Today I found three more of my images magically appearing on other websites, including one of my images in which they left my plainly visible copyright, on the image. Nonetheless, my images were being used by others. The websites that I found today, are photo websites, in which there are rules and declarations that the work posted is their own, and not owned by someone else. Amazing, these folks all signed on to this web service and agreed to add only their own images.
One of the websites showed 8 of my images all built into a collage, along with some basketball photographs from the Gonzaga basketball team. This person really did a nice job with my images, but they most certainly missed the first requirement.
I contacted the web service and they removed all of my images from the sites owned by the people that took the images. They did it directly, and very promptly, and their effort is much appreciated.
Yet, this is indicative of something. Rather than describing what I really think, I can at least describe the taking of my images as “unethical.”
Last year I dealt with 10 of these issues, all which were on commercial websites. I invoiced each of the unauthorized users, and I got a 100% return of payment for the images used. That isn’t the point, and when I hear (or read) the excuses used, it is absolutely amazing to me.
I am not that difficult to get in touch with, if someone wants to negotiate use rights for an image, or for multiple images. Yet, that is the right way to do things, and it seems oh so much easier to just take what they want, anytime they feel like it. Honesty? Ethical? Do they even know the meaning of the words?
At least the web service (Photobucket) dealt with the individual use of my images very promptly and I thank them for that. I will NOT be contacting those that took my images directly. They would not likely understand anything that I would say, and ethics and honesty must be in a class they never attended when they went to school.