What a bit that CartoonChurch.com won’t let you link from their site. When are they going to “get it”?
Hmmm. I have e-mailed the writer in question asking for clarification but a week later have received no response. I think he is referring to the fact that I don’t allow people to use my cartoon images hosted on my webspace on their blogs, but I’m not certain, so I thought I’d respond here on the blog. I suppose there are two points here really, assuming that the quote in question means what I think it does:
1) Should bloggers expect to use other peoples images on their sites for free?
In other words, if I am paying to host an image should another blogger see it as their right to include my image which is on my webspace on their blog for free? My opinion, which I hold fairly strongly, is no. If someone gives you permission, fair enough, but if you don’t ask permission you are costing the owner of the image money by using the image on your blog and it really would be polite to ask. I might even go slightly further than that and say that using someone elses hosted image on your webspace is ‘stealing bandwidth‘ – ie theft.
One reason I don’t allow hosted images on this site to be used elsewhere is that it would cost me a fortune to do so. Effectively I would be paying other people’s webhosting bills which if I was feeling generous I might choose to do, but the reality of my situation is that such a thing is a luxury I can’t afford at the present time. I note that the images on Mr Careaga’s site appear not to be saved on his own webspace. Well, his choice I suppose – as long as he recognises that his ideal of cut and paste blogging costs people like me a lot of money. (Not on this site, but on others I run where image hotlinking is allowed).
2) Should a cartoonist feel compelled to give their work away for free?
The second implication from the cartoon above is that images such as the ones on my site should really be given away for free. You probably don’t really need me to tell you that if I were to do this I wouldn’t be able to pay the bills, but I will anyway. As a professional cartoonist my work is my main and only means of support, therefore for me to give it away free is (a) Going to mean I have to live on Value Sliced Loaves and Economy Beans, (b) Being unfair to my subscribers who are paying to use my work, (c) Slightly unreasonable in the light of the fact that I am already offering my work way below the market rates, not least because I recognise that many churches would struggle to pay standard non-profit rates let along the going market rate.
Having said this I am almost always willing to allow a blogger to use an occasional cartoon if they ask nicely. I value links from other bloggers greatly and I think that using an image or part of an image to illustrate a link is quite fair. But saying I allow use of my content in this way doesn’t mean anyone has a right to use it in any way they choose, and if they do use an image they should (a) ask, and (b) host it themselves unless agreed otherwise.
So. What does anyone else think? Do you agree or do I not ‘get it’? Please say what you think – I’m happy enough to be disagreed with.