Available online = free?

It’s quite depressing when you make your content available online, when you share your photos and tutorials without any charge just to notice that your content gets copied, gets stolen.

I often get questions about permission to use my photos, or translating my tutorials for instance and I really appreciate that! I almost always agree because it’s cool to see my images on some nice website with my name under them. It’s also great to see my tutorials translated into Italian or German. Really great! But yes, I require that my name is visible and the link to my blog is provided. But that’s the only cost that I require for non-commercial use.

However, it sometimes happens that someone simply copies whole my content (eg. whole tutorial) and puts it online with his own signature. Or download my photos and use them as theirs. I know that every photographer wants to get exposure but it’s just not fair, it’s just stealing. You can’t name it differently. Every month I spend many hours writing my tutorials (and please note that I’m doing it in my free time as I’m full-time software developer – not photographer), sometimes it takes even a few days or even weeks to get one particular tutorial finished and polished (like my HDR tutorial or Star Photos Tutorial)… I don’t get as much exposure for it as I would like to… but hey, if it can help someone – it’s great! I’m really happy if someone writes me an email or comment telling that my tutorial inspired them to try HDR photography or star photography. Or that one of my articles helped them in understanding particular subject of photography. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and motivation to work even harder.

But then someone comes to my website, copies whole text and puts it on his blog, stealing part of that little exposure I could get. And I can do virtually nothing. Fighting with piracy is almost impossible – even huge corporations can’t do much about it.

That said it’s very sad that people can’t understand that if something is available online without extra charges, it doesn’t mean you can do anything with it (unless license allows for that or author gives you permission for that). For instance you can’t copy or modify my photos or tutorials. You can’t sign them with your own name.

Daily photo – Street in Cascais

Today HDR photo was taken in the small town of Cascais, near Lisbon.
HDR photo from Cascais

It was a pretty interesting street full of details and with very interesting pattern on the pavement. Notice that I haven’t removed people from this shot. It’s because I think that such scenes look much more interesting if you include them as people are part of the streets. Without them such photos would look deserted.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/30 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC