Actually, this is an odd one, and I know a lot of you post photos so I have to share this little bit of caution.

Normally, I don't mind my photos being passed along as long as there's a point back to me, or if it's for non-profit. However, someone out there actually well... stole my dogs and is claiming them as their own. (They didn't change Simon's name though, but they changed Caleb's. Poor Libbers, he always takes second fiddle to his big brother.)

I kind of have to laugh a little, in that it's a major website apparently, and I've gotten several notes and emails from people congratulating me on dog of the day... and I had no idea what was going on, since I'd never even heard of the website. (Seems like a really nice site though, at least, and the comments on my photos and dog are very sweet.)

However, sadly, this makes me really want to throw huge copyright images over my images at this point. I really wouldn't want someone making a scam and selling my dogs to unsuspecting people over the internet (gee, shock, you spent money and there's no dog!) or using my photos commercially. I've never felt there was a worry before -- yep, I'm naive and didn't think my photos were commercially viable, and I don't put them out there in high resolutions good enough to print good prints from, but who knows. I'm sure Simon's on some mug in some other country somewhere, haha!

So, just a warning to all of you who post photos places (and no, the photos didn't come from here, I'm pretty sure they came from my blog or my flickr account, based on what's there) might want to consider using photoshop or another program to put a copyright on them, or if you have a camera, embedding the copyright in your photos. I do do that, so I do have a pretty solid case to stand on, and I've already written the site admin explaining the situation. I feel bad, because there's a lot of nice comments and it's truly an honor to have my dog and photos up on a major site, and I don't mind sharing if the credit goes back to me...well, and Caleb gets his name back. Poor Caleb!

I don't mind sharing at all - I'm thrilled to share my dogs with people, I'm quite proud of them all. However, they're MY dogs, and if I have to scoop the poop, pay the vet bills, share my bed, teach them to have manners and not be heathens, and of course wipe kitty litter off of sneaky noses (oh yuck!) I darn well want people to know that, and I'm sure the rest of you would too-- so just a little heads-up, and be careful of photo lifters!

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Comment by John Wolff on June 6, 2011 at 6:01pm

Hey, someone just gave me the backhanded compliment of stealing one of mine!  Either from here or FaceBook, probably not from Washington Trails Ass'n (who has lawyers, and the copyright).  They put it on their pet-sitting business webpage... not thinking that 4 independent sources would recognize it and tell me within 2 days, or that I now have a screen shot for evidence, or that I could spread this all over the web so it'd show up on any google search that hits their business, if my dogs thought I was that sort of person. 

Or that "Al" is short for "Big Al Capone".

Or that I could hire them to walk Al.  Oooh, THEN they'd be sorry!  At least, they'd be sore.

Yeah, Doug, if I ever get me a 'puter with more than 10kB of RAM, I'll get me that PaintShopPro stuff.

Comment by Gromit, Sparkle, and Doug on July 15, 2010 at 4:19pm
I've used PaintShop Pro for years now for photo editing. Ver. X2 is the best. It allows you to edit meta data, some EXIF data, and also has a watermarking tool. Recently I switched to Nikon Capture NX2 since I shoot Nikon cameras. There is also a professional owner information system called DigiMarc that makes it more difficult for photos to be stolen and makes it easy to trace them back to their owner.
Comment by Sam Tsang on July 15, 2010 at 1:46pm
You can use photoshop or picghost and picmakr. Yes, people can crop out a corner watermark, but the embeded metadata shows what camera was used and copyright info was in the image.

If we ever need a favour, it'll be Big Al &Gwynn's seattle connection :)
Comment by John Wolff on July 15, 2010 at 1:37pm
How do you embed the copyright in your photos? There might be an option for that in my old Canon, but I'd never thought about it.
And if you put a copyright in the corner of a photo, can't people simply crop it out?
I just figured posting compressed files was enough to discourage pilfering.
How does one put those "watermark" copyrights on photos?

If any a yous guys have any trouble wid' people like dis, jus' lemme know, I'll send Big Al & Gwynn over to have a little talk wid' em.....
Comment by Sam Tsang on July 15, 2010 at 1:34pm
Hi John, it's call metadata, some cameras have a setting that allows you to edit it, you can also use software. If you want to know who stole your pics, you can do a reverse image search with tineye.
Comment by Carol Rea on July 12, 2010 at 5:07pm
i am so naive! It never occured to me that someone could take your photos, or might take them and then use them for something terrible!!! I am so sorry
Comment by Gromit, Sparkle, and Doug on July 12, 2010 at 4:44pm
I do a lot of photography as a hobby, mostly motorcycle stuff, and have had a few photos turn up on non-commercial sites. I don't mind as long as photo credit is given. Unauthorized commercial use would be another matter.

I have read of people's car or motorcycle photos being used fraudulently by others to sell vehicles on so I suppose it could happen with puppies too. On one popular photography site a fellow posted a message about seeing one of his cityscape photos turn up in Algore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth." He wrote the production company with his proof of ownership and they just blew him off because there was no actual federal copyright registration of his image. Nice.

Anyway, of late I've taken to marking my photos with the © 2010 and my name. There are more elaborate ways of watermarking and embedding of ownership rights that can be done but sadly, unless you want to spend money on a lawyer, it's tough to prevent photos being used by others, sometimes in odd ways, like the use of your picture. Writing the website owner was a good move.
Comment by Avyon on July 12, 2010 at 4:25pm
Omgosh I'm sorry! Not just snagging your photos but swapping out names! I have my flickr set so nobody can d.l the photos but that's never a 100% guarantee... Was debating on watermarking. Didn't know cameras will do it on their own. Glad you can try to get in touch with them.. hope they're smart enough to work with you.

I popped a discussion like this earlier actually hehe
Comment by Monica, Orion, and Laika on July 12, 2010 at 2:40pm
How bizarre! Why would you want to steal someone's dog pictures? Even if they are super cute dogs. It is strange to me how stupid people are
Comment by Bev Levy on July 12, 2010 at 2:36pm
It never ceases to amaze me the things people will do! I guess it is easier to say you own corgis than it is to own one. But they are missing out on the most important part....

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