Monday, March 14, 2011

Is It Okay to Steal Photos on the Internet?

Lesson #21 What happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet -- FOREVER.

In 2008, I wrote this post...

Leash Up, Kid | momlogic.com

Today, a friend on Facebook discovered this photo in this post Buzzfeed: 15 Kids on Leashes, shocking the heck out of me. But what's interesting is not only that my daughter's image is used as a parenting "don't" (a year and a half after that post was published), but that they're using it in a way that's completely inaccurate -- she's not even leashed up. If you look closely, you'll see Lucy was wearing a monkey backpack, with no "leash" to be found. The photo was actually taken at home, about three seconds after I put the backpack on her, thinking she'd think it was funny... snapping a photo when she thought it was anything but.

As for the leash debate, I never did use that gift outside of letting Lucy pal around with her friend Monkey. But considering I don't parent anyone else's kids but my own, and that two out of my three are known to wander away like ninjas as quickly as it takes for me to stop and sneeze, I wouldn't consider telling anyone else whether they should use leash up their kids or not. I keep my colorist in business with my "OMG, where is my kid" panic (usually when my kid is actually right next to me, but that's a while other story).

The moral of the story? Don't be surprised when your personal stories and photos come back to haunt you. Who can forget when Babble used this photo of my daughter in a completely unrelated story. Do I have a right to complain? I mean I just used a couple of photos in my last post that weren't taken by me (although I had the decency to at least link to their image). Do I have a right to feel slighted by someone taking liberties in posting photos of my kids?

I mean come on, if anyone's going to exploit my kids, don't you think it should be me?

Update: I received this response from Buzzfeed on Twitter: Photo removed! Feel free to just shoot us an email if you need anything in future. We're usually quick to respond!

6 comments:

felicakes said...

yes you do have a right to complain! it's your child and these people don't credit back the photos that they use.

recently I had a WHOLE ENTIRE POST about me feeling nervous sending my kid to daycare and it turned up in a "depression" blog about separation anxiety! I mean I am not depressed I just mentioned I had separation anxiety.

Anonymous said...

Stealing photos in unethical at best, breach of copyright at worst. If you fail to reference the source/link to the site, you are plagiarising. Tell them to get it down.

Watershedd said...

Stealing photos in unethical at best, breach of copyright at worst. If you fail to reference the source/link to the site, you are plagiarising. Tell them to get it down.

Oops, didn't mean to post anon. Sorry!

Carolyn Todd said...

There are also special rules/ethics regarding using photos of children for any commercial purpose. Basically you never use photos of people under legal age without getting their parents' permission. Photographers ask for written permission in such circumstances.

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