Blog Master G

Word. And photos, too.

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Republishing Web Content

Thursday, October 2nd, 2003 · 2 Comments

The San Francisco Bay Area Mob Project has a new Web site that was announced yesterday. In the Past Mobs section are a number of photos ripped off from various sources, including Namely, this one (of the back of Ben and Jen, and the profile of Enoch), and this one (of The Westin St. Francis). Here’s my original post from which the photos were taken.

On one hand, I think it’s fine and, in a way, flattering, that my photos were lifted from my Web site and republished elsewhere without my permission, since that’s part of publishing anything online in digital form: Entering it into the global community of resources and knowledge, which I think is important and part of what makes the Web what it is today. On the other hand, I also strongly believe in the importance of respecting copyright laws and giving credit where credit is due. I always attribute content to its appropriate owner and quote any text that I use on my site from other sources. Perhaps I’m naive to think others would extend the same courtesy to me.

The only exceptions to my publishing others’ content are when the source is not known, or when I use something from a widely circulated email forward. Of course, that brings up the question of email “publishing” vs. Web publishing. Does one have a greater responsibility to respect content ownership when publishing on a Web site vs. clicking the “send” button to distribute something funny to one’s 300 closest friends?

Every page of my site contains the following text: “All Content Copyright 1995-2003 by Gabe Except Where Attributed Otherwise.” Perhaps I need to modify this to state that any content published elsewhere should only be done so with my permission and/or appropriate acknowledgement or link back to my site.

Or am I overreacting? In the end, if my photos contributed to another cause in which I’ve participated, should I care? Or should I feel good that I was able to help out (indirectly)? After writing about stuff like this, I begin to question if I’m being too anal about it.

Oh well, at least I’m not the Star Wars Kid.

Tags: rants

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 beerzie boy // Oct 3, 2003 at 8:05 am

    No. Your feelings are appropriate. Your photos should not have been used without permission. But let’s face it – they aren’t making a huge profit off of them.

    I suggest a polite e-mail requesting credit.

  • 2 rebecca davis // Oct 6, 2003 at 10:22 am

    Gabe, if you’re not already familiar with it, you might be interested in Lawrence Lessig’s work and the Creative Commons Project (