Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Little Break From the Norm...

This is a little something for all you bloggers out there who are working your fingers to the bone and ask for nothing much in return.  It's not about upcycling, it's not about crafting or even about the environment.  This about intellectual property and your right to keep what's yours, yours!  Do I sound angry?  That's because I am!

I was reading another blog that showed you how to do a reverse image search on Google.  Great for seeing where your pictures are out there in cyber space and to figure out where an image originated.  If you don't already know how to do a reverse image search, you need to check out this post by Kevin and Amanda.  Let me share what I learned when I searched just ONE of my images.

If you've been following along for a while you might remember this post back in May 2011:
Soup Can Herb Garden
When I did a reverse image search for this photo, more than 150 links to the photo popped up, mostly Pinterest pages.  I also found this oddly familiar photo (which I will refrain from "properly" crediting!)


Wait! What?  No way was that a coincidence!  That's MY old house!  And MY handwriting!  And MY picture!  The caption under the photo credits yet another blog.  But when I visited that site, they had my original unedited photo with proper link backs clearly written above the photo.  Hmmmm....This offending blogger even went on to post instructions on how to make this simple upcycled herb garden.  But, guess what?  She got it wrong and she clearly didn't make this!

Maybe I'm being a little sensitive, but it was the blog post that I see as the post that gave me my "first big break."  I'd been quietly blogging for about five months when I posted this tutorial and almost immediately it was picked up by Apartment Therapy.  Big deal for me then, still would be today! It drove more traffic to my site than I'd seen in the five previous months combined.  And when Pinterest took off, well, talk about traffic!  This one post has generated eight times the traffic of my second most popular post and about 25 times the average post.  It continues to be one of my top five most popular posts each and every week...sorry, geeked out for a minute.  Did I mention my last job was as a research analyst for an internet technology company?  I have a thing for numbers, especially as it relates to web  traffic.

Anyway, back to the point of this rant.  I don't like to rant.  But it really yanks my chain when I think about the hours and sometimes MORE hours (not to mention the money) that I put into my tutorials that someone would steal a picture, photoshop one of the colors and "fake" a tutorial.  Of course, this version is all over Pinterest, linking back to her site.  Any idea how much traffic I lost?!  I do, but I won't bore you with the details.  So, breeeeeeeathing deeeeeeeply and moving on. Rant done!  Thanks for listening.

Now I'm off to add one of those stupid disclaimers to my sidebar that I never thought I'd have to do!  Grrrrr.

Back to regularly scheduled programing tomorrow with another Fast Fix Friday tid bit that I'm so excited to share.


  1. I've had an entire blogpost, my writing, my pictures, my own art dolls in them on location, stolen and appear under someone else's name as his post, no crediting of any kind. When I found out, I insisted it be taken down immediately or there would be legal consequences. he did remove it within the hour, grumbling that he thought I would LIKE the extra exposure! I had to explain to him that it was the equivalent of stealing a car and saying the owner would like the extra mileage!

    And I had to write a stern reminder on both my blogs that they were my property. One precaution I did put in place was to notify my readers, and ask them to let me know if they noticed my character dolls showing up anywhere else, so that I could take action.

    That's about all you can do, I guess. But it wouldn't be the first time I've had work stolen. I used to be a print freelance feature writer and would notify editors when I saw they'd published one of my articles over someone else's name, unaware it was stolen property, just to alert them not ever to deal with that person again.

    I console myself that nobody ever stole anything that wasn't worth stealing!

    1. Ha! Glad to know I'm in good company, I mean I know I'm not the only one this has ever happened to. I think it's all a bit too commonplace nowadays. But holy cow did I feel violated, surprisingly so! Btw, I love the car analogy, cracked me up!

  2. Arrrgggghhh! This is so rampant now! I just heard yesterday about two different artists who had their work stolen and put on mugs and teeshirts on Zazzle. WTF, thieves? So not right!!

  3. Wow! I had no idea it was so rampant. I have watermarked photos that have on my Houzz profile. I guess I should consider it for blog posts also. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yeah, sadly I am in the midst of making a watermark. :(

  4. Hi Tricia, my sympathies to you! My friend and I both have blogs and both have had similar problems as yours. We also have had times when pictures that were posted from our blogs were totally missing. Apparently there is a way (and it's EASY) to actually take a photo away from blogs rather than just copying them (as if that isn't bad enough!!).

    My friend is so mad that she's in the midst of taking down every single photo and placing watermarks across every single one. Thankfully none of mine were overly important.

    I do wonder why the general public feels that it's ok to not only copy/borrow photos - but to actually take credit for it too. At the point where they actually take credit for other people's work, they HAVE to know that it's morally wrong (as well as wrong in the eyes of the law!).

    I don't know about you, but I really don't have time to spend watch-dogging my photos. Also, I like to believe that (in general)people are honest and nice - but it sure is hard to believe that with these kind of activities going on!

    My sympathies!!
    Becky -

    1. I think I really need someone to restore my faith in humanity right now....they can actually DELETE from your blog?? Oh dear! I don't have the time to watch-dog OR take another step during the blog process to watermark my photos either. But, I guess I have to suck it up! Well, off to research the whole deleting photos from someone's blog idea.


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