Photographers: there's a new bandit in town, and he's not coming after your pictures. He's a text thief. Your blog--its posts and static content--could be robbed.
Sound scary? That's because it is. Recent social media grumblings about text being lifted from other photographers' sites, with no attribution, links, or acknowledgment--a copy and paste job, if you will--are reminiscent of photographers screen-capping to steal other photographers' images. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out in the biz, there's no excuse, no “good intentions” that make this behavior excusable. Not only is copyright infringement illegal and punishable by a fine and/or jail time, but it's also misrepresentation of the worst sort. Being a bad writer is OK. Being a thief is not.
What are you doing to protect yourselves? Now that you know about this phenomenon, you can take the appropriate steps to lock down your content. We use Copyscape, among other technologies, to protect our work; these two articles outline best practices (and your recourse!) against text theft. Altering your site's source code, disabling right-click, and truncating your RSS feed are among your options. And be vigilant! Searching for duplicates of your posts every month (even if it's the old-fashioned way--through Google) is as important as backing up your data. Finally, remember that plagiarism is like bullying: it won't stop unless you take a stand. Email the offender with a firm reminder that your content is original, and that their version needs to be taken down; and reach out to a site like Photo Stealers to assert your copyright. Stealing other photographers' work--image or text--is wrong. It's up to us to make it right.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.
Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What was your road like to becoming a photographer?
Hello! I am a portrait photographer based south of Boston, MA. My passion is capturing mothers and their growing families. Maternity and newborn portraits are the foundation of my business, and I also capture baby milestones, children, and families. Fun fact: I returned the diamond earrings my husband bought me for our first Christmas as a married couple to buy a digital camera.
When I was in college, I had a friend who was a professional photographer. The first time I went to her home, I walked in to find stunning photographs of her children on the walls.
There was a huge canvas in their living room and a creative photo display in the main hallway. I remember being so moved by the beauty of those images, thinking to myself, “I want to create images like this!” I bought myself a DSLR as a graduation present, learned photography from online courses and started my photography business about a year later.