My favorite question: “Why post pictures of your kids online if you don’t want them stolen?” in a tone of Well, you’re asking for it.
A camera crew from the Today Show left my house yesterday afternoon and all I kept thinking after they left was “did I make sense?” “Did I really get my point across?”
You’d think someone like me, who has appeared on television countless times would know how to handle an interview but the truth is, I prefer being on the other side of the camera when it comes to questions.
So here’s the deal, long story short: People sometimes steal my pictures and use them without my permission.
This has ranged from Etsy stores, stock photo sites, Facebook pages, and so on. I normally don’t make a huge deal about it because I know how to handle it and it gets handled.
I was nervous before the segment aired because I worried it was going to turn into a shaming session like so many ill-informed people make it in the comments section of Yahoo. Thankfully, they got it right, and had an excellent expert explain what I feel like I’ve explained a hundred times.
I OWN my work. This website, my photos, my written words… Mine. You know how authors own the rights to their books? Or all of those warnings at the beginning of your blu-rays about duplication? Or how you wouldn’t scan a photo out of a magazine and upload it as your own? Much like that.
Would you be scared of a photographer or author coming after you for copyright infringement? If so, you should be scared of a blogger too.
Sure, people search google images looking for the perfect photo for a meme and–thinking it’s innocent–grab a picture of my family… After all, they aren’t trying to make money off of it, so it’s fair use right? WRONG.
It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
The problem isn’t parents sharing images of their kids. The problem is people not being informed and feeling entitled to whatever they find on the internet. Thinking it’s a place that’s “free game” once it’s out there. It’s new territory, so I understand we’re all trying to navigate new terrain together. We’re trying to figure out what we can and can do, should and shouldn’t share. But my most explicit warning isn’t for those who are wondering whether or not to share (I choose not to live in fear) but for those who take without asking.
Please, for the love of everything holy, ask first. Because a lawsuit could cost way more than the few laughs that meme was worth.
Here’s the segment in case you missed it. I’m working on an FAQ post for parents about sharing my kids’ photos online and how I handle things when I see they’ve been taken (UPDATE 3:30pm: Here’s my FAQ post). So let me know if you have any specific questions. In the mean time, here’s the segment in case you missed it. (I can’t wait to show Lil’ J when she gets home from school!)