Whats wrong with this photo

Ok, it’s Not MY photo. It’s on someone else’s blog. But then again, it’s not even HIS photo. Maybe I should be asking what’s wrong with this post, more than the photo. In 63 replies, no one has mentioned that he’s using a very obviously copyrighted photo belonging to the National Geographic Society (NGS). Not only that, but he’s copied it to his own server, rather that posting a text link to where he found it, or to the NGS itself. And now it’s helping him earn money with all of the page views and the Goggle Ad Words. Wouldn’t that make it a commercial use since a revenue stream now is involved? What share of the income from his blog goes back to the photographer? None, I’ll bet. I’ll even bet that the same holds true as to whether he ever queried National Geographic about it’s use. More like – “Hey, Look what I found. It was on the internet, so it must be free and OK for me to use however I want.” At least he left the NGS logo intact.

Let’s just hope that there aren’t any National Geographic Editors or Lawyers reading my blog. – Oh Wait – I haven’t swiped any of NGS’s property. Nevermind.

“Sheesh!” – At least he coulda’ included a link to NGS, right?

Chalk up another one of 10 billion brave-new-world examples of how people (don’t) think about the value of other peoples work in this global internet age. – Maybe I’d feel better about this all if he came an spent about 200 hours interning for me.

P.S. Edit 3/22/06 5:58pm : per a very reasonable request; I’m adding this postscript to say that the person who made the post I refer to in this topic has responded graciously, and made a greater effort to ammend the situation than many others would have done in similar circumstances. I’ve applauded his responsiveness on my site, and his, within the comments area.

Comment on this post:
Copyright info for using or linking to the pictures.

15 Comments on “Whats wrong with this photo”

  1. Ajay D'Souza Says:

    Hi Gary,

    I can very well understand your concern and I mentioned that the photograph belongs to NGC.

    I received the photograph via a forward (which was passed on several times before it reached me) and am totally unaware of its exact source except NGC.

    As for making money. My google ads bring me peanuts. And quite the contrary I had to spend a good deal of money buying a bigger hosting account and moving server because my current plan couldn’t handle the load 🙁

    But, thanks for bringing this point up. I have updated my post with a disclaimer.

  2. Ajay - On the Road called Life! » What is so special about this photo? Says:

    […] Disclaimer: This photo is the sole property of National Geographic. I received this via a forward and am not aware of who the photographer is. I have no intentions of encroaching any copyrights. If you are the photographer and think that I shouldn’t be posting this please let me know if you want me to remove it or post a link to your site. Thanks to Gary for raising this valid point. Why search for this post when you can bookmark it?            &nbs p;           &n bsp;                       &nbs p;    […]

  3. Ajay - On the Road called Life! » Correspondence with George Steinmetz Says:

    […] Today, Gary brought up a very valid question about this post regarding copyright issues. […]

  4. Aaron Says:

    Ajay: Even ‘peanuts’ is a revenue source. Peanuts to you could be $1 a month, or $500 a month, or $1,500 a month… That may not be peanuts to the photographer, or NGS. Good you put in a disclaimer, but you may want to check with NGS first. It may not be legal to put it up on your blog like that. You show complete disrespect to the photographer’s hard work, and to NGS.

  5. Ajay D'Souza Says:

    Aaron as you can see the trackback above, I have written to George (the photographer) and got his approval.

    The url of the post:

  6. Administrator Says:

    Well, I’ve given kudos to Ajay for his positive and pro-active response. In that regard, he proves himself to be an excpetion to the 10-billion brave new worlders that might have told me to simply bugger off. You can read my direct reply here.

  7. Ajay D'Souza Says:

    Thanks Gary.

    I believe in “do unto others as you would want them to do unto you”.

    I wouldn’t want someone using my stuff without credit, same way I wouldn’t do it to them.

    I only reason I posted that photo without initial permission was because I didn’t know the photographer. And I definitely didn’t expect the post to get famous!

    Off-topic: You can change your display name (if you want to) from Administrator by going to Users and selecting from the dropdown box.

  8. Richard Says:

    How do you find things like this so often Gary? Seriously, I’ve discovered more things going on thru your new blog than I have on my own searches.

    Ajay, I think you did the right thing to ask the photographer but why did you post it before inquiring if you had questions of the origin? Whether you knew who shot it or not doesn’t make it right to post beforehand. I’ve had photos I emailed out of private conversations fwd’d on to strangers from my recipients due to their lack of understanding for how things get “stolen”. It didn’t please me at all. My photos are available for comp purposes only with the intention of licensing them for professional use but I’d never approve of unauthorized publishing of my photos on other blogs or other forums.

  9. Ajay D'Souza Says:

    I don’t know why I have to keep repeat Richard.

    If I get a photo or a joke or some news article from a website directly I know its source and point it out.

    If I get a photo via email, especially one which has been forwarded to several people several times, I wouldn’t really start to dig up the source.
    Incidently finding this photo (which is infact a wallpaper) took a good deal of effort, because search on the NG site sucks!
    Finding the photographer was easier I will admit.

    I didn’t even think there would be any problem, because I did mention clearly it was NGC’s photo (hadn’t linked to it). Besides I kept the complete thing intact. I put something fun on my blog with clear intentions of making the uniqueness of the photo.
    If I meant to “steal” the photo I would have editted it.

    And then again the only way Gary came to know about this is because of the publicity it generated, something that I didn’t expect!
    Right Gary?

    I do understand your concerns Richard, and being a developer myself I wouldn’t want someone stealing my work.

    As as Gary said above, I didn’t tell him to “bugger off”. Instead I found the source.
    And, the next time I decide to post something, I’m going to research well into it.

    Enough said.

  10. Ajay D'Souza Says:


    just one request. Not many people bother to read comments in posts, so could you please edit your post with your comment above, so that people will know the steps I have taken after your post.


  11. enlightphoto Says:


    I can live w/ that. See above.

  12. Ajay D'Souza Says:

    Thanks. 🙂

  13. Richard Says:

    Ajay, perhaps I wasn’t being clear with my concerns. I apologize for any misunderstanding. I did read the above comments but I won’t push it any further. Thanks for your patience.

    I too have received emails with NGS photos and other unknowns by the way, they’re deleted ASAP from my inbox. That’s not a line I want to cross.

  14. Stu Says:

    The real question is why such an obviously photoshopped picture is on the NGS website anyway. It’s just a picture of desert with a SINGLE camel repeatedly put in the picture.

  15. uriel jeanetta Says:

    no it is above and below. done with fishfinder lasar. reflects lasar camera off the bed below . instead of water it works with air . fishfinders bounce lite off the lake or ocean floor and will cast shadows were ever there is a bladder bubble. i imagine the same would go with lazar tech photography in ariel probes by seti. the bladder bubble cast a shadow on the monitor and that is how you find schools of fish. that picture if you look closer you will see that the lighter images are of the camels underside the bellie.

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