Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Kaboodle of Kitsch

A few weeks ago, I had no idea who Taylor Kitsch was. Now I know.

Taylor Kitsch is a super-groovy actor that people just adore and because of their undying love they do stupid things like break the law. In my book, Taylor is a cool guy. His fans on the other hand...well...I've discovered one "bloominidiot."

I photographed Taylor Kitsch a few weeks ago at the Wolverine: X-Men: Origins premiere (that movie title has a serious colon issue). Taylor is a dude the kids were going ga-ga over. I didn't think anything of it — until last night.

In case you haven't noticed, I have a newly designed Web site. I was hangin' out admiring the place's new paint job and thought I'd take a peek at how much traffic I was getting. I thought it was interesting to see that I was getting a lot of traffic from LiveJournal (not to be confused with LiveBooks, the Web-site developer). I clicked on a link and was taken to a page that, lo and behold, had one of my pictures on it! The guy who stole my image goes by the name "bloominidiot." He really is.

Let's Review
Copyright is established at the moment I push the button on my camera. I like to think of each assignment as an opportunity to create children — and I love them all. Ok, maybe not children but how 'bout Real Estate? No? Ok, property. I push the button and create property. My property. I create the property and license it to those who are interested. Easy — unless you are a "bloominidiot."

What it is!
It is what it is — and that is Intellectual Property (told you I was smart). Intellectual Property, or IP, is a photograph, music, software and even the written word (there are more examples but I'm stoppin' here 'cause you know what I'm talkin' 'bout). This blog? Yep. It's IP and copyright protected. Tru dat!

So. I take a picture of Taylor Kitsch and it's copyright protected. What does that mean? It means that I get to determine where my pictures go and what they are used for. It also means that if some "...idiot" steals my picture of Kitsch, things will go badly for my mouse-clickity-clickin' little buddy.

"bloominidiot" may end up with his computer confiscated. He may have to pay for what he has stolen AND because I've registered the image with the Library of Congress (specifically the US Copyright Office) he will have to pay damages, including court costs. Tru dat, too!

Dude, it's only
a friggin' picture, Chillax!

So you think it's only a picture, eh? Can I have your car? After all, there are millions of 'em. I should be able to take your Escalanche, right? Well ma'am, photography just happens to be what I do for a livin', an' I don't take 'em so that you can take 'em (know what I'm sayin'). If you built a house, could I live in it for free?

Imagine a world without art. No photos, no paintings, no movies, to TV, no stories to read. All we do is work and sleep. I can hear you disagreeing because you say you would go on picnics our out to dinner. Ha! Who would decorate your restaurant or weave the basket for you picnic. Art makes our lives better; more enjoyable. Artists need to be compensated and their property protected.

What you don't know is that I only become an asshole AFTER being pissed off. Normally, I'm pretty cool (at least in my mind). If Mr. "...idiot" had written a simple e-mail and asked permission, I might have agreed. My goal, after all is to have as many people as possible see my work. More than that, though, I want people to love my work so much that they become fans who promote my photography. True fans after all, help you succeed — not steal from you.

Ironically, the movie that Taylor Kitsch was recently in has been illegally downloaded from the Internet by its "fans."

I have a couple of friends who frequent this blog. They've come to me and said they really like some of my pictures and mentioned they would like to use them for their desktops. Cool (as long as it's for personal use).

"bloominidiot" could have come to me and asked. He didn't and now I'm pissed. I'm not going get emotional though. I will leave that for the attorneys.


  1. woah dude, the person totally gave you credit and posted your site as the source for everyone to visit it and check the rest of the pictures.

    This LJ user never took credit

    It's what you do in a LJ community, you give the heads up and credit the source, there's nothing wrong with that.

    LOL this reaction is just ridiculous.

  2. So if I steal your car, but tell everyone I got it from you that's OK?

    The fact is: The image was taken without permission.

    LOL his copyright infringement is just ridiculous.

  3. BTW, Mr. nonlurker,

    Giving "credit" to the photographer doesn't feed his family.

  4. But he/she never stole it, it was like

    "Hey guys, check this site, there are pictures of the tempe premiere"

    *link to your site*

    I'm totally against stealing and taking images without permission, I make digital paintings and sell them so I know how important copyright infringement is, but this isn't stealing at all, this user just gave the whole community the heads up and posted the link of your website for everyone to visit.

    If you don't want anyone coming across your work , why do you a have a public internet website? or should people send you an email and ask for permission just to visit your site? because that's what you seem to be asking.

    I'd be more than happy if I get publicity from another site, or if someone posts my web site for everyone to visit.

  5. But the issue is: He didn't just link to my site. Yes, there ARE links, but if you click my image found here: http://community.livejournal.com/taylorkitsch/

    Goes to here:


    and that image goes to here:

    This image was initially part of a Flash Web page. The image was taken out of that page and posted here — without the other images that I wanted to show.

    I DO want people to look at my work ON MY WEB SITE. It's my property. I determine where it goes. If you want it on your Web site, cool. We can work out a licensing agreement.

    Cross linking to my site is cool. Taking my image without permission deprives me of an income which is not in my best interest.

  6. Ok, I get your point, but I see it just as someone who was giving a little exhibit or sample of your work to make everyone visit YOUR site without taking any benefit from your work, but maybe for you it's a big deal and I have to respect that.

    but just ask the person to delete it from the LJ storage service if he deletes it then that's it. I don't think images from LJ can be hotlinked to other sites anyway.

    Actually, I see more benefits from what he did because of all the publicity and traffic it gives your site, but if you are not happy you have the right to ask him to take it down. I still think all this court costs and lawyers talk it's excessive.

  7. We practice peace by preparing for war. Nobody notices a polite, "Will you please take down my picture and destroy all copies." No, they call you bad names behind your back and say, "F____ him! What's HE going to do."

    I've sent "bloominidiot" a message. He hasn't responded. I've had to send LiveJournal a DMCA Takedown Notice.

    So, to protect my stolen, intellectual property, I HAVE to flex my muscle and show that I'm prepared to take action. The Coast Guard, to get boats in the ocean to stop will fire artillery over their opponent's bow. If the boat doesn't stop, the cannon is lowered.

    In effect, I have fired a shot over "bloominidiot's" head. He hasn't stopped. He is the one determining the next course of action.

  8. It is simple. The one who created the photo owns it.
    Someone else showing it without permission is a violation. This is exactly the same as a printed publication lifting one of Tony's pics and printing it to a page in a magazine without permission. There is no gray area here. Pictures are posted in public places to be seen not lifted.
    It is stealing.
    When bloggers and others decide they want to promote something I have done, they either post a link, like on FB, or they ask me permission before they actually show an image. This is a clear, black and white violation. There is absolutely no excuse!
    Yes, I am also a pro photog and I cannot tell you how aggravated it makes me to see people trying to justify theft.