By Kevin Willams
I was scanning the news this morning for anything Amish related and something caught my eye: a story about asthma and the Amish in USA Today. The story has been making the rounds and I even shared a link on Amish in the News this week. But the story isn't what caught my eye. It was the photo. The photo running in USA Today was MY photo.....and next to it, it said, curiously, "courtesy of the Indianapolis Star." So I Googled the story and The Indianapolis Star and, sure, enough the photo first ran there with it being labeled as a "file photo." You can even purchase a copy of MY photo from the Indy Star for $7.99. I doubt they sold any because the quality of their photo is pretty grainy.
Now I am not sniffing some nefarious plot. The Indianapolis Star does not carry The Amish Cook but their sister papers in Muncie and Cincinnati do and both of those papers have run that photo which depicts Gloria,daughter Julia, and Mother, Dorcas walking back from the Amish school in Flat Rock. I am sure someone was just sloppy somewhere, grabbed a photo from the archives and that was that. And one could even place the blame squarely on me for not watermarking my photos. My wife is always nagging at me to watermark. I don't like for two reasons: 1) it's kind of a pain....I'm already pinched for time, adding 3 - 4 minutes per photo to watermark adds up over the course of a year...2) I just like for people to be able to enjoy photos without watermark clutter.
I think anyone in this business of digital publishing has" swiped" a photo from somewhere to illustrate an article. I've done it, BUT, I always give credit to where it came from. I think swiping photos is fine and flattering if you give credit and publicity to the blog.
But, I guess, this is my lesson learned that I need to watermark....and if anyone DID buy a copy from The Star, I want my $7.99!