The last HubPages weekly delivered to my inbox informed us that " Under copyright law, the owner of a photo does not have to cite sources, and public domain photos do not require citation either. So, we can't force Hubbers to cite their sources,".
Yes you CAN, HP. It's your site. Just because copyright law doesn't require it doesn't mean that you CAN'T. You can insist on anything you like. You could even insist that we come around to your HQ to swear in person that the photo is ours or that we have permission to use it.
Of course, you wouldn't get many photos uploaded that way and I suspect that's the real reason that photo attribution is optional. By all means, leave it optional if that's what you prefer, but don't say that you're forced to do so under some legal obligation, when that's obviously not the case. It comes across as disingenuous.
The tone of what they said sounds friendly, kind of like, "We aren't going to be coercive and uptight about this." Which I find refreshing because I've dealt with enough uptight and coercive people to last me a life time.
I agree completely. I understand (partially) why HP won't remove images used without permission unless they receive a DMCA takedown notice. But to say that they can't remove images without a DMCA takedown notice is just an outright lie.
Thanks for your feedback. It's true that we could tighten the requirements for publishing and using images on HubPages. However, we have to strike a delicate balance between allowing Hubbers as much freedom as possible and upholding publishing standards. Some Hubbers make a conscious choice not to cite their own photos and photos in the public domain, and we don't want to take away that option since those Hubbers aren't doing anything wrong. We also don't want to scare away new writers who will have the opportunity to learn about legal image use and improve during their time here.
Thanks for your reply, Christy. I completely understand the reasons you've given here; they're what I've always assumed were the reasons, anyway. My point was about the incorrect reason given in the HubPages Weekly, i.e., that you CAN'T insist on attribution because copyright law doesn't require it.
As I see it, even if this was a requirement, people could type anything in the box and not always give credit to the person who has the copyright. I could put my name as the source for all of the graphics I use and very few people would know whether I was telling the truth. And even with the proper name for the source, HP would have no way to know whether or not I obtained the proper permission to use that graphic unless they spent countless hours checking all of my sources. So all that being the case, why make it a requirement that all graphics have the source listed? That all said, I think if we're being completely professional, we'd always list our sources (and be honest about it) even though it's not mandatory.
And just so everyone knows, I don't lie when I add the sources under my graphics. I was using those things as examples only.
O jeeeez, more confusion about photo attribution? Thanks for this post, chasmac. I hadn't read it yet. That sounds contradictory. So if I own the photo, how would HP know? If it's public domain, I don't have to prove that?
How about this HP: scratch all attribution rules, put up a disclaimer to protect yourself, and let the chips fall where they may, upon the shoulders of the hubber who doesn't follow the particular rules stated on the site where they found the photo.
That's definitely being done to lower their overall administrative burden. I would think that responsible writers will still attribute photographs as necessary; after all, it's truly our necks that will be on the line if we fail to do our due diligence!
While I don't think this is exactly moral of Hubpages, there is one thing you need to consider: increased administrative oversight means lower profit sharing overall, due to higher overhead. As in, using staff members and labor time to ensure that photos are attributed correctly will cut into the already increasingly lean profit margins that exist for an advertising and affiliate based site such as hubpages.
They certainly can't devote resources to actually checking every photo attribution. Even the large photo agencies can't do that. But they could require that it's supplied.
There are two types of illegal photo uploaders: the "don't knows" and the "don't cares". Requiring photo attribution would do nothing to prevent the 'don't cares' stealing and uploading photos, but it would go a long way towards educating the 'don't knows' that you can't just upload any photo you find online. It would require no extra resources and it would make all the 'don't knows' at least ask themselves "Am I allowed to use this photo?" Even a simple check box within the photo capsule requiring you to confirm that you are legally able to upload the photo (because it's your own or public domain or 'free to use') would make a difference.
Anyway, my main beef is not whether or not photo attribution should be obligatory, but that the reason given is obviously not true.
I think Bubblews just ban people or don't pay them for ripped off images. They must have a way of doing it. In many cases it is obvious.
I believe one of their rules is that all images must be attributed.
A glance through many Hubs shows those professional images uncredited - just ripped off from the internet.
Hi Mark - I've wondered about that on Bubblews because I often see posts with obviously ripped of photos, but the poster happily announcing they're now on their 10th redemption or whatever. They've been using dodgy pics all along and never had any comeback. Maybe it's just a matter of time.
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