When Lemons Don’t Make Lemonade

Welcome, I’m so glad you’re here!

One of the reasons I made the decision to start a blog was to share the special things in life that I’m fortunate enough to encounter and find.

Often they’re little things . . . little things that make a big and sometimes lasting impression.

Sometimes it’s a fabulous site I’ve come across . . . sometimes it’s a recipe and other times it’s something beautiful I’ve seen or something I’ve tried to capture with my camera because in my mind, it begs being shared.

Photographers and creatives share a passion for their art and they derive a tangible pleasure from the process of creating it.

For many of us, we share our art because we want others to experience the joy and beauty that we’ve been so fortunate to encounter or create but sometimes despite our best intentions . . . life tosses some lemons our way.

We all know the saying, “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade” but what if despite a bucket full of the things there’s no lemonade to be had?

I’ve had my fair share of challenges in life and I’d like to think I’m pretty good at finding the silver-lining (aka lemonade) in just about any situation but when it comes to people disrespecting matters of the heart . . . well that’s where I fail miserably.

I belong to a group of photographers founded by Kim Klassen called the Studio.

It’s a place where inspiration, support and friendships thrive . . . where successes are celebrated and dreams are nutured. It’s a place where everyone feels supported, understood and respected.

Recently a post went up in the group but this time it wasn’t of a beautiful image, rather it was about how someone had been completely disrespected by a well known publication that had “helped” themselves to this persons image . . . without so much as a word.

The magazine had simply decided to take and publish her image and although they credited her, the respectful and ethical part had been completely ignored.

I find this such a bitter pill to swallow at the best of times but when it’s a business whose business it is to know the ins and outs of copyrights and intellectual property rights, there’s absolutely no excuse acceptable.

As bloggers we often rely on images to help capture the attention of our readers or to convey a product or idea so where does the line get crossed in acquiring those images and how do we protect our own images and artwork?

I’ve compiled some information on the subject but all legal jargon and points aside I think it’s pretty simple and straight forward.

If you didn’t create it or capture it . . it’s not yours . . period!

That means it’s not yours to use . . .  to copy or alter in any way and if you  do want to use it, you need to do the RIGHT thing (never mind the legal thing) and contact the creator of the image or artwork and ask  for permission.

I’ve learned personally, just how kind and generous photographers and artists can be as many will permit the use of their work just as long as you give them the credit they’re due.

It seems to me that at the heart of the issue of copyright and fair use (fair dealing) lies the simple core values . . . trust and respect.

Those who are gracious enough to share their art and passion with the world (I’m grateful beyond words) should be able to trust that their work will be respected and that for no reason, not ever . . .  will it be used or taken by anyone without their express permission.

I shudder to think of a world where artists no longer dare to post and share their work because of the liberties others have taken.

I’ve seen it happen in the quilting world and with fellow photographers. We all lose when that happens.

If  you’d like to know more about copyright and fair use be sure to check out the excellent article published by  the social media examiner that describes copyright and fair use in the U.S.

For those in Canada, self-employed copyright lawyer and author Lesley Ellen Harris, (author of  Copyright Law in Canada, 4th Edition) says;

  • “Fair use is a doctrine that exists in the U.S. and other countries; it does not exist in Canada. The Canadian Copyright Act contains the principle of fair dealing which is often compared to the U.S. fair use.”

Harris also offers those who are interested, copyright learning opportunities via email updates and eTutorials. She also offers some valuable insight specific for bloggers. You can find a wealth of information on her site,  copyrightlaws.com.

With gratitude to those who share the beauty they create and capture, and to you for being here,


















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