Honest About Beauty

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Please Stop Stealing My Images


Yesterday I found out yet again that my content was being used without my knowledge/permission by a company with nearly 1 million followers on twitter, half a million on Facebook and not to mention their other social media pages. They took a collage I had assembled with images I had received from a press release (??) and they just bluntly copied the title and the intro of my blogpost and posted it on their site to promote their beauty section. The worst part: my site wasn't linked, meaning I missed out on possibly thousands of potential new readers. I can't help but feeling absolutely disgusted.


Somehow the internet has become a place where everything is handled just like 'take as you please' or 'as long as you give credit', where it's okay to download and distribute someone else's work and you know what .. why not even claim it's yours?! It's making me sick to my stomach to see my hard work blatantly being abused right and left. I cannot imagine what it must be when you're a blogger with a much greater audience. Yes, my images can be used under certain conditions (not anymore) but no matter how many rules I make or how many times I perfect my terms, I'm still being treated like a bag of dirt.

Online respect is far to be seen these days. Often times when my images are being used I am given credit but my name is not tagged, so people can't find my profile/content. Often times I am tagged but at the very bottom of the post, where no one will be even bothered to look, so who's going to see the image is actually mine? I'm sorry, but taking something without asking and then simply giving credit is not enough anymore. Not when it's done having no respect for the owner and the effort that went into making that content. I've been taken advantage of way too many times, and I'm so over it.

It's incredible how some companies, successful companies, just hope you won't find out they're using your stuff and even if you do, already know you won't fine them cause you're poor and they can crush you like the little miserable ant you are. Or they just employ the absolute dumbest social media people on the planet. Do I want my images to be circling around the net so I can gain a following? Yes, but not like this. I work enough for free as it is and this is not okay. I see my images being used to make a profit while the only thing I can do is ask to take them down.

I often rant about this on my Snapchat, mostly because I find my content on Instagram pages where it doesn't belong, but when I found out about this I was very upset and hurt. I know this won't be the last time but in my heart I just always hope that people will do better and instead it just goes from bad to worse. For example, I'm very hesitant to tag brands nowadays when I share my content. I've noticed many social media managers take that as an 'ok' sign to, in some way, use the image that is attached. Some hashtags online also have terms and conditions connected to them (which I didn't even know was possible, the hashtag YESmaybelline is a great example). Some companies claim that whoever uses 'their' hashtag gives permission for the image to, almost, become royalty free. I just can't believe how everything is just always turned and twisted into something it is not. I understand brands need to protect themselves, but asking a blogger to give up the rights of their own image? I think it has gone too far. Everything will be on my terms now and on my terms only.

PS: I don't know the company and they don't know me. I've never tagged or used their name anywhere. I issued a take down notice and the content is gone. When I write posts like this I prefer not to mention the company, it eyes unprofessional from my part even though they're clearly in the wrong. Thank you for understanding. And for those asking: I found out my content was being misused simply by googling my content/name and installing google alerts. Xxx Jolien

Want to know what I do with my life besides blogging? Take a look on my Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all at joliennathalie! I host self care parties, tour my house, cook, declutter and show exclusive behind the scenes footage! You're welcome ;)
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18 comments

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    1. Yup and no matter how much I try to protect my content people just take and take, makes me really sad :(

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  2. Wow that's shocking! I didn't even know that some brands claim 'their' hashtag and claim absurd conditions on it...

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    1. Yup they do, it's usually linked in their profile but as it often happens, no one really pays attention to that :/

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  3. I'm so sorry this is happening to you! Some brands just sadly have no integrity (or they may be just too cheap to hire...I don't know, a photographer? Or two? :D). It really is sickening. That's why I've learned the importance to watermark my photos. But even more importantly, to place the watermark in a spot in the photo where a company/picture thief has no way of cropping it out. So it has to be quite close to a product/object of interest, and not out in the white space of the photo where it can easily be cropped. So, I sometimes place the watermark right in the shadow, or on the very edge of, a central item in my picture, and you can make them look nearly invisible until the picture is clicked on and maximized, so as not to interfere with the opulent quality of the photos of your posts! I used to think that watermarks looked tacky myself, but by employing this strategy, it does help! Hope this is of some comfort to you, dear! Watermarks are pretty much the only way to avoid things like this happening (even then it's an iffy situation lol).

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    1. I was thinking the same! Bloggers are treated like shit but it seems like they're desperate to use our work. I used to watermark my images too but people still kept misusing them, maybe I'll try it again. I'm hesitant because I've also noticed that whenever my images are watermarked, brands are less likely to repost them (with permission) :)

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  4. Stealing is stealing. Plagiarism is Plagiarism. My students have a hard time believing me when I explain how they are plagiarizing in written work and don't think what they are doing is wrong. I apparently am the bad guy when I mark them down for "stealing" someone else's work. You shouldn't have to put up with such blatant disregard for the law, ethics, and plain common decency. I am sorry that this happens to you.

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    1. Thank you <3 Taking inspiration is one thing, but copy pasting is just plain out wrong. It's sad how people think they can just take take take without there being any consequences :/ I feel for you, it's hard to educate people these days. Good luck! Xxx

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  5. I have seen big bloggers that do for example lip art work ... or nice lip swatches, being use by small or indie companies to sell their products without their agreement I guess they don't even know about those companies... and the worst is that the lip product is not even of them .. INSANE!
    I know also some pages are for helping others to grow like for example Huda Beauty if she repost your image you will win a lot of followers, do you think that is still ok or not?
    I read the comments and I've seen even pictures watermark to be taken off! So annoying whats happening to you with your content... :(

    courage!

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    1. People that do that are just crazy, it just makes your brand/company look bad and you're essentially scamming people in the process 0_0 I know it can be confusing when brands repost pictures and help out another content creator but the brands that repost my images, such as Essence and Catrice, have always asked me in a simple DM first. It's really not that hard, it takes a minute, maybe 2 haha :D I don't know if Huda Beauty asks for permission (I hope she does) but if not, for me it depends if it's done with good intention and whether you can see that. Most people who've stolen my images don't follow me and they think it's okay to just slap my name on it. I think if the owner of an image should be properly credited, linked, recognised and respected for their work. Unfortunately that doesn't always happen and that’s when I want my images taken down. I sometimes come across blogs from girls who like my content and have used a profile pic of mine in without asking. I don’t ask them to remove it because they’re showing that they like my content, they link my site etc .. businesses could learn from that, just being respectful and handling someones content in a respectful manner can go a long way :) Merci Xxx <3

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    2. I completely see your point here!!! thanks for explaining.. and unfortunately this is so difficult to control what people takes as you see.. u didn't even know about that company , I can imagine there must be other pics of yours flotting in the internet .. is like ''normal'' nowadays

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    3. I know, unfortunately it comes with the job :/ I'm just so shocked that it's from a big company with such a huge following, it sucks! Xx

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  6. Ik vind dit zo erg dat dit jouw is over komen... Dit is echt zo fout van hun...

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    1. Jammer genoeg gebeurt dit nu meer en meer, ik wens dit echt geen enkele andere blogger toe :/ het si echt niet fijn. Kus Xxx

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  7. I can—to some extend—understand when it's teenagers posting/sharing other people's images on Instagram or Facebook. Often they don't know better because they've never been educated in regards to copyright, because neither their parents, nor their teachers knew better. And very often they are completely unaware just how much work and how time consuming it is, to get a good picture right.

    Btw, my poor niece was at the receiving end of a lengthy rant from me a few years back about copyright and netiquette when I caught her doing just that. Lawyers here in Germany are quick with a cease and desist, with a hefty bill attached neither she nor my sister would have been able to afford.

    However, companies and large blogs/websites really should know better and this is just not acceptable. I am not sure if it's just plain laziness, or if they think it will be of no consequences for them if the creator of the images/text is from another country and thus unlikely to sue them ... *shakes head*

    Saw this on FB just a few days back, a picture gallery shared of really wonderful embroidered, beaded dragon brooches. By "a Russian artist". Turns out this artist has a name, and an online shop, and certainly would have liked to get some traffic from her art that was shared all over the place on Facebook. Thing is, the person I saw it share was running a really big and well known blog on beading and jewelry making and really should have known better. =/

    Nice to know at least Catrice and Essence (saw this further up in the comments) ask before reposting.

    This world could be a so much better place if everyone had manners and respect.

    *gets off her soap box*

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    1. You're right, netiquette among teenagers is pretty much non existent and when it comes to companies I genuinely think they feel like you should be grateful for them featuring your content, even when they don't give you proper credit. I do find that most 'big' makeup companies are much more professional and have a more developed social media team, than many "average" competitors. Just as an example, Tarte featured my content once and they made sure I was tagged everywhere, and they were super sweet about it and supportive of my content. I think companies who deny influencers respect are just digging themselves a hole. Regulating intellectual property rights online will be the thing for the coming years :) Xxx

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  8. This is so frustrating and disrespectful. I often see people posting images and saying "tag if you know the photographer". That's like stealing something and say oh yeah let me know if you know the owner! It's happened to me with some well respected publications using my images with zero credit and I was shocked and upset. I know if it was the other way round I'd have been sued to high heaven....

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    1. Exactly, and they would squeeze every penny they can get, distasteful really! I'm sorry that happened to you, people have yet to be fully educated about what you can and cannot do in the online world, things like this shouldn't happen. Xxx

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