Some of you might have seen my little rant on Instagram right before Christmas. I felt like I needed a bit more space to explain the issue in dephts though, because I get the feeling that a lot of people don’t take it very serious.
The internet is a great invention. It lets us explore the world from afar, look up everything we want to know, share our lives and be part of someone elses live. This is the part about it that I love. There are some things I don’t love about it though – like all the hate on social media (there’s probably a blog post coming up about that in the future) and the copyright issues I have to deal with.
Now why is that?
I put a lot of thought, time and heart (and money) into maintaining my Instagram, Facebook and Blog. I create quality content – I create art – by taking good pictures and videos, by editing them and putting it on the web for people to enjoy. I like it when people enjoy my art. Sometimes people like it so much, that they want to spread it. That’s very flattering, but only if they repost it and tag me in the picture and the caption, so that people will know that it’s my picture.
Why is that so important?
It’s not about gaining new followers, it’s about claiming my right. I took the picture, it’s my art and reposting it, without asking and giving credit is basically stealing. Art is not for free. And not everything on the internet is yours to take and spread. You need to make sure that you have the right to do so first. Would you think that it’s ok to steal a painting from an artist and then put it in your gallery, claiming that you painted it? Probably not. It’s the same with taking picture off the web and posting it without credit. Just because it’s digital doesn’t make it right.
What can you do?
There’s three things you can do to support creators:
Properly credit an artist:
If you find a picture on the web/Instagram/facebook/… that you like so much, that you want to share it make sure to properly credit the artist.
Instagram: Tag them in the picture and the caption
Blog/Facebook: Mention their name, link to the original source, link to their profile
Make a copyright claim:
If you see one of your own pictures reposted by someone without proper crediting you make a copyright claim with Instagram. That way Instagram can take down the picture with your copyright.
Don’t support those who steal:
There’s lots of Instagram repost accounts who quite obviously don’t create their own content. If you see an account, that has lots of familiar pictures, but without a unique touch, be careful. Check out if they tag the original posters in the picture and the caption. If they don’t, simply don’t follow them. As long as people support them, they’ll think that it’s alright to steal from other people. If we stop supporting them and they don’t have a crowd to share their illegal loot with, they might stop stealing.
Thanks for reading.