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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Sharing Pictures via Flickr

Sharing Pictures via Flickr

If you haven’t already read the post by Roni Loren about a lawsuit over a picture she used on her blog, please do.  Yes, the chances of getting sued over an image you copied from Google images is pretty small, but I was struck by Roni’s comment: “It was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didn’t have for a use of a photo I didn’t need.”

Roni said later on in the post: “If you want to give back and not just take–open up a Flickr account and list your own images as creative commons so that you can share the love.” 
I don’t consider myself a photographer, and I hardly even pick up our good camera to take a picture.  Lazily, I use my phone, because I can email myself the pics. But as I looked through my own blog this weekend and saw how many photos I’d taken and posted, I realized that many of them are good enough for other blogs.  Like these: 

So I took the time to start adding photos to my Flickr account that others might find useful, tagging them so they can be found in a search and making them available for sharing. It seems like an easy way to help other bloggers.  Share the love!

And please check out this post by Marisa Hopkins, who shares her own stories of being on the opposite end of this issue — having her artwork used not just by bloggers, but stolen and used for profit.

19 Responses to Sharing Pictures via Flickr

  1. Sarah says:

    I know–Roni’s post was striking and terrifying. I’m thinking of going exactly this, Dianne! Also: your pictures are lovely!

  2. Wow, that’s absurd, being stuck in a lawsuit like that. I sympathize for your friend! However, the other day I was tipped off by a friend – and customer of my artwork – that another blogger had used of my illustrations in her blog post (the topic of the post was about Blog Snobbery: bloggers feeling entitled to free things, just because they’re bloggers, and how wrong that is) and she didn’t give any credit to me, the artist of the Elegant Snob picture she used in her post. (which was hilarious to me, knowing that her post was about how rude it is for bloggers to feel entitled to whatever they want!) It is so so so hard, as an artist, trying to make a living when people are essentially stealing art. I let her know that using my image without crediting me is NOT OKAY, and she felt awful and gave me the credit. But I have had images stolen and used for jewellery before, and it’s terrible to know that someone was making a profit off my images without my permission.

    One of my other art friends – who writes, designs, and sells inspirational and motivational posters, is finding her work all over the place, thanks to Tumblr and Pinterest and how easy it is to re-tumble images without linking them to the original artist. The result is that she’s finding the art that she sells to make a living, on other people sites – stealing her words and selling them – and a rubber stamp company began making and selling stamps using the words she wrote on one of her posters. She has to deal with image and word theft on a regular basis, and it’s really hurting her business.

    I love that you are offering your images for people to use. That really is fantastic. I let people use my art images as long as they give me credit as the artist, or link to my blog or Etsy shop. It’s so easy for people to take images and sell them, or claim them as their own, and so heartbreaking for the original artist to see it happening, and struggle to keep it under control.

  3. I started writing a blog post about this just this weekend, but thought I might just sound too preachy. This post – and that post by Roni, makes me think I just might post after all. I’ll be sure to spread the word about your Flickr account!

  4. Linda G. says:

    Roni’s post is indeed a cautionary tale. Like her, when I started blogging I was was pretty clueless about the protocol, and I just did what I saw everyone else doing. I’m going to have to go through my blog and do a purge.

    Great idea about sharing images–I’m not a good photographer at all, but maybe I can find some images worth putting up on Flickr.

  5. Marisa, writers get outraged when they hear about people downloading their work for free, or worse yet, downloading it, changing the characters’ names and uploading it as their own e-book. We all need to consider that it’s the same thing for photographers and artists.

    That’s why I went through my Pinterest boards (which I only just started) and unpinned anything I’d gotten from somebody else that obviously wasn’t the original artist (ie, it had been pinned by lots of other people).

  6. mshatch says:

    I think I’ve been pretty careful about only occasionally using pics from the net that appear to to be for public use but I should probably double check and make 100% certain. Fortunately most of the pics I use are mine or my son’s. Having heard these stories I will be very careful from now on.

  7. JEM says:

    You’re so thoughtful! I saw her post on Kristin Nelson’s blog and was pretty surprised. I’m all for protection of copyright, but the extent it sounds like she had to go to was so unfortunate. Don’t take it out on the little guys!

  8. Thanks for sharing your pics, Dianne. I never carry my camera, and my phone doesn’t take pictures worth a flip. So I mainly use clipart on my blog. I will, however, use pics from a website if I am referencing the site on my post. Guess I should make sure there are no copyright laws against that…. Thanks for the information. 🙂

  9. I read that post too and vowed to try to use more of my own photos. I’ve tried to be pretty careful but sometimes it’s very hard to figure out where a photo originates.

  10. This is what I’m going to start doing, too. Taking my own pictures and sharing freely.

  11. That’s a great idea, and these pictures are beautiful.

  12. I’m a fan of morguefile, which offer free photos for which no attribution is required. Wikipedia also has a lot of good images which are either in the public domain or under a creative commons license. For most of the images found via google images, a left click usually provides info regarding the source or website where the image first appeared. Most webmasters are very gracious about providing permission to use their images, if you ask.

  13. If I took pictures of much besides my kids, I would probably do this as well. I have been pretty cautious about pictures (I think) because I’m in education and we frequently get the copyright lecture. If there is something that has any copyright or signatures, I won’t use it.

  14. This week, I took a lot of pictures with my iPhone while making art and cooking in the kitchen.

    I made a smiley face made with cream puree. I’m considering letting other people use it, or I might use it in a cooking-related post.

  15. DL Hammons says:

    The ski lift picture is my favorite. It made me yearn for the mountains! 🙂

  16. Glad to meet a fellow paranormal writer. How about that post? It totally has me rethinking the way I blog. I’m glad to find yours. 🙂

  17. This is a topic that I see a lot of bloggers are covering right now. I think that is great, as the word needs to get out. I like to think I’ve been cautious on the use of pictures in my blog posts, but I’ve been going through and removing any that I’m the slightest bit concerned about.

  18. Tonja says:

    Your pictures are great – I love the last one especially.

  19. Chris Fries says:

    I’d been struggling with this issue for a while and recently decided that on my blogs I would no longer post “borrowed” images — only those I’ve taken myself, or have gotten prior permission to use (and will then give credit for them).

    As to someone “borrowing” my images — well, I realize that anything I post on a public blog might just drift out and away into the etherwebs, so I won’t post anything I wouldn’t want to become public.

    And I love your pics!