Pirating, Appropriating, and Stealing

TO PIRATE: One who makes use of or reproduces the work of another without authorization.

TO APPROPRIATE: Take (something) for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission.

TO STEAL: To take surreptitiously or without permission

This week has been full of bad news about the Internet.  Living in a culture where we hold All-Access-Passes to events on-line means we have to deal with the good and the bad aspects of the world wide web. And the bad has to do with what some human beings choose to do with that access.  I was disgusted when someone hacked into my e-mail last year, and sent everyone in my address book pleas for money, and I am now disgusted by what some very sick individuals are doing for their own gain.

So here is this week’s list of grievances:
I was first contacted by one of my students that a photographer in Italy had taken one of her images, placed it on his website, and was submitting it to competitions…and getting IN!  It was a shocking realization what lengths people will go to for recognition.

The second incident was that a friend discovered a Lenscratch blog post that I had written about her work appearing on a Polish blog,”compiled” by Pawel Filas.  After further investigation, I discovered hundreds of appropriated posts, used without my permission, still continuing on a daily basis. And I am not the only blogger whose content he is appropriating. For my posts, there is a link to “Aline”, so it appears that I am writing for his site.  I am working with other bloggers to get him to cease and desist, though he is not acknowledging our communications.  He has friended a number of photographers on Facebook, and all I can say is buyer beware.
I am wondering if today’s post will appear on Mind_Mag too:

His post:

My post:

Just when I was reeling from the sting of appropriation, a friend alerted me this copy-cat site by someone named Tony Hai who has lifted my entire blog:

I have discussed some of this on Facebook, and through that process, heard many additional tales of appropriated writing and imagery. I am sharing this post so that you will keep an eye on your photographs and writing.  We create our work with the best intensions and put so much labor into what we produce.  Those who appropriate our work are truly criminal.  As a community,hopefully we can work together to create better systems for protection and exposure.  And we need to share our stories and expose those who do us harm.

This is a VERY timely article by Joshua Dunlop on “The Daily Mail Stole My Photographs And I Got Paid“.  Well worth a read as it contains some excellent suggestions.