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10 February, 2008

Rather familiar

I was doing a little research on Dolphinholme (a village near Lancaster) a few minutes ago, and happened to visit a farm holidays website.  Pretty pictures; particularly the one of the tree-lined River Wyre.  Hang on....

... I've seen that somewhere before. Oh yeah; it's one of mine.


Do I really need to remind people that web-published content has the same protection in international copyright law as print publications? Just because something is on the web and prominent in Google searches it doesn't automatically follow that it's in the public domain, available for unacknowledged reuse.
Every one of the Ministry's pages displays a visible copyright mark, and there's another in the <alt> tag of each photo. It's not ambiguous.

Don't misunderstand: I certainly don't have some inherent objection to people republishing my images, and when asked I've almost always been pleased to grant permission. However, I do demand the courtesy of a request, and permission should not be presumed, particularly when the intended reuse is a commercial website. Crediting one's source is also an obvious requirement.

You'll notice I don't publish under Creative Commons licence, as I don't see the benefit of it. Standard copyright allows reasonable fair use rights; at best, Creative Commons is a preapproval statement outlining what the content owner is prepared to permit beyond fair use. I don't provide that preapproval, not because I won't give permission when asked (I almost always will) but because I'm genuinely interested in other people's projects – if someone wants to do something novel with my content, I'm curious.

[Update 12/02/08: The site owner opted to remove my image, rather than retain it alongside a credit.]

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