Monday, March 26, 2012

The Right and Wrong Way

A bit about integrity...

I am thrilled that every now and then one of my images speaks to someone. In some cases just to admire, bringing a smile or spark of inspiration to the beholder.

In other cases my images speak to someone for some greater purpose which leads to periodic requests to use my images - from individuals wanting to frame a piece:

Individual purchased copy to frame

to companies using my image for their signage/business cards:

Crystal Moss company licensed for business cards and signage

to on-line companies wanting to use my image for a piece on their blog:

Full Circle Farm use in blog post

and even to big time magazines wanting to use an image for an advertisement:

Martha Stewart Living request permission to use in advertisement

In fact, I just received a request from Martha Stewart Living for the potential to buy one of my images. Formal request, legal exchange of documents etc. etc. (the RIGHT WAY)

How exciting and wonderful! But how in the world did they dig up an image that I took a few years ago, imbedded into a blog post with tags that didn't even describe this particular image?

After googling around a bit... I figured it out.
I found my image posted on someone else's blog.
My image.
No request to use my image.
No credit given to me.

Do I really need to add watermarks to my images?
Doesn't everyone know that to use other people's words, images, artwork, intellectual property without their consent is stealing?
Have we become so accustomed to 'getting information for free' on the internet that we have lost sight of integrity, of common courtesy, of what is RIGHT and what is WRONG?

I would like to think better of people.

Fabulous update!
I contacted the blog author who profusely apologized. As I read through her words, it was obvious that she has high integrity, gives credit where it is due and had mistakenly left off the credit. She is updating her blog to link back to mine.

Goes to show, that most people do have integrity and good intentions.

Lesson to me - give people benefit of the doubt

What is your experience?


  1. Beverly,

    Your photography is amazing! I can see why Martha Stewart Living wants to purchase that photo.

    The sad thing is, I think a lot of people don't understand that using other people's work without permission is stealing. It's just not something that occurs to them, or maybe they feel limited enough by their own skills that they choose not to think about it.

    I'm trying to set a good example on my blog. I always ask if I can use photos, and I always credit the artist with a link to her site, Etsy, blog, etc.

    1. You are right - many people just don't think. Hopefully they will follow your example though, and learn how to do it right so everyone wins!

  2. Cudownie zroszone mchy. Zazdroszczę Ci tych szkieł szlifowanych przez ocean.

  3. I've had muy pictures used without permission, it's infuriating even when the other person ois not out to profit from it. I've also epxerienced people withi the industry, whio know how hard it is to get started, build a brand, etc, not credit pictires that were mine when it woiuld only take 5 more seconds in thoier Fb posts or whatever. I'm glad your martha picture situation was sorted to your satisfaction. It's true, your pics are truly gorgeous.

  4. Beverly - I have seen issues of plagiarism go either way. I am married to an academic type who says in his field it is common. That is sad. I know some artists who have their designs copied and sold - also sad. My middle son turned another student in for cheating on exams. Cheating in school is rampant and unpunished. Very sad indeed. Then I hear a story like yours - and I feel so much better about the world! That is great!!! I hope you don't mind - I have saved your photos for the color inspiration only for the things I like to make......I got your book ages ago and have loved it. Now I am going to start making some of the pieces in it..... Marianne Sanders

    1. Marianne, Saving photos for inspiration is fabulous! It is just when folks claim credit for work that isn't theirs, or don't give credit to others that I have a problem!

      My sons complain all of the time that their work is copied, or their ideas used by others. As sad and as wrong as it is, I have told them that:
      1. the best compliment anyone could give you is to copy you
      2. if you live in the creative zone, you will always be a step ahead of those that copy your work