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Thread: Proper Citation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    5th September 05
    2 Post(s)
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    Proper Citation

    Having seen a couple of long running threads closed because of complaints about images being posted without proper credit being given to the owner of the image, I was wondering if there is an acceptable way of providing documentation of the images that would pass muster here. I ask this because determining the actual ownership of most images is a hazy business at best.

    The internet being the mish-mash that it is, I just can't see that there IS a foolproof way to do any citations....any image that is not one's own but which one wants to share with the forum stands a very good chance of having such a convoluted pedigree that you can't depend on its provenance....bearing that in mind, only an image that has been created by the poster him/herself can be posted without the chance of pissing somebody somewhere off. You post an image and cite the original site that you found it on and then months later somebody complains that the site that you found the image on poached it from their site....where does it end?

    I sympathize with the commercial interests here that have images of their merchandise poached by other merchants...that's just wrong. Problem that I see particularly holds with historical images, many of which are photographs that are not unique unless they're daguerreotypes or one of the other early one-of-a-kind processes...someone owns a copy of a photo and scans it up...my understanding is that the original photographer actually owns the rights to the image, not someone who merely owns a print...can the scanner legitimately protest and claim ownership of the image?

    Personally, anytime I post an image on the internet, I consider it "lost"...I take into consideration the fact that anybody can lift it, strip my copyright notice off in photoshop and repost it. I'm not into this free-for-all attitude that seems to prevail on the internet in general but it seems that some good, constructive discourse is being choked off here.

    Is there an acceptable form for proper citation?


    Last edited by auld argonian; 11th July 13 at 07:04 AM.

  2. The Following User Says 'Aye' to auld argonian For This Useful Post:

  3. #2
    Join Date
    6th July 07
    The Highlands,Scotland.
    9 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Good points raised here and with a very good and pertinent question to finish with.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    6th February 10
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Good points raised here and with a very good and pertinent question to finish with.
    I'm out of "ayes," so PLUS ONE.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    19th May 08
    Leucadia CA
    0 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    I know that this suggestion offers less "immediate gratification" but what I've done in the past is provide a link to the website displaying the photo. The link may break in the future, and it doesn't make for such a "pretty" thread but overall problem solved, yes?
    Proudly Duncan [maternal], MacDonald and MacDaniel [paternal].

  6. #5
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Victoria, BC Canada 48 25' 47.31"N 123 20' 4.59" W
    10 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)
    Auld Argonian, thank you for asking this question.

    If everyone could try for a moment to look at this issue from my standpoint. I am the guy who is hit with emails from the owners and copyright holders who find their property stolen and re-posted all over the internet.

    I would also like to ask our members to take a moment and try to look at this issue from the side of a photographer who makes his living from the images he takes. Or from the side of a business owner who finds the images from his website being used by someone else.

    I would like to ask the members of this forum to view this issue not as a legal question as much as an ethical one. You, the members X Marks have always held yourselves to a high standard. You treat your fellow members with respect. New members comment on it often and it is the primary reason this forum was recently able to pass one million posts. This idea did not come from me, on high, it came from you. I am proud to be a member of this forum for this simple fact. This is a rarity on the internet. An ethical place.

    The internet is still in its infancy. Many of our members can remember the world before the internet. Back in the old days there were set standards of citation for using the work of someone else. True, these standards were not universal, or international, just as there are gray areas on the internet.

    I would submit that you view what you post with the same sense of ethics. If you would like, look back at how this issue of citation was handled before the internet. In the days of print.

    If the author of a book, magazine, or term paper wished to use or quote the work of someone else they would give credit for that use. Open almost any non-fiction book and you will fine a bibliography, photo credits and quote citations.

    You are of course the rightful owner of any of your original work. This includes any posts you write here. In books, magazines, newspaper articles etc. the use of a 'by' line shows original authorship.
    Each of you has a by-line. It is your username at the top of your own posts. Anything you post under your by-line is viewed as your own original work.

    If one member wishes to quote the work of another member there is the 'quote' button in the lower right hand corner of the reply box. Some may think that this is just a shortcut so they don't have to type out the full text of someone else but in fact it is our way to give credit to another for the use of their original work.
    This is why we say that the OP 'owns' their own threads. We treat the original idea for a thread as being under the ownership of the person who started the thread.

    If we take this concept of original work one step further we can apply it to a photo posted here. Let us say, for example, a member posts a photo of themselves here. Then say that this photo is lifted and posted to somewhere like 'Pintrest". Anyone would be well within their rights to demand that that photo be removed or credit given.

    One step further - Would you want a photo of your kids, that you posted here, lifted and used somewhere else? This is why there is a copyright notice at the bottom of every page of this forum.
    "Copyright 2012 by Steve Ashton
    Do not reproduce or re-transmit anything on www.XMarkstheScot.com without the express, written permission of the Original Author or the forum owner, Steve Ashton."
    This gives me the legal right and ethical responsibility to protect anything posted here.

    I haven't advertised it but I have actually defended a forum member on four occasions when I have found posts from here being used elsewhere. This is your original work and deserves the same consideration as any other original work.

    All I have ever asked of our members is to extend the same ethical responsibility to the original work of others.

    If you wish to post the work of someone else it would be only right to give credit where credit is due.

    For example - If you find an image on the web and wish to re-post it here the ethical thing to do would be to add a photo credit.

    Posting just a link to the original location, as noted by Sydnie7 above, is one good way to share something with your fellow members without infringing on copyright. Another is to use something like "photo courtesy of www.xxxxxx.com". "Photo copyright by xxxx" would also work when applicable.

    We have members who spend considerable time on the web. Some like to look for photos they think their fellow members would enjoy. Would it take that much added effort to post a photo credit?

    We recently had a photo show up on this forum that was originally taken by a photographer paid by and published in a magazine. When the photo was noticed by the photographer he was rightfully upset that his original work was lifted and used here. I was contacted by both the editor of the magazine and the photographer. They both make a living from the sale of copies of the magazine. People buy the magazine to see those photos. Would you consider it proper, and ethical, to lift that photo and re-publish it here? I submit that we would not do the same thing to one of our fellow members.

    I fully understand that the provenance of something found on the internet can never be proven with total confidence. No one would, or could, ask you to do that.

    But you do know where you got the photo.

    Let's say for example that you purchase a postcard at a flea market. Well, in effect, you now own that photo. It is not your responsibility to insure that the original photographer back in 1923 was paid for his photo.

    However, lifting a photo from a website that sells old photos could be seen as theft if you then re-publish it here.

    "Postcard from my personal collection" would suffice as a photo credit for the first example. Posting, not the photo itself, but a direct link to the website selling the photo, would be the appropriate thing to do in the second example.

    Just as it is my responsibility to protect our members and their original work. Just as we treat our fellow X Marks members with respect and honesty. I would ask our members to take a moment and take the ethical high ground when surfing the net.

    I really do not enjoy getting emails from publishers and photographers asking that a photo be removed or credited. I do not enjoy closing a good thread. I have asked, in the past, that our members take the small effort to give credit where credit is due.

    And that is all that I am asking. I'm not making a rule. I'm not demanding anything. All I ask is that the members of X Marks remember and respect the concept of original work and try to the best of their ability to credit others for that work.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 11th July 13 at 11:59 AM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner


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