I have never really had any type of content stolen from me before. I knew that plagiarism was a huge deal in high school but I never stole content or copied and pasted, so I never really had an issue. I always saw the “copyrighted” stamps on other blogs and thought it was silly for me to place that on my blog because nobody ever really stole my photos. However, for a little over a year now, I have made little quotes and even some typography that I have placed on my blog without a watermark. For some reason, I think watermarks can be ugly and I just don’t like them. I didn’t necessarily think people would CLAIM them or steal them. I do often see people not citing their sources. Again, it didn’t really bother me, until now.
A few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine posted one of my quotes on Instagram. I asked her where she found the quote because I made it (and I knew she didn’t read my blog). I have become used to hundreds of thousands of quotes/posts I write all over Pinterest, but I was curious about this one. She informed me that it was on Mitt Romney’s campaign page. I instantly got excited. I thought it was really neat that my photo had been crawling all over the internet and eventually got to Mitt Romney’s campaign page. I love that man! I went to see for myself, and there it was. My photo. With a source that WASN’T sourcing to me. I became a little bothered, simply because I should be getting that credit. Selfish? No, not really. I went to the source and lo and behold, the chick was claiming that it was hers. “I made this print…” Um…NO. You didn’t make that. I didn’t comment or email because I just decided to shrug it off.
Later on that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I decided to do a Google search of the image and found it on 10+ pages on Google that were mostly blogs. IF THEY DID cite their source, It was always back to that girl. As I was looking through Google (with my image attached), I came across the Huffington Post. It was something like, “The top quotes of 2014” and there it was, my photo that I had made….linking back, to the same girl claiming it was her quote. Now, I understand the internet is a crazy place. Things are being passed everywhere. On the other hand, it REALLY bothers me when people aren’t honest or when people don’t cite the true source. I have seen some of my pictures on very popular blogs or campaign pages, or even the Huffington Post. It’s exciting! But it’s not as exciting when someone else gets the credit for stealing.
Moral of the story? I’ve learned my dang lesson. I’m going to confront those who steal my work. These photos are officially copyrighted. In the first place, you shouldn’t ever take something from someone without asking. Due to Pinterest, people think they can just copy and paste and still not cite their source. From now on, readers, PLEASE ask me before you take something of mine. If you do take something of mine, please cite it. It’s common courtesy, ethical, and even legal to do it the RIGHT way.