How's your week going? I hope it's going well. Mine has been interesting so far. First of all, I started work on Monday - YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! Thank God for the ability to earn an income again! It's not much, but I'm thankful for the new set of skills I'm learning so far and I know they'll come in handy in the future. Thanks to everyone for the prayers - God answers them!
So the shocking thing that happened...
Yesterday afternoon, Cakes and I were chatting on Whatsapp and then he sent a photo and called me immediately afterwards. When I saw the photo, I was confused for a quick second and then came the utter shock.
Take a look and see for yourself.
Yup, a random page on Facebook had posted my photos to use and sell their products!!! To add insult to injury, please look at the story they used... me, hair loss, looking like an old woman. Chai, I haff suffered! Not only did Cakes' friend see the photos and alert him, a blog reader also sent a message via my Facebook page. Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
These photos were from my Instagram account, and I was never asked any permission for their use. I tried to report the photo on Facebook, but all it ultimately came down to was for me to ask the page owner to take the photos down. I sent a message to them quickly.
Some of my Facebook fam - shouts out to my personal Voltron force - quickly fired comments on the page, telling them to take the photos down and stop lying using my image. As in, unsuspecting customers had actually commented saying they were interested in the product!
A few hours later, the photos were taken down thankfully. I did go to check out their website, and saw photos of other people (some of whom are bloggers as well). And the funny thing about the website is the copyright notice at the bottom of their home page.
Oh really?! First of all, I can bet that 85% of the photos there don't belong to the website and were lifted off people's websites and social media. Secondly, they say express written permission must be sought before copying, editing, or using "their" content. And finally, doing so without their permission will cause you to be subject to maximum fines and penalties?
Here's my thing: if you're going to use someone else's photos on a blog or website, at the very least cite your source. If you're using the photos for commercial purposes, get permission AND compensate the owner of the photographs! What a lot of people don't realize is that there are stock photos that are basically free to use online - if to be used to sell a service or product, there may be a small fee attached. But the bottom line is, think, and ask permission before using photos that you didn't take yourself.
P.S. This reminds me of a friend of mine whose wedding photo is splashed on a billboard basically in Port Harcourt, selling salon services. SMH.