Street Cred 2011!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lately there’s been a lot of talk in blogging and photography circles about crediting photographers and artists for the images we use on blogs. Grace and her team at Design Sponge wrote a wonderful series of posts about online ethics and Chelsea followed it up with her post on image use on frolic! Both posts prompted some amazing discussion on the topic and raised awareness about an ethical issue. I don’t need to re-state what they’ve already said. Check out their awesome posts.

After much discussion, the talented Pia Jane Bijkerk and Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind made up this gorgeous graphic poster for us to use. Yvette van Boven kindly allowed them to use her beautiful hand made fonts. So chic! Feel free to use this graphic on your own blogs to spread the word about giving credit where credit is due.

As a photographer, I think it’s really important to know your rights. If you put your art out there like I do, it is important to know about copyright laws. As a photographer I am protected under Australian copyright laws which state that I, as the photographer, own the rights to all my photographs. This can change once you start shooting for commercial clients but the ownership is always discussed and worked out under contract.

For your own work:

I am basing this on Australian copyright laws, but they are similar in most countries. If you are a photographer or artist, I urge you to read about your rights. Copyright is automatic and free and therefore you as an artist, can claim copyright on your work. You do not need to have the copyright symbol © attached to your work but it can be added to let others know that you are aware of the copyright laws. See, I have a little copyright notice over there in the right sidebar on my site. I also have it at the bottom of my blog and have always had it on all my websites.

I think this issue comes down to being aware and being courteous. As I see it, the blogging community is one that encourages and celebrates the creativity in others. I personally don’t mind if people use my images on their blogs, in fact, I love it. I think a lot of photographers are like me and are happy when people feature their work when credited. I love this blogging community and am so happy to be a part of it. Let’s all join in Erin’s idea of hugs and graciousness. Hurrah for crediting and hugging!

Thank you to Pia Jane Bijkerk, Grace Bonney, Chelsea Fuss, Erin Loechner, Nichole Robertson , Yvette van Boven and Lisa Warninger for all the planning on this little Street Cred production.

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  • Ann

    Great post, Manda! I agree 100% with everything you said. :)

  • Sara

    This is great , Manda. The more people that are aware of this, and their rights, the better.

  • charlotte

    that poster is brilliant – and yes to all of the above as well.

  • Amanda

    I think it’s firstly important to be aware but also just common sense and courtesy to link to the work you’re using on your blog. I’m glad you girls agree. =D

  • kersey

    This poster is amazing! I have enjoyed the discussions going around about this topic, but I have been a little surprised at how many people blatantly refuse to give credit where it is obviously due. Hopefully they’ll grow a conscience :)

  • Amanda

    Yes, Kersey, I’ve been a little shocked too. I think the whole discussion has been pretty relaxed and friendly but I don’t understand that attitude. It’s really not that hard is it? lol

  • melle

    It’s true, I always make sure that if I want images on my blog I have to get out the camera and take some! I don’t always have something to show but it’s just so easy to take a simple photo of whatever that there’s really no excuse to scour the internet for content!

    When I was first starting to get into following art blogs, design blogs, whatever blogs, I noticed a ridiculous amount of them that were ONLY posting other people’s work. If you take away all of the photos, the entire blog is just a bunch of “this is cool” comments on a fancy layout. Simply saying “this isn’t mine!” doesn’t mean it’s okay!

  • Amanda

    I definitely think there is a place for inspiration blogs and I think some people do it really well. Design blogs are a good example because they tend more to feature artists and their work which gives great exposure to artists. But yes, the blogs that are simply photo after photo of other people’s work with no links back are taking big risks and as the poster states there can be legal implications.
    There have been stories of big companies taking bloggers to court! Scary stuff.
    Thanks for your comment, Melle. :)

  • charlane

    that’s why i’m hesitant to comment on some blogs because the photographs are not credited. it’s also why i don’t post anything but my own shots on my blog unless i for sure know the link back.

    great message

  • Amanda

    I always post my own photos ( apart from my interview series and photographer features) simply because my blog is personal and it’s the way I’ve always blogged.
    It’s kind of funny that this problem exists now because when I first started blogging I don’t think inspiration blogs even existed. Blogs were personal “online diaries”. How quickly things have changed in a few years!

  • beauty comma

    i’m really glad that you “big” bloggers are addressing the issue! i wrote a post about this a few months back – i think it’s my longest post ever. i don’t know how many hours i’ve spent searching for credits, only to reach a dead end at some tumblr. one problem is that people do link back, but they don’t know how to do it properly. they link back only to the blog where they found the image, often using the blog’s main url – or the url of page 3 or wherever they found it – instead of the url of the actual post – which means that the next person won’t bother looking for the right post to find the credit. so once an image has started its journey in the blog world, it only takes one blogger, then the credit is lost.
    when it comes to posting images without asking the owner: isn’t there something called “fair use”, which states that you’re allowed to post a small portion of someone’s work as an example? i understand that the regulations are hazy though. i’ve tried asking photographers/artists if i may blog their images, but in most cases, i don’t even get a reply (which probably means “no”, but courtesy goes both ways).

  • Amanda

    BC, I certainly don’t consider myself a “big blogger” (the rest of the ladies I was working with on this definitely are) but I think it’s really great that so many bloggers are really starting to take this thing a little more seriously.

    I totally hear you on the losing yourself down the rabbit hole when searching for owners. Not only is it a pain when you want to credit the person but it’s also a pain if you’re looking for the photographer/artist/creator to source that material for a project or to even purchase it. Because sites like tumblr are out of control with the reblogging, it does make it really hard to track. However, this little campaign we are working on is about awareness, and I think the more we talk about it, the more people will realise that there are ethics and common courtesy involved- not to mention, the law.

    I’m not sure about “fair use” but there most definitely is a law about taking someone’s work and publishing it without their consent. It is legally breaking copyright, but I will look into the “fair use” thing as we are still working on the poster for further use. Thanks for bring that up. I’ll bring it up with the Street Cred ladies.

    That is a real shame that you’ve had no response and really surprises me because I love it when people ask me. Yes, courtesy totally goes both ways. :)

    Thanks for your great response, BC!

  • Chantelle {fat mum slim}

    I had thought about this, but not in depth until I saw you tweet something about it and how frustrated you were {probably about a month ago}.

    I immediately got a case of the guilts and felt horrible. And then that same week I found someone using my picture without crediting it. Man, it was an icky feeling to be so… used!

    When the Universe tries to tell me something, I need to listen… and this was one of those times.

    From now on I’ll just be using my own images, or following the path of contacting the owner as you {or the gang} have suggested. I’m so annoyed at myself for being so thoughtless in the past. xx

  • Street Cred Posters and Mammoth Collection

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