It’s that time again folks! You think that after some time of people being nice and sharing your pictures courteously, tagging you or hitting the share button, that you’re finally done with this. That people have learned how to be kind to others, and respective of their work. But then you’re hit with people blatantly stealing not only your own work, but the work of people you follow as well!
In February 2016 I wrote this post, and now it seems the time has come to face this topic again. So let’s break it down to the basics:
If you download someone’s picture, and then re-upload it, without giving any sort of credit to the original poster, you are STEALING! You are stealing someone’s hard work, because let me tell you, people put a lot of work into their pictures!
Let’s say you see a picture of a girl online, on the top of a mountain, holding a bow in her hand and dressed in period clothing. How do you think that picture came to be? Well, let me tell you.
It all begins at home, with a length of fabric. That’s right, usually a couple metres of fabric, usually pre-dyed, sometimes even completely natural and without colour. Fabric, as we all know, costs money. I would say that the average cost of wool fabric is around 250NOK per meter. That’s around 30$ or 25€. A wool tunic usually requires around 2m of fabric in my case, so that’s 500NOK. Oh and don’t forget the shipping, if you have to purchase fabric online! Now, you have a length of fabric, and you want to turn it into a tunic. Alright, you can count somewhere between 20 and 30 hours making it, if you do it completely by hand, as I have started doing recently. And that’s from cutting the fabric until it’s completely ready to wear. Great, you have a tunic. Now you’re just going to need trousers, leg wraps, shoes, perhaps a hood or a coat, maybe a cloak, and a bunch of other equipment. You’re not going to actually make all of it yourself, unless you’re extremely dedicated, so you buy some pieces from other artists. Buying from other craftsmen by the way, is a great way of sharing their work too! So for instance, if I’m wearing an armguard made by someone else, I can tag them and say that they made that piece! This is good for them too, because now you are freely promoting their work. It’s not mandatory, but I like to do it anyways.
Now, after spending a tremendous amount of time and money on your kit, it is time to take the pictures! (Oh, but before we get there, I should probably mention that the bow that the girl is holding also cost money, and that she’s spent money on archery lessons and such!) For the best places, you want to have a good location, and that usually isn’t in your garden. Sometimes, you have to drive some distance to get to that cool mountain range where you went hiking a few weeks ago, or if you’re lucky like me, there are a couple of cool places within walking distance as well. You have, of course, donned your gear, and possibly also spent an hour or so putting intricate braids into your hair, and are now ready to pose for all those great pictures.
Some people have photographers. Others have easily bribed friends or siblings that know their way around a camera. There are also people who can make due with a tripod and a timer. If you have a professional photographer, they are also part of creating the final picture, and perhaps you are even paying them to take your pictures? In either case, the photoshoots usually lasts a few hours, and you are left with a good handful of usable pictures.
So when you get home, you get out of your gear and perhaps take a shower, before sitting down to go through your pictures. If you have a professional photographer, they may do this for you, but if not you have to do it yourself. You go through the pictures, pick out the good ones, and proceed to crop, edit the light, things like that. This usually takes a few hours.
Finally, you are left with a good handful of pictures, and you go to post them online to share with friends, family and followers.
Then, a few months later, you stumble upon a page that has YOUR PICTURE posted, without GIVING ANY SORT OF CREDIT OR RECOGNITION! And the caption usually say something like “follow *insert name* for more pictures”.
HOW DARE YOU? LITERALLY EVERY WEBSITE EVER HAS A SHARE BUTTON! IT TAKES YOU LESS TIME TO HIT THAT SHARE BUTTON THAN IT DOES TO REUPLOAD MY PICTURES! DON’T YOU HAVE ANY COMMON DECENCY? DON’T YOU HAVE ANY RESPECT FOR OTHERS? WHAT IN THE WORLD MAKES YOU THINK THAT THIS IS OKAY?
I am tired and pissed off, and there is a reason I have a very visible watermark on all my photos these days! People who steal other people’s work are the worst, without any exceptions, because how hard is it to hit that share button rather than just re-uploading, huh? Even CHILDREN can do it!
I’m off to watch cute cat videos, thanks for sticking with me through my anger, and here is a picture of me surrounded by baby goats.
(If there are any typos or other errors in this, please excuse me, I’m too pissed off to do any proof-reading at the moment.)