Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It Had to Happen Sooner or Later

"It" being the taking of photography from this site and publishing it on other sites and boards without permission. Let's talk about that for a minute.

We knew from the very start that sooner or later some of our photography would end up in places we'd never intended for it to be. That's just the nature of publishing material on the internet. There have been occasional instances of that sort of thing happening all along, but the infringements have been from well-intentioned folks who put a photo or two on a modeling board or enthusiast's site, and most of the time they gave provenance (that means "credit", in case you didn't know) for the image, either to this site or to the original photographer. We don't have much of an issue with that; in point of fact we appreciate the compliment.

What we do have an issue with is the large-scale taking of photography, without our permission, for use on other sites, and we've just received reports from multiple readers, including several of our contributors, that this has begun to happen. As a result, at least one of those contributors has stated that he may dramatically decrease the amount of photography he's willing to share with us. This particular contributor is someone we've known for years, since the days of the print version of RIS in fact, and he's someone we have tremendous respect for. We don't want to lose his contributions or anybody else's and, perhaps most importantly, we don't want to deny our readership the unlimited access to all of the wonderful photography we've been able to share due to the kindness of our contributors.

So, what are the options? The first is that we could just give up and cease operations, but that ain't gonna happen. Or, we could just sit back and do nothing, but that ain't gonna happen either. We could also put a big old nasty Replica in Scale watermark on each and every photograph we publish, even though that would be defeating the whole purpose of this effort.

What's left, then? Well, we're considering all of the available options, but in the meantime we'd like to ask a favor of you. If you see one of our photos on somebody else's site without accreditation, would you please let them know that it's from Replica? Don't go nuts or be aggressive about it; just tell them where you saw it first. We don't want to watermark those photos, ya'll, but we'll do it if we have to. And for you folks who're lifting the photos; please stop it. We suspect you're doing it with the best of intentions but your actions are going to cause us to greatly diminish the service we provide, completely free of charge and as a labor of love, to the several thousands of our readers who regularly view this site. That's just wrong on so many levels.

That's our story and Folks; we are absolutely sticking with it. You can go to the bank on it.

Be kind to your neighbor, but don't you go takin' our photography!

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