Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Futile Attempts at Responsible Communication While in an Irrational State of Mind

When you've noticed someone has stolen your photos and placed them somewhere without your permission and you are anything like me, your immediate reaction might be something like this ---- "WTF?! Who the hell do you think you are? If I saw you on the street I'd make sure you limped through every remaining day of your life, gasping and wheezing from the effort, unable to explain to anyone what had happened to you because it would require saying the words, 'I was attacked by an enraged clown,' which no one will believe because it sounds like something out of a movie. If you had a life of your own you wouldn't have the time or willingness to steal anything from the Internet. If you felt you had any creative talent, you would create your own content for the world to see. So you may as well label your posts with the confession, 'I have no life, no friends, no ingenuity, no prospects and no integrity. Obviously I am suffering from a rare form of chronic stupidity that leads to navigational failures both in real life and on the Internet. Please pray for my recovery from this debilitating condition,' you tragic waste of humanity. Get fucked someplace very uncomfortable."

Or something along those lines. As your mind spins out in fantasies of stabbing them in the softest patch of skin you can find on their anatomy and twisting the knife just enough for them to always feel mild discomfort and never thoroughly enjoy anything again, you might lose the ability to search the website where your property was posted without your consent. You also might lose the ability to write a calm, mature and informative email in a clear manner. So I thought it might be helpful to people if I posted some email addresses and links I've used, and an outline of an email I've sent to websites for copyright infringement, so that you don't have to struggle with trying to scrape your shit together to behave like a responsible adult long enough to report the infringement when all you feel like doing is disfiguring someone. Because all that's going to come out of you in that moment will make about as much sense as if you'd let a rabid, wild animal do your work for you, which is really not an acceptable thing to unload on someone. So now you can copy/paste, fill in your own details and click send. I'm not saying justice will be served, I'm just hoping it will help someone in a moment of need.



My © all rights reserved image seen here:

paste the link to your image, where it is lawfully located, in this spot

is posted without my permission on your site here:

paste the link to your image that has been posted unlawfully on their site

Please immediately delete my image from your site.

I hereby state that I have a good faith belief that the use of the copyrighted material is not authorized by the copyright owner (that's me) its agent, or the law.

I hereby state that the information in this notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that I am the owner of the copyright.


put your legal name here

your address here

your phone number here

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pug Shoes Odyssey

In our ongoing quest to protect Bebe's feet from the freezing ground, the dog shit abandoned by our neighbors and the shattered glass empties also abandoned by our neighbors, I purchased these sneakers:

Pug Sneakers!

FouFou Dog Booties. Or Pink Fouma Sneakers. Or something. They have a long name. The point is, these were the best I found. Solid bottoms that would protect Bebe's feet, even if she dragged them across the pavement. The stores around here didn't have any in stock, so I had to order them online. After a couple weeks it occurred to me that they should've shown up in our mailbox by now. Tracked the package and was informed by the post office that the package had been delivered eight days earlier.

Oh, really?

After one email and two phone calls which resulted in only the phone number of our postal delivery guy and the time he could be reached and a small assortment of bewildered apologies (nope, that's not what I ordered....I already have enough bewildered apologies in my collection, thanks) I took Beebs for a pissed off stroll around our broken-glass-and-dog-shit slathered neighborhood. I'm assuming it got that way because one or more of our neighbors or their visitors routinely get roaring drunk, take their dog out to shit in the grass, step in it themselves by accident, slip, fall and shatter their alcoholic beverage on the sidewalk, attempt to scuff the shit off their shoes all up and down the sidewalk -- leaving a funky trail -- before realizing they forgot to leash their dog and it's disappeared. They then angrily yell for their dog from the shit smeared and shattered glass littered patch of sidewalk as though the dog deliberately crapped on their shoes and made them spill their beer before leaving the scene of the crime. Either that or it's human shit that fell out the leg of their jeans as they staggered around drunk in public, before finally passing out and shattering their bottle of Hennessy in the process.

My husband was treated to this bitter little rant during our walk, but he got the uncensored version. Isn't he lucky?

When we returned from our walk, there was a package on our doorstep. The same package that the post office claimed had been delivered eight days earlier. Bebe's booties.

My cell phone had a message from the post office. The guy said he called our postman. Postman said our package contained "checks" and that he left it in our mailbox eight days ago. "If this is not true, please call us back," said the guy.

Checks? From Jake's Dog House? Really? That's his story? I'm betting our mailman lost Bebe's booties somewhere, couldn't figure out where the package went, figured he must've delivered it, marked it as delivered and forgot about it. Not until eight days later when I called did he look for it. Anyway, I called the post office and reported that my package had mysteriously appeared out of nowhere.

So that's how the pug bootie odyssey started.

Let me just state right here that I'm no stranger to measuring my pug. This is her third set of shoes. I have successfully measured her for many items of clothing, from head to toes. I even measured her for a custom built wheelchair. No snags there. But this set of booties is cursed. If you didn't know that by now, you weren't paying attention.

Bebe has two inch feet. Her front paws are bigger than her hind feet. The booties fit great on her hind feet. However, they were too tight on the front feet. Beebs was not pleased. She stomped her little front paws in protest. The booties twisted around until it looked like she was walking on her ankles. She wasn't, but looked awkward. These would take all the fun out of her walks, which defeats the purpose of getting the booties in the first place.

But we're in luck! I'm crafty! I can create just about anything! I took apart two of the booties, added some white fake fur, some pink faux suede, stitched them back together and Beebs had her own pair of furry sneakers for her front paws!

Modified Pug Sneakers!

They are stylish! They are warm! Bebe is not stamping her feet when I put them on her! They are cute and they even match her outfit! Yay!

Custom Pug Sneakers :)

She takes her first steps:

First steps in new shoes

She looks silly, but the booties stay on and she doesn't complain. She hits her stride, moving faster than I can capture clearly in photos:

Fast Pug!

The booties are working! Yay!...wait.......what she walking on her ankles?......what the hell?!?

Epic Fail




She's not actually walking on her ankles. But looks awkward and we're back to square one. At this point I'm afraid she'll do a face plant if she stumbles in these things, so I took them off her. I left the booties on her hind feet, which always fit just fine and she never minded at all:

Pug In Panties, Parka, Wheels, Sneakers

She took off as though to prevent me from changing my mind and putting those sneakers back on her front paws again, "You'll have to catch me first! I'd rather walk barefoot through glass and dog shit than wear those booties again!"

Too bad she doesn't really need the booties on her hind feet as much since they don't touch the ground. I only put them on her to keep her feet warm.

So it's back to the drawing board for her front feet. That's OK, though. I've got plans. I've gathered together some materials. We will find a workable solution. In the meantime, I think Beebs looks damn cute in her sneakers.

Pug In Pink Parka & Sneakers

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why My Pug Has Wheels

Some people have been asking why Beebs needs a cart. If you've followed my Flickr stream for the past year and a half, then you know why. For those who are new or don't have time to view the hundreds of photos and videos of Beebs and read their descriptions, I thought I'd do a blog post about it. That way I can just link people to the blog post instead of writing out an explanation each and every time.

We adopted Beebs from a rescue on July 12th., 2008. She was born sometime in 1996. We are her third owners. When we adopted her we could clearly see she had trouble walking. Her foster mom told us everything she knew about Beebs, saying that Beebs had arthritis, problems with her knees (where they pop out of place) and that her previous owners had complained that Bebe peed all over the house and didn't get along with her other dogs or people. Hmmm. Her foster mom saw no evidence of peeing all over the house or her not getting along with others in the two weeks Bebe lived with her. She said that Bebe had damp hind legs once, but that would be from an inability to hold her bladder --- a medical problem, not a deliberate peeing in the house issue. Her foster mom also said Bebe had trouble squatting to go to the bathroom and would sometimes fall over if you didn't support her. All of these things were easy to manage and live with so we adopted her happily on the spot.

We are so glad we did. She is such a sweetie!!

Beebs has never, ever had conflicts with anyone. She is very passive, laid back, mellow and pleasantly social. She is very good at lounging. She is the most gentle dog I've ever seen. No behavioral problems at all. She even gets along with our chinchillas. She's a pug saint, really.

Unwanted Chinchilla Advances

Which leads me to believe the real reason she was surrendered to the rescue was that her owners didn't want to, or were unable to, pay for her vet care. The condition she was in when we adopted her is shocking to me now, though at the time all I saw was how adorably sweet she was. I think her foster mom was the first person to clean Bebe's face in a very long time. She was covered in goo. Eye goo, drool goo, chunks of yeast from under her nose roll. Stains that ran all down her face, chest and front paws.

Smiley Pug

Her previous owners hadn't taken the time for even basic daily care. Bebe's more pressing physical ailments were also not taken care of by anyone but her foster mom. All of the vets Bebe has seen have agreed on three things. Her knees are out of place, have been for so long that it would take major surgery to repair. The nerves in her back that are connected to her hind legs are being pinched by disks that are out of place. She has arthritis in her hindquarters.

All of these things were not treated by her previous owners in any way. They got worse and worse until it became the situation she was in when we adopted her --- she couldn't squat, had trouble holding her bladder, her knees were swollen and she couldn't bend them when she walked and she dragged her hind feet. So, yeah. The real reason her previous owners surrendered her was that they just didn't care. I wish they'd surrendered her sooner. Instead they kept her locked in a crate in the garage.

Anyway, Bebe's back could be temporarily treated with anti-inflammatory steroids, but it's not something that could be done forever. Treated like that for too long, it would do more harm than good. We tried it. At first Beebs seemed better. Then not. So we tapered her off them entirely. The only other treatment is surgery --- both for her back and her knees. No way in hell. The vets are all VERY enthusiastic about surgery. Well, yeah. They make bank and they don't care if they hurt or kill your dog. Not all vets are assholes. I've had several who were kind. Unfortunately I've run into some who were nothing more than greedy bullies and we did not take Beebs back to see them again. When I adopted Beebs I agreed that I would never let anyone do any surgery on her unless it was life saving. I specifically promised her foster mom that I would not allow anyone to operate on Bebe's knees. Beebs is old and might not survive the surgery like a younger dog would. And it wouldn't serve a useful purpose. If she wants to walk normally, we can get her a wheelchair. If she's in pain, we can give her pain medication. The surgeries themselves would've caused a tremendous amount of pain for her and she wouldn't have known we were trying to help her. All she would've known was that we'd let someone hurt her.

Luckily, Beebs loves her wheels and zips around the neighborhood faster than she ever could on her hind legs. She doesn't suffer any pain that can't be managed with baby aspirin. Even as her mobility diminished, there was no increase in pain. The opposite was true. Her decreased mobility in her hind legs is because of diminishing feeling back there. She's going numb because those damn disks in her back keep pinching her nerves. Fortunately, the wheelchair seems to take some of the pressure off because she wags her tail while cruising around on her wheels and she's even started moving her hind feet again during walks, in spite of the fact that they're kept off the ground in stirrups to protect her toes :) We keep panties on her so her bladder can leak as much as it wants and she never gets in trouble for it. She can, and does, let fly whenever and wherever, and she has never, not once gotten in trouble for it.

She lives like the Pug Empress she is, chariot included ;)

Pug in tutu!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is a rant, so skip down to the big letters if you want a little piece of happy

If you don't like what you see, stop looking at me

Recently while emailing back and forth with someone who had stolen one of my pics for multiple blogs and used them in a mean-spirited way, she wrote to me that she didn't notice Flickr's © All rights reserved on every single page, on every single photo. She claimed to be a professional who has a crystal clear understanding of copyright laws and has relatives who are professional photographers. She wrote that "most professional photographers" put additional copyright info in the "comments" section of the photo. I think she meant description, but whatever. What she meant was that some on Flickr will copy/paste a message at the top of every photo's description. Something along the lines of, "© All rights reserved. Don't use this image without my permission."

This "professional" stole many Flickr photos from photographers and posted them to her own blogs, with the excuse that she just didn't see Flickr's copyright information. Actually, a professional looks for the copyright info and unless they see a message declaring the image is free and clear for anyone to use, they don't touch it. Stating that "most professional photographers" post extra messages reinforcing their copyright has the snotty insinuation that anyone who doesn't plaster their images with warnings is
1. Not worthy of consideration because they don't fit your definition of professional.
2. Asking for their photos to be stolen.

If you want to connect yourself to an image enough to steal it and place it on multiple blogs of yours, it has value, even if its only value to you is how much you hate it. Especially when the blogs have ads or otherwise profit off of views. You have just turned the artist into not only a gainfully employed photographer, but also (in my case) a model who is working for you against her will. Where's my money? Where's the money those other Flickr photographers have unwittingly earned for you when you stole their work and posted it to your for-profit blogs to promote your business?

Whether or not you consider us "professionals" our work is still protected by copyright. Whether or not we watermark our images or post warnings in the descriptions, our images are protected by copyright. The © symbol is used because it is an internationally recognized symbol that this material is protected by copyright. It has the practical purpose of simplifying the message so everyone can understand it. For example, a copyright warning in the description of an image, how many languages should it be in? It's the worldwide web, after all. Viewers don't always understand English. Should we post warnings at the top of our photos' descriptions in every major language? Or should the languages spoken in remote villages be added too? They have internet access, you know. It's not just the U.S. who uses the internet. Flickr takes care of this for us, clearly marking each photo's page with the variety of copyright the photographer has selected for that photo.

Since we're on the subject, how many books have you seen with a watermark across the front? How about a book with copyright info on the cover? Usually it's inside the book. That information isn't placed on the cover because it's unnecessary and it interferes with the message the author was attempting to put out there.

I would also like to say that if you have swiped one of my images because you liked it and you used it in a well-intentioned way, I'm not going to come after you the way I do hateful people. However, if I see you have used my work in connection with anything mean-spirited, I will tell you to take it down and I won't have sympathy for your, "I didn't know any better," excuses. The appropriate response is to remove the stolen images (from EVERYONE) and never use an artist's work without permission again.

As far as watermarks and warnings in descriptions, on photos, in the tags or in the comments sections, I don't usually use them because I don't like them. Pure and simple. I actually have a watermark that I designed myself and I like the watermark itself, but I hate seeing it on my images because I find it to be distracting. I also hate putting © All rights reserved in the description or comments because it's sometimes off-putting to the viewer. Especially in the context of a lighthearted photo. Believe it or not, I prefer to be friendly to people until an individual person has proven themselves to be unworthy of it. And then I come after that person specifically. If you want to watermark your images and/or put copyright info elsewhere in connection with your photos then more power to you. I may join you soon.

If I could only perfect my drawing of psychedelic-rainbow-swirled winged unicorns in hearts performing mid-air 69, like some sort of mythical and slightly homosexual mile high yin yang symbol, then I might actually have more enthusiasm for watermarking my photos. Actually, no. Let's be real. Instead of watermarking my images with it I'd take it to a tattoo artist and have that sucker inked into my flesh. This idea belongs to me! Do not use it for anything, ever! Use your own damn creativity. Otherwise you're acting like an artistic charity case and trying to turn me into an unwilling donor to your cause. Fuckers. © All rights reserved 2009 by Dawn Harter aka Wisely Chosen.

See how that taints your experience of the moment? I don't want to have to put additional copyright notices on my work. It's a bummer. Plus it's unnecessary.

Also, I should mention that I really do love all the people whose intentions were pure, but their experience and knowledge were limited, or their enthusiasm devoured their common sense --- therefore they accidentally used my photos in an unlawful way. I am not angry with you. I'll still come after you, but I love you and you'll most likely have my blessing in keeping the image posted, after I make a few things clear so that it's understood why what you did was, technically, not OK ♥ Because while yes, I can be as fun as a barrel of monkeys and as mad as a hatter, I am serious about a few things.

*I've been drinking rum and consequently am in a much happier mood than normal. I will probably delete this post when I sober up.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How the hell did this photo end up with so much attention?

Rainbow Vagina Cupcakes!!

Swiped from my Flickr stream. God damn it. Just ask me first before you try to post it on another site. Chances are, I'll give you the HTML. Just ask. Don't be shy.

By the way, I've been on the receiving end of this with people on deviantART. Stock wings. I really wanted to use a pair of stock wings for a self-portrait. But when the artist writes, "Ask my permission first!" I take it very seriously. I ask and I wait, with an ache that is painful to think about even now. I really, really, really wanted to edit those wings onto a self-portrait and immediately upload it to Flickr. But I've been on the receiving end of so many of my photos being used without my permission, that I can't do that to someone else. So I sent a message to the artist, asked for permission to post the photo to Flickr, and waited. And waited some more. She did message me back and give me permission. But it was a rough wait. By the time she got back to me I'd lost interest and never bothered making the photo public on Flickr. You can see it on deviantART, though. Anyway, I know what it's like to want to post someone else's work and suffer the death of your enthusiasm while waiting for their permission. It's very easy to get caught up in the momentum of the internet, and it's very easy to swipe someone else's work --- with the sweetest intentions, but's copyright infringement and it sucks.

Worst case scenario, this is how it goes --- you think it doesn't matter and then years later you see someone making money off of your work while you're getting nothing and you realize you should've put a stop to that shit at the very beginning. Just ask the people on deviantART. So I have to say something whenever I see my photos being used without my permission. God, I hate this crap :(

Also? It still blows my mind that anyone ever looks at my photos. I seriously thought no one ever would.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I've had a headache for a couple days now. Allergies are acting up. Then this morning I wake up to a message from a Flickr friend (I have the best Flickr friends ever!!) who has seen some of my eye macro self-portraits posted in a Myspace photo album belonging to someone I don't know and have never heard of. This person is clearly not a stalker or weirdo like some others I've had to deal with. She's just interested in makeup. Problem is, Flickr has guidelines. She has not followed those guidelines. Flickr Community Guidelines specify that if you post a Flickr photo on an external website, the photo must link back to its photo page. I have chosen to prevent the general public from downloading all sizes because I'm sick of my photos being stolen. I have specified on my Flickr profile that no one has permission to use my Flickr photos or videos for anything. Ever.

Additionally, Myspace has its own photo policy which specifies you are not allowed to upload copyrighted pics. My Flickr pics are protected under copyright.

However, I don't think this girl knows what she's doing is stealing. I don't think there's any malice intended. I think she might genuinely believe that if she sees it on the internet, it's OK to take a copy, do whatever she pleases with it and post it wherever she wants. If she had purchased the photos, then yes. But she didn't. Those photos have never been for sale.

I haven't contacted this girl or Myspace yet because I'm not quite sure how to handle it. On the one hand, what she's doing is wrong. On the other, it's just kind of sad. And the eye macro self-portraits she chose to steal aren't even ones I like. So I'm not sure if it's even worth the bother of contacting her or Myspace. The only thing that aggravates me about it is she's not giving me credit for my work, which is why Flickr requires that you link back whenever you post a Flickr photo on an external website. But since I don't even like those four self-portraits in the first place, do I really want credit for them? I'm inclined to just send her a Myspace friends request without telling her why, laugh my ass off and dismiss the whole thing as more pointless, petty, internet silliness.

Unfortunately, I've been told repeatedly by many people that I need to get serious about the whole business side of the things I create :(