It was bound to happen sooner or later. And it’s not the first time either. They took my hard work and used it as their own. The image shown is from the Oklahoma Salt Flats. I was there a number of years ago with family and I took some photos and had an article on an earlier version of this site. The pictures were also in a Flickr account I used to use for storage. And that is likely where the image was grabbed from. The problem is real simple. Mapio.net has a copy of my image on their site without my permission. And the copyright and credits have been removed. I did some digging and it appears that this organization by whatever means find pictures of places all over the net and provides some other tidbits of info and a map. They take all of this and put it on their site and Google picks up their info and provides it to the masses. mapio’s goal is to get you in front of all the ads plastered all over every page of the site that you view. aka a “bait and click” site. In the end it will take me a long time to find the correct contact info for this company and then create a cease and desist letter to send to them.
At the end of the day copyright is real simple in the USA. The moment the photo was captured it was copyrighted to the person that took the picture unless some type of contract is in place. Further more the image can be submitted to the US Copyright office and become a “registered” with further strengthens the owner’s ownership of the image. Unauthorized use without permission is against the law and civil and criminal charges can be brought to bear depending on the situation.
For my customers I make things very simple. I’m an honest person that isn’t out to scrape every penny out of my customers. I also know that most of the images I create are not “world changing”. If a customer wants to use an image of mine for something other than the initial reason they hired me for they generally only need to ask. Most of the time I don’t charge my customers for usage outside of the original contracted purpose. I appreciate my customers and the fact that they choose me to produce the media they are looking for. So to my customers I say “just ask”.
As for mapio.net . Only time will tell how this story unfolds.