Blog, Personal
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A Sincere Apology For Reusing Photos on My Blog

Ignorance is bliss until you’re caught in your stubborness to listen
to those who know more than I do. This is an apology to those whose
picture’s I’ve stolen over the years, at first under the mask of
ignorance but as of recently under a stubborn refusal to listen to a
woman who knew what I was doing was wrong. I failed to take her advice
but have since realized my own error, recognizing the need thru
religious training and specifically because of my Christian faith to
respect the rules and guidelines mandated by both my governement and
civil demands.

I used to be one to question authority and pick and choose which rule
I wanted to follow, often under the guise that I knew more than the
authority enforcing the rule in the first place. And while rebellion
is a healthy attitude for youth, as I grow wiser and unfortunately
older I’ve come to see how even failing to know the rule is not enough
of an excuse for not following it in the first place.

When I started this blog back in 2014, first under the name “Positive
Reviews Only” and now in current form “Flawed Masterpieces”, I never
expected to treat this site as anything serious. I had a desire to
write film reviews and talk about art and it was never my attention to
make money on this site.

Then as the years went by I started to accumulate followers, albeit a
small one, and as of two months ago incorporated the site into a
business. While my income stream has been small (now being able to
boast of a profit of 3 cents last month!) I can no longer post in
ignorance of the rules and regulations guiding my use of images on the
internet.

Anyone who has read a post of mine will have undoubtedly seen an image
used in, and while some have been from my own creation, most have been
unfortunately found on Google Images. Before I knew using images from
sources I had no permission to use them was unacceptable I willfully
pick and stole images that I thought would be beneficial to my own
site. I’m ashamed to look back now and see how ignorant I was of such
a common law, but more pertinent, my own lack of respect for the
creator of those images that I was stealing from. Once I knew the
exact nature of what I was doing, that namely I was breaking both US
and International Copywright laws, I used the excuse that most of the
images could be traced back to their sources and that I was helping
that creator share their image to the world. And while there is
certainly a philosophical and reasoned way of defending that position,
the reality is I’m not asking for permission to use something that
very obviously isn’t mine. And for that I was wrong.

As of now I have no intentions of going thru every blog post I have
created and taking down stolen images for the sheer reason that the
task is not feasible at the moment. That is not to say that I won’t in
the future but that going forward I shall do my best to abide by
Copywright Law and follow the rule guiding my use of someone’s else
photograph or image by asking the source of the picture for their
permission.

Naturally, this puts me at a disadvantage when talking about art and
trying to find an image that is apprropriate for my post, but I will
respect the law as it is written. For that, I have found at the moment
a few sites that offer guidelines on where to find free images to use
for a blog along with general guidelines about copywright law
regarding photographs and images on the internet. They can be found
here:

http://lifehacker.com/follow-this-chart-to-know-if-you-can-use-an-image-from-1615584870

https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-find-images-blog-guide/

http://sarafhawkins.com/copyright-online-photo-etiquette/
Naturally, I’m not a copywright lawyer and do not know the ins and
outs of the legal issues surrounding the fair use of photographs and
images, but for the moment I can only offer a sincere apology to
anyone whose work I have stolen. I can no longer feign ignorance when
I know full well that using those images is wrong.

God bless and keep on blogging!

Michael Medlen
Sunday, May 21, 2017

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This entry was posted in: Blog, Personal

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My name is Michael and during my free time I avoid having a day job. Strangely enough, this gives me the freedom to run this blog. I write just about anything that can be considered art. I also occasionally post articles that may or may not be relevant to the theme of this site. You’ve been warned.

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