Yesterday I found one of my images used on a website without my permission and with no attempt made at crediting me. So far so typical, what surprised me is that when I contacted the site owner about it they acted as though their behaviour was both normal and acceptable. They offered to remove or credit the image, but their apology was so glib and included the phrase “I thought it would be ok” that I felt it necessary to point out that I was within my rights to charge them for usage and that they had in fact stolen. (To be clear this was not some teenage blogger but someone who refers to themself as an experienced web-editor)
Their response included “I really don’t want to get into a discussion about imaged rights on the Internet as its a huge issue with no clear guidelines.”
- If you’re using other people’s photos or illustrations, get in touch to ask if you can use their picture on your blog. You’d be surprised how nice people usually are about this – but if you’re borrowing a pic from a professional photographer without their permission, they won’t be best pleased.
- Always credit the photographer/illustrator below the picture. “
It seems to me only fair to everyone that this issue be highlighted- small websites can ill afford to be sued for mis-use of images, and photographers cannot make a living if supposedly respectable business feel that it is ok to steal their work.