Thursday, January 28, 2010

Copyright: To blog or not to blog

I found out not one hour before I started writing this post that one of my photos, the photo of Ricky Kreklow hanging out playing video games with his friends before a game

was taken, from this site, reprinted in mass, and used as a way to taunt Ricky during a game tonight against his high school's long time rival. Now, I spent enough time with Ricky to know that the action of these kids didn't really phase him during the game. He is a very smart kid, a talented player, and knows what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
Obviously, the actions anyone involved in this 'stunt', do bother me. The photos included the file name of the photo, which includes a coding of my name, mcav. It goes into the file name of every single photo I take as a way to identify myself. Never did I think it would backfire on me. See, I haven't given Ricky any of the photos I took of him last December. I haven't even shown them to him because I was waiting until a time where I could afford to make him some high quality prints as my way of saying "Thanks for letting me invade your life." But like I said, Ricky is smart. He can easily put two and two together and know that the photo was the one I took.
Almost immediately after I found out about this, I texted him to let him know that I did not give permission to anyone to use the photo and that I was going to start looking into who did use the photo. Now here comes the sticky.
While the notice "All Content © Matthew P. Cavanah" appears on the bottom of every page of this blog, and sometimes in individual posts or even photos, depending on how likely I think they are to be stolen, (Let's face it, I don't think anyone besides me and my family really care to have photos of my nephew.) there isn't a whole lot within the realm of Blogger that I can do to prevent people from taking my photos. It's a chance a lot of up and coming photographers take. We can't afford fancy websites that have built in right click protection or other methods that would have prevented this from happening. And I need a refresher course before I start tinkering with Bloggers html to attempt to put an invisible box or something to protect my photos.
But like I said, this is a risk that a lot of photographers take. Make a blog on a free website in hopes of getting noticed, and eventually gainfully employed, which is at the forefront of my "To Do" list, at the risk of people coming and taking our photos for our own use.
I'm curious as to what other people think about this and where do they draw the line with their blog. I'm not talking about putting in watermarks or sizing down photos to make it so hard copies are tiny (a tactic I obviously don't subscribe to here...I like big photos). I mean at what point do you say, this is too valuable to blog, I need to save this from the millions of people out there that think taking a photo without permission is ok?

*Also-I'm aware that the color of the photo in this post, and the original post it came from ("Ricky Kreklow: No Looking Back") may be very...scrambled...on some browsers. As far as I can tell, this has to do with how the photos were processed. I shot them using a 5DmkII but I do not have CS4 and could not process the .cr2 files from the camera properly. Using PhotoMechanic, I extracted jpg previews so that I could open them in Photoshop. I think at that point is where the problem happened, but at this stage, short of taking the whole lot of photos through a computer with CS4 and reprocessing them, there's not a whole lot I can do. Sorry for the inconvenience

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All Content © Matthew P. Cavanah