We live in an age where social media rules a lot of what happens around us and as much as some might fight the tides of change, it is inevitable. And, as photographers it is a primary form of getting our work and selves seen in the main.
Whilst, it is wonderful sharing work with the globe, it comes with its perils. The main one is the intolerable act of stealing someone else's work and passing it off as your own. Perhaps people do this in an attempt to be more popular and gain more traction and followers in the fickle world of Instagram. I mean we are only as good as our last post, so it would seem. Or, perhaps it is simply a way of appearing more skilled, exciting and generally better than they really are. Irrespective of the reason, it is not acceptable and I will admit, it irks me more than words can say!
If you choose to use someone else's photo, there is a protocol, an etiquette of photo crediting the image back to the artist. If this is not done, you are stealing someone else's intellectual property and could face copyright infringement. Is this really worth it for a few extra followers?
Additionally, let's look at the fact that whilst you have not only taken someone's work and palmed it off as your own (a deplorable act in itself), you have exploited all of the hard work, time and effort that the artist has taken in getting the shot and creating the image. If you want a brilliant photo: practice, time and dedication will set you on the right path. Alternatively, CREDIT the artist!
I stumbled across this instagram page, where they were claiming to take photos sometimes.... However on a better look, I discovered a lot of images were taken from other artists and not disclosed or credited as being their work!
You can check to see if your image is being used elsewhere, by doing a search with the image! It's a great way to catch any photo thieves out!
We need to band together to say no to people stealing work.
An overview about copyright in Australia below: