5 March 2013

Virtual shoplifting from blogs by unscrupulous individuals

 There are individuals out there in cyberspace who scour the internet and glean information from other people's blogs such as photographs and sometimes text and they have no qualms about copying and pasting this information either on to their own blogs to pass off as their own work (otherwise known as plagiarism) or else on to what is known as a wallpaper website.  They then try and justify their actions by writing in the case of one website the following disclaimer:

"All wallpapers and backgrounds found here are believed to be in the "public domain". All of the images displayed are of unknown origin. We do not intend to infringe any legitimate intellectual right, artistic rights or copyright. If you are the rightful owner of any of the pictures/wallpapers posted here, and you do not want it to be displayed or if you require a suitable credit, then please contact us and we will immediately do whatever is needed either for the image to be removed or provide credit where it is due. All the content of this site are free of charge and therefore we do not gain any financial benefit from the display or downloads of any images/wallpaper."

The above paragraph is nonsensical.  It is an absurd excuse as the author knows full well which blog they have "virtually shoplifted" the images and or text.  It supposedly gives the rightful owner the choice as to whether they want their photographs to be posted on this website or not but, when an individual tries to contact them the contact button does not work and so it is not possible to reach the person who is operating this website.  As well, it gives the impression that they are not earning a revenue from displaying your images but this is another falsehood as their website is full of adverts and so they are clearly making money from other people's photographs.

I became aware of virtual shoplifting from blogs by unscrupulous individuals whilst I was surfing the internet recently and seeing what comes up when I typed in my blog name, brightly coloured sunflowers.  To my disgust, there was a website http://palmlix.com/brightly-coloured-sunflowers-the-extensive-use-of-tiles-in/ which had taken one of my photographs of Tunisian tiles without my permission and they did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge and credit this photograph back to my blog.

I did some research on the internet and found that unfortunately this type of "virtual shoplifting" is quite common.  My research led me to read an article written by Mia McPherson.  She too has a blog and has had many of her images stolen by the above mentioned website and is actively trying to get the website to stop the unauthorised use of her images.  You can read about Mia's case here on her blog.  http://www.onthewingphotography.com/wings/2012/12/09/more-on-image-thieves-palmlix-com-wallpaper-site/  Prior to writing this blog post about virtual shoplifters, I got in touch with Mia and asked whether I could include a link to her website in my blog.  Needless to say she gave me her permission.  It doesn't take much to ask. 

It is a pity that some unscrupulous individuals have no moral principles or manners.  This is just another form of theft.  Just because what is being stolen is not tangible does not make it right.  It is the work of someone else.  It belongs to someone else.  It is just another form of plagiarism. 

Please, if you are going to copy photographs and/or text from my blog or from any other blog have the courtesy to contact the blogger and ask permission. 

In the case of my blog, I am happy for people to copy photographs and or text as long as you mention the source and say it came from my blog http://brightlycolouredsunflowers.blogspot.com/ and give credit where it is due.  You will also note that I have started using watermarks to protect my images.

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...