Flattery?

2006.Dec.11 Monday · 11 comments

in Books & Other Media, Life

“Creativity is great, but plagiarism is faster.”

– Clay’s Conclusion

Buenos Aires – I don’t know whether or not to be flattered. It started a few days ago when Technorati started showing up image links to my blog – all of a particular picture… a milanesa napolitana, and to my mind, not that interesting of one at that. All of them related back to the recent declaration by the local government of certain classic local dishes that are now claimed as part of Buenos Aires’ food heritage. For example:

El Kronikonlinked, not attributed [Blog has disappeared.]
Tenemos Que Hablar – linked, not attributed
No me Parecelinked, not attributed [The photo was removed a few days after this post]
Donde Busco – El Weblog de Quilinked, not attributed [Though I didn’t ask, he read this and changed the photo to one of his own]
La Abeja Africananot linked, and credited as his own photo [Blog has disappeared.]
Diario Digital ABC1 – not linked and claimed as their own photo [Photo was removed within the hour, with an apology from the editor in chief]
Diario La Prensanot linked, greyscaled, and claimed as their own photo, right down to a photographer credit [Photo was eventually removed when this moved to their archives.]

I finally went and looked at the city’s blog (yes, the city has its own blog), and sure enough, there capping the post, was a non-linked, non-attributed, edited (something specifically prohibited by my copyright notice) copy of my photo. I’d even like to think that someone in the city government regularly reads my blog – but it’s more likely, since this was an older photo, that someone lazy just did a google search for a photo and grabbed it. I don’t mind folks using my photos, after all, these are pretty much just large thumbnail versions of the original, and I’ve even provided the originals to some folks who wanted to use them for special events, but I do think a governmental entity who uses one ought to attribute where they got it from – especially since my site is copyrighted for text and photos. [Sometime during the two weeks after I contacted them, they added an attribution to the photo.] At least the folks who showed up on Technorati had the courtesy to link to the original photo even if none of them attributed it as requested (nor have I contacted them to do so), but then, who knows how many more places that photo has now appeared without the link, like the last three listed, two of which are commercial newspapers. Not really a big deal, and wouldn’t have merited a run on paragraph like this if it wasn’t a government site. Really it’s just Monday morning and I have nothing else to say after a long weekend…

Casa del Arbol - milanesa a la napolitana

Buenos Aires’ City Government’s blog post

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

asadoarg December 11, 2006 at 12:52

I hate that. If they’re hot linking my image I’ll usually swap it with something like “Image Stolen From http://WWW.EXAMPLE.COM” to steal their visitors. A few times even something obscene. And if they are using a hosted blogging platform I like to see if I can get their account wiped out. 🙂

Here’s another not linked

http://www.genteba.com.ar/genba06/legisl06/dic06/legisl02_071206.htm

dan December 11, 2006 at 15:33

Mark, thanks for that one – that’s actually a commercial site that charges for subscriptions, and is claiming the photo as their own copyright! That’s going just a step too far. I sent them a request for compensation… same with the two local newspapers that used the photo and attached their own copyright notices to it!

dan December 12, 2006 at 00:42

GenteBA also removed the photo – didn’t hear from them, they just took it off their site.

Singson December 16, 2006 at 23:52

Dear sir: linked IS ATTIBUTED. You are the one who would be sue beacause of what you say of other people.

dan December 17, 2006 at 07:02

Singson, “Attributed” means you state “Copyright SaltShaker.net” or “Photo provided by SaltShaker.net” captioning the photo. I don’t know which one of the blogs you’re associated with, if any, but I didn’t threaten to sue anyone – I didn’t ask anyone to even remove the photo, with the exception of the newspapers who used the photo and claimed it as their own copyright (and I didn’t threaten to sue them either, just asked them to not use it on a commercial site). I just rechecked the sites, and the two remaining listed above as “not attributed” do not state either of the attributions listed above – but again, I didn’t contact either blog owner and ask them to do so, I merely pointed it out here.

Singson December 17, 2006 at 10:43

I am not associated with anyone, I just don’t agree with what you say attributing intentions to people you don’t know. If you did not even ask the sites to remove the picture is because you have being benefied for the linked picture with visits you had not before. So, what you should do is thank thouse sites. Thats prove that there is not only YOUR WAY of attributing the picture. Any one who put the mouse on the image knows where it comes from if he/she is interested in. What you are claiming for is for free advertaisment, but the picture I think is correctly attributed, and nothing had being violating since those sites just shou the picutre from your site.

dan December 17, 2006 at 12:52

Whether you agree or not, you’re simply not correct about what copyright law states. And my site is copyrighted, because I do make some money off it – it’s not just a casual personal blog – by law it’s no different than if someone copied something out of a book or newspaper and republished it as their own – for money. The copyright notice and law is quite clear about what’s required for someone to use the photo – whether it benefits me or not. I also didn’t say anything about the intentions of the other bloggers – the only person who I “attributed intentions” to was the government blogsite programmer – and they don’t have the picture linked, attributed, or anything – they’re not only using it, but they put their own copyright notice on it, the same as the three newspapers did. It’s not hard to attribute intentions to someone who blatantly posts their own copyright on your work, on a commercial site – remember, the only sites I’m objecting to using my photo are the three that charge money for subscriptions and used it. (And, note, one of the three newspapers immediately removed the photo and issued an apology for violating the copyright – which is what the other two ought to do, but probably won’t.)

In terms of four of the five bloggers, I have no objection at all to them using the picture – something I’ve stated clearly. I didn’t ask them and wouldn’t ask them to remove the pictures – I do think that it’s more proper to clearly note where you got a photo from if you use someone else’s photo on your blog (copyrighted or not), but, being non-commercial sites, they’re not obligated to do so. And, I do think it’s inappropriate for the fifth blogger, who is, by the way, a professional journalist, to have simply copied the photo on his own page, without the link that the others have.

susy December 27, 2006 at 13:16

It`s funny. I ended here because of “Pasa en Buenos Aires”. If you put the mouse on the milanesa napolitana and you hold it there says “the picture is from…” (in spanish!)

dan December 27, 2006 at 17:54

It does now, it didn’t when this was written. I contacted them and asked them to do so, and they did.

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