Today’s Question(s) is …
Have you ever experienced a blogging nightmare? If so, what was it?
My Answer(s) is …
Yes. I’ve been blogging since June 2007. Back then, I didn’t understand copyright laws. I thought I could use any image I found on Google search if I didn’t use it to sell anything or claim I was the artist.
Around Christmas 2007, I found some artwork of a Christmas tree that I loved. I tacked the image onto a digital newsletter/card. I sent it as an email to family and friends and posted it on my blog for my followers to read. One of the artist’s friends found my post and reported me to the artist. The next morning, I woke up to 50 or so nasty comments calling me a thief and liar. She asked all her friends and acquaintances to post mean comments on my blog. Her friends berated me on Twitter as well.
I’m not condoning what I did. I now understand copyright laws so much better. From that time forward, I’ve never used an image without permission. Most of the artwork on my blog has been purchased and licensed from stock photo sites. I’ve also commissioned a couple of artist friends to draw me some things. I’m glad I learned from this and learned that I was in the wrong so I could make amends.
I do think the artist and her friends didn’t handle the situation in the best way possible. They didn’t need to berate me or post nasty comments on my blog. All the artist needed to do was tell me what I’d done and ask me to take the image down or give credit where it was due. I would’ve stopped using the image without any fight and apologize for my mistake. I did anyway. I let her know I was sorry for using her artwork without permission and told her it wasn’t my intention to steal it. I even posted about the situation and my apology on my blog to make my wrong-doing public. I also linked to her website so she’d get more traffic and possibly more work.
In the end, she forgave me. Because I took her artwork down, I wasn’t prosecuted. It was a very eye opening experience. I’m glad I could learn from my mistake and how to avoid doing the same thing again.
What about you? Have you ever experienced a blogging nightmare?