i've got a postsecret of sorts. (it's a comment party!)

whilst commenting on the last post, junebug mentioned that one of my images showed up on a postcard sent to postsecret. if you don't know about postsecret, it's a blog where you can anonymously send in homemade postcards with a secret written on it. it's described as an "art community", although i imagine there's quite a lot of emotional and psychological "unburdening" going on as well. regarding the art of the postcards themselves, there are cards that are no doubt original works, but many of them seem to be stock postcards embellished creatively.

this is the one junebug referred to:

found on postsecret. discussion, please.

this is my original photo:

naga cupcake

obvs, not a stock postcard, but not the sender's original image, either (and bless you, junebug, for not thinking that i sent in the card--perhaps you knew i'd never go to a bakery for cupcakes ;)). the anonymous sender did not ask my permission to use the photo, and as many of you know, i've had problems with unauthorized use of photos before. although i wholly appreciate postsecret, they say by sending in a card to them, they in effect own the copyright on the card, and can publish it as they wish. (ironically, although i am allowed to publish one photo from their site as a link to theirs, had i embellished upon it by declaring the photo as mine, i think i might actually violate their copyright.) i also somewhat appreciate the sentiment of the sender, but i'm not sure how i feel about my image being used in conjunction with it.

i'm having a creative commons/copyright dilemma, basically. since the postcard was sent anonymously, do i contact postsecret? i don't necessarily want this person's entry deleted because i'm all pissy about the photo, but then again, i want to take a kind of hard line against photo-stealing.

tg suggested it, so here it is, a real live comments party of sorts. so, comment, please. i'm still mulling everything over.

addendum: questions: okay, if you find an image somewhere, copyrighted or not, and then put words on top of it and call it "art", does it in effect become your image as a whole? do i even have a right to object at this point, and if i don't, what is the point of having a creative commons partial license anyway? since i have a full copyright on the blog along with creative commons, am i effectively cancelling out the creative commons license by having the other?

update 18april06: if you tried commenting earlier and it didn't work, try it now. i have no idea what happened, but it should be okay now. also, i actually do have a (non-postsecret) secret to reveal....


great idea - comment part-ay.
I think you need to tell postsecrets your concerns, and see what their response is.

They have a responsibility to your own copyright specifications because, afterall, it is your original picture.

and we're the only ones attending! perhaps it's because i didn't offer refreshments, how rude of me.

also, it could be because blogger was effing up for a bit.

you are right, sam (and everyone else on flickr), i will definitely contact postsecret to see what they have to say.

I wish I knew more about the legalities so I could be of some help. Unfortunately all I can offer is my sympathy along with "that really sucks!!" :/

That's rubbish. I think you do need to go inform postsecret of this. Especially when the postcard message is so lame. At least use prose that matches the brilliance of your photo!

Blogger wasn't letting me comment last night. It kept me from the comment party!

I don't see how postsecrets can possibly hold a copyright on work that has infringed on your copyright, but I know nothing about how the law would actually work in this situation.

It's a vexing situation. On the one hand, I like the submission to postsecrets and find it humorous. I think your image works really well here.

But I also understand wanting control over your images and not giving up copyright ownership to someone else.

I'm interested in what postsecrets will say or do if you contact them.

it's quite the dilemma, agreed. the only thing i can think of, is to ask postsecret to acknowledge the intellectual rights of the image used in that instance. i'm not sure if they are open to that idea, but it's a fair request to make (and to comply with).

if a research paper references something via a bibliography, and a news report references the research paper, does the news report have to acknowledge the original source cited in the bibiography? i don't believe so -- unless the news report is quoting text word-for-word form the original referenced text. complicated. =/

hey santos. strike 2 eh? i saw this article and thought it might be of help. kinda long, but comprehensive. and with STEPS on what to do!

here ya go:

still no word....hmmm....

Postsecret is so very lame. Please keep at them until they give you the response you deserve.

- paulo s.

there is a html code to keep people from right clicking and saving your images..sorry I do not know it, but i am sure you can find it.

also, why not snail mail the publishers of the Post-Secret book

As a related aside: I was checking out the postsecret site. Perhaps they should place the legal notice above or closer to the send-to or at least not seperate the two with a photograph. As it is now, it's easy to get the send-to address without seeing the legal notice.

From what I have read here:
That link is 10 myths for collage artists, but it deals with your issue, so it's worth the quick read.

Someone can't just alter your photo and call it theirs. I think you still have the rights here - I hope.

I enjoy your blog - thanks for keeping it up.

hi paolo, thanks for your support!

anon, that rightclick thingy seems to only be for pc users :(

hi tracy, thanks for the support and thanks for the interesting and informative link.