What “public domain” means June 30, 2014Posted by Jenny in Internet images, photography, public domain, publishing.
I am going to put this message up maybe twice a year. It’s kind of a lost cause, and I don’t want to annoy my blog followers, so I’ll leave it up for a day or so and take it back down.
I’m not such a great photographer, so it amazes me when I see through my blog stats that someone is searching for something like “public domain rosebay rhododendron” and comes to my site. Sometimes people click on every single photo with a post I’ve done, and I know then that they are doing some sort of copying of my information.
Public domain is complicated, but generally right now in the U.S. any image or text published after 1924 is not in the public domain. (I’m not quite that old, thank you.) Here’s the idea behind it: Someone who creates text or image deserves a certain amount of credit and unique use of it for quite a while. How would you feel if you drew a picture and then other people started immediately using it for their own purposes?
I met a woman not long ago who said, “Anything that’s put up on the Internet is up for grabs. I mean, why else would you put it there?”
I was sitting with her in a room with a group of people and I had to really restrain myself from getting angry. So, if I take my own photo and post it on the Internet, someone else can take it and use it on their own site without attribution?
The Internet is complicated as far as sharing info is concerned. I don’t know what the story is with Facebook sharing of text or photos, because I decided a long time ago I was never going to get on Facebook (or other social media). All I know is, I pay very close attention to the OWNERSHIP of photos and text, and I do my best to respect it. I never use photos on this site other than my own, ones in public domain (mainly from Wikimedia Commons), and ones that I have specially obtained permission to use.
Thank you for listening.