|This is what I may have on my blog from now on
--how boring, right?
But now....it seems like I can't get online without reading about someone getting sued by an artist or photographer for using a photo on a blog.
I have my opinion about this.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and we do need to respect the works of others. I sure wouldn't want someone posting one of my short stories on their blog without my permission. Granted, if they want to link to one that is legitimately published online then I'm all for it! And even taking a sample of my writing and posting it on their blog with due credit and a link back to my sites....go for it. That's free advertising for me!
If someone posted my entire novel online in a format where people can read the whole thing for free--or even worse they're charging for it and I get no royalties--well, no way. Illegal to the bone.
However, I don't see my drawings the same way. I tend to think of drawings I post online as "at my own risk"--something someone could conceivably steal although I hope that no one would try to actually sell my work as their own and if they use it on a blog they'd give me credit.
To me, the drawings I put up online are the free samples in a way. My work that you would find on Zazzle is different, of course, but then those images are on the Zazzle site, watermarked and protected by Zazzle, and I don't post them in their full format anywhere!
I suppose the issue is that now photographers and artists are using websites to sell their work, and many sites have images they have paid for as part of their web design without the artist's name necessarily mentioned. And with all these photo sharing places, there's just too much stuff out there.
What I do not get, though, is how an artist has time to sit and search online for photos that are being misused. I mean, say someone picks a photo of a cat, saves it to their hard drive, and uploads it to their blog...Is the artist/photographer going to sit online for days on end searching through zillions of online cat photos in an attempt to *possibly* find one of theirs being used improperly? I sure don't sit online trying to find my images. What a time-waster. Is this a result of our country becoming so lawsuit happy? That an artist would spend more time searching for misused images than actually working on their art, just so they can sue someone?
Anyway, regardless, I'm beginning to think better safe than sorry. And over the next however-long-it-takes, I'm probably going to go through my blog and take out any images I think could possibly be a copyright issue. I doubt I'll replace them, though. Too much trouble. I will, of course, leave all of my personal photos, all book cover images (sorry, those are fair game and come with the territory of being reviewed), and anything that to me looks like a super-generic clip-art piece (yellow "rating" stars and smiley faces and such). I also think that photos from movies aren't a concern. (Like Disney gives a flying flip if you use a movie still in a blog post-again, free advertising I'd say.)
So, there you have it. Expect my blogs to be a little less visual from now on, except for book reviews and posts with my own photos. (Sorry, istock and other photo websites, I'm not paying your membership fees.)