The real title of this entry is "Theft of Intellectual Property: The Sincerest Form Of Flattery?"
I was looking through some old, hand-colored SEM images that I was thinking of posting to my gallery. One of the images was a specimen of freshwater algae called a desmid. I wanted to verify the identification, so I took a quick trip to Wikipedia...
When I found this article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmid , my reaction went something like this:
"Huh... That looks exactly like my picture..."
"Wow! That is my picture!"
"Holy shit!!! That's MY MOTHER-FUCKING PICTURE!!!"
Turns out that a website called "Cosmic Light" has lifted, in it's entirety, an old gallery I used to have on CompuServe. A total of 16 images and their descriptions www.cosmiclight.com/imagegalle… , as well as the (truly awful) text for an article on electron microscopy www.cosmiclight.com/imagegalle… that I did for an issue of CS's hardcopy, magazine that featured my work.
So, I went back to Wikipedia and found the following six articles, all of which prominantly display my pics. If the articles have more than one pic, I list mine in ().
Integrated Circuit</b> (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SE… and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:In…
Magnesium Oxide</b> (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ma…
Sodium Chloride</b> (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SE…
Stoma</b> (both images)
From the following quote it looks like the guy at Cosmic Light may have made an innocent mistake and thought that because he found the images/text on line that they were automatically considered to be in the public domain.
"These artificially colored images were originally put in the public domain in a very early AOL image library, circa 1995, by R. B., a teacher and electron micrographer, along with text files describing the images and providing an interesting introduction to the SEM. These files were used to provide the accompanying text."
To be fair, elsewhere in the site he does, in fact, give proper attribution to other people who have (voluntarily) allowed their images to be used.
I've written e-mails to both Wikipedia and the dude at Cosmic Light. However, I was so angry when I wrote them that I've decided to wait until tomorrow, re-edit the letters when I'm NOT hysterically enraged, and see where it goes from there.
Truth be told, now that I've calmed down some, I'm kind of flattered (hence the title of this journal entry). I mean, how many other photographers on dA can say they've got pictures plastered all over Wikipedia?
Hell... I've got more images on that site than Ansel-Fucking-Adams!!! That's gotta be something... Right?