Copyright 101

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Since two weeks I would say, there has been a HUGE talk in the community about the body image issue.  It got my attention and I know it’s a hard subject that needs discussion. However, there is another topic that came to my attention, not in the best way : Copyright.  It’s just too easy (and often unwanted) to use another person’s work without knowing where it’s from in our fashion blogging community.  

I admit it, I don’t know where all my images are from.  I should search harder to find the real source, but I don’t, and it came back to me.  When one reader actually found her work unaccredited on my blog, she reacted.  She send me a comment telling me to remove her picture from my post because it was hers.  Before I did anything, I searched.  Harder than the first time.  I wanted to be sure she wasn’t some kind of spam and she turned out to be a real person with some amazing talent.  I never found the source in the first place using Pinterest, because I simply was bouncing from a tumblr to another.  So, I decided to google her email address.  After a couple of links, I finally found her website, with her portfolio and her store.  I sent her an apology email and I swore to myself that I will never use another piece of work that I don’t know the source.

My little story is simply here to prove how easy it is to steal (even if you don’t want to) an image over the Internet and how it really is an issue for those who works countless hours to create art.  Most of our blogs are using fashion images and illustrations that aren’t ours.  Have you ever not used an image in one of your post because you never found the right owner?

It truly isn’t easy to find the real source of an image these days.  With Pinterest, tumblr and all the other sites to share pictures, it’s simple to lose the starting point.  Do try to find the real source of one of your pins and you’ll see that you’ll go around pretty much the whole web.  I don’t know if there’s a way to keep track of everything we own, but we should all start thinking about it.  I know that I wouldn’t want my work everywhere with no credits to say the least, and this is why I was feeling ashamed that I took someone’s art.

Respecting copyrights is without any doubts an issue, but I will do my best to stay clean from now on.  How about you?

Marie L.


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