Saturday, March 29, 2008


In my post "New Year's Day," I used an image I found via a Google Image search with the keyword "sunrise." I "lift" images off the internet all the time this way and presume others do, too. I never thought much about it.... I assumed that they were sort of public domain, or something.

They aren't necessarily.

I received this comment on that post, from Digital Revolutions, a design-resource company which creates graphics and screen wallpaper :

Hello - Please avoid directly linking to my "Sunrise" image without at least crediting or linking to my site.

Oops. I'm sorry.

I went to his (or her?) site and attempted to use the "Contact Us" button to let them know I had now credited and linked it. However, I kept getting a message that I'd responded incorrectly to the "Challenge Question" (like a word verification, I guess) which was not being displayed in the contact form, so I was unable to contact them.

Anyway, it's done, it's credited, it's linked, I've learned. If I use someone else's image, I'll be crediting them. If someone used one of my own photographs, maybe finding it via a search or on my blog, I would want credit. I'm proud of my work and if someone else likes it, I want them to tell the world where they got it. Once a friend (who was also my boss) asked me to make a collage of photos of her niece. I worked hard on it in Photoshop, erasing out the cluttered backgrounds and replacing them with pastel gradient ones, added feminine little graphics, was pleased with the result, she loved it and paid me $50, and then color-Xeroxed copies of it on photo paper for the family. I felt affronted, maybe even a little violated.

So I understand and I apologize.

I feel overwhelmed, though, at the idea of going back through 3 years of posts and crediting and linking all the images not my own that I've used to illustrate what I've witten. But I'll be doing it from now on, and encourage my readers to do the same.
How to do it: Life's Journey asked how to creat a "byline." Here's how I've started doing it:
While writing the post, under the image type "Image Source:" or whatever words you choose, followed by the name of the website it came from. Like this: "Image Source: Website." You get this information by clicking the image in Google, which makes the image pop up with the website of its origin. Copy that. Then highlight "Website" and copy the link. It will create a link to that website. For the byline, in the toolbar I select small type and italics. Hope this helps :-)


Life's Journey said...

thx for this msg, thx for being honest, shows character......
and it's a warning for me because i have a running blog that only started now, and used pictures found on google. how do you credit it on your blog?
how to hear from you?
(you can remove this comment if you don't want it on your blog?)
another follower in His team

Digital Revolutions said...

Hello again -

Sorry if I appeared harsh or angry in my previous comment. Upon re-reading it, the comment could have been worded in a more choice manner.

Thanks for your credit. My problem wasn't as much the use of the image without credit ( although credit is certainly appreciated ) as was the image being directly linked; Meaning that the image is hosted on my sever and therefore uses my bandwidth when someone views it on your site.

No hard feelings, just something everyone should be aware of. :D

Mike Martinez
Digital Revolutions

Ellie Hamilton said...

Wow... something else I didn't realize, that it would use bandwidth on the artist's website. I just clicked "view full size" and when it came up I copied the link. I'm still somewhat computer-illiterate.

Guessing that it's OK for me to keep the image (you didn't ask me to remove it, and I REALLY like it for that post) -- would it help if I copied it to my own files and then reposted it from there, still giving you the credit with a link?

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, copying the image and hosting it on your own space somewhere would alleviate the stealing bandwidth problem he's talking about. Giving credit where it's due is good to do too, but sometimes you'll be giving credit to someone who's just lifted it from someone else. If it's obviously original work (say, a photo or comic) and there are no restrictions that I can find on using it, I give credit or link to the original source.