We Try It: Getting Even

[Original publication date: July 11, 2013]

As some of our readers remember, we were sued this past winter, for copyright infringement. This summer, we made things right.

Here at Persephone Magazine, we take copyright seriously. We respect people who make things that weren’t things before, and we believe in giving credit and asking permission. We’ve slipped–and promptly been called on it–more than once. It happens, we’re human, and we’re usually able to come to a quick and mutually-pleasing solution when creators contact us. Some of them even became readers, so I’m confident we can be sufficiently humble and graceful when we fuck up. Reasonable people working together can get a lot done, and I’m pleased that many of the stories I’ve heard from fellow bloggers are similar, and not litigious.

We respect that copyright owners have the right to protect the works they create, and defend those works from those who would use them nefariously. We try not to be nefarious, it doesn’t hang right on us, and the editors repeatedly hammer our copyright CYA policies into the writers and contributors, to the point that they probably wish I would shut the hell up about copyright. (Kisses!)

The photo that ended up costing us $1500 was an entirely different matter. In January of 2011, we ran a handful of articles about my hometown, Indianapolis. (“The Paris of the Midwest.” ~Sally J., fellow Hoosier.) One of those articles contained a photo taken by a fella who just happens to live two towns over from me. Who also happens to be a retired copyright attorney. With a taste for filing lawsuits. Lucky us.

Anyway, since there were seventy co-defendants in the suit, there is clearly a demand for photos of the Indianapolis skyline, taken from the banks of the canal. Fortuitously, several of your editors and writers just so happened to meet up in Indianapolis this weekend. And we took a few pictures.

I’m proud to present to you, before we tag and upload them to every single creative commons/photo sharing/public domain site we can find, our replica of the photo that got us sued. And several others. Use them. Spread them around. Photoshop your name with David Tennant’s on top of them in hot pink and acid green. They belong to you, they belong to the world.

Indianapolis skyline from west bank of Indianapolis canal.
Welcome to Indianapolis.

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

2 thoughts on “We Try It: Getting Even”

  1. Yay! Great getting even. :)

    I am curious to know, after reading what you guys went through, how are you protecting yourselves now?

    Based on the reading it really seems like that guy set up a trap for people. If you get something from creative commons, are you taking a screenshot of said image showing it’s placement on CC, or are you simply getting images elsewhere?

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