Sunday, April 4, 2010

A copyright issue...not!

A copyright issue...not Apr 4, 2010 10:42 am
I have been out of the loop in all places that I blog in and on April Fools' Day, I went around SFF (SeniorFriendFinder) and saw an interesting photo that inspired me to write a poem. So I did. Before posting, I left a comment in the owner of the photo's blog that I am borrowing said pic and even tagged it in my blog. (I am posting the pic I composed with the poem here but will take it down after a few days --lest I get into more trouble)

Now when I cropped the photo and superimposed the text, the owner's attribution at the lower right corner of the photo was also "cropped" -- which stirred some negativity and obviously irked the owner.

Please read through if you have time and maybe you can share with me what you think. I must say they made me feel like I did a criminal thing and I was upset about it. Too many times I have seen people blatantly copying materials and claiming ownership of what is not theirs -- and that is not what I did in this "controversial" post.

I am posting the entire blog post here to share with you the exchange:

Oops...I did it again...borrowed another photo
On Valentine's Day I borrowed ConeyIsBabe's photo in her blog about Jack, the dog. Today, a day after April Fools' Day, I borrowed another picture from miteehigh's blog Photographic memoriesand wrote a short poem about it that I called, Tunnel.

I hope you guys don't mind me going around "borrowing" your pictures....thanks a lot!

miteehigh (the original owner of the photo)
I can't speak for how others feel about your appropriation. But if you will notice my photograph has an attribution in the lower right hand corner of the image. That is there not by mistake.

The polite thing to do would be to ask those of us that produce original work for permission to use our images for your purposes. That is something that you did not do. This process of asking for permission is in keeping with copyright laws (which I take quite seriously).

Your poetry should stand on it's own merits.

My reply:
I apologize.
Yes I did notice the attribution and I am sorry I had it cropped as I superimposed the text.
Please know that with my effort to ask permission is a genuine acknowledgment of your original work.

It won't happen again.
I promise.

I will put this down and maybe redo it the proper way.
Thank you, Miteehigh.

Since what you have done is illegal, might you consider taking down your blog and reposting it showing only your poem. You clearly know what you are doing. Your poetry is lovely, it can stand alone.

My reply:
Done, Ma'am.
I did right away after I read Miteehigh's comment.

Thank you.

I agree with miteehigh in that any original item placed in a blog by another person is theirs and permission should be requested and received before you or anyone else uses it in anyway. If their name appears it is theirs be it a picture a poem or other form of expression.

I'm very surprised that you are coming under attack for using that photograph when you had already given full credit to its owner.

In the past I have exposed two serial plagiarizers here at this site that regularly presented other peoples' writing as their own and accepted full and wholesome praise that the articles evoked. I got viciously attacked by a great many here for doing so.

Coincidently, both of those word thieves were compatriots of yours.

My reply:
Thank you for acknowledging my effort to give credit to the photograph's owner.

I feel that I know the plagiarizers that you are talking about because they also blog in the same other place I blog in.

Halfjean(that's my SFF handle)
I am saddened by this turn of things because as a "writer" of sorts, I also do not condone plagiarism. Since I started writing poetry, I have never posted anything in my blogs and claimed ownership of anything that was not originally written by me. I used to write poems from whatever inspiration that came to me but lately, I find it more personally rewarding for me to write poems based on a photograph I see/saw/have seen. This is one of those photographs.

Let me say here that I do not have intentions of claiming ownership of something that is not mine. I saw the photo, I liked it, I was inspired to write a poem about it and thought I'd share, like I did with ConeyIsBabe's Jack photograph. I have already acknowledged my mistake in cropping out the attribution -- I apologize sincerely - I just hope that I would be given credit for calling the attention of the original owner of the photograph in my blog- I should have waited for permission first before I posted the poem but I didn't. I'm sorry.

Rest assured I won't "steal" photos again.

It is a great poem.. And I do see your inspiration following or being inspired by pictures at this point of your writing.. It is so good.. I understand things triggering our minds. You are a wonderful writer.. Thank you for sharing as I enjoy reading...

My reply:
Thanks, rugged.I appreciate your and the others' acknowledgment of the poem. It was a sudden burst of inspiration that made me write that and disrespect for the original owner of the photograph is farthest from my mind.
Just sad that some others saw the act as illegal and worthy of reprimand, when I have, in fact, properly acknowledged the owner.
Now I feel my admiration and appreciation for the work of art was misplaced.

Hi Halfjean: I think you had good intentions about using these two photos as you probably just wanted to acknowledge to Coney and Mitee that their photos inspired you as a writer. They were both very good photos each in their own way. I think that it is perfectly legal to copy any photo we find on the internet, but I'm not sure. I have to admit though that it would give me an eerie feeling to log in here some day and see one of my photos in someone's blog. Nice poem by the way.

My reply:
Thank you!
I, too, am not sure about the legality/illegality of what I did but my conscience is clear that I did not do it to enrich myself/extract money out of it. It was just a simple poem I wrote after receiving inspiration seeing the photo.

I was very flattered when Halfjean borrowed my photo and wrote a very cute poem about Jack and his Toys. Clearly, Halfjean only used the photo of Jack for the purpose of enhancing her poem and she credited me as the photographer !

my reply:
Thanks, ConeyIsBabe! Yours was the first photo I ever found on a blogsite that I used for my poem. I was very glad how you so graciously acknowledged.
Most of my stuff I took off google images but many others are from the portfolio of my photographer-nephew.

Funny when I reported to SFF abuse that my picture was being used in a vicious obnoxious blog comment and asked it be removed resulting in the blog owner and commenter who posted my picture being banned I was accused of everything including jealousy and called every name in the book.

So its ok for some to copy pictures but not ok for everyone .. oh yeah the old depends on who it is rears its head .

Some of you need to examine your conscience !

My reply:
I can understand how ugly it would feel finding your picture being used in a "vicious, obnoxious blog comment" because it happened to me too in the past -- with ugly reference to the memory of my deceased mother -- But then...I did not use miteehigh's picture in a "vicious, obnoxious" blog post so I really feel bad that my act is being branded as illegal. I may have cropped the attribution out but I wonder if that unintentional act should merit all this "talk" when no one could ever say I did not acknowledge the owner.

Really, it baffles me.

lothringia (again)
Mountain, molehill, conscience, brain, arrogance, stupidity.

Any chance you will be inspired, to write an original poem, by my input on this post ?

My reply:
a mountain created
from out of a molehill;
something unexpected
I am confused, still.

an innocent attempt
to create poetry;
was viewed with contempt
made some people angry.

i didn't delay
i listened to social conscience;
put down the picture
the poem, they say, is the essence

a part of my brain
could never understand;
that part of others' brains
that saw it as illegal, in their parlance

shall I call it arrogance?
protectiveness out of place;
I gave myself solace
if it were me, I'd accept, with grace

was it, on my part,
an act of stupidity?
to use people's online stuff,
to create simple poetry?

I value my work of art
just like anybody;
from now on I will stay away
from the high and the mighty.

I personally feel that as long as recognition is made to the "author" of the material, be it poems, articles, and/or photos, there shouldn't be any big squawk about it. If there was monetary issues involved (royalties), then definitely permission should be granted first.

Too many times I have seen blog articles and photos that have been presented as the bloggers original submission when not, and I don't approve of that.

I feel you are to be commended for your efforts to make right, what you feel may be a wrong. As far as using stuff here that another SFF'er originated, its probably best in the long run to get their permission first. I think most, as ConeyIsBabe said, would be flattered that something of theirs inspired you.

my reply:
Thank you for this. You've said what I wanted to say.

miteehigh (again)
It seems that there is some confusion about use of copyrighted material. It is not enough to appropriate and then give credit to the originator of a work. The appropriation without permission and consideration is illegal in and of itself.

A original work does not need identification of the originator affixed thereto in order to be copyrighted. It does not need to be listed with the regulating agency (in this case the US copyright and trademark office)in order to be copyrighted. Any arbitary and unapproved appropriation is illegal.

ltw222: (quoting the poem I wrote on lothringia's challenge)
Hi Halfjean,
Lovely poem and you have certainly shown us your creativity. By the way, it is my belief that the first poem up there about the stairs is ORIGINAL too. Some might be blinded by their prejudice and failed to recognize that. I, too, like poetry and write a wee bit. I hope you are not too put off by this episode and carry on writing and, if you want to borrow another photo, you can get it from photobucket, a photo sharing site. I had borrowed from there and I always acknowledge the owner. I am a member there but I don't think one needs to be a member to borrow. There are other sites that allow you to borrow photos too as well as some that does not allow you to do so. Once again, I like your, shall I say, spunky poem.
I blogged here once too but am now on a siesta away from here and I think you already know the reason why.
I would be visiting on and off though to read some of my friends' blogs as well as enjoy your poetry.
All the best.


My reply:
HI, thanks for your comment.
Actually, yesterday after putting down the image of the "stairs" leaving only the text of the poem, I went to google images and true enough, I found a hell lot of similar pictures that I think would elicit the same interest in me to write the same poem had I seen them before. I wish I had, so this wouldn't have happened.
I keep my poetry in some other place (what I post in other places eventually get to one other place I consider my archives.
You can search for: Chronicler on the Loose in case I stop posting here
Nice meeting you.

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