While some of these digital photograph thefts seem potentially innocent in the world of internet sharing, an increasing majority of these photographs are being stolen for fundraising purposes. Fake fundraisers set up using our children's pictures. Some thieves are even going as far as Photoshopping themselves into these pictures to make it look they they are indeed the actual parents of a child who has special needs. These violations range from online scams to fake pictures on a donation jar. And no one is safe or exempt.
© [Your Name] [The Year] [Rights Clarification].We've become a special needs community of families that are eager to share our journey, our child's progress and achievements, all the while discussing the challenges that come along the way. Pictures and videos help document our journey. We share these openly and honestly with the best of pure intentions on social media, and blogs without so much as a second thought. Our days are filled with therapies, and appointments, and caring for children that have a wide range of difficulties, that the last thing on our mind is that someone would want to take advantage of an already complicated situation and steal a photograph of our child and claim them as their own.
© [Your Name] [The Year] [Rights Clarification].any of these photographs are being stolen for fundraising purposes. Fake fundraisers set up using our children's pictures. Some thieves are even going as far as photoshopping themselves into these pictures to make it look they they are indeed the actual parents of a child who has special needs. These violations range from online scams to fake pictures on a donation jar. And no one is safe or exempt.
|An example of a watermaked photo of Noah using PicMarkr|
It's a frightening thought for many families but there are some steps you can take to try to minimize the potential of this happening to you. Here are six tips to consider when posting a picture of your child with special needs:
1. Watermark Your Photographs:
A properly watermarked photograph is a huge deterrent for photo thieves. There are programs that will help assisting you with attaching a watermark to any picture you decide to post online. PhotoMarkr is a great free app that can be downloaded, as well as PickMarkr if you are in need of a program that is compatible with a land-line computer or hard drive. Google Picasa or Adobe Photoshop are also among the top rated watermarking solutions.
2. Check For Stolen Images:
Google Images provides a search engine in which you can search a specific photograph to see if it has become stolen or posted on another site. The disadvantage being, if you happen to post pictures frequently it very well could be like finding a needle in a haystack as you'd have to ask google to search each and every photo you've ever uploaded to social media or a blog. Copyscape is also an online tool that will allow you to research stolen content, that can also lead to discovering the theft of a photograph of your child with special needs.
3. Provide A Copyright Warning:
It is imperative that you post a copyright warning if you maintain a public blog. Creative Commons is an effective tool that puts all readers on notice that is easily attached to any blog site. You can also make a simple header or footer that puts your readers on notice:
© [Your Name] [The Year] [Rights Clarification].
© [Your Name] [The Year] [Rights Clarification].
© [Your Name] [The Year] [Rights Clarification].blog ask for permission to republish your content, whether that be a "contact us" link, or widget that will redirect you to the author's email.Provide options for those wishing to republish your content a way to ask for permission, whether that be a "contact us" link, or widget that will redirect you to the author's email.
If you haven’t already done so, post a copyright notice, provide an easy way for people to get permission to republish your content, and add duplicate-content detection to track down infringement. - See more at: http://info.icopyright.com/about/8-ways-to-improve-your-blog-copyright-strategy-dos-and-donts#sthash.fNT6vpCj.dpuf4. Check Privacy Settings:
Change your privacy settings on social media to make sure only family members and friends can see videos and photographs. This will significantly reduce the possibility of close personal photographs becoming stolen property and falling into the hands of strangers. Most blogs also have the ability to limit access to readers either through a pre-approved email list, or registered user listing. While that has the potential to significantly limit the readers who can access your blog it would allow you to to a large extent protect sharing your content only with readers that you trust.
5. Use Low Resolution Images:
Using low resolution images can be a great obstacle for a would-be photo thief. It makes it very hard to digitally alter your photograph and makes it very obvious that it is likely a copy and not an original. Your pictures are more likely to be overlooked and passed up rather than stolen and posted on a online billboard for all to see.
6. The Buddy System:
Special needs parents are wonderful at networking. Set up a system in your local group, or internet circle to be on the look-out for each other. The best eyes and ears can be those who know the true identity and origination of these shoplifted pictures.
What can you do if you receive notification of a violation and confirmation of your child's picture having been stolen?
*Send a cease and desist letter to the offender.
*Ask them to remove the picture immediately from their site.
*Report the violation to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
*If you find that your child's picture is being used for fraudulent fundraising you can consult with local law enforcement for assistance.
While the saying goes "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," that doesn't hold true when you realize your child's likeness has been stolen and used without consent.
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.