The first RANT: Stealing is a bad thing my mamma said

This blog is fairly new, with only a handful of articles having been published so far, however here comes already the first rant (way too early if you ask me…)!

Blogs, social networks, and all the other stuffs out there with a 2.0 label, have made it really easy for anyone, with an electronic device and access to internet, to share with the rest of the world their thoughts, whether it is what you like to eat for breakfast or your urgent need for a glass of vodka, and/or their art creations, from pictures of cats to iconic photographers sharing their tips and passion.

My ambition with this blog was only to share some experiences, places I like, things I do, and just have a lot of fun while doing it. Like anyone i guess, nothing can make me more happy than receiving feedback (especially if it is positive 🙂 ). So, when somebody tells me he/she likes one picture I have posted somewhere on the web, and that he/she would like to use for whatever project, I am generally very open to the idea and easily give my consent, as I am just glad somebody liked my work to the point that he/she would like to use it for something important for him/her. I am no professional photographer, nor have I any special talent compared to all the great artists you can find all other the web, so I never asked for any money so far, from the people who asked for my permission using one of my images. This is how one of my picture ended up on the website of a sushi restaurant or illustrated the November month of the 2011 calendar of Metropolis, Japan’s auto-proclaimed #1 magazine. Of course, if you work for a huge magazine with millions of readers, or if you work for a big corporation who would like to use one of my pictures for advertisement purpose, I would not give you my permission free of charge, but unfortunately this never happened 😉

Shimokitazawa Tengu FestivalThat being said, here comes the RANT. Not long ago, I was reading a famous English-speaking magazine of Tokyo (not the Metropolis, the other one, I don’t want to say their name as they don’t deserve any publicity), when suddenly i saw a very familiar picture. Actually, it was more than familiar, since it was one of my pictures that I used to illustrate my Gundam article on this blog. That got me really pissed, because they had not bothered asking me about how I was feeling about them using the image, and, though I am talking of a free magazine here, it is filled with loads of ads that generate some good cash for its shareholders. Even though I was angry, i thought to myself that at least it meant a widespread magazine had appreciated my work, and I tried to contact them, by e-mail and phone, to hear them explain themselves about their behaviour, and propose them a more legal collaboration if they like what I do. Not surprisingly I did not get any answers to my mail, and no one called me back after the secretary probably threw away my number to the trash can.

So, since they were acting like douchebags, i decided to get some advice from a lawyer. Now, living in Japan with very poor Japanese skills, this is not the easiest thing to do, and it costs both time and money. In the end, I was told that I should properly mention on my website that people should not freely steal my images, or that I should prepare myself for a long and costly procedure. Well, the people at this magazine don’t deserve more of time or that I waste more of my money because of them. Hence this rant, and hence this strict notice: DO NOT USE MY WORK WITHOUT ASKING FOR MY AUTHORIZATION FIRST, or next time we will meet will be in court.

Alright, this had to be said, we can all go back to a more normal and enjoyable activity now.

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