Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I read an article in the New York Times about a random blogger who snagged a photo off the internet to use to illustrate a post, and the next thing he knew a publishing company was making an example of him and suing him for copyright infringement, for as many dollars as there are mosquitoes in Wisconsin. And there are a lot of mosquitoes in Wisconsin.

Yes, this is a strange picture.
But it is MY strange picture.
That article resonated with me, because I have a -- a friend, yes a friend, who has a blog, and she sometimes takes random images just to break up the text a little bit, without checking to see if they are copyrighted. No more! She does not want to get sued to an inch of her life, particularly because when you're completely broke you apparently have to wear one of those barrels with straps, and she never looks good in oak.

(Right now I am working really hard not to search Google Images for a picture of a barrel.)

Actually, the idea of someone being bankrupt in a barrel doesn't even make sense. If you were that poor, couldn't you sell the barrel and get some clothes? I tried finding the answer through Google -- some people try to find their answers through God, but I believe that Google shows the way -- and I while I didn't receive enlightenment, I was amused by the auto-complete suggestions, which included: "Why do poor people smoke?" "Why do poor people vote republican?" and "Why do poor people have so many kids?" I suspect scientists will soon discover the single genetic mutation responsible for all these traits. That same gene may also cause a real fondness for AquaNet hairspray.

A headless David. Or perhaps it's
just that his halo is too bright.
At any rate, I have decided that I should no longer pluck images from the internet for use on this site. It's just too risky. In fact, I went back and deleted a bunch of images from older posts. Besides, I don't want to steal anything, although I never really thought of it as stealing. I managed to get all through my teens without shoplifting anything, which right there is an act of heroics rare enough to qualify me for the Congressional Medal of Honor. Occasionally as an adult I have walked out of a store and only later remembered that I forgot to pay for something, but I've never done it intentionally. In fact I still toss and turn at night over my guilt about inadvertently lifting a 3-pack of light bulbs from Sears in about 1997.

So instead of (someone else's) artfully composed images, with effervescently witty captions, I am now going to include strange pictures that Stella has taken. She loves to play with the digital camera, and can take dozens of photos in a single session. (I will warn you that she especially likes to take pictures of her tongue.) I'm going to be switching to using these random images that Stella has generated. And if I find out that somebody else has used MY images, I'm going to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. Either that, or give them the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1 comment:

  1. lotsa good pics here, and copyright free: