Like most of the bloggers I know, I publish my photos on flickr. I use a Creative Commons licence in an attempt to place some legal restriction on the re-use of my images. The badge is clearly displayed under the full-size, downloadable version of each photo, as it is on this blog. So where's the problem?
Well, the problem is that not everyone seems to realise there is a problem. Recently I was sent a small publication about lay ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church - and there, completely unattributed, was one of my photos. Now, I had already used that photo myself for inclusion in the local paper - but this did not mean that it was up for free use by other publications. Not that I was looking for payment. All I want is for the photo to be attributed to me. There were several photos in this book, and no acknowledgment was made of any of the photographers. I happen to think this was merely slovenly attention to detail - the kind of unprofessionalism that gives an organisation a bad name.
Sad thing is, there's a sense in which, because it's the church and because I know one of the editors as well as the person responsible for producing the book, I feel I ought not to be feeling any of this - let alone blogging about it. I should be smiling sweetly and feeling happy to have been of service. And I am - but I'm also aware of all the people I don't know who have taken the trouble to mail me about using my work and who have linked me to their sites where I can see the photo in question clearly attributed to me. We need to respect people's intellectual property wherever we find it - and we need to demonstrate that respect.
There. Rant over. And I realise the CC licence has been upgraded. Need to do something about that...
Update: 3 June. As a result of this post and the ensuing comments I received today a full and unqualified apology from the Synod Office. It seems that those who sent photos with their contributions were assumed to have made the necessary checks. Conversation over for now - and perhaps another step made in tightening up publication guidelines.