The Evolution of an Internet image

A recent “IMAGE 
CREDITS” example.

If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll know that I try to document my image sources as scrupulously as possible, using link-backs and attribution as a “default rule.” I always have a bold-face paragraph at the end of every post, for IMAGE CREDIT(S). 

This is in keeping with my “Internet Intellectual Property Philosophy.” I think anyone who is on the Internet a lot realizes that any image that is published on the Internet is available for re-use, whether we want it to be or not

Screen-capture programs abound, and most images can be clicked on and dragged to a file very easily. Copyright law has not yet caught up to this reality.

I use TinEye to help track down
the origins of images I use.

Consider it publicity, if you like, curse the reality if you’re so inclined, but there it is. The only way to keep your images truly “safe” from re-use is NOT TO PUBLISH THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. If we publish it, it’s available. 

The photos, design images and other things we can so freely and easily download were created through the skill and work of an artist. Someone bought and learned to use the camera, the illustration program, or whatever, and spent time (sometimes many hours) creating it. I believe that, as intellectual property, these creations (and their creators) deserve respect and acknowledgement, so I publish image credits. 

I recently started a new Saturday Serial feature called the “Photo of Interest.” In preparing a post I’d originally intended for the Saturday before Veterans Day, I used my old friend TinEye to help me locate the source for an image I’d found on Facebook in September.

I’ve posted this large, in the hope you can read the words.

 I found an interesting evolution. The oldest version TinEye could find dates to December, 2012:

The oldest version of this image shows ONLY the image,
which is pretty cool on its own.

The next major change came last May: 

First Change: Words added. But not the words I found,
when I saw it on Facebook.
Next Change: a border. Still not the version I found.

The image above has borders added–still clearly not the one I found. 

It seems to me that this is exactly the kind of boundary-blurring “collaborations” the Internet facilitates best. A person who wishes to express an idea with the perfect image doesn’t necessarily always have to create it “from scratch” and in fact may not even have the idea until s/he has one part (for example, a poem) and then stumbles across the perfect match (in this example, a photo). 

Oddly, TinEye didn’t find the Facebook image I tried to match. Worse, I myself didn’t note the source when I first downloaded the photo (for private use, several months ago). I’ve scrolled through the photos of my favorite K9 and law enforcement Facebook pages for several hours, looking, and I’ve come up empty.

So–whoever you are, who found the perfect image to match your poem, I can’t track you down at this time. But I appreciated your “Dedication to a Fallen K9,” and I hope my readers have, too.

IMAGE CREDITS: The snippet from the Oct. 29, 2014 “Artdog Adventures” post is my own screen-capture image. Thanks, TinEye, for the logo and also for all your help! As noted, I have lost the trail to the source of “Dedication to a Fallen K9.” And the final three images are screen captures of parts of my TinEye search.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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