Sunday, August 03, 2008

Careful What You Post

On my last post, I got a couple of comments from someone that asked for me to email her because she had a very important question to ask me.
It peaked my curiosity, so I emailed her.
The question she had for me was about a picture that I used on one of my past posts.
It was one that I was talking about gallbladder sludge. I had found a cute little picture of a sludge filled gallbladder. So I used it. It was easy to find, I just used Google asking for an animated gallbladder, or gallbladder clipart.
Evidently, she had drawn it and put it on one of her post or online somehow, and she was upset that I had used it on my post. I use pictures that I find online for alot of my posts and I have not had any problem in doing that. I have actually never really given it any thought. You would think that she would be glad that someone liked her picture enough to use it.
Oh well, guess not.
Anyway, she is upset and preaching to me about copyrights.
So I guess, in the future, I need to stick to using my own pictures in my posts.


  1. I didn't mean to preach. I'm not asking for money (which I could), I'm just asking for credit. I know you didn't know this was against the law so that is why I gave you the link to copyright laws. I didn't mean to be preachy, I'm just trying to protect my art.

  2. Copyright issues are not something to get "preachy" about; these rights are important and some people base their livelihood on their ownership of copyrights. An artist, author, photographer, etc all own the rights to the images they create.

    I get that you were just using an image that you found on the internet but that does not mean you have the right to use it and post it. You need to make sure you have permission from the owner before you put it on your site.

    It's no different than going to a site and cutting and pasting text without giving credit to the author. It's the same thing.

  3. Oops sorry. Now I see this post. Glad you got things worked out.

  4. Downloading images from Google and using them (any of them) without permission violates copyright law. Which means, the owner has every right to sue you and you have nothing to stand on. If your blog is full of these, it'd be wise for you to either cite credit or remove them.

    This is what EACH AND EVERY IMAGE at Google has written next to the download link:
    "Image may be scaled down and subject to copyright."

    This particular image has the following:

    323 x 251 - 13k
    Image may be scaled down and subject to copyright.

    You ignored the copyright.

    I think it is immature of you to disregard the law and then justify it to yourself that the illustrator should "be glad that someone liked her picture enough to use it." This drawing is not just liked enough to be used, but it is liked enough to be purchased and gifted. It is attached to stationary, as well as a sludgie product. I'm surprised SAJ hasn't had a cease and desist sent to you yet.

    That shows her level of patience and legal restraint.
    By not removing the image, or at the least citing the source, you show a lack of respect for another woman's work.
    That certainly doesn't shine a positive light on you.

  5. I was going to comment on the gallbladder post, but I see that the post was put up a long time ago and people/you would likely read comments here first.

    As someone who has had their work stolen and put on another site, I will tell you that I was not at all flattered that they decided to violate my copyright and use my image. It hurt, because I work very hard at what I do. I'm not a professional by any means, but that doesn't mean that my work (photography) is unimportant.

    At first I thought you must be new to blogging, and didn't realize that it's rude (not to mention illegal) to steal other people's copyrighted material. SAJ's kind words and gentle nudge should have been enough for you to smack your head and say "of course! This image didn't appear out of thin air, someone had to use their time and talents to create it!" And at that time the appropriate thing would be to put a link back to her site with the words "Image courtesy of Secret Agent Josephine" or removed entirely.

    If this is the first time you've had someone express frustration over your stealing an image it is because you've been very lucky, not because SAJ has her nose out of joint. I see that your blog goes back to 2006 so you should definitely know better.

    I know that she has contacted you regarding this matter and graciously only asked that you give her credit for the image. That's a LOT nicer than the majority of the internet would be. People pay big bucks to use her artwork, because she is so incredibly talented.

    Just like the days of writing papers for high school and college, when you used an outside source you needed to cite it accordingly. The internet is a newer form of published material, but you still have to give credit when using the intellectual property of someone else, be it a photo, artwork, or ideas.

    Claiming ignorance is not a defense here, and if you continue to believe that copyright laws do not apply to you then you are in for a rude awakening. SAJ has legions of fans, and while she has been polite and understanding, a lot of them will not be. What's more frustrating than the image stealing is your attitude regarding the matter. The only person you have to be mad at is yourself.

  6. I was there when SAJ wrote her email, so I know that she was trying hard to not to come off as preachy or mean. She assumed you were unaware of the details of copyright law, and in addition to asking you for credit (instead of demanding you remove the image which she would have been within her rights to do) she wanted to help educate you so you didn't get into bigger trouble in the future.

    The sad thing here is, SAJ is such a nice person that if you had emailed her and asked politely if you could use her image in her post, she probably would have been happy to let you as long as you credited her or linked it back to her site.

  7. After all this discussion, you STILL have not given credit to the illustrator? How rude.

  8. SAJ is not picking on you. She has been subject to this kind of thing before. A bigger website than yours has taken her work before and ended pulling the images because they realized they could be in potential trouble.

    It seems like such a simple thing, give her credit for her work. How hard could it be to type the words: "Artwork created by Secret Agent Josephine"

  9. It would have taken less time to credit SAJ than it took to write the whole post explaining it... and yet you STILL did not credit her. Why not?

  10. I'm glad you gave her credit.

    You might also consider a link to SAJ. Copy this text and HTML for a link to her site or to her online store

    Original artwork by <a href="">Secret Agent Josephine</a>.


    Original artwork by <a href="">Secret Agent Josephine</a>.

  11. If you want to protect your art - keep it off the web !!! It's that simple

  12. Yes, you should.

  13. Anonymous is an idiot. Seriously.

    SAJ (Brenda) is a friend of mine. She is nothins but sweet, and gracious, and awesome.

    I have *also* have photos stolen.

    The general rule of thumb is that if you use a photo or image that is not yours, you give credit where credit is due.

    It is only fair. And honest. And right.

  14. How would you like to go online and find that someone else had stolen pictures of your family from your website and posted them as their own? Doesn't sound too friendly/honest/LEGAL does it?
    Think about it...
    Next time you want to use material that isn't yours, go through the proper channels. Or better yet, just don't do it!

  15. OR. You could just be polite, and give credit where credit is due. Not a big deal. Just give an artist a tip of the hat, "Image by Joe Schmoe." NOT A BIG DEAL.

  16. I don't think people need to get so upset about it. She didn't use it to make money or to profit off of it. YES she should have given Josephine credit but big deal? It's been corrected. End of problem.

  17. People who post anonymously are cowards.

    How hard is it to give credit?

    If you don't want to give credit, use your own work.


  18. Maybe you should rename your blog "This Little Light Of Someone Else." Just sayin'...

  19. Anonymous is dead, dead wrong.

    I was guilty of snagging graphics off the web WAY back in the early days of blogging when I truly didn't "Get" that I was downright stealing from people by using their graphics without permission.

    I learned my lesson very quickly and wouldn't have dreamed of pulling an attitude once I realized I was unwittingly thieving. I just can't get past the attitude here. It is totally bad form.

    I also am HIGHLY suspect of the identity of "Anonymous" but I'll leave it alone as I don't have any proof.

  20. I'd rather deal with a gracious artist "preaching to me about copyrights" than being informed by a lawyer that you are WRONG.

    Try some humility on for size and 1) apologize, 2) give credit where credit is due.

  21. There's nothing wrong with using an image you find on google in your posts. You have to realize though that these images were created by someone and that person deserves to acknowledged. It can be simple enough as adding a "photo (or image) by name of person (with a link to the site of the person if possible)" after the image. You can look at it as doing a good turn, and giving publicity to the work of an artist you enjoy.

    To me it's just as if someone took an entry you wrote that they liked, and quoted it verbatim on their blog, and didn't indicate that it had been written by somebody else. However if the person indicates that the words were written by the author of the blog This Little Light of Mine, for example, you probably wouldn't mind as much that they took your content, but without crediting you, I bet you'd feel a lot like SAJ does.

  22. As a teacher one of the first things that I had to teach older students is about copyright. More importantly it is not simply about copying text and using it as their own work. These days this also means not stealing a photo online. Too many students thought that simply going to Google Images and taking something there was acceptable. Not so! Taking those photos, as others have mentioned, is not only wrong, but illegal. If you find something in Google Images and want to use it you MUST e-mail the owner of the photo to see if you may use it. Plus it is important to give credit to the owner of said photo/graphic/design... you get the picture. Learn from your large mistake and try to rectify it by going back into your archives and fixing it before you get slammed by someone that is not as kind as SAJ.

  23. As someone who knows SAJ personally I can attest that she is one of the nicest people I have met. She was merely trying to educate you about copyright and asking you to give her credit for her work. What you did violates copyright law, end of story.

    It would have taken far less time for you to apologize and give her credit than it has taken for you to write another long post about how wronged you are.

    Anonymous comments? Really? How cowardly. If you can't attach your name to your words maybe you shouldn't be saying them.

  24. "So I guess, in the future, I need to stick to using my own pictures in my posts."

    Excellent idea. Or, you can ask permission to use an image, which also works well.

  25. I manage a large website for my full-time job and have several content contributors within the company who have at times stolen images, the same way you did. As the site manager, I had the wrath of lawyers come down upon me because of others carelessness. It really is a serious issue and I hope this experience has taught you (and others) the importance of giving credit when it comes to imagery. Many people can plainly see the error in stealing words, the same policy extends to anything created by another.

  26. I think that someone has too much time on their hands searching the internet for a picture that was used in a personal blog for the benefit of mainly family and friends.

    I could understand if the photograph or diagram was used without obtaining the proper permission and the publisher was making money. It is not the case here.

    I respect all coyright laws and the purpose behind them; however in this instance I think a certain someone needs to get over it and move on to bigger and better things. Perhaps soliciting Grey's anatomy or other medical publication would be my suggestion and the better focus of your energy. Pehaps that was already done and that is why the energy is focused here?

    I leave this post with a thought. If I were raising a stink about a photograph that was used in a blog then I would not want my name attached to it becuase it is just embarassing at that point.

    Grow up and find better things to do with your time. The gal bladder sludge is infecting other things as well. Perhaps there is now brain sludge? Can you diagram that as well?

  27. It's a freakin picture of Gall-Bladder sludge for Christ Sakes!!!!! Posted on a family blog while you were sicker than a dog. Man, them California cronies come out of the woodwork don't they. .Jeannette, just continue on. I'll have Nanna draw you some pics for your blog. I'm going to put the credit out there for you and maybe these people will go away.

    I am astouded, Jeannette that you have been called everything but a "white whore" by people who don't even know you. Saj is a saint and you are a criminal blah blah blah. You might want to set your blog to not accept anonymous comments.

    Now can we get on with this family blog and all you California cronies get a life.

    Auntie Glo

  28. This pleasant exchange will be remembered when the gal bladder sludge diagram is hanging in the halls of the Smithsonian or crucial in finding a cure for gal bladder disease.

  29. She Likes PurpleSunday, August 10, 2008

    I think the blog author (and some commenters) are completely missing the point here. It doesn't matter if you used the photo on a personal blog with one reader or for profit, it's wrong (illegal, obviously, but also incredibly disrespectful). You obviously liked the photo, well, did it occur to you that's becaue the artist is a talented woman who works very hard at what she does?

    SAJ created my blog banner FOR FREE. She is one of the most gracious and professional bloggers I've ever interacted with. The fact that you've handled this so poorly is your loss in more than one way.

    On the other hand, all bloggers can't have tact and class which your post clearly shows. You're a grown woman with children. I'm shocked this is the way you want people to perceive you.

  30. gloria:

    "I am astouded, Jeannette that you have been called everything but a "white whore" by people who don't even know you. Saj is a saint and you are a criminal blah blah blah. You might want to set your blog to not accept anonymous comments."

    Um, gloria: Maybe you're reading something else, because I haven't seen any name calling by anyone on SAJ's side, but as we all know hyperbole really is the greatest thing ever.

    Oh, and also, while we're pointing out the obvious, the majority of the anonymous comments have been written by your very own author, or someone on her side. Everyone opposing her is brave enough to comment behind their real sites, because we aren't afraid to stand up for what's right, and to stand behind SAJ. She's a friend, but also a talented artist, and the ridiculousness here is just that. And it's all on you, and the author of this site.

    The blatant ignorance displayed in the attitudes of the site author and her supporters is astounding. Just because you want it to be right to take another's work and copy and paste it on your site with no links and no mention of an artist's name doesn't mean it IS right. No amount of your attempted villianization of the comments herein will change that.

    It's amazing to me to see how all of this could have been avoided, had the author of this site simply apologized and given credit for the artwork, without first attempting to justify her actions by making SAJ out to be the bad guy.

  31. These people who commented on here made me laugh out loud so hard!!!!!!!!!!! are their lives that pathetically boring that they have to come here and get in an uproar over a freaking picture of sludge??? I wish I had their life for a second where i could take all this time to leave stupid comments on a blog of a woman who is soooooo sweet and caring...... In sane. Hey Jeanette, I am a photographer, you come copy and use my pics all you want. I will go find lots of sludge for you to use. Life is short people Get over yourselves.

  32. DEAR PURPLE: Don't know who the anon commenters are, and I don't care. But here are a few comments that are completely uncalled for. Your's being one. Jeannette HAS cited SAJ on her blog, but that doesn't seem to matter. Here are the comments that I found offensive, in lieu of the fact that Jeannette did exactly what she was supposed to do when told about the situation:
    I think it is immature of you to disregard the law
    you show a lack of respect for another woman's work.
    credit to the illustrator? How rude.
    Anonymous is an idiot. Seriously.
    Maybe you should rename your blog "This Little Light Of Someone Else."
    Try some humility on for size and 1) apologize, 2) give credit where credit is due.
    PURPLE HERSELF SAID: “On the other hand, all bloggers can't have tact and class which your post clearly shows. You're a grown woman with children. I'm shocked this is the way you want people to perceive you.”

    Enough Said

  33. All I have to say is...get a life! If you are so offended that someone used your sludge-filled gallbladder pic without your permission, maybe you shouldn't be posting it so freely on the internet. Get over it! It isn't like it is going to be hanging in a prestigious art gallery somewhere - it is a gallbladder! You should be delighted that someone thought it was "cute" enough to use it innocently on her blog. Geez!

  34. Hey everyone....all arguments aside, how in the world did SAJ know that Jeanette had used the gall bladder illustration? This blog is about our family and why would someone who doesn't know Jeanette even be reading it? I am sure that there are millions of bloggers out there. How did SAJ come across it? If you put your drawing on Google, are you notified if someone copies it? These questions are burning a hole in my brain. (I'd post a picture but I'm afraid.) Sandy

  35. Sandy here...just wanted anyone and the probably 50 billion or so who read Jeanette's blog that I am not the writer of the other anonymous comments. Unfortunately, I have not been able to use my username and password to post. Maybe someone else is using it....oh no!

  36. As someone who DID pay good money for some of SAJ's artwork (and gladly, her work is that awesome), I felt compelled to comment. It absolutely should be credited and there really is not excuse. Particularly, considering that a quick Google search on "gallbladder sludge" yields SAJ as the 3rd search result, it was not that difficult to figure out who did it.

  37. @ Gloria and A flowered purse:

    A blog is a blog. If you want it to be a "Family blog" mark it as private and email the url only to those you want seeing it.

    You are protected as far as copyright on the internet. People aren't allowed to see your content and take it...HOWEVER, you are not protected from others VIEWING your blog unless you take steps to make it so.

    You are also not protected from people commenting and voicing their opinions unless you moderate or restrict comments on your blogs.

    There is good and bad to the internet.

    Public blogs don't always stay private, little family blogs no matter how much you want it to remain so.

  38. I say GET OVER IT!!! She made a mistake. I'm sure she has taken care of it. She is a very good friend of mine and I know she did'nt mean too after all she just got married and right now she has better things to do than read all this crap. IT"S OVER GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!!!

  39. Hi.

    For any of you who do not know me, I am SAJ's sister-in-law.

    If we could all stop picking on the blog owner I think everyone would appreciate it. She has corrected the original post and given Brenda credit.

    This entire thing has gotten completely out of hand.

    We figured the blog owner didn't realize what she had done. She obviously wasn't making money off of the image here, and I'm not implying that she was making it somewhere else. The reason that this is an issue is because people pay for images, and I'm not just talking about Brenda's, and when other people use them it can cause legal ramifications for the artist, like being accused of selling the same original work to more than one person.

    Some comments made here were honest, and informative. Some were just plain spiteful. I want to apologize to the blog owner for comments that were undue. It is obvious that both Brenda and the blog owner have many friends who support them.

    As for finding out how the image was on this site, someone else told Brenda that they found a link to it here. People who know Brenda's work recognize it and want to make sure that it isn't being used improperly.


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