Recently, I had the unpleasant experience of discovering that one of my custom graphics was appearing, without permission, on a library’s website. It appeared that the library had simply copied the graphic from the original site for which it was created and placed it on its own site. I was disturbed by this. It’s 2012. Shouldn’t libraries know by now that taking graphics without permission is outright theft? The answer, obviously, is that the message is not getting out there.
My employer sent a “cease & desist” email, and the library, thankfully, promptly removed the graphic. Not all such cases end quietly, without issue. Last year, I became aware of a situation where a library had taken a stock photo from a very large photography distribution site without permission. That theft cost the library several hundred dollars in fines.
It’s very, very easy to take a graphic from another site. However, it’s also probably very easy to break the law in other ways (speeding, anyone?); that doesn’t mean that one should do it.
What does this mean to me, Laura?