giving credit is nice…and fun, too!
by victoria comment


ah, the problem of giving credit where credit is due. it’s become more challenging in the digital world, but it doesn’t give anyone permission to be lazy or irresponsible about giving credit for the images shared on your blogs and websites. i’m not trying to scold anyone, but it is a big pet peeve of mine. fortunately, pia jane bijkerk has found a fun and graphically pleasing way to show you the light when it comes to giving proper credit with her new prints, available in a variety of colors at the very awesome mammoth collections.

pia’s current blog post is also a giveaway of one of the prints, in the hopes of encouraging and getting the message out about crediting appropriately. go enter! or, can’t wait…visit mammoth collections and swoop one up.

22 responses to “giving credit is nice…and fun, too!”

  1. this is such a cute way to be conscious about giving credit. unfortunately sometimes on sites like tumblr and pinterest i feel like i’m going around in circles when trying to find the original source of an image, which is really unfortunate.

  2. annie – i know what you mean, and it’s not always easy to find the original source, and often press release are sent out to the same bloggers resulting in a multitude of the same image appearing on sites within a number of days, making it harder to know. i think it’s pretty obvious which sites at least try very hard to credit the correct source.

    another site to try is the reverse search – tineye. you upload the photo and it tracks down the sources. it doesn’t always work, but it’s a good source of information.

  3. Pia’s idea is awesome! I’m seriously going to buy one of those to hang in my office. I run an Internet business and it’s definitely something you have to be very cognizant of. I get so peeved when I see a blog post I worked long and hard on posted to someone else’s site and no credit or link is given.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Love this! I started blogging a few months ago (as a “side project” to write about some art I’m creating) and have been trying to create all of my own images for the blog: original content = good + fun. Before I started blogging I kept a folder on my desktop of images I liked (I had no reason to track the source at that time since they were for my own viewing pleasure!) but I’ve since kicked myself since I often want to use them and feel like I can’t since I have no idea where they came from! Lesson learned, and this poster is an adorable reminder to give credit where credit is due. x

  5. I am really torn on this issue. I hate to say anything because so many of my favorite bloggers are obviously very upset about this (sfbythebay & doorsixteen, notably). I suppose my question is doesn’t it make sense to differentiate between people who are (re)posting to make money vs. as a reference?

    For me the genius of Pinterest was that my little “style” folder on my desktop could now be kept online with a simple linking system for each photo to its source. (Sadly, I have hundreds of reference images I can’t post because I wasn’t diligent in naming the files such that they include a source.) It is also a great way to look through images for inspiration or just to share with your friends what really clicks with you. It also tends to lead me to new blogs and businesses when I particularly love something.

    Wouldn’t sending an email every time you wanted to pin something completely overwhelm both bloggers and Pinners (is that a thing?) You could receive 1000s, if not 10,000s, of request yearly or monthly depending on how many images you post and how popular they become. If people are making an effort to provide a source do you really want them all emailing you?

    It seems like the real offenders are sites like Apartment Therapy. In particular there is an image of an entrance from an alley with string globe lights hanging out front that is very popular on Pinterest. It turns out it is Freeman’s in New York. (I am heading to New York June 10th and you seemed to like that Freemans, so I looked it up and recognized it from Pinterest.) Turns out that AT had posted the photo about 3 degrees from the original content provider which made it very difficult to find a source or what it was a picture of. Shouldn’t these be the sites and uses to go after? I am not sure there is a lot to be gained from going after non-commercial usage (assuming there is a link that leads back to a source whenever possible.)

    Maybe I am missing something? Are people making money off of Pinterest?

  6. Gorgeous post, thank you so much Victoria! I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement. You are a gem. And thank you everyone who has bought a print thus far and is helping to spread the word & work on your blogs, to your colleagues and your blogging friends. Respect. X

  7. Giving credit, either to an article or to a photo, is necessary. In the past, it only covers journalists and the media. But today, it’s also a must to every blogger – even if a particular blog is only for personal use.

  8. of course giving credit is a must, but is it really necessary to contact each source each time you want to post about his/her/their work/company? i’m curious as to whether or not you have to do this for each photo you post, as well as many other full-time bloggers out there? this poster makes it seem very black and white (no pun intended): either you ask for permission and get it, or you don’t use it. i think that if credit is given on the site, that should be enough. i’m a photographer and have found my work blogged on other sites, and i’m always flattered. it gives someone a reason to visit my site! of course i’d be upset if i found a photo that wasn’t credited. but again, this poster seems very black and white about the permission aspect. would love to hear others’ opinions. i agree with sara grace!

  9. Dear jessica q,

    I completely agree with you. This poster is more about bringing awareness to those who post photos without looking into where the image came from. Bloggers often post about me and my images without contacting me and I have no problem with that – it is flattering, and I so appreciate the exposure and I’m sure other photographers feel the same way, though I know some who would prefer to be contacted first and that is absolutely their right to request so. But there are bloggers who just take images from other blogs and don’t bother crediting at all – this poster is to create awareness and to educate those who do this. Thank you for your comment!

    Pia x

  10. okay – i suspected this post might cause some questions, and i feel you. here’s my take on the issue of credit.

    i used to be an advertising art buyer and in the case of using products or showing them in photos, or using a photographers’ work in any way, you MUST get permission or trust me, they would sue. I had a case of accidentally using an image that wasn’t credited properly and it cost the agency $50,000 in usage fees.

    now, with everything digital, the lines have become very blurred, but credit is still incredibly important. here’s my own opinion – and just an opinion – but i think most artists and photographers would like to have their work shown on blogs and websites, and if you give original, proper credit to the work, for the most part, if you have linked back to them directly with the URL as well, they are most happy about it. photographers spend a lot of money sending out promo pieces to get their work seen, so being blogged is like free publicity. BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE CREDITED – otherwise, it’s just a blatant rip off of their work. i don’t think it’s enough to just list their name, a link is important, too.

    i don’t think bloggers in general have the time to contact every single artist about using their images. that’s why the link is so critical. and, if they ask you to take the work down, or if you have incorrectly credited an image, you must certainly respect them enough to correct your error.

    i have been blogging since 2006, and i think i have only been asked twice to remove an image. however, i also link directly underneath to each image i share so that credit is clear. i would love to just share images in a more aesthetically pleasing way, without the links right there in your face, but that’s just not cool. it’s important for me to credit those images, because that’s what makes up my blog. i love curating great photography and i want to give credit where credit is due and have people discover new talent and art.

    also, i think perhaps if you’re going to do an entire post on one person’s work, then it would be at least be nice to ask them, and perhaps ask them about their work and give them an opportunity to promote the fact that they’ve been blogged about, too.

    i know as an amateur photographer my work has been shown lots of places without credit, and it’s a real drag, so i want to be respectful of others’ work.

    so that’s my take on it. :)

  11. Victoria, I apologize in advance for what I’m sure will be far too long a reply than is really appropriate, but because I was mentioned by name in Sara Grace’s comment, I do feel the need to clarify what is a misrepresentation of my position on sites like Pinterest.

    First of all, I have NO PROBLEM with bloggers posting my photos on their blogs, provided the image isn’t altered and the entire post isn’t lifted—and, of course, that there’s a link back to the post it came from. This is standard operating procedure in the blog world, and is really the bare minimum limitation. I do ask that for-profit/commercial blogs contact me before using my photos, but only because I’ve had several instances of photos of my house being used to sell specific products (i.e. a vintage chair being incorrectly sourced as a modern knock-off with an affiliate link, etc.).

    To date, I have not said no to a single blogger when a request has been made to use one of my photos.

    My problem with Pinterest, however, lies in their terms of use. I won’t copy their TOS here since I think it’s inappropriate for me to turn Victoria’s blog into a discussion of company policy that is not directly related to her post, but I will link to the TOS:
    I suggest paying very close attention to the “Member Content” section and thinking about whether or not Pinterest actually enforces their TOS—and what it would mean legally if they did. I personally will never agree to their terms, and I refuse to grant permission to anyone else to agree to those terms on my behalf.

    What’s particularly distressing to me is when I see a photo uploaded to Pinterest and credited to ME because it was found on my blog, even though I’ve taken the time and care to credit the image to another source. If I’ve gone to the trouble to obtain permission to use an image I didn’t create, it’s horrible to then see that it’s been erroneously credited/linked back to my blog on Pinterest—and the original creator’s name and website have been lost in the process. That makes ME look bad.

    In conclusion, I’m 100% fine with my photos being reblogged and credited. I have NO PROBLEM with that (I can’t give permission on behalf of any other photographers/artists whose work I feature, though, of course), but I do have a BIG PROBLEM with my photos being subjected to a TOS that I don’t believe in or agree to.

    I’ve been blogging since 1999, and I’ve seen this issue go through so many cycles and changes of mind and general attitude that I honestly dont believe that there is any real consensus about the exact “right” way of dealing with blog credits. It’s a sticky issue. However, as a graphic designer who primarily works with materials created by others, I have a very good understanding of the rights clearance process and the legalities associated with this kind of thing—just giving credit isn’t usually enough, legally speaking. I know that isn’t the case for everyone, though, and that I may just be more sensitive to the rights of creators.

    There’s a hairy area between de jure and de facto when it comes to image reuse on the internet, and we’re all kind of figuring it out together. The more open we are and the more we try to understand differences of opinion, the closer we’ll eventually get to a place where people ARE being credited (and compensated, when appropriate) for their work in a way that satisfies all parties.

    Thanks for listening, and—hoepfully—understanding.

  12. thank you anna, for your thoughtful reply and some very good points. i too, get dismayed when an image i simply posted on my blog, lands on pinterest crediting me. when i see that, i do comment with the the correct link – my way of trying to right the error. i think pinterest’s goal was to link back to all original sources, but it may have grown so quickly, that it does not have the resources ‘to police’ all these images been pinned from tumblr and other sources, other than the original. it’s just gotten out of hand, and i’m not entirely sure what the answer is. i think if we all try to be respectful, and do our due diligence it will at least help the problem, but it’s still out there. it’s an issue i just wish people would be more sensitive too, and not treat lightly.

    mutual respect, success and a sense of community is gained through treating your fellow bloggers, and artists with the same respect you would hope for. and i think success comes from treating people fairly and honestly, too. not just from trying to be the most popular, or get the most hits on your blog, or any of that. real success and a sense of accomplishment comes from doing the right thing, and feeling proud about what your creativity in what you are sharing and giving credit where credit is due.

    thanks for all the great dialogue everyone!! :)

  13. Thanks for the great comments. Anna, I had no idea about the TOS for Pinterest. Thank you for clarifying your position. Thanks to everyone for all well considered comments. I learned a lot. :-)

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