…stealing and breaking trust…
I have an unabashed love of music, everything from classical to classic rock, from blues to bluegrass, motown to metal with lots of stops in between.
I also have a deep and abiding love of photography. It is one of my creative outlets.
Imagine then the love when my two loves collide as they did this past weekend.
I journeyed to Las Vegas to meet up with friends and to enjoy a Christian Kane show at Stoney’s Rocking Country. The only damper on my love was the whole agoraphobia issue…but I prevailed and my fear did not.
Great music, good friends and my camera made for a fun night and I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel so I could see the pictures on something more than my tiny little camera screen.
As I usually do, I twittered out a few teaser pictures for fans to enjoy. It usually takes me a good three or four days to fully process all of the pictures I take at a gig, so as I’m processing, I’ll pick out one or two of each of the guys in the band to twitter.
I was shocked to get up on Sunday morning and discover folks re-tweeting an image that I had tweeted Saturday night, only without my watermark and tweeted by someone else.
Two of my pictures actually. One of the lead singer and one of one of the guitar players.
Of course, I called her out on it. And once the folks who knew me realized what had happened, they did too.
Now, I will admit that 1) this person is from another country, 2) English is not her first language, 3) she has apologized…HOWEVER, I will also note that this was not a “simple mistake” because this individual downloaded my pictures from Yfrog.com, very carefully removed my watermark (which in at least one picture was covering the microphone) and then uploaded the pictures to two different twitter pic sites (twitpic & twitgoo).
One thing I will say about the world of fandom, as whackadoo and crazy as it can be, when it rallies around a cause, you don’t want to stand in the way of it. I pointed out the copyright violation and the fandom jumped in, letting this person know in no uncertain terms that what she had down was unacceptable and irresponsible and criminal.
I woke up this morning to her apology. It was a little lacking. When I asked her why she had removed my tag if she hadn’t been trying to imply that she had taken them, she didn’t really respond, only apologized again, which leads me to believe that what she is actually sorry for is getting caught.
I have heard others complain about a photographer raising a stink over a picture getting snatched, posted without credit, etc…about how it’s “just a picture”…etc…
But it’s not just a picture. It’s the money to travel to the gig, hotel costs, food costs….it’s the hours of standing in line to be assured of getting the right spot, more hours of standing in said spot before the gig starts, it’s an hour of shooting. It’s fighting through the debilitating agoraphobia to not pass out, not throw up on the lead singer’s shoes. It’s dealing with the pushing and shoving as the crowd behind you gets more and more drunk. It’s HOURS spent at the computer processing the pictures from RAW files into usable JPGs and marking them, then uploading them.
THAT is what you are stealing when you take a picture and re-post it without credit. Not to mention that you are violating copyright laws.
This is not the first time this has happened. It probably won’t be the last, however, I will be changing a few things regarding how I share photos from now on.
For starters, my watermark will no longer by a small, out of the way mark. I have enlarged it and it will be splashed across the center or near center of every image from now on. I have disabled downloads on my flikr account. I may stop posting teaster pics to twitter, I haven’t decided that.
It makes me sad to have to do these things, but such is the world we live in.
I am excited for the next gig, though, with is 39 days and one really long drive away. I’ll be sharing my love of music and photography with my sixteen year old niece at that event. And I will probably take another 900 pictures.