Ironically, this happened to Steve Morton a couple of weeks ago. I never ever expected it to happen to me. My blog is rather small and my photographs are far from professional. But I woke up this morning to a message from one of my readers, saying:
Closely followed by another one which said:
Off I went to look at the auction which is here. And this (below) is what I saw:
Two of my A5 Cinnamon Siena photographs from this article – being used to sell a pocket sized Espresso Siena. The buyer is definitely not going to get anything like what is pictured!
Thus far I have contacted the seller and asked them to remove said photographs. No reply after 12 hours. Contacted eBay.de and reported it. No reply.
As I wrote in my previous post, it shocks me that nowadays people feel that Google is an enormous website full of free information and photographs which appear out of nowhere and don’t actually belong to anyone. Or that copyright does not apply to anything on the internet.
Yes I use Google images myself. I use it when translating technical terms, to make sure the words I have translated from and to mean the same thing. For photos I use on my blog, I check the source of each image. I avoid blogs and private sites and generally use stock images from online stores, where I can link to the item for sale under the photograph. Sometimes many sites use the same image, in which case I try to track back to see if it is free. 95% of my photographs I take myself.
If I really want to use a photograph from Google Images and it is from a private blog or site, I write and ask the photographer if I may use it in an article. I explain who I am and what my article will be about. I have never once had anyone say no. I credit them and link back to their site if they would like that. Otherwise if I use stock photos from a small retailer, I send them a link to the article and they usually use it on their ‘in the press’ or ‘testimonials’ section. If you are respectful and polite people are usually the same back to you.
I generally don’t mind people using my images if they ask first, and link and credit me. I like to know in which context it is being used. But I would NEVER agree for an eBay sale. What the person above is doing is selling MY Filofax, not theirs. And that is illegal and fraudulent. The buyer will not be getting the item represented in the photographs. Because said item is sitting safely on my shelf.
Hey ho hey ho, it’s off to watermark I go….
UPDATE: After my messages were ignored, I asked one of my German blog readers to contact her and I have now received a reply, part of which read ‘I just found them on google pics and did´t know that this is from your blog. I didn´t know that you will have a problem with it, which it isn´t in my opinion.’
This is happening too often to too many people to let it go. Yes it is actually a problem if the person who owns the copyright on the pictures you are illegally using does not want them to be falsely used to sell a totally different item to an unsuspecting buyer.
The nicest part is I have blog readers who recognise my photographs (or my windowsill or my desk!). Always good to take all your photographs in the same place then!
Thank you lovely readers!
The photos have NOT been taken down but a third STOCK picture of a Cinnamon Siena has appeared, despite the fact that the seller is selling an Espresso. I have now reported it to eBay.com