Imagine you are an art lover. Imagine how you would feel if some gang of low-lifers climbed in your bedroom window during the night and made off with some of your most prized artworks. The thieves head off to their houses and hang your work on their walls. They claim it for their own and ask their friends around to admire it. Pretty low behaviour in my estimation. In fact, it’s the pits.
Now imagine you are a food blogger and you spend a good deal of your creative energy lovingly crafting beautiful images of the various stuff, about which you blog.
Then one day, you discover that a bunch of such types has stolen your images and used them for their own commercial advantage. Would you be upset? Would you want to out them? Would you want to get paid for the commercial use of your copyrighted work? I don’t know how you would feel but I am very angry. I want to out them. I want to shame them and I want compensation.
Here are a few cases recently exposed through a Google image search. The image search is simple. Go to Google Images and drag and drop your picture.
Which of their 25,000 restaurants is located in my back garden? I’d show you a picture of my back garden but some dodge-ball low-life would probably steal it and claim it to be their own.
The golfing chef
However, they are not alone in fancying my kebab images and promoting them as their own fare. This guy (a chef, or so it seems) looks pretty happy to imply that when he is not playing golf (when else would you wear a sweater like that) he is cooking kebabs in my back garden. He seems to be a big deal with 68,000 or so Facebook fans. I wonder what they think about my kebabs? He has the cheek to post a recipe (not mine) for them alongside my image.
Meanwhile, over in Poland, somebody else is selling my kebabs in their Tex Mex restaurant. The translation is by Bing, so I apologise if the Polish really says; “Here’s some kebabs cooked in Conor’s back garden. His wife gave us permission to use the image. It’s nice, isn’t it?” But, if it’s simply trying to promote their kebabs, in their restaurant, using my image, for their profit, I am unimpressed.
I remember the Virginian as a cowboy series…. When I am not food blogging, I run a communications company. We do a fair bit of online work in digital, including web development. So, you can imagine how much my blood boiled when I came across one of my images of my copper saucepans being used by a web development company, based in Virginia, to promote themselves and a client of theirs. How cowboy is that.
I disguised the images on either side, to avoid any claim of copyright infringement. I really get boiled by the reference to ‘open source i.e. free’….
I think you will agree that I have a genuine beef with these guys. Speaking of genuine beef…..
It’s Snax Time!
Whatever about these guys, based over there in downtown Karachi, Pakistan, ripping me off, they are also writing a raft of total nonsense about the beef. I cooked it, photographed it and ate a fair deal of it too. My post is here.
The Wild North West
However, you don’t have to go to Pakistan to find my beef being ripped off and promoted as somebody else’s. Up there in the wilds of Donegal, they do a good job of blagging my images too. The original has a very clear © mark on the bottom right (as do all my images). This is no longer obvious in these photos.
Buffeted by image theft
Gourmet Spettus rips me off to promote their buffet business. They do it in Portuguese. Google Translate suggests this “Looking for a special buffet? Meet the Gourmet Spettus!”
Looking for a special Spettus rip off? Look there too.
Top ten theft
I thought I would be delighted to make it to a ‘top ten’ list. However, when my beef made it to this one, I was not impressed. Check out the talk about women and cooking.
Don’t come the raw prawn with me!
Coming closer to home, I noticed that a local prawn festival had stolen one of my images to use on their avatar. Now if a prawn festival can’t get a picture of a prawn, it can’t be much of a prawn festival. It is made even worse as it is run by Fingal Tourism Ltd., no small organisation. I tweeted them about it. They ignored my tweet and continue to use my image.
I am depressed to say that the above is only a sample of the blatant theft of my images by low-lifers. The excuses could be;
- “I didn’t know it was yours.”
- “I thought everything on the internet was free.”
- “I didn’t think you’d mind.”
Just for clarity;
- The images have my copyright mark on. The blog carries a copyright notice too.
- Refer to number 1. Also, the invoices for image use are in the post.
- I do mind. I mind a lot.