Editorials

Like that photo on Facebook? Don’t steal it

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

This photo is repeatedly found being sold illegally online.
This photo is repeatedly found being sold illegally online. rrodriguez@star-telegram.com

Stealing photos is so commonplace, most users don’t even notice it.

Instead, they grumble about the gratuitous watermark inked across someone’s portrait or landscape. Users complain it makes it harder to enjoy the photo. That having a photographer’s name running through the center ruins it.

It does. It also makes it harder for someone to steal that photo.

We would all love to live in a world where photographers don’t have to watermark their property, but we don’t.

Photo theft is rampant, and it could be anything from someone sharing a photo without credit, selling it on eBay or using it in propaganda materials.

Just because it’s digital doesn’t mean taking it is not stealing.

“Unless you have permission from the photographer, you can’t copy, distribute, publicly display (no putting them online), or create derivative works from photographs,” says the Professional Photographers of America’s website.

It’s simple.

Don’t steal photos. If you are not sure, contact the owner and ask.

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