I’m quite flexible with copyright, with regards to my non-commercial work at least. I also fully support releasing back to the community – there is a huge wealth of tutorials and code examples provided for free that help us all, and I feel it is our duty to give back in our own ways when we can. That’s why I maintain a GitHub page, post interesting links on here and Twitter, and even write short articles when I have time.
However, I also believe in respecting copyright. Even in the “internet age”, if you see an image (or anything else), and simply replicate it on your site (or anywhere), at the very minimum you should credit the original author. Ideally you should contact them to ask first but that seems to be asking too much of many people…
So today I was browsing groups on LinkedIn.com and saw a graphic I did for Rob Hawkes – as seen in my HTML 5 logo mashup post as the thumbnail for a linked article. I clicked through out of vanity and there was my image loud and proud. However – the author hadn’t credit me, or even Rob (the only place it has been officially posted other than here was on Rob’s blog). Frankly it is just rude. It costs nothing to credit it, and they weren’t even passing it off as their own and so gaining a direct financial benefit. Pure lazyness.
My curiosity piqued, I then dropped the image into Google’s natty image search. Low and behold it gets quite a few hits. 11 hits on the first 2 pages (out of 15 results). Two of them were linked back to Rob’s blog post – they obviously didn’t actually read his page before taking the image. The rest either provided no credit at all or implied it was their own image. Some of these pages are even company pages! One instance was even by DLink!
This has been a bit of a rant – but really. Show some common respect for the work of each other. If any of these sites had asked me I would have told them I was very happy for them to use it – it was clearly a non-commercial piece of work – providing they provided a simple credit/link with the image!