Image Use/Credit—Am I Asking Too Much?

Hi everyone. Sorry, no recipe post today. I had a great one lined up, but then something happened yesterday that really irked the hell out of me, and I feel that I need to address the issue here. In part to maintain my own sanity (nothing soothes the soul quite like venting via blog post), but mostly in hopes of gaining valuable insight and perspective from you, my readers. All of you are blog followers. Many of you run blogs yourselves. I would love to know what you, as a reader, would expect to see (or not see) from blogs using the images or work of others. And if you run a blog yourself, what do you ask in terms of permissions and credit for use of your writing and/or photography. What do you consider fair (or simply common courtesy) when it comes to using the work of others, and what lengths do you go to when crediting sources? And what are your thoughts on the situation I detail below? Is my irritation justified, or am I being unreasonable?

Yesterday afternoon, I received a pingback on my Homemade Nutella post. I clicked on the pingback link, and it brought me to this post. There were two of my images, pulled from my site without prior permission. Not a big deal, in and of itself, as sites and fellow bloggers will often reuse my images in link love/round-up posts, and simply credit and link back to me. (I am always excited to be included in these sorts of posts, as it’s such an awesome way to give a shout out to sources of inspiration.) As I looked through the post, however, I found no reference to me, my site, or my original post anywhere. (Initially, the photo and recipe credit text did not appear at the bottom of the post. In their place was simply “via.”) I knew that there had to be a link back to my site somewhere since I’d gotten a pingback, and I finally discovered that the “v” in “via” linked back to my Nutella post, and the “a” linked to The Kitchn’s original post. Two of my images. A referral link on one, tiny letter. Seriously?

I told myself to take a beat and calmly think about the situation. But the more I thought about it, the more the whole thing just seemed really not cool. I looked around on the site for a contact email. Finding none, I left the following as a comment on the post:

Hi Charlotte,
Sorry to leave this as a comment, but I wasn’t able to find an email address to contact you directly. I’m happy that you found my nutella post and enjoyed it enough to reblog it. However, your decision to pull two of my photographs from my site without contacting me for permission or attributing credit for the photography anywhere in your post is rather upsetting. (And the fact that reference to my blog appears nowhere other than as a link on the letter “v” at the bottom of the post is a little bothersome as well.)
I would greatly appreciate it if you could at least add a photo credit to your post that states: “Photos courtesy of Carey Nershi at Reclaiming Provincial.” I put a lot of time and effort into my photography and writing, and I really enjoy being able to share it with others. Given that copyrights and intellectual property are still somewhat grey areas online nowadays (especially for those of us that run blogs), it’s important that we take it upon ourselves to go the extra mile and make sure we give credit where credit is due.
Thanks in advance,
Carey

And, being the neurotic person that I am (which is also evidenced by the fact that I kept a record of the comments I wrote), I checked back every five minutes for an update, and also hoped that maybe I’d receive a, “hey, sorry about that!” email or reply. After about half an hour, my comment (which had been awaiting moderation) was gone, and there was an update to the post. This update, however, removed the “via” (which contained the only link back to my post), and in its place was “Photos courtesy of Carey Nershi” followed by the “Recipe courtesy The Kitchn” text (with a link to The Kitchn’s recipe) that currently appears on the page.

At this point, I felt a little dumbfounded. Now, to be completely fair, the content/image use note at the bottom of my About page only requested that any republished materials be credited to “Carey Nershi” at the time (this has since been updated). So, technically, what she’d done was in line with this. But considering that in my comment I’d asked for a specific line of text to be added in, it really didn’t sit well. Additionally, I hadn’t expected that any reference to my blog would be removed entirely. I figured maybe that was the problem: I was expecting things that seemed like common sense/courtesy to me, but perhaps weren’t as obvious to someone who doesn’t publish their own unique content. So I figured I’d just risk coming across as a crazy person and write one more comment, with a more specific amendment request:

Thank you for amending the post, Charlotte. I would really appreciate it if you would also add “at Reclaiming Provincial” following my name as previously requested, and set a linkback on “Reclaiming Provincial” to either my site main page (www.reclaimingprovincial.com) or to the nutella post (http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/2012/09/19/homemade-nutella/).
Best,
Carey

I checked the post again this morning, and it had been amended to the way it appears now. “Photos courtesy of Carey Nershi at ‘Reclaiming Provincial’,” with no link back to my site. At this point, the whole thing is just rather comical. There was actually a moment when I thought, “Wait a minute, maybe she doesn’t speak English! ……no, that can’t be right.” Clearly, it’s time to let the whole thing go. I’m credited by name and by blog name (albeit link-free), so that’s better. But I’m having a hard time getting over the fact that the whole situation just feels rather disrespectful. (Also a bit mystifying, as there’s evidence of her grasp of link backs in previous posts, like this one.) Maybe I came across as condescending in my comments, and she decided she didn’t want to pander to the requests of some snotty B, regardless of whether or not my requests (and perhaps my snottiness) were warranted. (My day job requires a lot of correspondence with authors and publishers, and the professional tone can be kind of hard to shake outside of work.) Still, I didn’t ask that she take the images down (though I’m skeptical she would have complied if I had), so I thought my requests were more than fair. In general, the practice of pulling someone else’s images/recipe and regurgitating them into a post of your own doesn’t really sit well with me, but that’s a different can of worms entirely. And I understand that this is just the risk one runs with publishing unique content online. (God knows how many things my images/writing have been used for that I’ll never know about.) Perhaps it’s rather amazing that I’ve been running this blog for two years and haven’t experienced an issue like this until now.

I suppose what it all boils down to is dismay. When I first began this site, I still wasn’t sure how I felt about blogging, and putting myself out there into the bustling-yet-lonely, ethereal e-universe. But now two years have flown by, and I’m so happy to be here. I’ve learned so many things. I’ve discovered amazing new sites. And best of all, I’ve (e-)met a ton of awesome people. I love being part of this community. So finding someone who seems to think that my images are worthy of stealing using, but I am not worthy of credit, and my site not worthy of note (other than a link on one tiny little letter) makes me sad. I don’t want to nitpick over things like this. And I don’t want to have rigid image credit guidelines. I just want to trust people to use their best judgement and do what they believe is fair. For the most part, that works. The vast majority of us put a lot of work into what we do, and take pride in the end result. Subsequently, we understand that our sources of inspiration do the same, and we go to great lengths to give them credit for what they do.

If you made it through this entire post, congratulations! I would love to hear thoughts and feedback on this situation, and if anyone has experienced something similar. And if you think I’m crazy or overreacting, please tell me that too!

(And as an aside, I would like to note that I am totally fine with having my photos pinned on Pinterest or reblogged on Tumblr, as long as they are accompanied by a credit/link back to the original post.)

Carey

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Carey,
    I am terribly sorry for what you have found in regards to the lovely images you post and amazing recipes. I too have fallen in love with your blog and visit it every day in childlike anticipation of what yummy recipe you will provide. However I must confess I have posted images from your website. My huge error…I should have contacted you first. Please know that I ALWAYS make sure I credit any site I have used. It is such a frustration to me when I see photos from bloggers without the proper credit or source. I will not re-blog any images that have not provided the credit. I ask for your forgiveness and will certainly make sure I take any photo down in honor of you and the talents you have so freely been sharing with all of us. Thank you so much for your post…it really makes me take a closer look how hurtful using photo’s from others can be. Again,please forgive me. I wish you well and hope you will continue on with the beautiful work you do.
    Warmly,
    Miranda

    • says

      Hi Miranda!

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m realizing now that I should have been a little more clear in my post. I actually love sites like tumblr, pinterest, etc., and I have no problem with my images being blogged or repinned there without prior consent. I use pinterest quite frequently, and know that it would be practically impossible to check with every single source before I pin them. Instead, I make sure I credit appropriately and set the post to link to the original source. Many others, like you, do the same, and I am extremely grateful for your consideration, as well as flattered that you enjoy my work enough to reblog it. So please, no apologies — keep doing what you do! I’ll amend the post to note this, and update my About page too. :)

      Cheers,
      Carey

  2. says

    You are totally justified in the way you are feeling and I don’t think it’s being neurotic. What that website did was totally messed up and un pro. The fact they never contacted you directly and apologized for the error is lame.

  3. says

    I think you handled the situation in the best way you could, and it’s silly that your requests haven’t been completely honored. There is a wealth of information on basic blog etiquette out there, and it’s really too bad that some bloggers don’t think about how their actions may affect others. I applaud you for calling out these misdeeds!

    • says

      Thanks, Brianne! After that last update, it really felt like she was trying to be as difficult as possible. It’s just ridiculous, but at least it gave me something to write a giant, grumpy post about. :D

  4. says

    I totally understand your frustration. With the rise of tumblr and pinterest, I feel like this issue has gotten even worse. It’s always frustrating to come across something we designed and photographed floating around on tumblr and then being pinned on pinterest without any reference to us or at the least, photo credit. Sourcing is very important to give people credit for their work, especially when people work so hard to create something original.

    I was recently frustrated when I realized some “big” bloggers had pinned a one of our recent packaging designs, (one of them was even a photographer!) and none of them even checked the link or referenced us in any way. I think they should be setting the example of how to properly source and give credit on these social media outlets, as I’m sure they would want their photos and work credited. And all it takes often is a quick google search or google image lookup to find out the creator.

    I actually came across your food photos through pinterest and luckily it was sourced correctly so I could find your blog! :)

    • says

      Hi Elizabeth! It’s funny how things like pinterest and tumblr can be such double-edged swords. I love them because they can be great sources of traffic and am always honored that people consider my work worthy of reblogging or pinning, but lord knows how much of my stuff is going around out there that isn’t sourced correctly. I use pinterest regularly myself and always try to be as attentive as possible when it comes to crediting and finding original image sources. I have come across a lot of pins that lead to nowhere, however, and it’s pretty disappointing. And the fact that you’ve found other big bloggers pinning work of yours with no credit or referral is upsetting, to say the least. There’s actually a really nifty trick I learned a while ago for finding image sources. If you go to Google’s homepage and click on Images, you can actually drag an image (from pinterest, tumblr, etc.) into the search field, and it will give you the original source of the image, along with all of the other sites that are using it. Pretty neat!

      • says

        I know! we feel the same way and use that phrase often in regards to them both. It has helped our business immensley and it’s so nice to see your things repinned for sure, so I’m definitely beyond grateful for that side of it!
        For me, making sure the recipes go to the correct source is very important because since i actually want to make it so you would assume most people would feel that way about the food as well!
        I’m constantly constantly using google image search, i love it so much :)

      • Melissa says

        First of all I want to say that I think you’re totally justified in feeling frustrated by this situation, and the other blogger is coming across as pretty petulant at this point.

        The other thing I wanted to comment on was Pinterest particular (although Tumblr too, to some extent). I think when it’s used well, it’s pretty clear that the person pinning/reblogging is not trying to claim creative credit/ownership, but is instead curating a collection of others’ works and in turn bringing them to a wider audience. So long as proper credit is given (in links/in text), I think they’re GREAT tools. It’s always good to see a blogger who understands that.

        • says

          Thank you, Melissa! They really are great tools for gathering and sharing the work of others, and are especially wonderful when used by respectful people. :)

  5. Jill Anderson says

    This is such a shame, Carey. I can certainly understand your frustration!

    I know that some other recipe bloggers that I follow add type across their photos (see example at http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net – I’m not trying to get your readers to the other site – just wanted to show an example). I’m pretty sure that Pam (of For the Love of Cooking) had a similar experience but I couldn’t find her post quickly enough. Thanks for all of your great recipes and photos!

    • says

      Thanks, Jill! I was actually thinking about the watermark option today, although it seems like such a shame to have to add text to an otherwise beautiful photo just to ensure that jerky people don’t steal it. But it’s definitely something to consider. I think there might also be other sites/plug-ins for image hosting that prevent people from easily downloading images, so that might be something to look into as well.

      • Jill Anderson says

        I agree that it would be a shame to have watermark your beautiful photos. I hope that you can find a better alternative. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Jill

        P.S. the “other site” that used your photos looks ….well, amateurish but it doesn’t relieve her/him for their unethical behavior. Bummer.

  6. says

    You are absolutely not asking too much. This was, at the least, a breech of Internet/blogger etiquette, at most, outright plagiarism. I think you were beyond polite and I am glad the other party responded in some way, even if it wasn’t exactly what you asked for. I have a problem with tumblr for the same reason. At least with Pinterest, it seems to be like a visual bookmark list for people. Tumblr is just basic re-blogging w/o permission. Bluh.

    • says

      Thank you, Brooke! I think it’s kind of interesting how much press/flack pinterest got for usage rights and infringement, when tumblr can be used for pretty much the same exact thing. (The again, I have never been very tumblr savvy, so perhaps it did deal with the same issues as well when it began.) I notice a good amount of traffic from tumblr, so I think a lot of my followers are great about linking accordingly. I do wonder how much of my work is bouncing around out there without proper credit, though.

  7. Vi says

    I suppose I’m of unpopular opinion here, but while I feel that credit is highly, highly important, and actually shut down an art account due to theft, people choose to credit in different ways. While the blogger is being disrespectful in the sense that she’s putting her own interpretation on your request, I don’t think having a “via” or “source” button is disrespectful (though she could have made the whole word a link), nor do I think a link is necessary if the source is named.

    • says

      Always happy to hear a dissenting opinion, Vi. I agree with your point that people credit in different ways, which is why I dislike rigid crediting guidelines, and have always left my own a bit open to interpretation. The reason I took issue with this post is that, unlike other sites like tumblr — where people reblog things constantly and it’s somewhat of an understood method for image obtainment, this site follows the form of a more standard blog. So there’s a recipe, along with two of my images. It would have been very easy for anyone that read that post when it was first published to completely miss the “via” following the last image, and assume the site owner was responsible for the photography as well. And if she had originally put “Photos courtesy of Carey Nershi at Reclaiming Provincial,” with no link back, or any other form of acknowledgment besides a link on one letter, I probably would have let it go. But the fact that I made a direct, rather specific request for a credit, only to have her amend the post with just a portion of my requested credit line really kicked the irritation up a notch, leading me to request more specific things out of frustration. And, on the whole, as the creator of my content, I believe it’s my right (albeit a rather elusive one) to request a specific credit if I think the one given is inadequate.

  8. says

    I think it’s totally reasonable to expect that your work would be credited in a professional setting. If they want to continue to appear professional, they’ll do it as per your comment. If they don’t, then they aren’t a cool, professional site. Like you said, this whole ‘internet accreditation’ thing is a huge gray area and is more dependent on social capital than real laws, which is rather frustrating.

    • says

      Thanks, Eliz! It’s true — it’s a matter of professionalism. Many people get it, and then there are the others that simply…don’t. I have a tendency to develop these IT IS MY DUTY TO MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND fixations, so I really could have gone over the edge with this one. I’m glad I decided to give up and discuss my feelings with a more reasonable crowd instead. :)

  9. says

    i just found your blog via bon appetite… and this post speaks to my heart because i have battled with this several times now. i have seen my photos used on other blogs without my permission, without any linking back or acknowledgement of where it came from. most recently, just a couple of days ago, i came across one of my images used on a website on culture and tradition. i wrote on the comments section asking them to acknowledge the photo or to remove it. they removed it, and i heard no apology. it made me mad. i have had other bloggers tell me that i should put some kind of signature or watermark on my photos, but i doubt if that is going to stop people from stealing my images if they wanted to.

    • says

      How frustrating that you’ve had to deal with this so often, Kamana. It’s amazing that other sites demonstrate such a blatant disregard for the work of others — to publish an image without your permission is bad enough, and to remove it at your request without any form of apology is just disrespectful. I’ve given though to the watermark thing as well, though it’d be a shame to have to add text onto otherwise pretty images (especially if sites might just go ahead an use them anyway). *sigh*

  10. says

    I once had someone share a recipe of mine on their blog but she used MY photo to submit to Tastespotting and it was posted at the top which meant that all the traffic hits from TS was going to their blog and not mine! The final insult was that their post didn’t even link back to mine properly. Luckily I had good friends who spotted it first and commented to tell her she was wrong so she fixed the link up. Tastespotting however, ignored my email about people violating copyright and submitting photos that weren’t theirs and chose not to do anything about it. Boo them. I now have it explicitly stated that all recipes/photos must be credited and linked back to the blog otherwise I’ll lose my marbles lol.

    I’m sorry to hear about your troubles Carey but you are indeed justified in feeling this way. First of all, adding the links using one letter in one word (“via”) is not enough (if you’re going to link back anyway, how hard is it to just type a few extra letters and stick your blog name in?). It’s pretty much ‘well I guess I’ll have to credit but I’m going to make it as un-obvious as possible’. Very sneaky. And to then omit a link to your blog entirely after you contacted them twice is just rude. Anyway kudos to you for standing up and shedding light on this issue. If anything, I hope venting out has eased the irritation a little :)

    • says

      Wow. I can’t even begin to understand how someone could think that was acceptable! Tastespotting has always struck me as a site that isn’t run with a lot of care or pride. Their publishing practices are haphazard at best, and the promotional campaigns that happen on occasion kind of drive me nuts. (“DOLE Salad Day!” Pages upon pages of salad posts!) And the fact that they didn’t even bother to respond to your email is glaring evidence of their lack of professionalism. What a shame that a site that’s meant to be used as a way for us to share our work with world doesn’t care enough to protect the users that made it so popular in the first place.

      That’s exactly what it felt like, a lame, sneaky credit — as hidden as it could possibly be! I mean, why even bother at that point? I’ve started imagining that maybe this is her ingenious way of getting traffic to her site — pulling photos from another blogger and reposting them with an infuriating lack of credit, then just waiting for the owner to get so frustrated with her that they blog about it on her own site and direct readers back to hers. THAT might actually be clever enough to impress me. :)

      Thanks so much for sharing your own frustrations, Karen. It was really nice to start my day off with this AND ogling flourless chocolate and peanut butter brownies!

  11. says

    I am mainly a design blog follower (though I do love great food blogs, especially with great photography like yours!), and it’s sort of customary for images to be used and re-used and improperly credited all the time. It’s not an excuse, mind you – in fact, most of the blogs I frequent either post original photographic content, or do their best to accurately identify the original sources for their images – but it could be that there are so many poor examples being set that people are just childishly following suit.

    I did, however, want to you alert you to this image theft that was blogged about on Modern Jane:
    http://modernjanedesign.blogspot.com/2012/09/friday-thoughts.html

    You should think about ways to protect your content, while maintaining the integrity of your work, so that you won’t have to deal with anything worse than a poorly credited image and rudely dismissive blogger.

    • says

      Thank you, Kati! And thanks for bringing another example of image theft as well. It boggles my mind that people have no problem with doing things like this. I guess they just cross their fingers and hope that no one notices…ugh.

  12. erica says

    Hi Carey

    I recently found you via Shutterbean and I love your site. It’s beautiful and well written and you can tell that you really take care with all the details. I had lunch with another foodie friend this week and we spent a good chunk of time discussing your homemade sriracha :)

    Last year I attended SXSW Interactive and there were several panels that dealt with this topic. Including one with Grace Bonney from Design Sponge. There is a whole sub-topic called Business Ethics and Etiquette in the Biz Ladies section that may provide some more ammunition should you have to deal with this again. Which I hope will not happen, but sadly will probably become more common as the tools for “blogging” (Tumbler, Pinterest, etc.) get easier to use and the notion that anything on the Internet is free for the taking continues to grow.

    • says

      Thank you, Erica! I’m glad you brought that section of DS to my attention — I will be checking that out shortly! (On the plus side, my frustration with this situation was slightly quelled by Bon Appétit’s request to do a blog post on my sriracha yesterday. Eeee!) :)

  13. says

    Ugh, I know exactly what you’re talking about! I’ve only been blogging a year, and have had it happen a few times – one time without any kind of credit at all, I found it via google image search, finding the person had actually cropped into one of my images, reposted it and then literally just copied and pasted my whole recipe; luckily they took the post down once I asked! I’ve also had a few ‘semi-well-known-bloggers’ using my recipes and not even giving any credit like ‘inspired by’ or ‘adapted from’; or copy and pasting the whole recipe and instructions with minimal/no adaptations and a credit, when they could have just directly linked back to my post!

    Anyway, I completely agree with what you asked her to do, and I admire how calm, friendly and professional you were in your e-mails to her, even when you had to send a second one! I can tend to overreact when I get angry, and would’ve probably asked her to take the whole post down if it happened to me!

    • says

      Ugh, so ridiculous!! To steal a photo, EDIT it, and copy/paste the recipe is just…wow. (I’ve noticed a few people that have just copied/pasted recipes word-for-word from my site. They link back, but it still kind of irks me. I wonder and fear what I might find if I did a google image search on my photos.)

      After my first request wasn’t honored completely, I kind of wished I’d just freaked out and told her to take the post down!

  14. says

    Honestly I don’t understand how anyone could think it was ok to take someone’s photos and recipe. I am not a recipe genius and so whenever I use something I always credit it right out front, I feel like it is the only honest thing to do :) I love your website, thank you for making so many beautiful posts and sharing it.

    • says

      Thank you, Samantha! I agree. Even if I heavily adapt a recipe or am simply inspired by another, I always give credit. It just seems like common sense! :)

  15. Teresa says

    Hi Carey!

    I do not think you are asking too much in terms of being credited for your work. I had a look at “Coco at the Palace,” and after a brief glance at the content of her blog, I began considering his/her age, WordPress skill level, and general web awareness. A young, unseasoned blogger he/she appears to be! I think your frustration with “Coco” mimics that of a relationship between teacher and student – you being the teacher, of course! Her seeming stubborn refusal to comply with your request implies to me that he/she neither notices your well meaning words nor recognizes the sincerity of your request. For me, the only way to overcome this kind of struggle is to forget about it! One day “Coco” will encounter a similar ordeal concerning her own blog and will (hopefully) remember you and your kind words. Oh, the trials and tribulations of growing up with the internet!

    I love your blog and check it often for new posts. The photography is beautiful! Thank you for making such a concise body of work. “Coco” needs to take a page out of your book!

    Sincerely,

    Teresa

    • says

      Thank you so much, Teresa! The site definitely appears to be the work of a younger person. Sometimes it seems like younger generations think the entire internet is their playground, where they have the right to do whatever they please without consequence. Twerps! (This is why I could never be a teacher. I’d just lecture/yell at my students like a crotchety old man.) :)

  16. jamie brunner says

    Carey – Congratulations on the Bon Appétit sriracha gig! Two of us ended up rummaging deeply through the jalapeno bin at the CSA today and were we not grown-ups, the situation could’ve quickly spiraled into one of those parents-elbowing-each-other-for-the-last-Tickle-Me-Elmo-doll-on-Christmas-Eve. But we made eye contact and with a knowing nod that wordlessly said ‘I respect your right to make sriracha too’ we divvied up the reddest jalapenos and went our separate ways. It was a lovely thing, really. It’s a shame the user of your pictures couldn’t be as mature.

    You did the right thing by asking for clearer credit. You might not have received the final result you wanted – but on the upside, after visiting the other site I can’t imagine it gets much traffic so you’re probably not missing out on potential readers because of a lack of link. I see this as a great opportunity for you to fine-tune your handle on permissions/credits – before something like the issue with iambaker happens to you.

    I agree with the other people who have suggested a watermark, but keep in mind there are ways to use a clear watermark -opposed to text with a glaring color that detracts from the image – and the watermark should be carefully placed so it can’t be easily/fully cropped from a picture.

    I’m so hopeful (and very selfish) when I say Please don’t let this negative experience keep you from enriching our lives. I look forward seeing what you create in the future.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Jamie! It’s true — a watermark, when used, needs to be very strategically placed and styled, so as not to detract from the image itself. It’s a really great way to clearly identify work, but I do wonder if I’d ever be able to overcome my photo/design neurosis and do it. :) The situation has definitely made me focus on setting clearer requests for permission, use, and credit, and it was good to experience a little bit of a wake-up call.

      I’m glad you were able to have a civil pepper hunt at the market. :) I am usually very polite when it comes to browsing, but I cast all niceties aside for the pepper bin this summer and totally hogged the thing. Most people worked around me, but I don’t know what I would have done if someone had tried to encroach on my territory! I bought a ton of new peppers from the market today, and I’m so excited to experiment with a new batch. I wound up with a lot of serranos (some red, and some that were in between red/green), some jalapeños, and a few black Hungarian peppers (if I remember correctly). They’re supposedly slightly milder than jalapeños, but I’ve also read online that they could have a somewhat smokey flavor, so I’m psyched to add them to the mix. Weee!

  17. tracy rose says

    hi carey,

    i just came here from pinterest. the pin linked to this post: http://pinlavie.com/pumpkin-sage-ravioli/ the post simply said source: http://www.petitekitchenesse.com, but had no actual link back to you. i try to credit original sources on pinterest so i copied and pasted the address to search for your original post. and then i saw this post, so i thought i’d share this instance: a (nearly) word for word copy of your original pumpkin sage ravioli recipe posted on another site with nary a linkback! this site, PinLaVie, appears to create no original content, but just pilfer the writing of others in entirety! AND THEN that person pins this stolen content from her blog onto her PinLaVie pinterest page! WHAT? perhaps you should tackle this person next? good luck!

    • says

      Wow. This website is ridiculous. Stolen images and copy/paste work, without a proper link back. It’s not even an active link!! Arrgggghhh.

      Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention, Tracy. When I work up the energy to take on another internet pilferer, s/he is first on my list!

  18. tracy rose says

    ps your photos are beautiful and your recipes sound amazing! so glad to find you on this big ol’ internet!

    • says

      Thank you, Tracy! And another big thank you for taking the time to hunt down my blog as the proper source after happening upon the pinlavie post. :)

  19. says

    Carey, Sorry to hear about your photos being snagged without credit. It’s a real bummer, especially when a simple permission request and/or proper attribution is all you ask. A simple, clear link is just so easy…it’s hard to understand why a person would disregard that courtesy. I had a similar experience in the past, it was a retailer using one of my photos without permission to sell a product. I contacted them and it was remedied quickly, but initially it stung. I thought about putting a watermark on my photos, but decided against it since I figure if someone is truly intent on stealing an image, they will probably figure out how to remove the mark.
    I think you handled the situation the best that you could. Good luck in the future and I can’t wait to see more of your lovely work!

    • says

      Thank you, Cindy! It’s true — it’s really not that difficult to give proper credit. I will never understand why someone wouldn’t take the time to make sure they’re crediting appropriately, much less disregard multiple requests to do so. But I suppose that’s simply the difference between people who take pride in their work and those that don’t.

  20. says

    Carey,

    You have every right to tell her to remove your photographs immediately if she doesn’t credit you in the manner you’ve requested. Your work is protected. It makes me incredibly angry to see bloggers not credit the artists, designers and blog/site where they originally found the images and information. The fact that she is so rude as to link credit to The Kitchn and not you–is offensive. She isn’t respecting your work, so she shouldn’t be able to have it on her site–period.

    Good Luck! I’m so sorry that happened to you!

    Cheers!
    Jen

    • says

      Thank you, Jen! After she didn’t acknowledge me as I requested, I considered telling her to take it down (and also telling her what I thought of her and her ugly craptastic site). I don’t think I would be able to keep it civil any longer, so I wonder if she would honor my request! :)

      • says

        If she doesn’t honor your request to take down your images–you can sue her. If she wants to only credit Kitchn properly, then she can use images from their site instead. If you email her and tell her to take the photos down–she has to comply! Also, I couldn’t help it–I left a message on her blog post.

        • says

          Ahh! That’s awesome. :D (I was wondering if she was getting any flack from readers.)

          I haven’t asked her to do anything more as of yet. I’ve been looking at all my options so I have a concrete idea of what my rights are and what action I can take (now or at any other point in the future). I’d LOVE to scare her with a little lawsuit.

  21. says

    Nope, you’re definitely not asking too much. When I see my photos posted without my permission and in a way that doesn’t sufficiently promote my blog or my work (or a copied-and-pasted recipe of mine), I always ask them to remove it. Fortunately, every time I’ve asked, it has happened, but I would have the same reaction if someone responded in such a disrespectful and ridiculous way.

    • says

      It’s good to hear that people have honored your requests to remove your work. I think that’s probably the route I’ll take in the future, as asking someone to revise an improper credit but allowing them to leave my work up is still frustrating. (Especially when they don’t do it properly!)

  22. says

    I think you are definitely not out of line in wanting to protect your material. I have just begun my blogging adventure and this worries me that I may be a victim of this someday. My blog is nowhere near as beautiful as your or more well-known ones, such as Joy the Baker, and my pictures are not really anything to brag about, but someday they may be. I think these situations show the ugly sign of blogging and I am so sorry that it seems to have soured your experience. I love you pictures and your recipes. I realize first hand how time-consuming putting up a blog post, between writing, developing a recipe, taking photos, and editing those photos. I truly love it and don’t want this to happen to me as I am still a baby in the blog world.

    On a lighter note, I am so excited to make your butternut squash ravioli this week! I have a new pasta roller and I can’t wait. Keep the amazing pictures coming!

    • says

      Thank you, Sarah! And welcome to the online food site world. :) It’s a lot of fun to learn and grow as a blogger, and it happens quickly. (It’s funny for me to look back at very early posts now — very different!)

      I hope you enjoy the ravioli! I love my pasta roller, but I always wind up turning to the rolling pin because I don’t have to drag it off a shelf and set it up before I can use it. One day, I will have a giant kitchen, with a giant “work bench” where all of my gadgets are permanently set up, ready to go. It will be GLORIOUS!

  23. Jennifer says

    I don’t think you’re overreacting at all – I looked at the post on the other website, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that person wrote the post themselves. To the casual reader, your name slapped on the bottom of the post (without a link back to you) means nothing, and that’s not fair. I see others have suggested it, and it’s not something you’re excited to do, but perhaps it’s time to start watermarking your photos with your name, blog name, or blog address. Yes, it’s a shame to ruin the pure loveliness of the photos, but I think it’s a bigger shame for you not to get credit for your work. Many, many DIY and craft bloggers are doing it now, as a way of protecting themselves from blog scraping, and I don’t think it will be long before it hits the food blogging community as hard. I think you can incorporate a watermark without doing too much damage to the integrity of the photo.

    • says

      Thank you, Jennifer! It’s funny, since this happened I’ve been noticing how many people actually use watermarks on their photos. Perhaps if it wasn’t catching my eye before, it really can be subtle enough that it doesn’t detract. :)

  24. Foodjunkie says

    The pictures are nice and you are totally in the right here. Slap a big old watermark on the pictures and do it across the middle so they can’t easily remove it. Unprincipled folks can still still steal them but it is a lot harder for them to deny you credit.

    • says

      I’m considering the watermark idea, though I don’t think my neurosis will allow me to put a watermark across the photos I worked hard to create. :) Definitely considering alternatives.

  25. says

    Even though I only have 6 regular readers (5 if you don’t count my mom!), I take the extra time to put my website name somewhere on all my photos. I’m fairly sure no one will want to steal my images, though. Most of the time I am too lazy to get my “good camera” out and end up snapping pics with my iPhone and running them through PicMonkey! Still- I really think you have a good point. I use Pinterest all the time, and although I’d like to think I do a pretty good job of investigating and crediting photos correctly, I wonder how good a job I actually do. Reading your story has made me realize that we all bear the responsibility for maintaining professionalism and respect on the old interwebz.
    I love your blog and am usually flabbergasted at your beautiful images. Thanks for opening this dialogue and making me really think!

    • says

      Thank you so much, Mimi! Until this incident, courtesy and professionalism among bloggers was something I’d taken for granted. Not only did this raise my awareness of the very uncool things that can, and do, happen, it also helped me to fine tune the ways I credit and source everything — on here, on pinterest, and elsewhere. I am so glad I was riled up enough to write this post, because this has been a great dialogue, and I’ve loved reading everyone’s feedback.

  26. says

    But copyright isn’t really a grey area. You have copyright of your work, and it’s not legal for anyone to repost your photos on their own site without your permission. I think it’s more than commendable that you gave her permission; I might not have done the same. And she’d didn’t comply with your wishes about how your work should be cited. I totally understand not wanting to make a big deal of it, but I did want to pipe up and say that your work is beautiful and you should absolutely be credited with it. Putting your work on the internet doesn’t mean people have permission to do whatever they want with it.

    • says

      Thank you, Laura! It’s true — I think I definitely need to consider being a little more severe. I was hoping it could be resolved easily and nicely, but clearly that is not the case.

  27. Hayley says

    I think its def needed that people put links back on things like pininterest. because i often see pins of things i really really love but there is no link to where on earth it comes from. Whether it be something one wants to buy, make or do.

    • says

      I see the same thing a lot, and it’s pretty frustrating. I’ll try to use Google’s image search to find the source, but sometimes it’s impossible! Kind of a shame, since I’d really love to know who created the things I find appealing. :\

  28. says

    Carey

    Well i think you will be rejoicing with the outcome. Apologies for your inconvenience and irritation that the post brought you.

    Have a lovely day

    Regards “the” Charlotte

    • says

      Charlotte, I can’t say that I’m displeased with the outcome, though I think there’d be more cause for rejoicing if it were humanly possible for you to travel back in time and actually heed my requestS for proper credit, which would have allowed me to avoid dealing with all of the frustrations that led to writing this post. Or better yet — for you to respect the work of others and credit accordingly, without prompting akin to pulling teeth.

  29. says

    “pulling teeth” expression i think is far to extreme for this situation. Since travelling in time is not possible you should be happy with the outcome. If not either you over-reacted or have far to much time on your hands.

    • says

      You’re right, Charlotte — I don’t know why I equated having multiple requests for a specific credit line for MY work honored by you in half-assed ways to pulling teeth. I also did not realize that time travel was not possible. Please forgive this oversight.

    • Isola says

      Honestly, I think copyright infringement is a perfect claim for what this person has done. What the person neglected to do was read before she pulled the photo, which started this entire problem.
      I work IP all day every day and this little thing could end up costing the infringer their livelihood all because they didn’t claim the proper ownership when they exhibited an action.

      Too much time on her hands is not being able to run a blog and keep track of her own work.

      I say this as a first time reader of the blog. I was linked through a IP listserve that likes debating issues such as this.

      • says

        You raise a very good point, Isola — And one that none of us really touched on because much of the focus was on the courtesy/respect factor. It’s important to follow credit guidelines or heed requests, if for no other reason than to protect oneself from legal action.

        While this is my first time dealing with something like this, it seems like a rather unusual situation due to the fact that I requested a specific credit line and link twice (the link request only being made the second time, after the original link credit was removed), only to have each request just partially honored. Doing things right the first time around would have spared everyone (both myself and the other party) the headache of dealing with this situation.

  30. Anon. says

    Hi Carey!

    Let me start by saying I am not a blogger. I am just one of your followers. I have a whole lot to say about this but I will keep it brief. Well, I will try.

    I do not think you are over reacting one bit. I see people stealing other bloggers work all the time on Pinterest. I have not seen any of your things being stolen, yet, but I only follow bloggers who have integrity. I see people redirecting not only blogger posts but major recipes, articles and such from sources like Martha Stewart, Web MD, I Village and the like. They are removing the original source and putting their own web/blog address on it. I see this happening every single day. It is amazing what I see happening on Pinterest in the middle of the night when no one thinks anyone is watching. I read a lot and started noticing pins from blogs that I knew I originally read and pinned from another source. Major sources! Or, I knew I had seen the picture in an article I read and I do remember where I read it.

    I do report this activity to Pinterest and I check back and nothing has been done to resolve the situation. I go so far as checking out the blogs and websites to see if proper credit is given. It is not. Pinterest doesn’t seem to care. I started saying things to these people and now I am literally black balled by most of the groups on Pinterest. There is a group of “mean girls” who think they run the show. They are trying to get me banned from Pinterest because I do play by the rules. They have their “secret” board which I read everyday and they have named me directly. I am to the point where I hesitate to pin anything from the honest bloggers because I know they are going to be ripped off.

    One thing I would suggest is for all the honest bloggers to take this issue up with Pinterest. Maybe if you all get together and act on this, something will be done. This sort of thing ticks me off and I am not even a blogger. When I post a comment to someone about this, they respond by saying if it is on Pinterest, it is free information for the taking. That is incorrect!

    Good luck and no, you are not overdoing it by reacting this way. Have a great day!

    • says

      Pinterest is definitely a strange beast — one that grew to epic proportions almost overnight, perhaps more/quicker than the creators had expected (or been prepared for).

      It’s a site that’s a double-edged sword. One the one hand, it’s very easy for people to pin images with incorrect links without any recourse. One the other hand, it is by far the biggest source of traffic to my site, from those that pin properly. I do my best properly credit and link to original sources, and it’s a pity that a lot of people don’t do the same. It would be nice if Pinterest would take responsibility and step in at times when people are ignoring original sources and intentionally using a pin to redirect traffic elsewhere. But in many cases, it would help if pinners simply clicked through a link to see what it actually leads to before repinning. And if it doesn’t appear to be the original source, either hunt down the original through Google’s image search, or simply resist the urge to repin the image.

  31. says

    i must say that it annoys me so much when people are not accredited for their work.
    i have posted your recipe with your amazing image on my own blog, mainly so i remember to make it because it sounds so freaking amazing!
    im an amateur when it comes to blogging but i would never think to not put a link to your website, more importantly that particular recipe. i always try my best to have the correct link also!
    i hope you dont mind i have done so, i do adore your website!!
    its amazing!!

    • says

      Thank you, Skye! I absolutely do not mind at all — I’m delighted that you enjoy something enough to share! :) This is a perfect example of how sharing and credit going hand-in-hand is just common sense to many of us.

  32. Jenny says

    Hello! I just found your site through a pin for the Sriracha coconut popcorn. I started digging into your posts and read this and share in your dismay. It is too easy for people to take images without permission and post them without linking the proper source. I get irritated by that as I’ve seen friends’ images stolen and used as someone else’s work. I’m glad you wrote about this because it spreads awareness and we can watch each other’s backs! :)

    • says

      Hi Jenny! It’s true, there are some shady losers out there, and even more people who just don’t seem to have a sense of what is/is not OK to do. It’s a shame, but it’s so nice to know there are lots of people us, who don’t like things like that slide! :)

  33. says

    Hi Carey,

    This is a fantastic post and I’m glad you made the effort to say and do something about the use of your images. The unfortunate reality of the internet is that so many people see images as a free-for-all rather than taking the time, effort and often expense to create such beautiful photos into consideration. It’s such a shame because as we know valuable content doesn’t just… appear out of nowhere!

    I wrote a similar thing here in regards to a recent experience with this sort of thing should you care to read (and/or rage!). Your work is really gorgeous and I hope this sort of thing doesn’t happen too often for you in the future.

    • says

      Hi Alana!

      Thanks so much for your comment, and for sharing your own frustrations. I will never understand that mentality of people that do things like this. Total lack of respect and perspective!

  34. says

    Carey that just sucks. Most of us blogging do so because, well, we love what we do. Whether it be fashion, food, crafting, home organizing whatever, we do it because we love it and most of us don’t get paid. A lot of us work full time jobs and a lot of us( God bless em) are stay-at-home moms and after we finish working and taking care of families we gather ingredients; food,crafting material whatever and we cook things and we build things and we craft things and then we set about taking photos of these things we have created. You did not overreact in any way. You weren’t asking much. Just credit for work that you did. We all enter into blogging knowing that something like this could happen. But thankfully like you even said it doesn’t happen all that often. Because we all understand the work that each of us puts into what we do and we just would not do that to a fellow blogger. That aside, I found your site on Saveur Sites We Love and I’m glad I did. It’s beautiful and I really like the name.

    • says

      Thanks, Kathy. :) It’s true, it’s a rare thing, and I’m glad I can say that I’ve only had to deal with it once in the 2.5 years I’ve been running the site. Plus, it’s nice to have a stressful situation lead to an open and supportive dialogue with readers!

  35. says

    A while back I was reading posts about home curing ham and I came across a post with some really cool pictures of the process. It only took a few seconds to realize they were my pictures from this post: Salt cure a ham

    Heck, I was flattered that some stranger had read it and found it interesting enough to steal.

    I write for my own pleasure and if someone reads it or even steals it I’m fine with that.

    I stick a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Unported license on my stuff so if someone wants to play by the rules they have a mechanism to do so.

    (I was reading your homemade sriracha post and followed the link to this. I’m going to try making it summer, and when I do I’ll post about it, and give you credit!)

    • says

      You are certainly more lenient than I am, Chuck. :) Although I think the real bee in my bonnet in this situation was the fact that she disregarded my requests for a specific credit line twice, which is something I still don’t quite understand!

      Enjoy the sriracha!!

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