Friday, August 22, 2008

Skippy is in a gardening catalog - but I never new this

Last week, this advertisement at a small on-line vegetable gardening store was brought to my attention by a reader of this blog. Hmm. There's Skippy, and there's my garden. The photos are from my blog in June 2006. Funny no one contacted me the ask about using these photos.

So I've been looking into copyright issues and blogs. Here's a good site with lots of information: Internet and the Law at Web Developer's. This is a quote from Thomas G. Field, Jr. from the same page:

Copyright arises automatically once an original effort has been started and some aspect of it has been fixed in a tangible medium. One need not even have notice on published copies. Registration is required only if legal action is warranted (and the work originates in the U.S. — ...

I've seen copyright notices on other gardening blogs and it seems to me they clutter up the site and distract from gardening. Nevertheless, I have now added a notice to my sidebar.

I suppose this happens to other blogs too. I'm interested to hear any stories of yours. Drop a comment below. I wonder if other sites are using my photos?

Of course, I'm thrilled if other blogs use my photos and refer or link to my blog. Also if you print or otherwise copy my work for your own personal purposes. The bottom line is : Please don't use my photos or text for commercial purposes without my permission!


Fiona said...

This is a perennial problem (haha) for all bloggers. Food bloggers have had a terrible time, for example, with sites stealing their food photography.

In many cases, a cease-and-desist demand to the site will get the photo taken down. But there's no guarantee it won't happen again. Shaming might be a more effective remedy.

Good luck.

Meg said...

Well, that's a nice compliment to your garden and your photography, but at the same time--RUDE!

On my blog, I've got a Creative Commons license posted on the sidebar. I set it up at and in registering your site you can choose the level of protection your work has. On mine, for example, I don't care if another blogger wants to use a photo or quote me as long as they give me attribution. However, people are restricted from using my stuff for commercial purposes, etc.

Good luck! Have you heard a response from the site?

Unknown said...

Actually, since the pictures are hosted by your flickr account.. there's a copyright underneath each photo.

Southerner said...

I am sure you are flattered they chose your garden but do not like that they did not ask your permission. If it was something you didn't want them using I would require them to cease and desist. Since it is something that is really flattering to you why don't you see if they will give you free gardening supplies for using your photos. If not, then let them know they cannot use your photos. Maybe it can benefit both of you that way.

kathy said...

That's true. It is a very flattering article. Its very nice they wrote this. To tell you the truth, I would be happy with just a link.

It seems to be a small business, probably with a small advertising budget.

I suppose I'll drop them a note and ask them to identify the source of the photos.

Matriarchy said...

I find it a very poor reflection on their business ethics. Not to mention their gardens! I don't know many gardeners who don't have their own photos of their own plants. Even if they give you a link, I still would not buy from them. It would have been very easy to simply ask you for permission in advance. There are few web designers who are not aware of copyright laws, and there are many sources of inexpensive commercial photography available for web use. This kind of thing really irritates me.

kathy said...

Me too. Its just a bit irritating.

Matriarchy said...

I notice they have not linked to you, or taken the images down. But they are saying at Garden Watchdog that it was an error and they have settled things with you.

I am not believing the "error" explanation. Did they fall down and accidentally hit the "Save to Drive" button on all those photos on your blog site?

I hope they are at least shipping you free plants. I think bloggers need to vigorously defend their copyrights, since we all tend to be regarded as amateurs that don't produce real content.

Sorry if I sound strident - this issue pushes my buttons.

kathy said...

They did email me yesterday! A very nice note. It was an error. Sometimes these things happen. And really not something I will take as a big deal. They sent a very nice apology note. With a coupon code for free plants. Exciting!

I emailed back just now and asked them to note that the photos are from Skippy's Vegetable Garden. They can add a link if they want to.

So we're all set.

I have never looked at Garden Watchdog before. That's a great resource. It sounds like the Tasteful Garden has very nice plants and service. I look forward to ordering from them.

Mrs. Finch said...

I found this picture when searching for garden layout plans, definitely looks like one of yours: