A Case of a Stolen Picture

This will sound very serious and I can’t judge how serious it is, since I’m not the person affected by it and I can’t imagine it. But it is sad.

There are so many wonderful sewing blogs out there, written by wonderful people, real people, who share their ups and downs, review patterns, show techniques and make up a delightful online sewing community. It’s amazing how much support and shared knowledge there is in this world.

Imagine my surprise when I found a blogger’s picture on a commercial pattern site, as an example on how you could adapt the pattern. It kept on nagging me, so I decided to e-mail the blogger and tell her that her photo was on the site, maybe she had given them permission? She e-mailed me back and thanked me for notifying her and said that she would get in contact with the store and that they either remove the picture or give her credit. I later saw that they chose to remove the picture.

For people who are blogging, or at least most of us, it is so obvious that we link to each other with that great tip we read or that beautiful creation that deserves to be recognised. Maybe it is not so obvious for people who are not really in the online community. I don’t know how involved the store owner is in the blogging world, but it’s interesting that she has failed one of the major netiquette rules.

They chose the easy way out, I think. They know that the picture was used without permission and would have kept it on their site unless having been caught. So of course it’s easy to apologise, take it down and move on with a “We’re sorry” (at least I hope they apologised to the blogger). However, seeing how the blogger praised the pattern and how she made it work for her, her blog post could be great promotion for the pattern. As with many blog posts. Indie designers regularly feature bloggers who have used their pattern, or at least host Flickr or Twitter groups so we all can see creations made up from patterns. They send out patterns for testing and, I guess, expect blog posts in return. Sewing bloggers are being used as a commercial and it’s up to every individual blogger to choose how they wish to do regarding that issue. But, we should not be used without permission. Somewhere in the back of my mind I can’t help but feel that us Swedes are bad at marketing. Linking back to that blog post would have shown excellent use for the pattern and helped sales.

The picture disappeared and the blogger was pleased that I notified her. Of course, we can never be sure that our pictures aren’t used anywhere. If I see someone I recognize, I will let them know. It could be that permission has been given, but it’s better with one more question than to let it pass. If anyone wants to use my pictures they may – if the ask me permission and link back to me, and if I like who links back (we all remember those weirdos stalking the MMMay Flickr groups right?)

I want to share the love, I want to be better at linking. Maybe the first step should be putting up a blogroll?

3 thoughts on “A Case of a Stolen Picture

  1. That’s such a tough situation, but it’s so important that companies realize they cannot steal photos and content like that. Good on you for even noticing it was a stolen pic and contacting the blogger. Using pictures without permission, at least in my country, is a copyright violation and a serious offense. Companies have to realize that stealing pictures is stealing and that it’s a crime.

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