Recently (just this past weekend), I happened upon a website of an upcoming major doll show and noticed an image of two of my dolls... not dolls like my dolls, but my dolls, a copyrighted image. The photo was originally taken for and appears on page 53 of my book, Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion. Shocked, horrified, bewildered are just a few emotions I felt after seeing the image on this reputable website. I went back to examine the image to be certain it was mine (knowing the first time that it was, because no one else could possibly have two exact early-1900s dolls dressed and photographed identically).
The first thought was the image was scanned from my book, but it was too clear. Then I remembered my "Black Doll Collecting: Moments in Black Doll History" series in February of this year. I used the image on one of the blogs in that series. Aha! (I thought) that's how it was copied and obviously submitted to the website!
Of course the website is not totally at fault. They unknowingly used the image under the assumption that the person or person(s) submitting it were the rightful owners. I immediately sent an email through the website’s contact link requesting removal of the image, but have not received a reply.
The image, initially used to advertise the show's black doll exhibit, is now part of the website's image gallery and is still visible on its home page. The website was obviously modified after my email request, removing my image as the headliner for the black doll exhibit. However, a formal apology or acknowledgement of their error has not been offered.
Had I been asked permission to use my image (taken by me with my camera), I would have been honored and of course requested a photo credit for its use.
As a result, I have replaced the former black text color of this blog's copyright notice with red text. Each subsequent blog, including this one, will contain a reminder that copying images and text is prohibited without prior permission.
The moral of the story: Before you right click and copy someone else's image or copy and paste their written words and use them as your own, ask for permission. It's the right thing to do!
Please do not copy images or text without my permission.