I’m looking forward to putting together a post for Bloom Day on the 15th, but before then, I need to take care of a bit of blog business relating to my photo use policy. First, I’d like to thank all of you who have left such lovely comments about enjoying my pictures of the gardens at Hayefield. It has been my pleasure to share them with you here, as well as in my many posts over at Gardening Gone Wild, and I’m honored that so many of you find them appealing enough to want to collect them on a Pinterest board, add them to your Tumblr blog, use them in a talk you are giving, or reproduce them elsewhere. Please, though, be aware that there are some things you need to consider before you do that.
To make things simple: if you want to use any of my images anywhere, I ask that you contact me for permission. For now, I am making an exception for use on Pinterest, as long as you pin the images directly from this site. Please do not pin them from a search engine results page, and do not save them to your own computer and then upload them to Pinterest.
Unfortunately, quite a few of my favorite photos have been lifted from my old Gardening Gone Wild posts, particularly those from the days before I was consistently adding watermarks, and I have been recently working on tracking them down.
Please do not take offense if I leave a comment on one of your pins asserting my copyright to a particular image, or if you get a notice from Pinterest, Tumblr, WeHeartIt, or Facebook that the image has been removed from your account. I’m only doing that when the original source did not link either here or to GGW (and yes, when I can find them, I’m asking the original source to remove the image from their site). I’m not saying that you intentionally did anything wrong, and on Pinterest, I make a point of asking that they do not put a strike against your account. I am including several of the images in question in this post, so if you like them, you can pin them directly from here instead of repinning them from other users who may or may not have used them fairly.
If you wish to use one of my images anywhere else, please contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org to ask. In most cases, I’m happy to give the ok to link directly to a photo here if you are writing about something to do with Hayefield or one of my books. I sometimes give permission for free use for educational purposes, such as scientific publications, if I am not under contractual restrictions from previous sales of the image. If you want to use any of my images elsewhere (in a web-based article, in a print publication, in a lecture, for an eBay listing, or on a commercial website, for example), I am more than willing to negotiate a fair price for use in those circumstances. Unfortunately, I can’t accept just a link or a credit line; as I’m sure you can understand, you can’t buy alpaca treats with links or credit lines.
It should go without saying, but apparently it needs to be said: Do not take any of my images (or anyone else’s!) and remove or obscure the watermark. If you do that, it’s a major issue of copyright infringement, and you’re setting yourself up for serious fines, as explained in this article: Watermarks Can Be Music to Your Ears.
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read this, and a big virtual bouquet to you, Susan, for first notifying me about the misuse of my images on Facebook and Tumblr. I have learned a lot about reporting copyright infringement notifications this week, so if any of you find yourself in a similar situation, please feel free to get in touch and I’ll be glad to share the links with you and help if I can.
By the way, did you know that it’s pretty easy to find out if other people have used one of your pictures on Pinterest or another site, thanks to Google Images? Try typing your name, the name of your blog, and/or the name of a particular post into the search bar to find the images that you have uploaded. Then, click on any image, drag it up to the search bar, and drop it there to do a “search by image.” The results page will show you links to pages with matching images, as well as a collection of similar images, which is worth checking out because you may find cropped versions of your image there.
It amazes me how many times people have taken the above image and cropped out my watermark and the tennis ball, then used the image to sell seeds of plum granny (a.k.a. Queen Anne’s pocket melon). It’s not even a great photo. Don’t ask me why, if they are selling the seeds, they can’t take pictures of their own plants, but there you are.
For more information on the various ways to find out where your pictures have appeared, check out Google Search by Image.
Well, that’s more than enough negativity for any day. Now, let’s enjoy the delights of spring (or fall, depending on where you live) – and don’t forget to take lots of pictures!