I can’t believe this is happening
A few years ago, I came across a blog post about photographer Mark Shaw and his work. I fell in love with his photography and posted images with artist credit and links back to the source.
Yesterday, I received an email from Tumblr alerting me that the estate of Mark Shaw reported me for copyright violation because I did not have permission to post his work. I completely understand the wish of an artist to have his work removed from Place-X. The posts were removed by Tumblr. No hurt feelings.
However, I was also alerted that future such occurrences may result in account suspension.
For years now, I have gone out of my way to include artist/publication/other credit and source info with my posts. Not begrudgingly, either— I have done this dutifully, happily, and voluntarily. I believe it should be done, especially on Tumblr, a medium that makes it quite easy to post beautiful things stripped of credit and information.
Go look at Tumblr’s fashion, portrait, or other official photo directories. Tell me how many posts include any artist/publication information. Tell me how many posts include any kind of link to the source of the image. Now, tell me how many posts instead contain every possible link back to the same posting-individual’s main page. Posts like these are highlighted and promoted across Tumblr. People who don’t know any better mimic that format and the problem of no-credit, no-information spreads.
Take a look at the power bloggers on Tumblr. They either omit credit because text looks clunky or they omit source because readers would then know where they could find more themselves. I include both because the purpose of my blog is as much to capture beautiful things as it is to educate, to let people know where they can find/learn more about x, y, or z.
Mark Shaw’s photography is all over Tumblr. I’m not sure if I was the only person notified of violation, but I am fairly certain that the estate found my posts because I went out of my way to include artist credit and source information.
I have been using Tumblr for four years now and love it. It is a wonderful way to meet and share with like-minded individuals. I would hate to lose my account because I went out of my way to include information on the things I post. I thought I was one of the good guys.
In case my account becomes suspended (more on that later), you can reach me at
I don’t know how Time Warner Cable manages to deliver unreliable Internet service to Dallas in 2012, but they do.
I’m sure TWC will understand I’m unable to online-pay my bill if they fail to give me an Internet connection in the first place.