Think before you yoink

Alpana Singh with grapes, photographed by Jim Newberry

OK, so I found a photo I shot of Master Sommelier Alpana Singh on this MTV blog. The photo was used without permission from me, and–more annoyingly–without a photo credit. Below the blog post, a reader commented that she loves the photo; too bad there’s no way for her to know who shot it (if she had wanted to buy a print, or ask permission to use the photo, or hire me for a shoot, etc).

After a bit more looking, I found that same image on another blog. This blogger was conscientious enough to run a photo credit, but he must have found the Singh photo on the aforementioned MTV blog, because the credit he gave was to MTV, not me. I don’t blame him for the mistake; he was doing the right thing in running the attribution. But this kind of thing is bound to happen when you yoink a photo from the Internet and post it on your site without permission and credit.

I think it’s nice to share, and that copyright laws can be problematic. But it’s really difficult to make a living as a photographer these days, and it doesn’t help when a profitable corporation uses my content without paying or crediting me. Remember, vee have vays of finding unauthorized use of photos. So please, support creative people. Don’t run a photo if you don’t know where it came from. If you see a photo you like on another site and want to use it, ask nicely. Many of us will be happy to let you run a photograph on your non-commercial site if you include a link and a photo credit (I have often). And if you have a commercial site and want to use a photo, kindly cough up the usage fee.

The Singh portrait was originally shot for the Reader, shown below.
Alpana Singh Reader cover by Jim Newberry

2 thoughts on “Think before you yoink

  1. After a few requests, I dtleeed the last comments on this post.This is a place for Rob fans as I’m sure you all are and of course you’re all allowed to criticize how he reacts to things, give your opinion, but not bash him.If one person had come to me to tell me about the comments, I would have looked past them because in my opinion they weren’t that bad. But 4 people being uncomfortable by them? I have to agree the tone was off.As of a rule here we don’t delete comments unless they start unnecessary drama or when they bash Rob.

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