Don’t Let Them Steal

Portland Island Pastels

I feel compelled to write a response to what some fellow photographers are saying about infringement.  I respect many of these guys and gals, so please don’t take what I am saying as any kind of criticism about their work.

David duChemin recently posted an article entitled “Let them Steal” that I find myself having mixed feelings about after reading through it.  I very much agree with most of what David is saying.  What I don’t like is the “Let Them Steal” part.

One of the facts of life as a photographer dictates that the higher of a profile you get online, the more instances of companies and people will start using your work without permission.  There are a lot of reasons why people do this.  Some simply are ignorant of the laws in place to protect artists’ work.  Some feel that anything posted online should be free for all uses without exception.  There are also others that know what they are doing is wrong and do it anyway.

What I’m asking for is this:  Give us the chance to say yes or no to as to where it’s being used. 

Photography is a very time consuming, painstaking, and expensive effort.  We spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to capture these moments and share them with the world, please have enough respect to allow us to say yes or no about where we want our work displayed online, and please don’t be offended if we ask for compensation after we understand how it is going to be used.

Fellow photographers – that goes for us too.  Using music that isn’t licensed or software that you didn’t pay for makes you into a hypocrite.  Do the right thing.



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