The Other Guy Did It

I have been accused of copyright infringement.

Me!  Sweet old Cordelia’s Mom!

Who gives change back to the store cashier if an error is made!

Yes, I have been thus accused.  But it wasn’t totally my fault.

May you rest in peace, Paul Curran.

I told you this might happen some day.


Recently, a comment appeared on one of Paul Curran‘s guest posts indicating that several photos included with that post had been used without the photographer’s permission, and demanding that those photos be deleted immediately.

Those of you who have guest posted for me know that I am very, very careful about the photos I use on my blog.  If the photos are not the personal work of the guest poster, I require links to the photographic source – and I track those links to make sure they’re valid.  I also make every effort to determine that the photographs are Creative Commons licensed and/or may be used on a non-income-producing blog like mine.  Oftentimes, I email the photographer to ask for permission to use a photo.

Paul knew this.  I drove him absolutely mad with my requirements.  Many times, I rejected his proposed pictures and substituted my own.  He wasn’t always happy about it, but understood my fear of being accused of stealing someone else’s work.

Such fear was one of the reasons I began doing my own photography.  I don’t have to vet myself, right?

In any event, when Paul presented me with the guest post in question (no, I won’t tell you which one – go back and read all his posts and try to figure out which one is missing pictures!), I noted that the photos were not only not Creative Commons licensed but were linked to a site that did not allow general use of the photographer’s work.  So, I emailed the photographer.  At least I thought I had emailed the photographer.

As it turned out, the person who gave permission to use the photos was not the photographer, but rather was one of his former colleagues who apparently chose to claim ownership of the photos.  I unwittingly ran with that permission.

This was a couple of years ago, mind you.  That particular post became the single most viewed post on my blog – which sort of ticked me off, because it was Paul’s work, not mine.  (But hey, readership is readership, right? And everyone did, and still does, love Paul!)

A part of me (the part that created my currently silent alter-ego) felt like pointing out to the photographer that he got a lot of people viewing his work that maybe wouldn’t have seen it otherwise, and maybe he should be happy about it.  I wasn’t making any money on the post, so where’s the harm?

Still, copyright infringement is copyright infringement – and I took the photos down.

In all fairness, the photographer in question subsequently emailed to admit that he had, in fact, given permission for one of the three photos.  However, to be safe, I deleted all of them.  The story runs just fine without the photos.  My nasty little alter-ego wants to jump up and say, “So there!  Now you’ve lost some views, Mr. Photographer!”

But that photographer had every right to bring the issue to my attention, and he has since become a follower.  I do not want to lose even one of my followers.  Best just to make amends.

Lesson learned.  Advice to all you newbies out there:

Be safe.  Use your own art work, even if you think it’s nothing special.  At least you know you own it.


I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at


Image by Cordelia’s Mom

This entry was posted in Guest Posters, Paul Curran, Photography, Relationships, That's Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The Other Guy Did It

  1. AmyRose🌹 says:

    There is so much copy and paste on the internet it drives me crazy!! MY images are all copyrighted as they should be and one needs my permission to use them. I had … note the word HAD … a young friend who thought it was OK just because she WAS my friend to take my pics without my permission to use as wallpaper on her computer and phone. Another woman thought it all right to actually print my photos to put on her walls. I now only have small pics posted but even there if someone knows their way around an editing room that image can be enlarged. What to do? I only post my photos on my blog and never have I taken anything that another created. That is BS. I’m glad you got to the bottom of things and that photographer is actually a follower now. That’s cool! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I first stated my own photography (such as it is), I thought it would be cool if someone else used my photos in their blog, so I went with Creative Commons licensing. Since then, I’ve decided that my work is MY work and no one has any right to use it without permission, so now I have everything copyrighted, too. Not that it would really prevent someone from stealing a photo. It’s just too easy to do that these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AmyRose🌹 says:

        You bet it’s too easy to do. And yeah it pisses me off. So many have this attitude if they want they’ll get it. No respect. No thought as to oh wait this is um stealing. It’s crazy, CM. I have put years of learning and improving into my work and to have someone come along and just take that … grrrrrrrrrr. Even with a copyright someone can still copy anything. So not right!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous says:

        I enjoy your photography as much as your posts. The photos definitely add to your already creative posts. I think you should take your own advice you gave to the photographer in your piece, ( …”he got a lot of people viewing his work that maybe wouldn’t have seen it otherwise, and maybe he should be happy about it.”) and continue with the Creative Commons licensing. Just my very unprofessional opinion.

        I just realized that I am way behind reading your blogs. Looking forward to setting aside some time this week to binge read them.


  2. Dan Antion says:

    I have been very careful to use my own photos or, a very few, that are public domain (I think). I try my best.


  3. joey says:

    I’ve been a lot more careful in the last year or so. I use my own mostly, and tend to stick to memes that have been watermarked. Otherwise, photo credit and Pixabay.


  4. A timely warning, CM. And I/we still miss Paul’s presence here.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh dear! I’ve read that if you intend to re-post someone else’s image you have 3 ways to do this: Credit, Share, Link. Thanks for the warning though, CM! And our dear Paul would have said, “HA!” ヾ(=゚・゚=)ノ


  6. Barry says:

    It’s one reason why I seldom use images on my blog. Those that I do use must be in the public domain or ones I’ve created myself.

    Just as infuriating is entire posts being taken and published elsewhere under someone else’s name. I’ve had this happen twice. Unfortunately the web hosts aren’t interested in taking the offending pages down, and I don’t have the resources to take it further.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is why I only use my own amateur photos.


  8. People think nothing of snatching other people’s work.
    How annoying the guy mislead you and claimed them for himself.
    Sigh . No matter how careful there seems to be some sinkhole ready to open up and ruin your day.
    Your writing is the best part, the pictures just some icing.
    (Your mention of Paul made me smile – been think of him and how much fun he was around the blog neighborhoods.)


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