I am sorry, but I have to rant on this subject and where better to do so than here on Tumblr. Over the last couple of months we have been constantly getting messages from Tumblr about copyright violations. It is our policy not to repost anything that looks professional or has any type of copy marks, names or other website listings. We have even stopped accepting submissions since we were getting tons from angry ex’s or people wanting revenge and not having permission to post. Long story short we do our best to comply only reposting things that we think will not be issues yet we still keep getting these notices.
According to Tumblr we are on our last strike and one more violation and we will be shut down. From all the other posting I am seeing it looks like there has been a huge crackdown across all of Tumblr. When you get these notices it tells you that you can contest the claim if you want. It has links to the pictures that were removed. However, since the images have already been taken down you can’t tell what they were or even from which blog you got the images from. Thus, there is no way to stop posting or keep from accidently reposting the same images. Of course there is no way to contest the claim either since you don’t know what it was. What are we to do? How can we comply? Producing original content is great, but can be limited. Getting releases before posting is impractical. I don’t know what the options are.
I have a graphic business and understand and appreciate the protection of someone’s property. I also understand and believe in privacy rights. We do our best to screen out as much as we can before posting. I would like to hope we are one of the good guys and are not flying around posting obviously copyrighted material or other inappropriate images. However, we constantly are hit with these issues despite our efforts. There is no way we can get releases from all of these people. What are we to do?
One reason Tumblr is so popular is the fact it allows for open expression in whatever way you want. I know they are trying to protect themselves legally, but by trying so hard they may in fact kill what they have. I realize Tumblr is losing money and Yahoo may not really care if it fails, but please work on stamping out those that are obviously not trying; those that are blatantly posting copyrighted or otherwise inappropriate images. Then give us that are trying to do things right the tools we need to do things better. If you find a violation let us see what we posted so that we don’t post it again and can avoid any other future posting of that kind. If the item was reblogged or from a submission let us know who sent it so we can block them and avoid posting future stuff from them. Give an option to those not wanting their work reblogged a way to tag it or to alert others not to repost their stuff. Implement something that makes it harder for other to reblog these tagged images. Those that reblog it even with these notices or reblog things that have blatant copyright markings or watermark shut them down. No need to go through repeated warnings. Eventually if given the right tools those that are trying to do things right will slowly be able to police themselves pushing those that are not playing right off of Tumblr. This is a win for everyone.
That is just my two cents. If you agree please reblog. You have my permission. If you are one of those blatantly doing things wrong stop or you will kill if for everyone. If you are one that is trying hard to do things right more power to you. Keep up the good work.