DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) exists; although it’s on the owner to police his or her own words, and then take action.
I’ve heard some wine bloggers say that they don’t care if they’re information and images are used elsewhere on the Internet; others aren’t appreciating it at all.
I’ve written about being aggregated; now, I’m writing about pure and simple lifting of our intellectual property. I’m still disturbed by hearing – from a fellow blogger – that he doesn’t mind having his words being used elsewhere. I believe it’s only because he’s not be taken advantage of, yet. When that happens… find his words with another author attributed to those words… this person’s opinion is going to change.
When your words and images are stolen, consider this constant example that I live with, because I put out the first real Petite Sirah leaf on the Internet, ever, and it’s now the standard, with no attributing the original source.
I took this one below for the PSILY logo in 2001, and then renamed it with psleaf… When I see it on the Internet, I know this image is mine. It’s very annoying to me that it’s become public property without my permission. Why? It’s my intellectual property and work, period. Because I put it out there, it didn’t just become public property.
The two below; I just found the one on the left, again for the umteenth time, on another site. Yes, I love people talking about Petite Sirah, but I still have issues with my image being used in its raw form. Notice that mine, on the right, is less pixelated, because it’s not a copy. Copies of images lose pixelation as they get re-saved each time. My image is becoming distorted, and I don’t really appreciate it.
I took this image in 2001 at K-J’s demonstration vineyard. It has now made it all over the universe, with several name incarnations to suit the thieves. This one on the left is called petitesyrah-333.jpg. Petite Sirah with a “y?” I’ve been all over that one for years, since the TTB has said, “No more Petite Sirah with a “y” in the word Sirah.”
I’d like to be magnanimous, and just say, “Hey, have at it!” However, it’s the logo for PS I Love You, for starters, and it was my time devoted to thinking about how I wanted to take it, finding it, traveling to take the picture, taking it, processing it, and making it public for the first time.
This reminds me of the story of the Little Red Hen. “You did not help me thrash the wheat, you did not help me grind the wheat, you did not help me make the bread, and you will not help me eat the bread.” It’s just life in karma zone.
Try taking an image from Getty Images. See what that will get you.
On Getty images, a 56 KB image [170 x 113 px (2.36 x 1.57 in.) – 72 dpi – RGB] is $10.00.
My image is 87 KB [23o X 208 px (3.194 x 2.889 in.) – 72 dpi – RGB]. This image is worth at least $10.00 to me, and this is why it is irritating that it’s being used without permission. I, too, am a business person trying to make a living.
I’d settle for a mention when my images are used, honestly. I spend a good amount of money to purchase other people’s work to upload onto my blog, or for clients in their point of sale materials. A mention is at least respecting that this image was created by me and is still my property.
Plagiarism is worth getting in a twit about, when I asked my Twitter pals. Here are the responses.
@SoCalWineNews: To write your tail off and then someone lifts it as their own without giving due credit is yella belly low. It’s theft, pure & simple.
@cheers2winecom ~ When my content was totally copied by a blog consisting of just my content I complained to Google (blog had google ads)
@SFDoug ~ that’s just plain wrong. Probably illegal, too, but enforcing copyright is difficult. But it is theft, pure and simple.
@LarryTheWineGuy ~ Same as I would feel if someone burglarized my home. It’s theft.
@innkeeperLynne ~ it’s not fair but the problem is if one is to police the web, beware of the unintended consequences.
@winotone ~ Bad form.. use a portion of my content, then provide a ‘more’ link to my site, otherwise it’s just copyright theft IMHO
@mmWine ~ I think it sucks. It’s stealing. Actually, sites that DO give my name & url, but don’t ask, are about crossing the line!
@wineevangelist ~ Not happy, especially when it’s so easy to give recognition. Deal with this all the time w/ Wine Boot Camp trademark.
@grapes_of_sloth ~ How would you know if someone was stealing your content? How can you avoid it?
My answer: Search on some really unusual phrase within a wine blog posting, and you’ll perhaps find your words somewhere else, where someone’s lifted all of your words and images.
What do I do in that case?
- I search on Whois.net.
- Type in the domain name of the site.
- A page will come up and tell you who owns the site, the person’s address, phone number, Email, etc.
- I’ve got the person who has stolen my work, and I send him an Email that tells him I know who he is, and where he lives.
- I order the person to cease and desist… or else.
It has always gone away, because right is right. with the Internet, as easy as it is to steals someone else’s work, it’s also easy to out the person. But… it’s such a pain to have to be doing all of this,w hen all we really want to be doing is self publishing our work… not policing it.
Here’s how to write that cease and desist letter…
DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Notice of Copyright Infringement – Sample Template