It’s Not Ok To Exploit My Work

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Those following the Israellycool Facebook page yesterday may have noticed the rather contentious discussion regarding what I saw as a case of stealing my work.

In case you do not (yet) follow the page or otherwise missed the discussion, I had a bone to pick with pages like this which took my Stephen Hawking image, uploaded it to their own Facebook page and then shared it from there.

What is the problem you may ask? Isn’t the greater good all that is important, namely that the word gets out?

Sharing someone’s work is super easy via Facebook. You just click on ‘Share’ and it will share the post or image from the source. When someone takes the trouble to save the image and then upload it on their own page, it seems clear to me they are using the creator’s work to drive traffic to their own page and not just get the word out. I posit that while getting the word out is the ultimate goal, being a mensch about it is also important. And this kind of behavior is – to me at least – somewhat dishonest and self-serving.

I removed the post on my Facebook page in which I grumbled about this because I felt it was becoming too protracted and potentially annoying for followers of my page. But you can see some of the vitriol directed towards us in the comments here.

[Regarding the claim that I used images that were not my own, I don’t pretend that I am 100% diligent in this regard (the same as most bloggers). But I do usually give credit to the one responsible for the image, and certainly wouldn’t take an image and upload it to my own Facebook page when there is a ‘Share’ option].

You are free to disagree with me, but as someone who spends hours a day producing original content, this kind of thing rubs me the wrong way. And having spoken with some other bloggers, I know I am not alone.

But now it has come to my attention that some went to the further trouble of removing the reference to Israellycool in the original image. In other words, they went to the trouble to take my image, use a photo editing tool to black out the reference to Israellycool and deliberately represent themselves as the creators of the work.

Is that really ok?

I may be a ‘mere’ blogger and not a print journalist, but I’ll be damned if I am going to sit back and allow this to happen.

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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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