Appy butt and copyrights

By: danitacahill

Jan 14 2012

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Animals, Horses, Photography


Focal Length:50mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

This is my neighbors’ old horse, Abby the Appy. She has the greatest blanket of spots. They sold her recently and now have two sorrels and a bay. I’m glad I took this photo.

Aside from horses’ rearends, I wanted to say a few words about copyright. Photographers and other artists work hard to produce their images. They often brave the elements, spend a lot of money on equipment, and spend years and years learning their craft. Their work is automatically protected by copyright law in the US. Which means, unless you ask the photographer’s permission, or offer them compensation, you should not copy and paste their photographs. One friend recently suggested to me that since the age of the internet, it changes the rules of the old print world. I couldn’t disagree more. Copyright law remains the same.

The reason I bring this up is I’ve had someone steal my work — a photo of my daughter riding a bull. The photo is being mass-produced on decorative tiles. The tiles retail for around $12 a piece.

No one asked my permission to use my photograph – which I believe was lifted from my daughter’s website. No one offered to pay me for the commercial use of the image. Is that right? No. Should the company responsible compensate me? Most definitely.

The person who stole the image could easily have contacted my daughter, who would have directed them to me.

I’m not naming company names. At least not at this point. I’m going after them and I’m still hopeful that they will do the right thing and offer compensation.

Photographers – have any of you run into something similar? Care to share what and how you dealt with it?

In the meantime, please excuse the rather large CahillPhotojournalism on my photos, but it’s there for a reason.

Photos copyright Danita Cahill. All rights reserved.


9 comments on “Appy butt and copyrights”

  1. To shine a positive light – yesterday someone affiliated with the Jefferson Mint Festival and Frog Jump asked if they could use the photo on thier website that I posted here yesterday. I appreciated him asking permission, and said yes, with the stipulation that he ask the newspaper who bought first rights to the photo. Although the Jefferson Review bought first rights only, I’d just as soon they are aware that a photo they purchased is going to be used on a commercial website. Although I still retain all but first rights to the photo, the publisher and editor have been very good to me. There is no sense in causing hard feelings.

  2. I agree with you totally. Hope it works out!

  3. I’m pretty sure Facebook can take any of your photos you post and use them however they want. I think its buried in the fine print of the Terms of Use somewhere.

  4. On my facebook link, Jennie wrote, “I hope it works out and thanks for the info.”

  5. Starla wrote on my Facebook link: “Wow hope you get compensation.”

  6. Barbara wrote on my facebook link: “You and musicians have the hardest time with this I think. Because we can see your pictures most anywhere and sing the songs freely people tend to think it’s ok to copy and spread around. NOT SO!! Hard work made them and should be compensated just like any other job. Go Danita!”

  7. […] say “Bull Rider” across the bottom. I posted a little about that on Jan. 14. Click here to see that […]

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