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…stealing and breaking trust…

September 19, 2011

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.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. gwen permalink
    September 19, 2011 3:52 pm

    As a fellow photographer, I am sickened & as a fan who has enjoyed your photos for a long, long time I am saddened…

  2. ohiopuckrock permalink
    September 19, 2011 3:59 pm

    It does sound like the person is only sorry for being caught.
    I hope you will have a wonderful time at the next show with your niece.

  3. September 19, 2011 4:25 pm

    It’s a shame that in all the fun (KANE & good friends); strength in overcoming your phobia; and joy that you give to those of us who love your photos that there always has to be that person who is the black cloud.
    BRAVA to you for standing up where most people would have let it slide. It may make others think twice about doing the same thing.

  4. Olga permalink
    September 19, 2011 6:39 pm

    English is not my first language, as it is for that girl, and I feel I need to make a great apology for the whole of our fandom. That is a great shame on all of us, on all of our nation, in fact. such things are unacceptable in the fandom society, which is based on nothing more but trust. Every fandom has a black sheep, but still is responcible for its actions each time something like this happens.
    I just want you to know that we denounce her actions no less than you do, and the united contempt and disguist of her fellow Kane-admirers has already fallen upon her head as much as we can possibly make it happen.
    We are all saddened by the measures you’ve taken, but it is all completely understandable. If I were you, I would do the same thing.
    Please once more accept our apologies,
    Olga

  5. TequilaKaniac permalink
    September 20, 2011 1:59 pm

    this was just the icing on the cake for me..as you know myself a Dee were appalled when we were informed that this particular picture was yours..and Dee publicly called her on it and i re-tweeted a few pointed comments on it as well…but this is the 4th-5th infraction by fans on various photographers who are generous enough to share their pictures this year alone that ive seen..which means i will be following your lead when it comes to tagging pics in such a way that removing them would ruin whole picture..espesh as i have TWO gigs coming up in less than 3 wks time…so ALL my pics will now have scf site tags as well as my own online tag

    • September 20, 2011 3:18 pm

      It is sad and disheartening, but unfortunately it has become a sad fact that if we want to share pictures without having them stolen and re-used or have someone else claim them as their own, we have to mark them this way.

      I’ve resisted as long as I could. I have always put my mark out of the way so that the picture is easy to see.

      Alas, no more.

      Enjoy the gigs! Wish I could be there for them.

  6. Jazz permalink
    September 20, 2011 6:10 pm

    It is sad to see that you have to go to such length.I always look forward to seeing your photos even though I’m at the same gig it is nice to see anothers perspective on the show.you photos are remakable and it is truely a shame that they have to mared inorder for you to share them and inorder to get the credit you desearve.Please continue to share with us anyway you can.

  7. @Miss_AsiaM permalink
    September 20, 2011 10:08 pm

    Dear Natalia!
    Once again I apologize and would like to explain the reasons of my action.
    I sketched the watermark from your photos, as I printed out pictures for myself to hang them on the wall in my room. Now I do not really understand why the heck I sketched it, because your logo fits very much to the works of Kane. The photos were so fabulous that being so delighted I posted them on twitter, even not thinking about the fact that it may hurt the feelings of the author. It seemed absolutely clear for me that everyone would understand that these are not my pictures, because I posted them only three hours later. Neither I tried to steal, nor I was plotting anything like that, therefore I did not hide and did not signed (yes, I wiped off the logo, but did not say anywhere that these pictures belong to me, that is didn’t claimed the authorship).
    Many people write that I only regret to be catched, but that is not so: I did not try to steal something, but simply made a stupid act and hurt your feelings, and I am really sorry about that. I am very sorry that because of my stupidity other fans may lose your photos. My action is not a an intentional, deliberate and blatant thievery, but my own confusion.

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