I don’t even know what to say about this.

Photo from ParentdishI browse through a number of blogs, one of which is Parentdish. They are one of many blogs that are a part of Weblogs, Inc., which is owned by AOL. Today I stumbled upon an article regarding the questionable safety of plastic toys. I’m sure that what I should really be concerned about is the danger that these toys post to my son and to other kids (but somehow, I’m really not). Instead, what I AM concerned about is how the blog TOTALLY STOLE ONE OF OUR PHOTOS RIGHT OFF OF FLICKR! I give you Exhibit A. Exhibit B, to the right, is the picture that I “stole” from Parentdish. Which I don’t feel at all bad about because basically I’m just TAKING IT BACK.

Re-reading that first paragraph, it sounds way more outraged than I actually feel. I’m actually a little bit flattered that some graphic artist grunt felt that a picture taken by Kate (I think) deserved to be featured on this post. I can’t be too upset, because I have definitely lifted photos and pictures off the Web before. Usually interest images like Transformers, or the VT logo, or any number of different things. However, if I take a photo, I generally try to give the original photographer some credit, if I know who that photographer is. The big difference here as that Music-Slave.com is not run for profit. Parentdish is. Somebody needs to sit down with their staff and explain what the “All Rights Reserved” marking on Flickr means.

I absolutely would not have minded giving Parentdish permission to use this photo. However, it would have been nice to have been asked. It would have been even nicer to see some credit given. You know, like they give to organizations with clout.

So, gentle reader, here is your opportunity to tell me I’m off my rocker. Am I overreacting? Am I a hypocritical moron who should just let it go? Or am I justified in my semi-outrage? Leave a comment and I’ll take your feedback into account as I draft my lawsui. . . er. . .write my email to Weblogs, Inc.

UPDATE: Weblogs Inc./AOL was extremely responsive. The photo now has appropriate credit given, and the image is linked to the original Flickr photo page. I also received a very nice email from Kristin, the author of the original post, explaining the mix-up and offering her sincere apologies. Thanks to all the folks at Weblogs Inc./AOL for their professionalism and quick response.

Don’t Blog Angry

Kate has been working extremely hard on the quilting business. It’s something that I’m very proud of her for, and when something like this comes along it just makes proverbial steam shoot out of my ears. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Not long ago, Kate completed a project (a gift, not for sale) that I thought was really cute. Yeah, I enjoy seeing her quilty crafts. Yes, I realize this isn’t particularly manly. I’m okay with it.

At any rate, Kate found a listing on Etsy today (the same site through which she sells her items), that looked PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL to the project she had completed recently. She thought this was odd, and brought it up to me. I recognized the seller as somebody who had previously left a comment on her blog, confirming the probable source of ‘inspiration’ for the design.

I think I was more angry about this situation than Kate was. She took the high road and settled for a credit of ‘inspired by’ on the listing of the item in question. I’m not sure I would have been so amenable. I’m sure this person meant no harm, and is probably a very nice lady who is nearly as angry as I am that somebody would accuse her of theft. And to her credit, once Kate brought the item to her attention she gave at least some form of acknowledgement.

I was prepared to write a long (okay, that part came true), scathing post about this person’s questionable ethics. I was prepared to name names and point the finger. I’m glad I took a second to step back, because I think that would have been a mistake. As I said, I’m sure this person is perfectly well-intentioned, and very pleasant. This was probably just a momentary lapse in judgment, and she still may not see anything wrong with what she did.

The crafting community on the Web is seemingly fairly tightly knit (no pun intended!), and I’m not sure it’s worth the risk of alienating Kate from that community simply because of my righteous indignation.

Update: I wanted to qualify this post with this: we would have had no problem with this person’s piece if it were a gift or for her own personal use. It’s the fact that she was trying to sell it that was galling.

The listing has since been pulled down off of Etsy, although in her conversations with Kate the woman shows no remorse for her actions. Just because you found it on the Internet does not mean that you can use it for your own personal gain. She is deluding herself and over-rationalizing to an amazing degree, but I think that deep down she knows what she did is wrong. Okay, rant over. I’m moving on. No, seriously. I am. 🙂