A man sits beside of the highway in a wooden rocking chair, one of many, and watches the cars pass by. He has been there for nearly an hour, just waiting. His products, the chairs, bird houses, potato bins, all have taken him countless hours to perfect. It’s his art. Each chair has its own character, no two chairs are alike. Every “Taters” inscription was hand burned into the wood. The older man’s only income comes from these products, which he hauls out by the busy highway daily, along with the few bushels of beans and basket of tomatoes he is able to pull from his garden and sells from the bed of his pickup truck.

Around lunch time business picks up. He is busy trying to calculate a half a bushel of beans, sell a chair and it’s companion coffee table, all while watching the rest of his customers stroll through the several rolls of chairs and finger his beans for inspection. One prospective customer notices the older man is too busy to really watch over all of the commotion, and puts a birdhouse into his car and drives away. Another customer notices, and commends the idea by grabbing a child-size rocking chair for his son and easing it into his pickup before leaving the scene.

Both customers thieves tell the recipients of the pieces of art that they built them. One man tells his wife he built the bird house, the other gives the chair to his son as a “home made” birthday gift. Unless the elderly man ever notices the birdhouse from the street or small chair on the porch, this will go on unopposed, forever. Both thieves taking credit for something that isn’t theirs.

Doesn’t that sound fair? No. It’s not. But it’s exactly what a photographer is doing when someone else takes their photos and uses them without pay or credit.

Our photos are our art, and the law protects our art. I don’t care who tells you otherwise, no one can use your photographs unless you say so. The Internet is not just a public domain where all information floats freely for free taking.

If you see your photos posted on someone else’s blog, do something about it. You have a right to make them take it down. If they refuse, you can sue. If they’re making money of the site, it is a big deal. If you take this lightly, you should look into another business. The work we work hard to produce is not for free taking, so why would you allow someone to post without paying for it? Take yourself seriously and never let your pictures go for free, to anyone.

It’s happened to me recently. I’m not naming who or where, but please, watch out for your work. Please read this blog about stealing photos for better information, ya know, other than me ranting about how it pisses me off for my work to be used for a message I don’t support.


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