Why some people don’t get a thank you for using my photos

Do I really mean thanks when I say thanks?

An esteemed colleague of mine asked me recently,

“When you say ‘thank you’ via social media to someone using your photos, are you truly thanking them?”

The answer is an unequivocal yes!

My photographs are Creative Commons Licensed, and meant to be used to promote the best of the human spirit. I want to give people credit for using the work, and amplify their work at the same time. Here’s an example:

I’ve counted 895 placements so far, and 99.9% of them deserve and receive a thank you.

When is a time I don’t say thanks?

This happens rarely, in cases where my work is used to further un-scientific or unhealthy discourse, especially directed at a group of people. In these cases, that I can count in the single digits over the past several years, I will revoke the license to use the work. Here’s an example of that:

December 21 2016
Ahoy Charisma News!
I see that you’ve used this photo of mine in this post of yours:
http://www.charismanews.com (Direct link removed due to triggering nature of the content)
As it is being used to promote non-scientific and inaccurate health information about #LGBTQ human beings, license to use the photo is revoked. Please remove my photograph from this web page immediately.
I am happy to educate you on the science behind gender at your convenience. Life is good for all humans in the 21st Century, trust me, I’m a doctor :).
All the best for a more informed future for you and the people you humbly serve.
Ted Eytan, MD

In the example above, my work was removed quickly, and another (less interesting) image was put in its place. I appreciated that.

I’m posting this here so that it’s in the ether, and because I may refer people to this post in the future if the license to use my work is revoked. My interest is in the reasoning to be clear and everyone is treated with respect.

Before and with every termination notice, I always offer to educate about why something isn’t factual and not permitted with the use of my work. From this perspective the use of my work offers an opportunity to educate that might not have existed otherwise.

There are a lot of in-between circumstances where license to use is not terminated, and I just leave a comment or add to the conversation in whatever way is appropriate, based on my professional judgement. A Creative Commons license is meant to be used and I respect that as well.

Any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or contact me via the form above.

Ted Eytan, MD