Friday, December 27, 2013

On the Closing of the Blog

I hope everyone's Christmas was splendid! Ours was great spending time with two of the four kids and a few of the grandchilden. Be safe next week! As for me I've been busy working on the farm moving some of my trees and other plants as I am able to. More on that soon enough. 
Lately I have been rather distressed about the use of the photos from this blog on other websites, namely commercial websites. So I closed the blog thinking that would fix the problem but it has not and I thought I'd explain that situation today. Most of the websites using the photos from this blog have out of the country addresses and despite contacting the appropriate authorities about getting the photographs removed from the websites, I have had little luck. I was able to get the search results deleted by Google when I filed a complaint with them and I pursued the matter enough that for the most part I am somewhat satisfied. I can honestly say that in a few cases Google actually investigated and took action. Yahoo, one small victory in the war.

Pictures lifted and posted elsewhere include things ranging from my above ground swimming pool all the way to a simple picture of a patio in progress. These pictures were lifted and posted on commercial websites to sell products. In one case the webmaster took one of the pictures and used it twice on a website based out of North Carolina selling paving material like crushed stone, in another case the picture was used multiple times over and over again to sell things. The whole situation is ridiculous. I know webmasters probably don't take their own pictures to use on others websites but geez, at least ask if you can use the picture before compiling a website! Or, if you must, take a picture from a web page where there is NO notice stating pictures are not allowed to be used elsewhere. 

The problem with closing the blog is that the pictures are still available for people to see. I am not sure why since I publish all of my pictures as private. I guess that the pictures are on some kind of image search. You can see the pictures when you go to visit the page even though the blog is closed, the search engine shows a cached version of the webpage. Why????? I would think the pictures AND blog would remain unavailable unless you came to the actual blog posting and the blog was open--not closed--but that does not seem to be the case. 

The other complication with closing the blog is that when I file a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) complaint--I almost always will file--I must show the original picture I claim to be mine. Each picture uploaded to the Internet is date and time stamped so when someone steals a photograph from a website (the original website), that original photograph will always be date time stamped earlier than the stolen photograph. I cannot remove the photographs from the blog because then I would not be able to prove they are mine when I file a complaint. I realized that getting the photographs off from other websites was going to be a problem so I hoped that closing the blog would at least eliminate new thefts, but it did not. All of this is a bit stressful to say the least.

I realize bloggers and photographers and numerous folks get their photographs stolen from websites each day and I understand this to a certain extent. But when I found that Google back image search and realized just what kind of websites and how many took liberties with the pictures found here, I guess I just kind of got really mad. Then when I was not able to get the images removed like usual, I got even madder and began to regret ever getting on the Internet. It seems people think that if an image is on the Internet it then becomes everyone else's image. This is surely not the actual truth but try convincing the hoards that like to believe this. Ha! Not an easy feat by any means but I still try, one person at a time. 

The Google back image search allows me to drop an actual photograph from this blog into the search bar and it will then show me all the websites that contain that particular photograph. Most website owners take photographs maybe innocently enough, maybe not, maybe they think the original owner will never discover the theft, I'm not sure why they take others photographs but when confronted they will usually do the right thing and immediately remove the photograph. I am okay with that situation. But then there are the website owners that are masked and protected by pass through hosting organizations who refuse to help or get involved. These website owners are very crafty and in the market of making money--off from others work. I am not content to let this issue go. I just can't see allowing this kind of use of the photographs that are posted here. I am simply a lay person who likes to share my experiences with gardening with others and I am not sure that chasing down those ideas and photographs from unscrupulous abusers are really worth it to me. I have even contemplated not blogging anymore. They win, no doubt. 

 One note on Pinterest. Despite a clear notice stating NO pinterest from this blog those folks either can't read or don't care because I still find photographs lifted from here and posted to Pinterest. That situation continues to be a thorn in my side. The pinners usually download them and then upload them or just take them from the Google image search. The good news about Pinterest tho, that the other websites I have been dealing with don' t have, is that Pinterest has a procedure in place to correct the problem of lifted photographs and I do take action each and every time I find this blog's photographs on Pinterest. I am not interested in traffic and neither is Skeeter. Sometimes that is the reasoning behind allowing photographs to be pinned on Pinterest, but no thanks!! I don't need or want those kinds of visits. I am interested in talking with others and learning from others and with keeping a photographic scrapbook of my gardening endeavors. Talking and sharing with others does not mean it's okay to take the photographs. I feel very strongly about this particular matter and I apologize if I offend anyone who has innocently enough used other people's photographs and who might be reading this post.

As an alternative to not blogging I have explored ways to stop successful downloading of photographs from here. It is just that those methods such as slicing and dicing and adding a transparent photo over the original photo are really rather time consuming and since I blog for fun, taking all of those measures will surely not make blogging all that fun for me.  So I guess for now I will simply try to use smaller photographs and maybe photographs I hope others are not looking for hoping to frustrate commercial website owners; I will post fewer pictures; and I guess I will take it day by day and see how it goes as I work for better methods to ensure this blog stays intact-on this blog....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. I don't even look to see if my photos have been taken or not because I know I would be aggravated to say the least and I don't have the time or energy to spend on that, especially after reading all that you have gone through to take care of the problem of your photos being taken by others.

    I am glad you will be still blogging. Have a GREAT 2014, and try to not let the thieves get your spirit down.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  2. I am sorry to hear about these issues Tina...You have a great following and reputation which is one reason your images are lifted...I have never found mine lifted but know now how to look. I certainly hope this stops for you and you are able to blog freely and without hassle in 2014. I wish you a wonderful New Year and I hope you continue to blog...we would miss you!

  3. I feel badly about your distressful runaround, Tina! I'm glad you aren't giving up on blogging. Your posts and photos are always so interesting and inspiring! Please don't let a few unscrupulous people spoil your fun (and ours)!

  4. I can understand your distress well, tina. I think it would be better for you not to post the best photos you took from now on but post the second or third best photos. I'm now into photography and have been taking lots and lots of photos but I don't post my best ones on my blog. I think you know well why I do so.
    Wishing you a Happy New Year!!

  5. Wow, I just spent an hour randomly dropping some of my photos into google to see what popped up. I did not know you could search by image, thanks for the tip. So far no thievery. I think the fact that I run all my photos through Flickr helps with the theft. I can set my own privacy and sharing levels and that seems to help.

    Keep up the good fight, and happy new year!

  6. I hate it when people ruin ones hard work and fun! Grrrr...