Posting in Healthcare
Any professional who does not want their images used without permission can and should protect them. Failing to take basic steps is like leaving a buffet lunch out by the street, walking away, and then calling the cops when someone takes a carrot.
Author's Note: The article that follows was inspired by a discussion thread at Rethinking Healthcare. Those interested in the provisions of the Fair Use exception to the Copyright Act will find the full text here, and a good discussion here.
Ever since the Web was spun artists have worried about having their work stolen.
With good reason. Images are easy to save on any browser. Just right-click and hit save. (On a one-button Mac it's even easier.)
Copying pages and the images on them is essential to how the Web works. Servers cache pages to make them easier to deliver. PCs save copies until they are cleared or overwritten. There are thousands of copies of this Web page in servers and clients around the world right now, even if only a few hundred people ever read it.
I like using illustrations in my stories, but when I simply linked to them, in the late 1990s, I was accused of "stealing bandwidth."
So through trial and error I developed a policy. I would try to use small versions of each image, just big enough to fit the space. I would credit sources. I would name them and link to them. If it was a piece of art or a poster that was being sold online, I'd link to the sales page. And I'd say nice things.
That usually works. Publicity is good. Art that isn't seen doesn't exist. But this week I ran into someone who hadn't gotten the good word about publicity. He called me a thief. And he asked, "how do I protect my stuff?"
The easiest, simplest way is with a copyright notice. Create a file called index.htm with your reprint policy and put it in the images directory of the server where your images are hosted.
I would also recommend you put in your e-mail address and a link on or near each image. Make sure friends who use your images with permission take the text as well.
Watermarks can be had free. The simplest watermark is a URL linked to your copyright and reprint policy. These sit within the image, covering them only partially. I never use such images without credit. (The image above is from Bytescout, which offers digital watermarking services.)
There are many watermark programs out there. Digimarc is popular, and has been available as a plug-in to Adobe Photoshop since 1996. Other such programs include WatermarkIt, WinWatermark, and AoAoPhoto. Watermark 0.0.1 is open source.
HTML commands can be written that disable the right-click function on any Web page. Like this:
<body oncontextmenu="alert('You may not right click'); return false;">Or put in an HTML table command that makes copying difficult. A robots.txt file can keep search engines like Google from caching your images and making them available.
Copy protection programs like Imagesafe encapsulate images into a Java applet, making them harder to copy. CopySafe Web can encrypt images or whole web pages to make them tougher to download. There are even services that exist specifically to protect your images.
None of these tools will stop the most dedicated thief. If someone is using a screen capture program, they can extract any image from the captured page, then post it. For this reason a sharp eye is a good thing. Use Google Images to seek out your images and track down the culprits. If you have taken precautions like watermarking, you have an airtight case.
Point is, any professional who does not want their images used without permission can and should protect them. Failing to take basic steps is like leaving a buffet lunch out by the street, walking away, and then calling the cops when someone takes a carrot.
Final Thoughts: I want to thank all who participated in this thread for their input. It has taught me a lot. I apologize for my tone, apologize for my actions, apologize for any offense my words caused anyone. But if you want to protect your work, please excuse my tone and explanations. Please use the tools provided.
Editor's Note: Please see comment No. 147 for a note from SmartPlanet's editor-in-chief.
Apr 7, 2010
It is a real challenge for many image artists on web to save the copyright for their images, thanks for providing detail code instruction for doing so. http://www.smartweb.co.za/web-hosting.php
Artists are idiots. They make such a big fuss over protecting their "intellectual" property because they are deathly afraid that they'll never have another supposedly brilliant idea ever again and are desperate to milk everything they've ever done for all it's worth. I used to work at the Society of Illustrators. That place is a dump full of mediocre egos taking turns massaging each other. Dana apologized, give it a rest morons.
ACTUALLY, this is more like a chef making a meal to feed their patrons... and you climbing into an open window of his diner(hell, its open right?) and taking the food off of their table while they're not looking THEN going back to your OWN little diner and telling your customers you cooked it to go along with your lack-luster self-righteous side dishes... THEN when the chef calls you out about stealing his food you use the stage/podium/microphone of at your diner to belt out an unapologetic dissertation about the PROPER WINDOW LOCK HE SHOULD'VE USED to avoid you CLIMBING THROUGH IT AND RIPPING HIM OFF & how you were doing him a favor and "bringing him business" by serving it with a napkin with his diner's logo on it. What if I took one of your articles that looks like it goes good with an illustration I did & sold it to the New York Times and was paid for it? I mean you left it right here on the internet WIDE OPEN ready to be copy and pasted, you didn't make the body of text and image and put your watermark across it so its fair game correct? You are on a website called "Smart Planet". This whole ordeal is an oxymoron. Save the planet! But screw its inhabitants? Shake your finger at some random illustrator because he didnt have the insight in thinking his already licensed art-work would be stolen by YOU so its HIS fault? Google doesn't steal images. There's a big difference between having your image show up in a database of other related images and having an individual take an image, from its original place, alter its size, embed it at another site to accompany an article.... which he is being paid for. You saying the personal attacks are unnecessary is hilarious. You know, a membership to iStockphoto.com is pretty cheap and its a lot faster than skimming through artists online portfolios and ripping them off. I mean how many replies here are in agreement with you & your claims? That should speak volumes about your innocence/negligence on copyright law and frankly; begin a decent human being.
"...It has taught me a lot. I apologize for my tone, apologize for my actions, apologize for any offense my words caused anyone. But...." What exactly has it taught you? I guess it taught you to keep your mouth shut, lest you be thought a fool (because opening it, here, removed all doubt). I'm still amazed you have a job writing anywhere after this shameless display.
I have taken the liberty of quoting your comments in italics below, and responding... Artists who leave their work on the Web, in the clear, with no watermark, easily copied, expect it to be copied. No we don't. Again, you assume with absolutely no research at all. Which artist do you point to? Give us a name. This statement, like all the rest that you have written, is pure bull. It is copied, by Google, by other search engines, ad infinitum. Just because someone jumps off a bridge, you will to? You are correct, Google is illegally copying images. I actually do want the image to show-up in the page when Google displays a cached version of my page. What I do not want is for Google to place my images in Google's "Google Images" catalog. Even the very name speaks of ownership by the Google brand. Why don't I want my images to appear in Google Images? It's simple, I want to be the solitary distribution point of my images. The fact that Google may (or may not) be using a thumbnail copy is irrelevant, they are using a copy. If I try to keep Googlebot out of my images directory, it means don't crawl there. It doesn't mean don't display my images on my web pages if they come from there. But guess what Google does? Since I am a graphic artist, illustrator and web designer I am very interested in protecting my images. But as a web designer, those images have to be displayed with my cached web pages. But when I block bots from going into and crawling the images directory, they block all my images with gray boxes. How do you think that looks for a graphic artist, illustrator and web designer when people look at my site through Google's Wayback Machine at Archive.org? NOT GOOD. Now, if you expect Google to not do that, you write a robots.txt file and Google won't do it. And they take it out on you for even using a robots.txt file at all. Yes, it is pure evil what they do. And this makes it OK to do the same thing? REALLY? Think about it, now. Corporate greed and bullying against the common man is one thing, but you are going to step in their footsteps under the guise of their corporate evil and power? Do you really think you can? REALLY? C'mon. You know better, you apparently aren't interested in saying so. If you don't want others to use it, with credit, you watermark it or copy protect it. A watermark corrupts the image and all images are Copyrighted by default. My images are even marked as Copyrighted, but you need software to tell. Unfortunately, technology has not yet caught up with us and the readily available open source XMP format is not readily supported by browsers. I wonder why, as it is free. Calling me a thief does not solve your problem. Calling you a thief is simply trying to reach through to you and get you to understand what you have done and how blatantly wrong it is. This is Copyright infringement. You seem to refute that fact. I understand what you are doing, and its the same as any criminal, "Deny, deny, deny." It doesn't help. You are still wrong. Your ignorance is no excuse. You broke the law and refuse to admit it. And because you do, you are getting a huge response from artists trying to educate you. Some are irate, but wouldn't you be if I copied your articles and pasted them into my websites without lawfully gaining permission to do so? I can't do that because it is Copyright Infringement and so I don't bother. I have told y'all how to solve your problem. You have done no such thing. The technology of the web is still in its infancy. Google is still at fault for Copyright infringement and all the browsers make it easy to pirate art. It should not be this way, yet there is no such thing as "corporate responsibility" because the corporations have not been muscled into it by the courts. That is a sad commentary. We are in the dark ages of the Internet, and the web is not going to be the biggest thing, either. Art is a visual media for visual communication, and visual Watermarks corrupt that message. Hidden watermarks are expensive and require a subscription, and they aren't supported by browsers. XMP Copyright marks are freely available open source that is neither supported by browsers or safe browsing applications. The web is still very much in the dark ages. Thanks to Microsoft, who refuse to keep up, the technology of standardized web design code isn't even well supported. Every other browser in the world is supporting HTML & CSS standards much better. And there is all sorts of stuff that needs to be introduced (very badly). Things like Copyrights aren't even contemplated is simply one of them. And it remains on the bottom of the list because all original works are Copyright by default. I have apologized, and will change my behavior in the future. You have apologized? For what? Exactly what have you owned up to? This article is still here. You are apparently still under the employ of Smart Planet. Usually, you apologize for doing something wrong. "I apologize." just doesn't cut it. For what, exactly? If you would actually own-up to what you have done wrong and become a convert, actually understanding our side of this simple argument, you might actually see a different attitude from the artists out there. But frankly your personal insults, the level of invective, speaks to something else beyond me, and beyond this case. I'd like to hear what it is. I think it is a response to a criminal who has taken a criminal stance. You never once admit wrong, and yet it is clear, even to you, that you Infringed on someone else's Copyright. And what does an artist have? His/her Copyrighted works. That's all we have to market and sell. To dilute that Copyright is a criminal offense. Sure, you took the image down, great. That's a first step. You apologized, but we are not sure what for, because you refuse to admit any wrong doing at all. So, your apology not only rings hollow because it is so empty, but your attitude is that *WE*, the artists, should change. You so clearly spell out exactly how to do that and yet you hear from us all how ineffective that really is. I know you don't like to hear that you are wrong. It is demonstrated and determined by your responses here. The reason we are so upset with you is because you are in a public position of influence and are misguiding everyone. Your reasoning is flawed to a point of creating an attitude of lawlessness. We should be upset because a writer is usually considered an artist. If not, he/she is usually a journalist who bases articles on facts, and you haven't. The whole article is bunk and could sway others into behaving like criminals with no respect for the arts. You don't understand. That is the problem.
So basically, it's okay to lift images if you don't get caught? And if the creator DOES call you out, then you're simply offering them free "publicity"? I find your vanity laughable. Call a spade a spade, you're advocating theft and misrepresentation. What a joke.
CBS??? Are you serious???? As a professional illustrator who makes a living off of his artwork, I find it absolutely appalling that you, CBS, is allowing this nonsense response from your writers and editors to continue, how fast would it end if say, Chris Buzelli was to go forward with a lawsuit against you? Which at this point I hope he does in a big way. However something tells me he will not as he can't take anytime away from his artwork. You have to be kidding me right now. Nicholas Wright Glens Falls, NY http://www.sharppencilcreative.com
The ease with which a crime can be committed does not remove the criminality. To the argue the opposite, as you're doing, is mind-numbingly idiotic. It's amazing that anyone has seen fit to give you a platform with thinking like this and saddening to think of the mind that actually follows and considers the blog of such a mentally deficient twat as yourself, Dana.
@Larry Dignan "If I were writing Dana's big mother/health care post I probably would have just used Martin Lawrence's Big Momma movie promo pix or something. That may have not been the perfect image, but you get the idea. If it's something unique you just have to have ask for permission. One man's favor via a link is another man's theft. That's why generally speaking I rely on distributed publicly pix." It's nice that you've chosen to voice an opinion on this issue. This statement, however, brands you as ignorant as Mr. Blankenhorn. Yes, movie stills are freely distributed publicity photos. To be used to promote the movie. Using these images to illustrate a completely unrelated health care article without approval or authorization is just as much a violation of the rights of the artist (or the studio) as Mr. Blankenhorn's initial infringement.
If you still hang on to those "Protection Tools" after all the comments letting you know that these harm our profession as artists more than help them, I doubt you have learnt anything.
"Final Thoughts: I want to thank all who participated in this thread for their input. It has taught me a lot. I apologize for my tone, apologize for my actions, apologize for any offense my words caused anyone. But if you want to protect your work, please excuse my tone and explanations. Please use the tools provided." Dana, It's not really an apology if there's a "but" involved. How about a little due diligence and an HONEST apology, if you're capable. Not cool, sir, not cool. Rob Clifford Nein Spies Illustration & Design bigrobot.deviantart.com
However....If Mr Blankenhorn bypasses said tools provided by Mr Blankenhorn than that's... my fault? No, it's not. And yes, it's still illegal.
I would personally like to thank Mr Blankenhorn for providing me with the tools to protect myself from............Mr Blankenhorn. Whether or not I utilize any of these tools, stealing copyrighted imagery is still illegal. ie What you did is still illegal. Eric Fortune
This is absolutely incredible to read. Sorry, Dana, you were (and if you continue doing such things as in the original article, are) a thief. "Y'all may not accept the apology, or the explanations, or my interpretation of the law, but there it is. On some things we must agree to disagree." You could have stopped at apology and explanations. Interpretation of the law, though? You used someone's work without their permission (either directly or via something like the creative commons - "it's just sitting there" is not "everyone has permission," and yes, the artist coming up and saying "Remove my work, you do not have permission" is protecting his copyright, that which is granted *on creation to every piece of art,* written, visual, or otherwise. You give "technological measures" that are easily worked around. You give analogies such as: "But those who leave their doors unlocked and then call the police when someone takes a book and leaves a note are making more of this than there is. Especially when the book is returned immediately upon asking. " Know what someone coming in - whether my doors are locked or not - and taking my property is called, whether it's returned or not, whether they leave a NOTE or not? They're called a "Thief." The cops may say "Lock your doors" after - but they'll still take the person away in the back of the squad car. I'll let you think about that while you go to the break room and "creatively acquire" a coworker's lunch while leaving a note. Do tell us what their reaction is.
Your argument is basically this. You can walk into your neighbors house if the door is unlocked, and take his TV, providing there isn't a sign attached to it that says "Don't steal me". Yes. You could very easily do that. It doesn't make it right. And leaving a note that says "Thanks for the TV" doesn't make it right, either. Nor does saying "finders, keepers." There are sources all over the place that contain stock images that are free for public use. As a journalist, you should know that. If you don't, that's even more pathetic.
Dana, YOU ARE NOT A DAMN SEARCH ENGINE!! You do not have the same rights as a Search Engine when using Intellectual Property, for Reasons that are easily understood by most.
Arggghhh! http://www.danablankenhorn.com/2010/04/how-i-stole-the-mona-lisa.html Unbe-f*cking-lievable.
Wow, what an idiot you are. You take absolutely no responsibility for your Copyright infringement at all. The bottom line is that you stole another person's work and very obviously did not have permission, nor did you bother to get it. That is the very definition of a thief. You can make all the excuses you want, but that's all they are, excuses, and poor ones at that. Watermarks corrupt the image. An artist wants to show his work as envisioned. Hidden watermarks cost money, usually it is a subscription. And starving artists can't always plan on a regular income to meet bills. You can disable the right mouse button, but all a guy has to do is save the document as a complete web page. So it does nothing to protect the image and in the process it disables all sorts of functionality for the web user who web designers want to be accommodating and friendly to. WOW, what a sick, twisted criminal mind you have. In the end, the only thing we have to protect our own work is to sue those that will rip us off.
Dana Blankenhorn, your views on copyright are appalling. I hope you will come to your senses and issue a public apology and monetary compensation where it is due, the sooner the better. Mark Vatsel Vatsel.com
Oddly enough, in Mr. Dana's book, The Blankenhorn Effect, the following text is found: "Copyright 2002 by Dana Blankenhorn. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written prior permission of the author." Seems a little hypocritical dont'cha think? All that legal mumbo jumbo from someone who has made the comments Mr. Dana has made.
Seriously? You call us ignorant? We know how to use the tools he outlined so "graciously" for us. The thing is, most of them are more harmful to our career than they are helpful. We want our work to be seen by as many people as possible. Search engines help us in that quest and regardless of what Dana say, an image appearing in a search engine result is not that search engine publishing our art. The disabling of the right click feature is useless due to screen capture, and almost all watermarks can be lifted. More on the watermark- we don't want our image to be compromisd by an ugly watermark. We're artists and we think of the entire composition of the image and slaping a watermark on top is equal to defacing the work. Plus, someone could still use the image regardless, with the watermark still there and, yes, it is still illegal. Plus, we as artists send out packets to publishers of our most current work featuring watermark free work, to give their art directors the proper feel for what said work looks like, if they choose to use it, they get a license that clearly states HOW and WHERE and for HOW LONG they can use it. They contact us and compensate us because they are professional and know the law. We aren't shouting at the sky, we are RIGHT. Look at comment 147, it's from Dana's editor in chief. You my anonymous friend are the ignorant one.
Hello my fellow artists! The way our profession is treated at times is sickening. No one would dare to claim a free meal at a restaurant in exchange for telling friends that it was tasty and yet in our industry some people do not even bother to ask. Artworks get stolen on a daily basis as if this was a natural thing to do, as if art grows on trees or is generated with a single button click in mysterious apps like Photoshop. Illustrators, designer, concept artists, animator and many others are the backbone and face of one of the biggest industries on this planet, Film, games, toys, you name it, most products need a design and milliards are made every year. We are not talking about some kids who use artworks to beautify their homepages, no, we are talking about other industry professionals who steal our artworks for commercial purposes. Stolen artworks are being used as Book covers, in games, illustration articles, being used as a reference for new concepts, poster prints, t-shirts and so on, endless list. We discuss and reveal some of the facts regarding - Copyright - baiting with free exposure - Art theft - Protecting your work - Contracts - pricing - fooling artists with asking for help to develop 'free' projects A big number of artists, especially young artists are constantly being ripped off, underplayed or not played at all, lured into contract traps, lured with exposure, get their artworks stolen. Having a great number of members we can do many things about it and be sure, things DO need to be done unless you want to find yourself one day working at a gas station in order to support your ?dream? job as Artist. Having a great number means having a strong voice, a international infrastructure, access to information on various subjects around the world and legal advice . We can help each other dealing with various issues, collect and share information and facts and deal with art theft. Every artist is free to join and post up some experience here, issues, links to stolen art, warnings, tips. This is a good thing! Let us all try to heal each other! Invite your fellow artist friends to join. Trust me, it will make a huge difference writing a little mail of complaint on your own or having a gigantic family of thousand of artists behind you. join the international artist group against art theft http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=116235051725808&ref=mf
"But if you want to protect your work, please excuse my tone and explanations. Please use the tools provided." My work is protected under copyright law immediately I create it. I am already using the 'tools provided' under copyright law. You should assume this is so of all images, and only use those that have clearly been identified as copyright free and available for your use. Do not put the onus on creators to further protect or identify their work when it is your job to check before aquiring any image to use for your own gain.
Am I the only one here noticing that a very important bullet point of this issue is being completely avoided?? Y'know, the real issue isn't JUST about copyright. It's not JUST about art theft. It's that the copyrighted art in question was already paid for by another publication! That you stole it was bad enough. That you've acknowledged that you did wrong is admirable and all. But, all you've apologized for was the action itself. No mention of your realization that this wrong could have resulted in serious legal issues. You almost act as if it "wasn't a big deal or anything". I can almost see the dismissive shrug accompanying that kind of statement, too. Look, I'm an artist. Not a famous one. Hell, in the past 6 years I've sold MAYBE about 50 pieces of artwork, totaling no more than perhaps $1500 collectively. But, I still value the thought of credit where it's due. That does, however, require an understanding on the part of all parties involved. "Compensating" by saying nice things about the artist doesn't cut it when the art is being used in an article that you're getting paid for and he/she isn't. What REALLY gets me the most about this is THIS ARTICLE. "Hey, sorry I stole your art. My bad. Know what'd help? Not being a dumbass and posting it on the 'net to begin with, kid." Seriously? How 'bout this? "Hey, sorry I stole your art. My bad. Know what'd help? An article that brings this kind of situation to light so that others who thought like I did would know better than to just take artwork in the future without asking the artists' permission first!" See what I did there? Y'know... making it sound more like it wasn't the artists' fault for making their artwork so easy to take? Because while that might be the case, it's still the THIEF that's responsible for the actual theft. "Hmmmm..."
Way to go, Chris, and all my other fellow creators for calling this guy out on his blatant ignorance of copyright law and lack of common sense. I've had my work printed without my permission and it really makes you angry when it happens. Because like Chris said, this is how we make our living. And It really cracks me up how Dana thought he was doing Chris a favor by giving him credit. Um, news flash sir, some of us don't really care about free publicity and don't need it anymore. What we care about is protecting our work and getting paid for the work we do. A huge thanks to Larry for chiming in and giving the apology that should have come from Dana in the first place. I'm sure many have learned a lot from this incident. Jeff Miracola Artist/Illustrator
As both a writer and an illustrator, I shouldn't have to explicitly indicate copyright on every single one of my images, and placing a watermark over my webcomics would be intrusive and detract from the design. All of my images (save a few that are Creative Commons US 3.0 License) are copyrighted. It may not be indicated on every image, but I hold a database record of every image I own. I determine where and when my images can be displayed, and the fact that they are on the web doesn't mean they're fair game. By that logic, the fact that your car is on a public street means that I can borrow it, change its color and return it to you whenever I choose.
I don't understand how you've shoe-horned this entire situation into you being the noble defender of the web. It's rather disgusting. But there is one thing that you cannot do, regardless of whatever law you think you have on your side. You cannot tell artists what to do with their work. Artists meaning writers, painters, designers etc. You can't tell us how to promote or protect it. In fact the examples you give are known, by probably 95% of the artists that have a web presence. But, I want to be very clear, you are not doing us any favors. Don't pretend like you have our best interests at heart, because if that were true, you would be apologizing completely without an asterix at the end telling us that it's our fault and it will continue to happen. This is no apology at all and we are not morons. Please do not insult us further. As professional illustrators, you have to realize that it's not like we're just thrown into the world straight out of school or whatever work experience we've had in art, without learning about copyright law. In most art schools you're required to learn it in and out. After all it's our livelihood. We know the law and you do not. It is as simple as that. The law you keep referring to is essentially what is known as the law of scholarly review. A work of art can be reproduced without need of copyright approval for the purpose of review, meaning the work itself is the subject of a report, critique, lesson, news, you get the idea. The law does not protect you, because you are using it beyond those exceptions as a supplement to your own work. Again I realize you appologized, but you ought to stop trying to behave as if you "know better" than us. Because you do not. And also, google searches are known as registries of information, and are not publishing the images with a search. Finally, once an artist publishes their work on the web-forum of their choice it acts as another record of copyright to that person. Sure people might take the image, but they legally cannot publish it, which is what you did. We don't mind so much a fan of our work saving the image, but when someone takes our image and distributes it without our knowledge or approval, well they are publishing it without consent, whether or not credit is given. When we put something out there in the public, it is basically protected by the public. By the community. Everyone sees it out there, that it is ours, and then when someone from that community chooses to take it, and use it, then the community triggers the alarm, and everyone, EVERYONE knows about it. Your suggestions are idealistic, and not effective, the greatest protection of our work is what you are experiencing right now, our community. So again, you wouldn't be receiving such a mass influx of attenttion, if you would just appologize, and concede, because beyond the prior fact that you used the image, we are over that, you are insulting us by pretending that you have a better understanding of how to run our careers than we do. So please stop dis-respecting us. - J
Dear Mr. Blankenhorn, Images on the internet (or any other medium) are actually copyright-protected by default. Even when they don't contain a watermark or copyright notice, they are still the intellectual property of their creators, and cannot be posted or used without their creators' consent. An artist doesn't have to do anything to copyright his or her work; in fact, the only time an artist needs to display a special notice is when he or she wants to RELINQUISH his/her copyright, and make the work available for public use. (for example, submitting art under a Creative Commons license) It's an artist's right to refrain from watermarking their work. I watermark my images, but there are people who refuse to do this because they feel that the watermark detracts from the appeal of the image. Copyright law doesn't say that those artworks aren't protected just because the artists choose not to use watermarks. Copyright applies automatically to an artwork the moment it's created-- any extra measures such as watermarking or posting a copyright notice are optional. Additional information can be found in this article, "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained": http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
As someone who both illustrates and writes for the web for a living, here's my 2 cents. #1- I ALWAYS ask permission before using ANY image, even photos, not doing so is LAZY and UNPROFESSIONAL whether you are an amateur or otherwise. How long does it take to send an email? Not asking permission is basically admitting that you know you are stealing. #2- The "I'm promoting your work" bit is used all the time and it's NONSENSE. I've had websites write about my work and ask for images of my illustration, totally different from having your work used to Illustrate an article that is not about you, without your permission, this is THEFT. Illustrators have plenty of "Exposure". When you use someone's work, you have to give them MONEY. This is how it works. END OF STORY. "FAIR USE" is NONSENSE and a way for lazy, crappy, 2-year tech school graphic "designers" to avoid taking their own photos or hiring freelancers. #3- It's one thing if some housewife uses an image for her knitting blog, but when major media outlets, WHO HAVE BUDGETS for illustration and photography do it, it's something different entirely. #4- as someone who does both for a living.. creating an illustration career is about 10,000 times more work than writing blog posts, taking years and years of hard work and sacrifice. #5- when people like you steal my work, will I blog about it? No, I will call a lawyer. Forget "taking it down". CBS should be paying the illustrator royalties for every single page view these articles got. When we start hitting websites with lawsuits like that this garbage will stop.
Hey Dana. I am both an illustrator and a (sometimes paid) blogger so I am often on both sides of this situation. #1- I ALWAYS ask permission before using ANY image, even photos, not doing so is LAZY and UNPROFESSIONAL whether you are an amateur or professional. How long does it take to send an email? Not asking permission is basically admitting that you know you are stealing. #2- The "I'm promoting your work" bit is used all the time and it's NONSENSE. I've had websites write about my work and ask for images of my illustration, and that is a wonderful thing. Having your work used to Illustrate an article that is not about you, without your permission, is THEFT. Illustrators have plenty of "Exposure" what we need is MONEY. #3- It's one thing if some housewife uses an image for her knitting blog, but when major media outlets, WHO HAVE BUDGETS for illustration and design do it, it's something different entirely. #4- as someone who does both for a living.. creating an illustration career is about 10,000 times more work than writing blog posts, taking years and years of hard work and sacrifice. #5- when people like you steal my work, will I blog about it? No, I will call a f**king lawyer. Forget "taking it down". CBS should be paying the illustrator royalties for every page view these articles got.
"You won't write robots.txt. You won't watermark. You won't copy protect. Yet you expect everyone on the Web to ask your written permission before using your images, even with credit. " No, I dont expect everyone to do it... I do however expect people who abide by the law to do it. I'm not naive enough to believe there isnt thieves online.
I knew it was just a matter or time until the technological utopian "culture of free" lunatics showed up to defend this guy. Apparently, if you just don't believe in laws, they cease to exist! And the invention of the Internet has made the idea of intellectual property obsolete! The future will be a place where entitled teenagers will be able to download music and movies, guilt-free! Also, underwear models will hand out money on the street!
154 you have no clue what you're talking about. Copyright protects creativity. If copyright ceases to exist, artists will not be able to make a living. This means that the artists you admire now - writers, illustrators, fine artists, film makers and musicians will not be able to do what they do. They will have other, mundane jobs. This may now trouble you, because you won't know that your favourite music never got recorded, your favourite books never got written, your favourite artworks never got drawn. By expecting to get everything for free, your robbing yourself of the variety and abundance of things out there. You're just shooting yourself in the foot with this attitude.
Good God! When did a simple "I'm sorry" become so difficult? Could it be because this is a practice that you have no intention of discontinuing? If not I would expect there to be a never ending deluge of legal notices to pour down on both you and CBS. Joe Jusko www.joejusko.com
...ah, and I go off half cocked- apparently the issue has been resolved. Good move, Smart Planet. Reading comments is so often like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, please excuse me for skipping that part.
HEY CBS, WE all think you should PAY Chris for the image NOW! At least to show good faith. I hope this story gets out and major papers get wind of this.
Two problems with the thinking of the author here: 1. using someone else's work without their permission is uncool no matter how you explain it to yourself. If you, a person who writes for a living, use the work of another person who creates images for a living without their permission, you're in the wrong, period. 2. crediting them, linking to their site, etc, may seem to be a form of 'payment', or a 'benefit', but what you are leaving out of the equation is that perhaps this person did not wish to go into business with you. Maybe they don't like your articles, your aftershave, the cut of your jib, whatever. It's presumptuous to think this way- you do what seems to you like a favor, and expect someone else is going to appreciate it. Yes, once an image is online, anyone can have it. That is to say, artists put themselves in a vulnerable position when they leave their work where people might steal it, because, ostensibly, they want someone to see their work. Does that mean they want people to see their work at any cost, that they all seek profit, exposure and fame? NO, it does not. Now, as long as they are down, why not kick them? Kick them and not only take their work without asking, but use it in your for-profit online article- your career advancement is a profit to you, even if you are not paid for your work. You should get explicit permission to use people's work, and you know it, deep inside somewhere. -Will Von Wizzlepig
But if you want to protect your work, please excuse my tone and explanations. Please use the tools provided. uh yeah, it's called copyright law, and I'm pretty sure you get to "use" it whether or not you watermark your images. Have you even read anything about copyright law? Also, THANK YOU brianstauffer. The apology is nice but quit passing the buck. You screwed up, you're lucky you're not being legally pursued for this.
Wow, so many people pissed off because they want to use computers as something they are not. Copyright is wrong. Copyright business model is wrong. So many patents are plain stupid. It's the network, it belongs to all and nobody. You "post" it, it's no longer yours. You can get credit for it, but once on the cloud you cannot take it back. It's the new trend and people must embrace it as the wonderful technological miracle it is. Ranting off like this at Mr Blankenhorn for talking his mind just demonstrates your technological ignorance. YES! I'VE SAID IT! Ignorants! You are shouting at the cloud, something ethereal that you all don't even understand. You are spitting at the sky. The good thing is, in a few years you will all die and your sons and grandsons who grew their whole lifes on the cloud will get it, so your voices really don't matter now. Please Mr. Blankenhorn ignore the fuzz and keep writing (and using images, and crediting their authors (because it is polite, note because you must), whether they like it or not).
Google does not "take" any images. Or websites. Or anything. It indexes them. Automatically. It's a machine. It's in no way comparable to what you did. Artists have portfolios on the web so that potential commissioners can look at their work. It's handy if art directors can save your image in a folder for reference, so they think of you when they look for an illustrator. Watermarks are ugly. Why should an artist wanting to promote his work want to uglify it. It's comparable to making your articles unreadable. It harms artists more than it serves them. Why can't you simply remember that you mustn't use artwork you have no license for? Do you really need a watermark to remind you? You have no business in other peoples houses - locked or unlocked - unless you're invited. Artists also have no problem with the web, as you're now trying to make out. Artists love the web, it offers endless opportunities. One excellent feature you may know is e-mail! And oh, how wonderfully fast it is. You can use it to email an artist and ask for their permission, doesn't take more than a second. Do it! I know you can write, so you can email.
?especially as I'm offering publicity rights freely? what if a magazine called NAZIS UNITE MAGAZINE ripped and published a thumbnail illustration and put the artist?s name under it? Hey no harm no foul right? Thanks for the shout out and that free publicity to a demographic I really wanted to hit. The Nazis. (Yes I just made a comparison to a Nazi magazine...obviously an extreme, but your apologies needs a bit of a slap in the face) This is not only a copyright issue, it?s a moral rights issue. I didn?t even read your article because of how mad you?ve made me and all these people. The only reason why we are discussing anything here, is because you?ve admitted that you?ve done something wrong and you?re talking to us as if we are children and need your ?tech-savvy? advise on keeping our work safe...from people like yourself. ?I don't care if you think the law is on your side. It's not practical and it's not happening.? it?s not a matter of ?thinking? the law is on our side. It is and when you do something against the law, it?s called breaking the law and you did. You?re fortunate that the artist is not taking you to court where I?m sure the judge would love to hear you say :?we agree to disagree? and have you pay up in the other room. ?But those who leave their doors unlocked and then call the police when someone takes a book and leaves a note are making more of this than there is. Especially when the book is returned immediately upon asking. ? Wow... Hope I don?t live in your neighborhood. I love sitting at the dinner table and having a strange man come into my house, take a book from my shelf and leave a small note saying he?ll bring it back. I just hope he leaves his name next time so that I can invite him over for poker...of course that?s if he didn?t take my deck of cards that night and left a note. Maybe I should leave a note or a watermark on everything in my house so that X doesn?t ?borrow? anything because I might decide to lend it to a friend who asked for it. Dana, just stick to writing about what your really know about, whatever that is. You really should have just said :?Sorry, won?t happen again.? See that little dot? The period? Yea end it. This article will not get you a job at the Post. Cheers Paul Ainsworth Illustrator PS I know this is a way to get people to join in order to submit, but I will be
Anytime. And our sister site BNET uses illustrations all the time so we use a good bit of them in our business unit. Cheers
Dear Larry Dignan, Thank you very much for your comment and straight forward apology. I'm actually overwhelmed by the strong and positive support from the hundreds of comments and emails. I think this whole situation could have been avoided with a simple apology and/or "how can I compensate you for my mistake". My artwork and many others artwork are stolen constantly on the web for similar uses. It is illegal and I hope this discussion has shed a little light on this important issue. I also hope this unfortunate situation will not prevent you from legally using "unique" illustrations other than stock art in the future. When treated with due respect, illustrators are very kind and understanding people. Sincerely, Chris Buzelli
A mistake. I wrote "The Web is not the Web in that it exists outside the law." The rest of the context of my comments, however, should've made it obvious that I meant to write "The Web is not the Web in that it doesn't exists outside the law."
First off, our apologies to Chris Buzelli, the artist who had the image that Dana removed. Typically, we let our bloggers make these situations right on their own with readers, but now that Dana has dug himself a hole and surfaced somewhere in China I figured I'd chime in publicly. The post mortem: For starters, Dana should have asked permission to use the image. Period. Typically, we use images under Creative Commons licensing, generic corporate art made available through releases, media distribution or whatever and stock art we purchase through a service like istockphoto. If it's unique---like Chris' art---we ask for permission or if time is an issue (it usually is) we just don't use that work. If I were writing Dana's big mother/health care post I probably would have just used Martin Lawrence's Big Momma movie promo pix or something. That may have not been the perfect image, but you get the idea. If it's something unique you just have to have ask for permission. One man's favor via a link is another man's theft. That's why generally speaking I rely on distributed publicly pix. But this entire conversation really went off the rails with Dana's response to Chris. When you're in a hole stop digging. Yes, there are tools that can be, but that's not really the issue. A simple apology without the lecture would have sufficed. Whether it's "legal" to surface a smaller version or thumbnail of a work is besides the point to me. We're CBS so we need to ask permission if we are using images that are unique or don't fall under some licensing scheme. Hope that clarifies things a bit. The discussion following the SmartPlanet posts were interesting and highlighted an important point.