You can't hide from Google
A few weeks ago, I noticed a lot of Google activity coming my way from Germany with search terms such as 'fotocommunity', 'Herwiga Peters' and 'stolen from Herwiga Peters'. I also noticed that the pages retrieved were being translated into German. Could it be that Herwiga Peters was so pleased by my use of a photo taken by her on one of my 'All I want for Christmas' posts that she wanted to read what I was saying? That's an obvious conclusion, don't you think? I was, after all, giving her photo lots more exposure than it gets lying buried in the fotocommunity site. But, it seems not.
She was actually very pissed off by my unauthorised use of the photo.
About a week later, I got a comment from fotocommunity's site adminstrator telling me to remove it and any other photos I may have used from the site. To say that the comment was totally unexpected would be a lie even though I'd have preferred being told how nice I was to use their beautiful photographs of Cape Town.
We exchanged a few emails in which I apologised for 'stealing' and told him I'd remove them at once. In my defence, I told him that they were not being used for any commercial purposes and that I had credited the photographers concerned. I also pointed out that had I not credited her by name, she'd never have come across the theft. Everything was sorted out very amicably and he even suggested that I contact the various photographers concerned to authorise my use of their photos. I considered that for a while but thought it too much effort for posts that are no longer current and that should people want to see the photos, the links are still there for them to be seen.
It just goes to show - you can't hide from Google!