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Friday, 10 February 2012

Weekend preview - 12th Feb 2012

Still on - Deal Half Marathon 2012 (as of Friday 4pm)

With the snow having cancelled almost everything last weekend some of you will be looking for a half marathon run out as part of your pre-london or pre-brighton training.

It's half term next week - so the probability of getting out for a long-one is lower for many of us, as well as the valentines day evening will no doubt (for some) be a nice quiet evening at the gym with easier access to the kit that usual. Being single had it's benefits, enjoy them whilst you can.

So, what I'm trying to say is, this Sunday - probably a good chance for a half marathon if your training schedule was shifted by the snow last weekend by race cancellations - full information can be found here:

Entry on the day is only £15, it's a great race, lovely country lanes, easy to get to from the M20, and starts at 10:30 with plenty of parking so you'll be fine.

Here's some pictures from last years race - some hills - but mostly very scenic !
one mile in roughly - lovely lanes

Most people were happy to be there !

Always good for a strong finish

Great mugs last year !

In other news - image licensing and gallery site changes.

I regularly get questions from people, or see on chat forums, discussions about using photos on the interweb, passing them onto charities and newspapers or posting them on their fundraising sites - and the legality or permission that they have to do that with images that they have bought - or indeed - not bought.

It's an area fraught with uncertainty, vagueness, theft and ignorance, but also I recognise that people who are asking the question genuinely care and are thoughtful and prefer certainty - but there is no simple place to go and ask or find out.... Until now that is !

I recently created the "Can I use this photo?" flow chart to help most people figure out if they can use the photo they have (however they have acquired it) :
Can you use that photo you have - have a check ! And please share this with your friends.
I've also put a link here you can share on twitter:

If anyone has any questions or points to make about it - please let me know - it's UK based - I'm not 100% familiar with the US licenses but I can't see it being that different ! The main thing is to get it out there for improved knowledge and sharing awareness.

I'll probably have to do the reality of this flowchart which is "I got this picture I like off the web from a search engine image search, can I use it ?"

Which brings me onto the next thing...

Image right clicking on the gallery:
As we all know - Rule 1: if you can see something on your computer - you can take a copy of it.

This sets me a challenge as a photographer trying to show customers pictures which are good enough for customers to make a purchase judgement on the image, but not good enough for them to just take a copy of it (even with the watermarking over it - which is supposed to put them off) - because of course "just taking a copy" is in reality shoplifting - or indeed - theft. Yes even with the watermarks.

I know this is a difficult balance to understand and strong words to use - but last weekend when I put the Chichester gallery online - admittedly hidden - I've sold three photos. The gallery was popular enough - I've had over 300 clicks to the hidden gallery - so the publicity worked to a certain level. But guess how many images people have had a "right clicked copy" action made on them ?

Runners 429, 611 and  65 felt no aversion to taking copies it seems. Go to the gallery and check them out !

And here's the google analytics report to show you:

Right click actions on the Chichester gallery
So if 300 visitors is 100%, then 11% of visitors tried to take an illegal copy and 1% of visitors actually bought one.
What I'm trying to highlight here is not only that trying to take a copy is illegal (obviously !?), but have a look at the report - I can see exactly which photos were clicked on, and of course with the runners numbers - means that in 99% of cases - I even have a photo and name of the person doing it. (people as a general rule don't buy photos of anyone else, or click on other peoples photos).

Those of you who know about google analytics will also know that I can drill down to get all sorts of detail about the right clickers, information that I suppose could be used legally as google record your IP address as well (although due to their privacy laws this isn't available to users except for legal requests).

So how does the gallery now deal with this ?

Right now if someone right clicks on an image, the gallery will inform them that the image is going to be deleted, because going back to the converse of Rule 1: if you can't see something on your computer - you can't take a copy. The gallery will then (after a time) automatically blank over the large preview image so you can't see it.

Hopefully the various mechanisms I have to disable right-click menu options to copy an image have also worked and no copy has been obtained. *phew*.

What happens next ? - well friends will see the photos blanked out - and the information explaining why below it - so they will know that someone has been up to "no good". *Awkward*.  Bring on the peer pressure I say.

I admit it then makes things harder to choose a photo to purchase if a visitor wants to - and that kind of thing is against the whole point of the gallery when you are trying to sell images - but I do have a responsibility to protect the work the photographers have done.

It is still possible to still see the thumbnails and order as usual from there, but as I'm now once bitten twice shy - I'm not going to clear the blocking on an image until it's been purchased, and then the peer pressure won't see things blanked out any more..

Do you think this is an overreaction ? How else should I protect the images from theft on the gallery ? Is this a good way to protect large image copies being made but a good way of leaving things on line for people to still order ? Your view and opinion counts - so please let me know.
I do this job because I love taking photos and seeing them make people happy, help me to continue doing this !

Meanwhile - if you do see a friends image that has been blanked over - please take a moment when you next see them to ask what happened. You'll know the background story, and I'm always interested to hear people's reasons - so do let me know too. Hopefully we all might learn more than we thought possible.

So until next time have a great weekend, and see you at Deal on Sunday.

Sussex Sport is a trading name of UK Sport Photo Ltd.
Registered Office: 100 Church St., Brighton, East Sussex, England, BN1 1UJ
Registered in England Company No. 07940115

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