Yesterday, while checking some online real estate listings, my wife came upon a listing for some acreage up the coast from us. On the listing were nine of my photographs taken from my other blog site kennethmcmillan-photography. My watermark had been cropped off each photograph. I contacted the real estate office, the web site designer and the agent and voiced my annoyance. The agent got back to me and said the photos had been given to her by the owners of the property. She apologized and said the photographs would either be removed or I would be given credit for them as per my instructions to her. I mentioned to her that just because something is published on the Internet it can not be taken and freely used by someone else. I am not a professional photographer and have many photographs on my blog sites and Flickr. I am happy to give people the use of my photographs at no cost if they ask permission to do so. I know of close to 60 sites who have done so, all giving me the proper credit. The removal of my copyright and signature in this case is very distasteful to me and has given me the impetus to pursue it.
If anyone finds themselves in my position there is an excellent WordPress post by Lorelle VanFossen called What To Do When Someone Steals your Content