Thursday, July 10, 2014
Well, it finally happened. I had a notice from Blogger saying that someone claimed that I had infringed on their copyright so the offending post was taken down. Not thrown away mind you, just reverted to draft status.
I did get an anonymous comment from someone a few weeks ago indicating that I had "stolen" their photos and that I would be paying. Big time.
That's right. An anonymous comment, not an e-mail. A comment.
I figured that someone sending me an anonymous e-mail may have just been a troll. Then again, them filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint might indicate that they were more than a troll. Either way, the offending content has been taken down.
Of course, Google didn't tell me what photo I had allegedly stolen, only the post which contained it. A check of those photos on the Internet indicated that I could have got it from any number of sources. Some of the photos involved were historical in nature and were from national archives. Some were current photos.
Also this "Chilling Effect" website where these Cease and Desist complaints are stored has a virtually useless search engine. Google said, just use the URL from the offending post. Uh, no. There is no place to enter that.
The whole thing smacked very much of the old English Star Chamber.
So lately I've been much more careful about the photos I use. This has added a lot of time to preparing a post, so I have decided to cut way back on my use of photos harvested from the internet.
What does this mean in the short term. Well, for one thing, no more Friday Flybys. Probably ever. These posts take quite a while to put together and are rather photo intensive. Having to track down copyrights and the like would double the time it takes to build those posts. Unless I come into possession of a large number of aircraft photos that are either A) in the public domain or B) I took myself. That's unlikely.
I wish Mr/Ms Anonymous had contacted me personally via e-mail rather than in a comment. Then we could have worked things out like civilized folk.
He or she chose a different course. Ah well.
Who is hurt?
I don't know, you, the reader, perhaps.
At any rate, there was a momentary impulse to chuck the blog over the side and get on with real life. Far from the internet trolls and their ilk.
Ya know, become a lurker and snide commenter. Not actually contribute, just stand on the sidelines and carp.
But I'll hang in there.
So if you're out there, if I use a photo of yours inadvertently, send me an e-mail. We can come to an accommodation of some kind. No need to lawyer up or file anonymous complaints.
Let's be civilized. I know most of the world has forgotten how, but I also know there are some pockets of civilization out there.
For those of you keeping score at home, that first photo is from Wikipedia and is marked as being in the Public Domain. Sigh...