Do you remember my amazing Cambodian wedding photos that Hal and I had taken while we were still Peace Corps volunteers? You can see them here, and here.
Well, about a year ago within a short time multiple people sent me links to my pictures being shared across the internet. They were showing up on American Cambodian instagram and on Khmer news webpages. It was a weird feeling not knowing that these people were taking my photos without my permission and I had no idea they were being used unless someone I know saw them and let me know.
Then this month another volunteer sent me this:
I guess in some ways I still don't quite know how I feel. I've heard horrible stories of bloggers having their photos stolen and fake blogs made up, and that just sounds terrible to me. It feels different than if someone in American was stealing my photos. Cambodia doesn't have copy right laws, and it just doesn't seem like they're stealing them for malicious reasons, they just like seeing foreigners in traditional wedding clothes.
While it feels really weird to have photos of Hal and I being shared around the internet without our permission or knowledge, and even though it may be a little bit creepy I guess I can't help but be flattered that they liked my pictures. Is it wrong to take a little pride in my stolen picture getting 600+ likes?
So while I'd like to have my permission asked for, there seems to be a sense of innocence to them sharing my photos, so instead of being angry that they're using my photos, I can't help but laugh when it happens.
Have you ever had your photos stolen? What are your thoughts on picture stealing?