In this day of the Internet, when is clipping a picture from somewhere else and using it permissible? I have spend considerable time understanding how Copyright law works and I’m not sure I have the brain power to ever completely understand it. What is considered Fair Use. Is it a right or a defense? Blah blah blah. (I’m not really into debating any attorneys on here regarding this subject, because I could really care less, except looking at this in a practical sense)
This all comes about due to a story that was put on here once upon a time ago about the “Old Shepperd Hospital” on Highway 281 North in Burnet.
We had talked one time about the opening of the Shepperd – Allen Hospital (later became known as Shepperd Hospital) that we are we familiar with on Hwy 29, that was next door to the Highlander Inn. While searching for something else, I ran across the picture of an old house that once served as a hospital to many in an earlier time. I thought it would be amusing and informative to bring it forward on The Angora Chronicles, like I and others do daily.
A few days after submitting it, I saw in a comment where a lady, the one that had submitted those pictures on the website, (the before and the after) she was perturbed that I hadn’t cited my source and given credit to the person, “her”, that had originally put them on the website.
Not wanting to make her feel as badly as she had made me feel, I quickly edited the post to explain where the pictures had come from and gave a link to the website, etc. Actually I went a little overboard with the sappiness of the apology, more to hopefully show the pettiness of the whole thing. That’s just the way I do things sometimes. Case closed.
Well except that the more I thought about it, dissected it, and researched Copyright Law so this didn’t continue to rear its ugly head, I just had to come back to it again.
I just want to explain it this way:
I don’t do this to profit financially, really quite the opposite. I do this to entertain myself and few others, but mainly to help educate others about history and leave a footprint of better understanding of who these people were and what really happened while they were around. To high light this point, a member started a new group recently that does much of the same thing we do here. Rather than me upset that she was plowing ground that we have already be over, I embraced her doing it. I even contributed stories and pictures and will continue, because I really know it’s more important to get people involved in history. Much more important that a single source of information. By welcoming her attempts, it has only lead to an even larger Angora Chronicles, because people are interested and she touched people that may never have seen or warmed to the Angora format.
While I may get accolades about putting this group together and I’m appreciative of that, I am into sharing and it’s not about me. If no one every comments about what a fine job I’m doing with this it will not keep me from continuing it. Conversely, the comments from various ones that think I’m nuts for spending so much time on FB does little to deter me either.
The one thing that would stop me from doing this is if it becomes too complicated or costly. I can’t spend the money to consult an attorney every time I make a move, in fear of getting sued. Nor can I spend the time to research every item to find out who took this picture and when and why they did it.
In the case of using the pictures of the old Shepperd Hospital/House, I simply used a photo from a Burnet Bulletin article and a photo of a house most of us drive by on US 281 regularly. I didn’t take an article in its entirety and try to use it as my own. As with the more current picture of the house, most likely the person that snapped that picture didn’t go ring the door bell to see if it was okay to so. If they did, I doubt they went to the courthouse to research the deed records of that property to be sure the person at the door had authority to grant permission to photograph said house.
All this may seem like a lot to do about nothing, but I just want to frame this whole incident as it really happened.
The best example I can give goes like this:
If a teacher in a classroom opens a text book to give a lesson, but first she has to cite who wrote the book, who illustrated it and who the publisher is, a lot more time would be spend on that than the actual teaching.
If we are explaining all this stuff with every post, it would soon become so cluttered, that no one wants to write them much less read them.
Gosh I hope I haven’t caused that lady that complained any embarrassment, I would feel awful.
Epilogue to this story: The lady that caused me to write this became a great follower of The Angora Chronicles. Sadly she has now passed on.