You might have heard of or rather seen my wrath raged and splayed across the internet – yes wrath from the usually peace-loving me. What could have made me so angry, you might ask? Did someone deny of my food? No. Did someone criticise my cooking? No. But heck, someone did STEAL my things. Yes, STEAL.
I woke up bleary-eyed yesterday morning, and something jolted me from my half-asleep stupor. I was notified by Sheryl from Buns In The Oven that my macaron photos have been snitched and put up on the Facebook page set up by Homemade from Scratch Baking, and that they have been passed off as the actual products that the bakery was selling to its customers. I tried to get on the page to verify this, but I couldn’t and my friends from US, UK, Singapore and Australia couldn’t either. It turns out that the owner had barred anyone living in these areas from viewing the page. Luckily for me, Sheryl is based in Malaysia and J from Lady J’s Musings is living in Switzerland, so they could do some detective work for me. Here is one of the four screenshots of my photos (J sent them to me) which have been posted without permission and without credit, in a way that misleads customers.
From the other screenshots that Sheryl emailed me, it appears that many other bloggers/bakers have been ripped off for their hard work too. Their photos have been snitched and put up, again in misleading ways.
It’s NOT cool to be at the receiving end of this nonsense. Even though my photos are not for sale, and I do not earn any money from writing this blog, the photos, my original recipes, my words are the end products of my creative process. It may not be worth something to you, but it is worth something to me. Snitching any of this is violating copyright. It is all very simple. If one wants to use content that doesn’t belong to him/her, ask. Once the request has been put forward, please don’t go ahead and use it without a proper permission issued by its owner. Only post something when you have received the written permission to publish it!
All you foodies out there, get the word out, let other foodies know that their intellectual property may have been stolen. Get on the page, and see if this happened to you or your friend. If so, get proof of it and make a report to Facebook (I have done so and am having great difficulties, as there are too many photos out there for me to identify every single URL that links to each stolen photo), or ask the owner of the page to take it down (I have asked them, and they have since removed four photos which were taken by me, but the last time my friends checked, there are other photos belonging to other people which are still up there at the time of writing, which is why I’ve also lodged a complaint to Facebook). If you love the work we do, the cakes that honest bakers are churning out, please help.
Thank you so much for staying on till the end of this rant. I feel really strongly about this.
[Update] Facebook has issued this reply to me:
With respect to the the images depicting products of other individuals, please note that, in order to process a notice of infringement, we need a report from someone authorized to act on behalf of the rights owner. Please forward this to the rights holder and ask them to review http://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php?howto_report.
If you know of someone whose photos have been stolen, please let them know the link, thank you!!