Thanking Miss Loren

I used to have other photos taken from Google to illustrate and highlight my blog contents. I was so certain that I wasn’t violating any rules. Everything in Google is for public use, right? Or so I thought.

It’s a good thing I searched for other blogs that touch on the topic “safe blogging”. This article from Roni Loren came at the top of my search. I read it and it practically answered my queries… and it saved me a whole lot of trouble. I guess I would also go as far as to say that this author saved my life – my life of writing/blogging.

Beginners like me aren’t all that aware of the law-related proceedings regarding blogging or internet use or internet researching. They don’t teach that much in schools (at least not in my time… and country). I am blissfully ignorant of the risks in blogging and presenting content over the internet. Few people tackle on this topic, too. I don’t blame them because it’s a nasty subject to think or write about. It elicits bitter memories and frustrations.Some authors learned the hard way, some didn’t get it the first time and they commit the same mistake again. I don’t blame them at all. Our brains aren’t wired the same way. We don’t “get” things at the same pace; we don’t process things in the same manner. I pray that I did get the message right the first time I read about it.

It’s too bad that I can’t get to use all the beautiful photos and pictures I see on Google. Sometimes I just fret and wish I had the talent in making such beautiful pieces. It would have saved me a whole lot of time and effort if I were the maker of such. Even with clear intentions as to the use of certain photos/artwork, it doesn’t validate my “improper” handling of internet or public content. Improper, I say, because I didn’t ask anyone’s permission or consent; I just assumed that it was free for the taking.

As I reached the end of Miss Loren’s article, I literally took a deep breath and sighed. I knew what I had to do right away – take down the digital artworks I found on the internet. My heart beat triple time as I was so paranoid that someone might come and get me and sue me and put me to jail for a crime I am so ignorant about. What made the feeling worse was that, I might have been too late in realizing my error. Worst was the thought that I might get taken from my home and shipped to a foreign country – all because I unknowingly used a public property that was not so public after all. But of course, this is just my imagination running. I haven’t even mentioned the scene where my two baby daughters standing on the doorstep, cry their hearts out because they see their mommy taken by unknown people. They would have been left unaccompanied for a whole day and that scares me the most. I was never the one to risk their safety even just for a few minutes.

So, after I took down all those too-good-to-be-true-and-free photos, I searched for the legit free ones. I remembered what other bloggers suggested. Since some sites require you to pay to get stuff for free (confusing, right?), I searched even further for the more generous sites. Hence, For now, I take refuge in their site. I just hope that they won’t suddenly think hey, let’s make this girl pay! That would be so devastating as I would have to pay in dollars and I could not even afford a thousand pesos. I’m a poor person in a third world country. I would die of heartbreak if that happens.

If only the photos and artworks in the internet each have a warning of “can be used” or “cannot be used” of some sort. The world would be a happier place.

As I end this blog entry, I want to thank the author Miss Loren for being truthful, honest, and sincere. She probably won’t come across my blog… ever, but I thank her still. If you read her article which I linked above, you’ll get what I mean when I said truthful, honest, and sincere. The way she put it was spot on, straight to the point, humble… and you can really sense the genuineness. I sensed that she really was concerned and that she wanted to help. I honestly think that genuine writers are the best. For when they write, it comes from the heart and if readers sense that, the more they would want to read and take things to heart and mind.

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