As bloggers, copyright is something we really need to be aware of. According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary Copyright is:
the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work)
It is a very big deal to steal someone’s intellectual property whether is rights to a book or film, original art work or even an idea.
Even if no money is involved I believe it is wrong to take another person’s work and pass it off as your own.I have read the stories of a number of bloggers who have seen their words or images posted elsewhere by strangers and believe me they are just as angry and upset as any professional who has had work copied.
It is sometimes hard to know whether it is OK to use an image or someone’s words or not. I try not to do it but I have probably been guilty on occasion. I know of at least one time that I used an image I’d seen on Pinterest to illustrate a doll post and the person who owned it contacted me and asked me to take it down which I did at once with an apology. Pinterest is a bit funny that way as everything on it came from somewhere else. What I generally do now is to post a link to the page where I saw the image so that readers can go and see it if they wish rather than use those pictures directly.
Occasionally I post photos that friends have taken on the blog but I credit them, as I do if I use one of Naomi’s photos instead of my own. Sometimes I see an image I’d like to use, particularly doll related ones and I do make an effort to find out if it is free to share and even to contact the owner if it is on Flickr or some similar site and ask if I may use it. People usually say yes if you ask nicely, they just want credit and that’s only fair.
Personally I am happy to share my photos and I’m flattered if someone wants to use one. I don’t watermark them which I probably should as it is a good way of making sure they can’t be hijacked so easily. However, I am annoyed too if I see something of mine elsewhere with no reference to where it came from or who created it. Like those blog sites that are just made up of other people’s posts and no original content. Apart from being very rude that’s just lazy.
In Australia we have the Copyright Act 1968. Here is a link to an information sheet for bloggers.