Monday, July 23, 2012

Beware: Who Owns that Picture?

The debate on ownership of pictures has become a hot topic lately with the growing popularity of sites like Pinterest. Personally, I'd think that so long as the photo isn't being used in a negative connotation then what's the harm?
I'll say up front that I don't use Pinterest or even Facebook. I simply have no interest in them. Twitter and now Blogger is about as social as I get. Lol. Terrible yes, but I'm just a private creature at heart.
So, what's at the heart of the issue with posting pictures? Well, it appears to come back to who owns the intellectual rights to that photo. I can somewhat understand this issue. If I were a professional photographer, then yes I wouldn't want to see my work displayed without permission or compensation. That is their livelihood after all. Much the same way that I don't want pirates taking my book and giving it away on their "sharing" sites.
Today I have a blogpost up at Nocturnal Nights that originally contained a picture of a very famous female author. She's someone that I admire and the mention of her was positive, but trepidation got the better of me. After some thought, I went back and took out the picture for fear the author might not like it displayed. I don't want to be sued. I did leave her name in the blog. You can click on Here to read.
So, who is right in this debate over pictures? Is it the safest thing to simply pay for those photos you want to use? That gets expensive very quickly.
I wonder if the fact that people are now being threatened with lawsuits over pictures, eventually put an end to sites like Pinterest? I think the site originally started out as a great way to share interesting things with friends, but now the pictures that you pin may put you in jeopardy.
No one likes a pirate, but is that what people who post pictures are? I certainly don't think of them as such. If an up and coming cover model wants attention, shouldn't he be glad for his picture on a blog listed under *sexy men* or some such?
 Love to hear everyone's thoughts, being that I am so new to this issue. It's a complex one to be sure.
Mary

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