Saturday, July 25, 2009

I know what you did, you photo thief

Today, I discovered that my photos were being stolen (I deem it an act of theft when someone or anyone has posted my photos without my consent and without any mention) by a person who had yesterday, added me on Facebook. I was reviewing his profile (yes, I review every person I approved as Facebook friend) when I did a double take at a photo album on his wall called "THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBITION IN SINGAPORE."

I did a double take when I saw this on his profile

His Facebook album posted on July 23, 2009. Those in red boxes are mine.

If photo "orphan" is the issue here (I don't watermark my photos), it's not like the person couldn’t find me, and therefore, have no choice but to use my photos without permission. He literally lifted them off my blog because as you can see, even the image dimension of both the photos below is exactly the same i.e. 400px x 602px. The photos on my blog are all of a standard width of 400px.

One of the photos in the said album, which is obviously my creation

The same photo on my blog posted on May 28, 2009. Apart from the Dead Sea Scrolls photos, some of my Arts House photos were lifted off this June 12 post as well.

This person—could he be doing business with my photos?—because he stated this in his album : “27AUG-20SEP 2009, THE ART HOUSE, SINGAPORE. GROUND ARRANGEMENT TOUR FROM SGD199.” Not only that, he also stole it for his blog Awesome Travel Agency.

Yep, posting on his Facebook is not enough. He also used it on his blog for some travel promotion he's doing.

Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls organizer who contacted me if they could use my photos, this guy just, well, use them without even asking. I wouldn’t be so miffed if he would just ask me, “Is it OK if I use your photos for my album? I’d be sure to give you photo credit.”

Another interesting thing is this: He is a Christian as he so clearly stated on his Facebook. Didn’t one of the Ten Commandments, specifically commandment no. 8 says, “You shall not steal”? See Exodus 20:1-17.

To prevent my photos from being deemed as “orphans” (come on, if you lifted them off here or anywhere else I may have posted, I’m sure you know who the owner is), I will have no choice but to start watermarking all my photos. I am fully aware of the idea of watermarks but decided not to do so until now, when someone just blatantly uses the photos as their own.

I've highlighted this incident to Facebook. This guy here should thank me for awarding him all this attention or bad publicity.

Read more about protecting your photos using watermarks.