Now that the internet is available to so many people all around the world, content is much more readily available to be taken without permission. What does this mean? Anything you write, your photographs, your designs, etc., could be “stolen” off your website and claimed as someone else’s. What do you do in this kind of situation?
As a photographer, this is something to be keenly aware of and be sure to do everything possible to protect your photographs. I can imagine stumbling upon a website of someone who is using one of my photo’s and claiming it as theirs. How do you handle something like this in the most loving and respectful way possible, yet also protect your rights?
This kind of thing happens every day, unfortunately. I think the best approach possible would be to contact the person privately and let them know they need to remove it. It very well could have been done on accident as there are many users of the internet who are not educated in the laws of copyright and “netiquette.” Handling the matter privately by e-mailing the person’s direct e-mail would be the best way to contact them. Even though they are wrong, you don’t need to make a big deal by posting threatening comments on their website or blog. yIf this approach doesn’t work and the content has still not been removed, you should contact the organization that this person works for, if applicable.
The last resort would be too include the law, but sometimes this step is necessary. A lawsuit could be filed and the person responsible would be sued or face a fine. I think this should definitely be reserved for only if the person responsible isn’t complying, because then it comes to being downright negligent. The majority of the time though, I think most people will be sensitive to the issue and remove the content.
It’s downright plagiarism, and just like we shouldn’t do this in school, the internet isn’t any place for it either. So be sure to always give credit where credit is due and never take or copy anyone else’s work without their permission.