I was going through my Google+ stream earlier tonight and came across a reshare of this image … only it wasn't reshared from me but from someone else! Cranky! Theft! Piracy!
I contacted both my contact who had shared it to me and the original person who had it in their stream with no attribution. They got back really quickly and apologised meaning no harm and promptly removed it as I requested … it still had my old 'Lushpup Images' watermark on the bottom left of the picture! I asked where they found it and they said #pinterest and sent me the URL (they really were quite helpful and I became less cranky). Sure enough there was my image with the watermark … no attribution. What caught my eye was the list of 200+ reblogs listed on that page. When I did a Google Image search for the picture I was returned 15 pages of exact matches from all blogs and sites all over the world … I stopped looking after that.
Interestingly, downloading a copy of the image from a number of sites to my machine (coming home in a way) the Author metadata still listed Lushpup Images as author and copyright holder … not that anyone looked at it 😉
Now, in the rare times I go searching for my own images using Image Search I come across one or two sites. I send them an email and in 99% of cases we resolve it through removal or attribution. In this case, where the image has clearly gone viral, what to do? I have heard that Pinterest throws copyright and intellectual property pretty much out the window by leaving it up to the individual account holder…
My image went viral on Pinterest (and I didn't know) … What would you do?