Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why I don't publish catalog or doll book pictures

I belong to several Yahoo! doll groups. In one of these groups, members are scanning and uploading pages from doll books they own, as research materials for other members.

The objective is commendable, but I was concerned about copyright infringement, so I spoke up. As a writer, I am all too aware of how many people on the Internet are ignorant about the fact that most intellectual works are protected by copyright. That means that you can't use someone else's words or pictures on your website, without first getting permission or verifying that the works are part of the public domain.

In the case of this group, I offered to research the copyright on the book (because there is a chance it is not protected by copyright), but I also suggested that they make sure the scans are available only to the group members.

Oddly, the responses I received betrayed a lot of ignorance and even a little hostility. I guess some people will do anything they can — even if it means flaming a well-meaning person — in order to avoid acknowledging what they don't want to.

At any rate, as a writer I refuse to infringe on other people's copyrights, because I know from experience how miserable it is when someone does it to me. That is why most of the pictures on my site are ones I have taken of my own dolls. (In the two exceptions, the pictures of Snow White's hair and the Scarlett Elise, I got permission from the photographers.)

Any time a scan or a picture not taken by me appears on this site, you may be sure that either 1) I received permission from the copyright holder, or 2) the image is part of the public domain.

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