Earlier this week I had an incident where one of my images was used without permission being sought. So what you might ask, this thing happens all the time, and yes you’re right it does. I’ve found one of my images being used as an avatar for someone I’ve never met let alone heard of on LinkedIn. The image in question in that instance even includes a water mark with my name! It seems an assumption is made over images and other digital media on the Internet, that once they are released they are public domain.
In this new instance, the image was credited to me, which was good, but that still didn’t get away from the fact that image was used without my permission and more importantly taken from my private Facebook page. Maybe I shouldn’t have got upset, but I did because of a number of reasons:
- The image was taken from Facebook – which for my feed is locked down to friends only, making the image as private as you can on Facebook without making it FYEO.
- It was a work in progress, posted to garner some feedback. It had been produced for a competition that was due in the next few weeks, but I’d abandoned it for the competition. Not to say the image had been abandoned for other uses.
- The image is a portrait of my daughter so there is an aspect of fatherly protection stepping in as well.
- The person who used the image is well known to me and I would have expected a level of courtesy from them.
- As the image was destined for a competition there was a level of control I wanted to keep over the image so that it didn’t act as an idea source for other competitors. This aspect may sound silly, but I redirect you to my earlier “Twenties” post.
Now I know that you might argue that once an image is on the Internet you lose control of it, and I fully understand that. I just expect my images to appear in unexpected places, aka the LinkedIn avatar, not so close to home.
However, the person has apologised, and I thank them for that. They had made assumptions about the image, which proved to be wrong and I can see where their logic was when they made the choices to use the image.
So as for the image, what to do with it. Not sure, I’ve been advised to submit it for other competitions, and maybe I will once I’ve worked on it a bit more. Will it be the same image by then? Probably not. Will I stumble upon it somewhere else unexpected? Probably in this age of the Internet and the assumption of everything being public domain.