If readers have braved the less than “Sex and Violence” allure of this post’s headline, they are about to indulge me in some inside online baseball. It has to do with the touchy subject of properly crediting the sources of posted images and their artists.
I inform readers of the source of every image I use. Often, that’s the name of the website from which I drag it onto my computer screen. Frequently, the name of the actual artist or photographer is not available. While with the Journal, I had to spend a lot of time tracking down permission to use images, except for shots by myself or Journal photographers. Of course, a photo that runs in a newspaper can’t be removed. Fortunately, images I on my blog can be easily removed if the source discovers it and wants it to disappear.
This morning I got a polite email from Michael Cain of Destination360.com, who asked me to correct the credit line and link it to its website or remove the photo. This is the second time such a request has come in. The only other had to do with a post on an exhibit of photos of Brutalism. The credit line I had used was “destination360.com,” the name of the site. I suggested writing this blog post as an alternative, since it was unlikely that many people would be revisiting that post. He asked me to do both, and that is why this post is here for you to read or pass on. The lovely shot of the Jefferson Memorial above, used to illustrate my post “A Gehryesque critique,” about the starchitect’s proposed Ike memorial, is credited according to the preferred parameters of Michael Cain and Destination360.com.
In a digital world, a blogger has gazillions of images available on the web. Why are they there if not to be used? This blog makes no money, but the source of a photograph I use gets publicity, and the artist gets a wider audience for his or her art. I think this is a fair trade. If I had to get specific permission for every image I used, I would simply use no images. I am sure that’s true of most bloggers. The reading public and the public discourse in America and the world would be poorer for it.
Notwithstanding all this, readers of this and other blogs should realize the gratitude they owe to those whose work they see here, and those who own it and distribute it. Consider this post a big wet kiss to them all.