Wednesday, 8 April 2015

WOW: 'Oma's Easter' and the City of Delft

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

How was your Easter? I spent mine rugged up, battling a cold. Luckily my DDs took care of Easter Sunday lunch and I spent most of the weekend trying to recover. During religious occasions and holidays I never go online or use my computer so I was surprised to find out (thanks Anne Marieke) that, on Maundy Thursday, the official City of Delft Facebook page published an image of my 2015 Easter project - Oma’s Easter. As many of you know, I have released a quilt design called Oma’s Blues which is inspired by Delft tableware. And my Oma’s Easter project was designed in the same style. I can see why they used it; it really has the ‘Delft’ feel to it.

But here’s the problem: the City of Delft went ahead and did what so many businesses, agencies and individuals do nowadays –they grabbed an image without the owner’s permission and used it to suit their own purposes without any credit or acknowledgement to its maker. How rude!

I would have loved for them to mention that it was my design alongside a link to my blog. They could have even mentioned it was my free Easter Project, inspired by Delft and that everyone was welcome to create it.

Is it so hard to be polite? To be considerate?

The irony of this situation is that I would have been delighted to allow the City of Delft to use my image, if they had only bothered to ask me. In fact, I would have considered it an honour. Delft is a place I have always wanted to visit and sharing my work with them and their readers could have and should have been a real pleasure.

What Do You Think?
Is it really so hard to credit someone?


35 comments:

  1. they should have asked for sure - seeing as they didn't ask they should have at least linked to you. that is one problem with the internet a lot of people do not seem to realize that they should ask permission

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    1. I understand that they would have seen the image and felt it was appropriate for a Delft Easter themed image - but I would have liked them to list my name. I also find it odd that a tourist organisation would do this, I expect more professionalism.

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    2. Hi Esther,

      It is not a tourist organization, but he actual municipality (council) of Delft! Even worse IMHO.

      Hugs,
      Anne Marieke

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    3. Yes this changes everything - that's MUCH worse! I'm sure the municipality (if its like every other European area) has spent a lot of money letting its citizens know all about its 'core values', business practices and working standards.What a shame they don't know about Copyright or using images for promotional purposes without acknowledgement, permission or payment.

      Lucky you spotted it Anne Marieke, nothing gets past you :)

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  2. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to a quilt show and seen a quilt that has been designed by another quilter and nary a mention of their name or credit given to them. Lots of times, the photos are snatched from Pinterest. That's why I have said no to it, even thought I'm not famous or anything. And people seem to think that if it is a Google image it can be used by anyone. I've had to educate quite a few folks on the web blog I manage for my Guild.

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    1. Exactly! And when is that can of worms going to opened and sorted through?! I think quilt shows generally are failing to uphold Copyright to say nothing of the breaches happening at local level guilds, etc. I find myself being the only person pointing things out that everyone can see. Far too many times a blind eye is being turned for fear of embarrassment.

      I am all for sharing what we know with each other - I built my blog on this principle- but you shouldn't be able to copy and steal from others (or change just a few minor details), then pass it off as your own work. Its unacceptable.

      My opinion on Pinterest changed because whilst I was against the whole pinning thing when it started, by the time I 'discovered' it existed,I was already pinned so much that there was no point resisting it any further. Now I find that being 'known' or recognized is my best chance of infringement protection. Ironically people are less likely to get away with stealing my work because its been seen so much.

      It would have been so simple for Delft to acknowledge me, I'm disappointed they didn't. I really dislike this new 'grab it and use it' attitude to images on the internet. Its just as easy to grab it and reference it nowadays.

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  3. I spent my Easter weekend the same as you! I've been curled up in the recliner for 3 days. I actually did laundry today. That was big!
    Did you contact the city about the use of your photo? That was unacceptable.

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    1. Hope you feel better soon Vicki. I didn't contact them as I'm not on Facebook and can't be bothered joining up for the purpose of complaining. I'm very fortunate that my quilting friends have left comments on my behalf (politely but firmly) and I expect (and hope) that they will credit me now that it's been noticed.

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    2. I just checked and guess what: those comments have been removed. There are now only lots of 'likes' left.

      Even more rude!
      Hugs,
      Anne Marieke

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    3. Typical. I should have screen grabbed them.

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    4. They're still there. I just have. RUDE.

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  4. I live in The Netherlands and feel ashamed for the Delft website. So sorry for you. I try to contact them.
    Love from Amsterdam.

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    1. Don't be ashamed, I get so much quilting love from the Netherlands that I could never be angry about it for long. I have no idea who runs the Delft site. It might be an inexperienced teenager, or someone new to the workplace who doesn't know about copyright. Hopefully they will recognize that this is really amateur behavior and correct it. Delft is so much better than this, I'm embarrassed for them.

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    2. There are a lot of reaction on the facebook account. Did you read them?
      The facebook account is an official account of the City of Delft (has logo of city of Delft too). You find them on this website: http://www.delft.nl/Toeristen with email: info@tipdelft.nl

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  5. I think this is odd, weird, rude and inconsiderate. Did you contact them about it? Could it be the Dutch way? I sure hope not since I am one too! Hope you feel better soon. And when in Delft, maybe one day, I could maybe show you that we are, indeed, a kind people!

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    1. Yes, odd is the right word. It feels so silly.

      It's a dream of mine to visit the Netherlands one day, and Delft is certainly on my list if I ever do. I think also that if I did visit the Netherlands, I would have to have a meet up somewhere to meet all the wonderful quilters there who have supported me so much. I would love that.

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  6. WOW! that is just too much!
    That is breach of copyright right there! And yes, a professional institution should know better. Much better!~!
    And its not just "oh leave it, be the bigger person, what can you do"..... Really makes me angry!
    Like you said - a mention would be nice and really easy to do....
    Just last week a lady puts up a photo onto Facebook to a group I also belong to - a photograph taken off Flikr or somewhere of a pattern I designed and is showing how she is copying it and making it into a pattern and sewing it...l BAM! in my face.... When I confronted her - not even a sorry.......
    This is a really big problem on the internet and I think all quilters etc should learn to watermark their property.

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    1. Yes, you're right. Its a big problem everywhere but is doubly disappointing when local government offices /districts/councils, do it as they should really know better.

      By the time I started blogging, my work was already all over the internet so watermarking it wasn't worth the effort for me. I've seen so many images with watermarks removed, and such blatant copying that it really doesn't stop dishonest people. It's a hard call to make. People need to understand that you don't "have" to mark your work for it to be copyrighted - that happens automatically.

      We need to put our energy into identifying thieves (and there are plenty out there in the creative sewing world) and calling them what they are.

      Or as in the case of Delft, where the infringement is minor but still unacceptable, calling out businesses for being rude and infringing copyright. I just want them to credit my image with my name - a small task. I'm surprised they haven't just rectified it already.

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  7. Dear Esther

    Pay it Forward, give credit where it is due. I would write to the Mayor of Delft. Or even the local newspaper. One can only imagine, it was a person that is very young who did not follow protocol, the alternative is just not something one want to think about. Hope you are feeling much better.

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    1. Fighting a bad flu, thanks for your well wishes Maggie. I'm resting up to get ready for AQC next week!

      I think Delft are just being silly and should credit me already. I expect better from them. I thought they were a local tourist community group but have been advised that they are actually a form of government office - so NO excuses.

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  8. How disappointing to not be given credit for your creation. I honestly think you should email the City of Delft about their use of your IP without your permission. Worst case scenario your message is ignored and best case scenario you will be given credit for your design and a link to your blog could be added.

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    1. I believe someone is going down there in person to talk to the Office, so I will see how they respond. I really love that Dutch character of determination. I need more of that myself.

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  9. I think it was just bad business and I have told them so on their FB page. Thanks for letting us know. I know sometimes, things get overlooked, but if we continue to make people accountable for their mistakes, they will correct them and hopefully it won't happen again.

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    1. It's a bit boring and when I saw it I thought about ignoring it. But I can't and I feel 'we' can't do that as a community - we have to call people and business out on their bad behavior. Its an unacceptable business practice.

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  10. Hi Esther
    It is so rude that I took the freedom to mail those people in Delft (in Dutch) and hope they will appologize! Hope you hear from them soon.
    greetings Conny

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    1. I'm really grateful to you, thank you for having taken the time to do so. I appreciate your effort in this.

      Delft's Facebook policy and behaviour cannot be excused without an apology.

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  11. I agree--they should have asked! You should definitely contact them and ask for an acknowledgment. So very easy for them to do, and only right. Such a beautiful quilt, by the way!

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    1. Thanks Mari, I expect that they should apologise. Let's see what they do...

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  12. In this day and age, the words R-E-S-P-E-C-T and H-O-N-O-R are words that people no longer understand.
    There are so many things that are wrong with this world, but to take someone's hard work and not AT LEAST give credit is unforgivable! I am so sorry that this has happened. If it were me I would be writing to the City of Delft and ask them for compensation for using your design without your permission - Think this might teach them a lesson, OR at least make them think twice before doing it. Not everything on the Internet is free..........By the way - do you know how to do a 'WATERMARK" on your pictures, etc before you post? It is built within Microsoft Word software. Maybe someone can assist you in doing that - then when they download a picture to use without permission the Watermark will always be there with your name!
    Nanette doitrightquilter.wordpress.com

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    1. Respect? Honor? We might as well retire those words to a cross stitch sampler! Just this year alone I have been gobsmacked by how inconsiderate, rude and frankly stupid 'respectable' service based businesses are behaving a lot of the time. It's truly shocking, I don't know if this is a generational shift or what is going on, but it seems like businesses feel that they only have to "look" like they are professional without following through on what that means, looks like and behaves in daily business dealings. It's basic fundamentals which have apparently been lost on mass!

      Thanks for your thoughts regarding watermarking. My work was all over the internet before I even joined blogland so it's never been useful for me to do this. Copyright stands on images whether you use the mark or not. I doubt such a mark would stop people and businesses from being so thoughtless.

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    2. New words are "Stupid, Inability to think, and horrible work ethics" Being a strong willed Scorpio from a Yankee Mother and a French Father - I let "service organizations" (any business where I spend my money) know immediately if I am treated ill that I am the consumer and without me they would not have a job..........Esther here in the USA we have raised 2 generations of dumb bells! I blame "over sensitivity", parents not controlling their children, and our education system. I could list others.... but.

      In the quilting world there is a lot of back stabbing among members. There is no place for this either. Quilting is not a political or power hobby, it is a creative hobby or business, or just for fun time. Hubby and I agree that "it is the changing of the generation" We were born at the best of times and had wonderful opportunities, but not without hard work and dedication - all of which include "Respect", Honor, and Pride in Work!".

      Please keep up your beautiful work as you have a multitude of followers who love your work and appreciate. It is always a shame that a few can ruin so much. Have a wonderful day.

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  13. I'm sorry this has happened, but would like to say that I think it is a case of ignorance versus malice. I lived in the Netherlands from 1974 to 1978 (my youngest was born there 39 years ago!). My experience was that they are very honest people. I hope they make an effort to apologize. Seems the world has gone mad--narcissistic people everywhere! Thank you so much for being so generous with your talent.

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  14. I leave a comment on any unattributed image where I recognize the maker to let them know what the proper attribution should be. Typically they update their image with the correct attribution fairly quickly. I think you should let them know that you are happy to let them continue to use the image if they give you credit. I bet they will promptly update your image. After all, they probably got it off of Pinterest or somewhere, where it was probably not properly attributed to you in the first place. Your work is beautiful and you should definitely get all the credit, but they might just be lazy or clueless.

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  15. Oh, dear! First, I hope that you are feeling better, Esther. Second, I'm appalled that any government agent would do that! It really reflects poorly on the city of Delft. What's more, it would have been in their best interest to link to your blog and free project because that builds more value for their Facebook page audience. People would be more likely to click the "Like" page for the town if they credited their images and provided links where users can get more information, projects, etc.

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  16. I'm catching up on blog reading and just saw this. When it is SO easy to ask permission/give credit ... it's hard to understand why someone wouldn't. By not doing so, the city of Delft really turned what could have been a wonderful mention of your work into theft of your intellectual property/copyright. Shame on them. My guess is that a student/intern helps them with their social media ... but even so, they should know better.

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Thanks for commenting!