One of my photographs has been featured by I Still Shoot Film. A nice thing to discover when you wake up!
I think you missed the point I was making. I didn’t accuse anyone of stealing my photographs, I want my work to be shared (otherwise I wouldn’t use Tumblr). I make my money with print sales - my photographs being distributed online is no issue for me because the files online are too low a quality to produce a decent print. And no matter how savvy a web developer I may hire, any techy wizardry can be countered with simply pressing print screen if someone really wants to steal my work, so why waste the money? My issue was that my work was being distributed with poorly written drivel underneath it, and it looked like I was responsible. If someone wants to use photographs to support their “art” it is their responsibility to ensure proper credits are used.
I don’t know who you are, but it would be worth making sure you actually understand the point being made before you attack random people on the internet. Many thanks.
Those of you that follow my twitter will be aware that last week I had a run-in with a Tumblr user, who thought it would be fine to reblog one of my photographs, deleting my text and adding a poorly written pornographic story underneath. Unfortunately, I did not notice initially what had happened, and by the time I did (a few days later) 43 people had reblogged it from him with the aforementioned smutty story. This was a big problem for me. Not only did I feel it detracted from and altered my intention behind the work, the photograph was also circulating with this story and I was still the source. Therefore people coming across the photograph would think I wrote it. I would define my work as often erotic but not pornographic, in the sense that it is meant to offer more than pure sexual titillation. I have nothing against work that does you understand, but at core my intentions differ and I think that distinction is important. Finally, my models were amazingly kind and accommodating to allow me to share some incredibly intimate photographs of them online, and having a photograph (even a relatively anonymous one) of them circulating with such text made them very uncomfortable to say the least.
In an attempt at damage control I ended up having to trawl through all 43 blogs that reposted the photograph with the story and contact each blog owner to ask them to remove the text. This was laborious and unpleasant to say the least. And the icing on the cake? The so-called “author” refused to accept any responsibility for this absurd rigamarole. Let me share the messages we exchanged:
Me: Hi. You reblogged one of my photographs and added your own story. The subjects of the photograph don’t find it appropriate to have an image of themselves circulating with text they didn’t approve, so I’d appreciate it (and request as the photographer and copyright owner) if you could remove this from your page. Many thanks
Him: Hi. Sorry about that. I didn’t realize. I just reblogged that image from someone else. I’ve removed that post.
Me: Hi. Thank you for removing the post, but I would like to clear something up for you. “I just reblogged it from someone else” is not an excuse. Reblogging does not absolve you of copyright responsibilities. Every image on the internet has a creator and that creator has rights. The internet is not a self-generating fountain of rights-free material. Please have some respect and consideration for original artists, its common decency at the very least. Thank you.
Him: Hi, I certainly appreciate your point of view and I in no way intended to steal or claim any images as my own. If you have had a look at my blog you will see that the main purpose of my blog is not the images but rather my writing. The images support what I write.
I also did not remove the source from your image or in any try to infer that it is mine and that I own it. I’m sure you will find that that’s quite common practice out there. If anything, I found the photo interesting and wanted to add a little something from my point of view to it. I’ve received compliments in the past for doing that. Clearly that was a bad idea in this case.
With the amount of photos being reblogged on tumblr and considering the amount of people who do it, it’s difficult to stay on top of it and know which photo can be reblogged, if wording can be added etc. When it comes to copyright matters I would imagine that tumblr users are some of worst offenders out there.
This is by no means an excuse, just my point of view. All the best.
Me: I never implied that you were claiming my image as your own. The problem is that I am listed as the source, and the image was subsequently circulated with your text with nothing suggesting that I was not responsible for that also. I blog under my real name, I am an artist and I make a living off my work. The image is an intimate depiction of two of my very good friends, with a lot of subtlety. Your text reduced it to base pornography, and damaged my reputation as well as that of my friends.
He didn’t bother to reply after that. And to quote one of my housemates, “sorry means you will not intentionally do it again”. One glance at his blog would indicate that he is definitely not sorry.
I wanted to share this with you as it has royally pissed me off, and also for information - beware the idiots of Tumblr, they have no respect for original artists.
(and if you feel like trolling this fucktard, I won’t stop you.)
I currently have a photograph in an exhibition of Tim Andrew’s project “Over The Hill; A Photographic Journey”. Tim has made a short video about the show, and I would highly recommend you watch it - find it here.