I find this type of thing, the motivations behind it and people’s thoughts on this infinitely interesting so bear with me…
I posted the above photo of the 1970’s Italian Batmen parade to Herochan on Dec. 17 with full source info as to where I pulled it from. It had received good traction and bounced around to some degree over the next few days after I uploaded it (as well it should as it’s a pretty cool image). Bat-blog.com posted it on Dec. 23 and, from the article that it was worked into, it looks like it was submitted to them from a reader. Now I know that sometimes things get lost in the shuffle and the original source may have been stripped but they went ahead and watermarked it as theirs, effectively making themselves the originator of the image.
Now here is the question, once an image hits the net, do you lose all rights or claim to it, does it become true public domain or does it become the property of the first person that marks it? Flickr user cobracreations took the time to originally scan and post it and I’m fairly certain he/she didn’t upload it with the thought that someday it will be watermarked by another group. Was it his/her responsibility to watermark it in the first place? Is it my responsibility to watermark it with the URL as to where I got it from to guarantee the original poster gets credit for it from here in perpetuity? The post had it but obviously it was lost/stripped of it by the time it left Tumblr. Does the bat-blog.com then have the authority to label it themselves if no one else has (I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they have no idea to the history of the image or where it came from as it was just sent to them). Is the fact that it is featured on their site enough of a claim to label it as theirs?
Ian Brooks made a must read post about artist/source accreditation a few days ago but I’m wondering if it’s enough. Maybe I’m just over-thinking it…or maybe I’m not.
What do you think?