It’s come to my attention that I’m the victim of theft. People have been stealing my words and pictures from the Fuji X Weekly blog. They have taken them without permission and illegally used them on their own websites. Sometimes they’ve even claimed them as their own. It’s extraordinarily disheartening. This blog is intended to be helpful to Fujifilm photographers, and not a place to find license-free content. I, and I alone, own the copyright.
This isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last, that someone has illegally taken my intellectual property. Five or six years ago I was reading a newspaper (something that I rarely do) and I spotted one of my pictures in an advertisement. Someone found my picture on the internet, copied it, and used it in a printed ad to sell their product. Crazy, huh? I’ve seen someone trying to illegally sell one of my pictures on a print-on-demand site. Someone else used some of my pictures without permission in an article that was factually untrue. In a theft that I just recently became aware of, an entire article of mine was copy-and-pasted onto someone else’s website, word-for-word, picture-for-picture, without permission. They didn’t even credit it to me (not that it would have made it any less illegal, but perhaps slightly less unethical). Sometimes creative people are easy targets because we put ourselves “out there” for the public to see.
The internet has made theft incredibly easy. It only takes a couple of clicks to steal someone’s pictures or words. As many times as my pictures have been illegally taken and used, my words have been plagiarized even more often. There are ways to use someone else’s words legally and ethically, but there are people out there on the internet who either don’t know or don’t care. Perhaps ignorance is better than irreverence, but they’re both bad. I just want people to stop stealing my stuff. I don’t want to be victimized by lowlifes on the internet who are trying to benefit from my work. Go write your own words! Go capture your own pictures! Oh, you’re not very good at those things? Well, did you ever think to contact me and go about this the right way? Or do you only care about yourself?
I do this website mostly as a service to you. Nobody pays me to write the articles you find on Fuji X Weekly, a blog that has been beneficial to many Fujifilm photographers. I do get compensated a small amount for the ads and the affiliate links, but it doesn’t pay much; mostly it covers the cost of running the website. In the words of Napoleon Dynamite, “That’s like a dollar an hour!” If only it were that much. But I enjoy “giving back” because so many have helped me along the way, and it’s good for the soul to be helpful to others. I also love to write, and this blog is good practice for me. I hope that you like seeing my pictures, too. There are many reasons why I do this Fujifilm blog, but being victimized is surely not one of them.
If you are reading this and you illegally copied my pictures and words and are using them without permission and in a way that violates “fair use” laws, please take it down. Please remove from your website what you stole from me. If you go to the About page, there’s a way to contact me. Please use that to reach out to me if you’d like to use my pictures or words the right way, the legal way: with permission. I’m sure we can work something out. But please stop stealing. I don’t like it. Nobody does. It’s wrong. This is a community, and we’re all neighbors, so let’s be kind and not disrespectful. Thank you.
Some of you have shared my content in limited ways, citing the source, and following the rules of fair use. Rest assured that this article isn’t aimed at you. I appreciate what you do and your support. My disdain is aimed towards those who don’t follow the rules, operating outside of ethical and legal; those who would rather steal, profiting off of the hard work of others. My words belong to me, and my photographs are mine. Don’t take what’s not yours, it really is that simple.
A horrible thing to happen, very frustrating. I hope you called them out.
Well, unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get in contact with the thief. And filing take down paperwork requires you to provide your address and phone number to the thief. The system does more to protect the victimizers than the victims, sadly.
Find them and sue them. Too many get by on the backs of others.
One day I was doing a wedding gig, and the photographer I was working with saw one of his photos on a wall at the hotel as an ad for their wedding services. He was well compensated for the theft of his property.
I have been compensated before from theft. A lot depends on just how much the thief benefits from it. A lot of times, the best outcome is that it’s removed. Hopefully that happens.
I spent a lot of time trying to get this through students, not only for in-class plagiarism, but once-you’ve-graduated theft and the consequences. You can send demand letters–and sometimes, if they end up a higher level, they get something done. Some of these people know what they’re doing–there’s a legal loophole (if you didn’t register with LoC, you can’t collect damages) and PPofA is pushing for stronger measures, but as you’ve noted, you have to find it first.
That’s all very true. The web is huge, the world is even larger, so the odds of being caught is quite small. I’m sure most of the time my pictures or words are illegally used I never find out about it.
The theft of intellectual work is a felony and even more so in your personal case since you write your blog in a remarkably altruistic way.
I have been following your work for a long time and let me tell you that it is fantastic and very useful tool to amateur photographers and Fujifilm camera lovers as it is my case.
I am blogger as well and publish my articles under a Creative Commons License and although the only requirement to reproduce my publications and photographs is to cite the authorship, I also suffer continuous thefts of texts and images with the greatest impunity. Unfortunately little can be done against thieves, if you have not funds to pay lawyers expenses and a lot of patience to litigate with uncertain results.
In any case, I want to thank you again for your great work and help provided to Fuji X camera lovers. I would like as well let you know that you have an enthusiastic follower across the Atlantic on the beautiful island of Mallorca, Spain.
Finally, I also wish you have a Merry Christmas with your beautiful family.
Merry Christmas to you too! I appreciate your kind words of encouragement and thoughtful feedback! A lawyer would certainly be helpful but not cost effective, as you pointed out. Sounds like you live in an amazing place! Maybe someday I can see it in person. Take care!
Sorry to hear this. Take heart, there are many of us who enjoy your posts and are inspired by you every day! Don’t be discouraged by the jerks of the world. Enjoy your holidays!
Thank you, I appreciate your encouraging words! I hope you enjoy the holidays, too!
Unfortunately this is all too common today, it’s just sad that others have so little respect for the hard work and creativity of others. I had a 1969 Mustang stolen from in front of my house several years ago, one of the cops who came out told me if you have something nice, someone else will take it if they want it.
Just like you Ritchie, you have such a great blog, someone else will take what they want from it. I guess it beats doing the work themselves.
Take heart, most of us out here really appreciate what you do and hope you will continue.
The Fujifilm community seems like a great group, I will, and I’m certain others will, keep an eye out for any of your stolen work we see.
I appreciate your kind words! I guess it’s easier to take something than to earn or create it, but it’s certainly far from fair or nice. Thankfully there’s a lot more good than not in this world. Take care!