shit. Nice guys finish last.

Let me simply break it down: After all we do for the festival, for people to rip us off is unethical, lazy and against the copyright laws. 
With the internet exploding the way it has for carnival in the last 10 years, it has unfortunately helped the plenty of unskilled armchair writers, editors and photographers who don't have the creativity, intelligence or talent to do their own work, so they steal from others. But let it be known, even though this blog is not our profession, it's our hobby, we won't put up with your blatant disrespect and theft of our product.


Unknown said...

Nice guys unfortunately do finish last, but I'm glad you won that battle! You go girl, you deserve that money! I hope more people see this post and think twice before they decide to use your product without your consent.

JeanneC said...

Good for you for sticking to your guns and following the matter through to a settlement/payment. It's the only way the message might get through.

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