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Facebook’s “I F*cking Love Science” does not f*cking love artists

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Elise Andrew runs the most popular Science page on facebook. I know so, because I see her content reshared dozens of times daily in my news feed. Well, it’s not really her content, but I’ll get back to that in a minute. The point is, I F*cking Love Science is big. By posting photos, cartoons, news snippets and other science-related tidbits gathered off the internet, it has gathered nearly 5 million followers.

The page’s success is not owed only to a steady stream of posts. Andrew herself is bright & witty, and her feed is not just pro-science but critically so. By fact-checking, enforcing a consistent message, and purging activist pseudoscience, she has deservedly become something of an outreach hero.

The strong points of IFLS are not the subject of this post, however. This is a science photography blog, and in areas related to science imagery Elise Andrew really f*cking pisses me off.

After finding one of my photographs posted to IFLS yesterday without permission, I surveyed the most recent 100 images in the IFLS stream and tallied the percentage of images that were credited (26%), uncredited but with the linked site giving a credit (15% – hint: still not legal), and not credited at all (59%). Most of the material on I F*cking Love Science is pirated.

Consider this example, one of the 59 images I tallied without credit:

The spaceman is a t-shirt design by Katie Campbell and is called “Never Date an Astronaut.”  The source is not acknowledged, like most of IFLS’s art. If Andrew did not receive permission from Katie Campbell, then the posting violates both Campbell’s copyright and facebook’s terms of service.

What’s the issue? Andrew has taken another t-shirt designer’s work, stripped of without attribution, and is using it to drive traffic on the IFLS page where it helps sell her own t-shirts. That’s cheeky.

Her own t-shirts? Yes.

The page may have started as a hobby, but Andrew now runs IFLS as a commercial venture. In addition to selling merchandise, Andrew also has a television show in the works. She is building a career from IFLS.

Yet the people who actually made the content that drives Andrew’s ascendant business- the professional scientific illustrators, the photographers, the cartoonists, the graphic designers- aren’t given anything in return. They aren’t paid. They aren’t acknowledged. They aren’t even asked.

The sad bit is, the creative community and IFLS are perched very near the brink of a mutually beneficial relationship. Apart from the intellectual property violations, and perhaps apart from a few foibles related to public profanity and whatever’s good for the children these days, most scientific creatives are philosophically aligned with what Andrew is doing and they’d benefit from the exposure, if done right. Likewise, IFLS could generate even better content with a few well-placed alliances with artists.

This giant leap for IFLS-kind needs only one small step from IFLS. Perhaps a few extra minutes to contact the creators beforehand so as to remain within the boundaries of facebook’s terms, or maybe IFLS could establish a small artists’ fund to help the community return something for the favor of great science art.

Anway, this rant has gone on long enough. Here’s hoping Elise Andrew uses her newfound fame and coming fortune for good, not just for the public image of science, but to give back to the photography and art communities who made her possible. I hope it’s not too f*cking much to ask.

*update: The IFLS post with Katie Campbell’s ”Never Date an Astronaut” has been updated with a credit.

*update 2 (4/25): Progress! All new posts at IFLS appear to have image credits.

*update 3 (11/3/2013): IFLS has lapsed back into their earlier habit of crediting at whim.

Alex Wild About the Author: Alex Wild is an Illinois-based entomologist who studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books, and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. Sean McCann 2:24 pm 04/23/2013

    Thanks for this post! I have inquired on her page whether she intends to address this issue. It would be a f*cking shame if she did not step up and do the right thing.

    Link to this
  2. 2. arachnojoe 3:04 pm 04/23/2013

    Seems like this would have been a good place to mention that the “Eco Preservation Society” (http://ecopreservationsociety.org/) banned both Alex Wild and I from their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EcoPreservationSociety) for informing them that they were infringing on photographer’s copyrights and violating Facebook’s terms of service by posting other people’s photos without permission (incidentally also without credit). We informed them via twitter but with no response. They also post tons of photos.

    Link to this
  3. 3. Glendon Mellow 3:06 pm 04/23/2013

    Even if Andrew does the right thing now, the part that still burns is that it’s success built on carelessly nefarious foundations. It’s Tony Stark stopping wars using a suit built from profits selling weapons.

    And this carelessness in a day and age when contacting an artist for an almost immediate response via the exact same social media she is using as a vehicle, is possible. There’s really no excuse.

    Thanks for the numbers and the work, Alex. Nicely done.

    Link to this
  4. 4. Symbiartic.km 3:18 pm 04/23/2013

    Tell it, bro.

    Link to this
  5. 5. arachnojoe 3:26 pm 04/23/2013

    Facebook seems to have a policy of simply deleting accounts that are in violation of their terms of service. I hope they make an exception in this case. It shouldn’t be hard for IFLS to correct the problem.

    Link to this
  6. 6. dusheck 3:40 pm 04/23/2013

    All artists need is RESPECT (just a little bit).

    Link to this
  7. 7. joshhughes77 3:43 pm 04/23/2013

    I think you make an awfully large assumption with this statement:
    “Andrew has taken another t-shirt designer’s work, stripped it of attribution”
    Are you new to the internet? Miss Andrew does the same thing all page owners do – searches google images and finds content there. In many cases there is no way of knowing who to credit something to, or if credit has been previously cropped. In about 30 seconds I was able to find dozens of examples of this particular image through google images, uncredited. Additionally, a lot of the stuff she posts is submitted to her by users. The big assumption you are making is that she personally cropped these credits out herself. If that was the case, why wouldn’t she do it to everything she posts?
    Miss Andrew has said time and time again that if she posts something that is yours, or if you know who to credit, to let her know and she will address it. She did this very thing earlier this week.

    Link to this
  8. 8. Albatross 3:46 pm 04/23/2013

    Welcome to the Huffington Post business model.

    Link to this
  9. 9. Mrs.Bird 3:59 pm 04/23/2013

    The post does credit the art:
    “Never Date an Astronaut” T-shirt designed by: CAMPKATIE

    Link to this
  10. 10. wttmartin9 4:11 pm 04/23/2013

    The internet is full of copyright material that has been posted on many sites. iIt is often impossible to know what is and is not. There are may meme that are made up by more than one person. IFLS is a success however you want to look at it. Elise will not be making a fortune from it as she works full time and is looking to actually employ someone to do the merchandise selling and some admin. I am also sure I read somewhere that she was doing work for charity too funded by revenue from IFLS.

    If keeping your own work attributed to you is your concern just message her and ask her to credit you or remove it. I know she has exactly the same issues with her own work being stolen and not attributed to her or the site.

    Link to this
  11. 11. grizzlepaw 4:16 pm 04/23/2013

    Welcome to social networking, circa the past 50,000 years.

    If I repeat a joke someone else came up with, do I credit the original author? If i use a word or concept or technology someone else pioneered to I need to credit the originator? I do when I can. Culture is a shared experience. Collation of bits and pieces of this culture is a valuable service to everyone. The 20th century mass media model is untenable when everyone is a content producer and curator.

    This article seems like much ado about nothing. Helplessly parochial. Good luck stuffing everything back into Pandora’s box. I can’t wait until Zeus and the rest of the Olympians bring a copyright suit against all the people who are using their images without attribution… or the estate of William Shakespeare…

    Link to this
  12. 12. JST3P 4:18 pm 04/23/2013

    Collisions of old model media with new model internet happen all the time. I don’t think this is the curators intent to steal, I also don’t think the author meant to leave their signature off their art or intentionally failed to watermark their images. This is the internet. You can’t take a boat ride and get mad that “It’s so wet!” IFLS will have to be careful now that they’re on the radar of the potentially litigious. That just means we, the audience, suffer. IFLS will continue without such content and the people who’s art is getting “shared” will have that much less exposure. No one wins here and no one loses here but the audience, that’s the problem when old media tries to enforce its outmoded business model of strict control over publication and distribution onto the new model of free distribution over the internet via methods of force (like the courts).

    Link to this
  13. 13. ologies 4:22 pm 04/23/2013

    Boo to all of you who are saying that all the artist has to do is contact her and that it’s “impossible” to find sources. Boooooooo. You are wrong.

    I had no idea my artwork was being linked on her website until some friends pointed it out to me. If they hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have any idea, my artwork would remain uncredited, and the website would continue to benefit from using my work. So that idea can see itself to the door.

    As far as credit being “impossible”, that is blatant nonsense. Websites like Tineye.com and Google Images offer reverse image searches. While this is not a foolproof method for every single piece of artwork, it can help alleviate the problem AND show some good will on behalf of the aggregator that they’re not too lazy to try and help the artists they’re cashing in on — whether or not that cash is going in their pockets or to a charity.

    I don’t believe she is malicious in her intent, but I do think careless is the right term. Give back to the community you’re taking from or don’t take from them at all.

    Link to this
  14. 14. joleneieC 4:38 pm 04/23/2013

    The comments on this blog are slightly depressing. It’s not okay for IFLS to post content without credit simply because others do it.

    Moreover, since she is making money off of this work, it is up to her to take the time to find out where her content comes from. You are responsible for what you post.

    As a final point, it is generally a good idea to link your sources…not just list some random name that no one knows how to find. So much of this issue could be dealt with by simply “sharing” content as opposed to reposting it as your own. http://creightoncreation.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/i-fcking-love-science-but-i-fcking-hate-plagiarismheres-why/#more-270

    Also, to the person who commented about the author having lots of images on his blog…he is a photographer, this is just a guess, but I think the photographs might be his. Kind of silly to list yourself as credit.

    Link to this
  15. 15. rkm0001 4:39 pm 04/23/2013

    According to JST3P: “IFLS will continue without such content and the people who’s art is getting “shared” will have that much less exposure.”

    What good is exposure if no one knows the thing they’re looking at was made by you? Or how to find you or your work? Exposure is a garbage termed bandied about by people who try to justify not giving others the basest respect for their work.

    Link to this
  16. 16. PepGiraffe 4:40 pm 04/23/2013

    #7 @joshhughes77 I’m not sure what the assumption would be. In about 45 seconds (yes, a *little* longer), I went to tineye.com and the >only< match to that picture is to the Katie Campbell t-shirt referenced above.

    Either way, due diligence should be expected on the part of Elise Andrew. While it might be true that in the early days of blogging and social media people borrowed things willy-nilly, anyone who has real interest in it nowadays knows about attribution.

    Link to this
  17. 17. shoXx 4:43 pm 04/23/2013

    I’d like to see that graph by using a realistic percentage of images on IFLS. A <3.3% sample rate is a joke.

    I'd expect better from a qualified entomologist writing in a respected scientific journal.

    Link to this
  18. 18. lillymunster 4:49 pm 04/23/2013

    So does this apply to every other netizen that shares random things they find online? You are going to be in a world of pain and woe if you think you can demand every person online stop and find the original source of a photo to share it on social media. Apparently you didn’t bother to contact Andrew before you took to Sci Am to disparage her. I really hope she sues for defamation because your being a petty twit. I see my work forwarded, shared and reused online and a few times on television without attribution. Unless someone is calling it their work or directly trying to make money off that specific thing I don’t get too worried about it. This isn’t 1999, good luck controlling the internets.

    Link to this
  19. 19. trueblue711 4:54 pm 04/23/2013

    This sounds like a typical alarmist post by a journalist who doesn’t know better.

    Like others have said before me, social media has changed the way we share things. Am I in the wrong every time I post a funny picture to my friend’s wall if I don’t cite the source? This is social interactions, not history class.

    It is clear that this Facebook page’s intent is to share cool things for those who love science, not to take credit for and profit off of others’ work.

    You should be complaining about how BuzzFeed and ICanHazCheeseburger solely exist to profit off of the work of others without crediting them. That would be a more valid claim.

    Link to this
  20. 20. grizzlepaw 4:59 pm 04/23/2013

    Every time my buddy tells me a joke I demand he attribute it. If he doesn’t I lecture him about copyright and contact the bereaved parties so they can initiate legal action, because that’s how humans should behave.

    Shame on all of you for not doing the same.

    Link to this
  21. 21. Bora Zivkovic 5:00 pm 04/23/2013

    Also see:
    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2011/09/09/its-time-for-illustrators-to-take-back-the-net/
    for bigger picture. Just because people unthinkingly share, and unknowingly break copyright, does not mean it’s right to do so.

    Link to this
  22. 22. Quantumburrito 5:06 pm 04/23/2013

    This is not cool, especially if she is making money off the images by putting them on t-shirts and other memorabilia. With power comes responsibility. It’s not ok to break copyright when you have a 2 cent obscure blog and it’s even less ok to break it when you have a hugely popular site with 4.5 million followers. I hope Ms. Andrews can retroactively credit every single image on her site and do the same for images in the future.

    Link to this
  23. 23. shoXx 5:10 pm 04/23/2013

    “This is not cool, especially if she is making money off the images by putting them on t-shirts and other memorabilia. ”

    She isn’t.

    Link to this
  24. 24. Karen Loughrey 5:12 pm 04/23/2013

    Last Friday I spotted a photo copied from our website http://www.projectnoah.org without permission or any credit to our site or the original photographer. We actually do not have a problem with sharing content – as long as Project Noah & the photographer are attributed. I send a message requesting the photo be credited or the feature removed & I also advised the photographer that her image was being used in this way. The following day I sent a follow up & also send the photographer the relevant FB forms to report the infringement as she was understandably very upset that her photo had over 3000 shares without her getting a mention. The photo remained up all weekend with no credit, & was finally removed by Facebook yesterday.
    Apart from illegally sharing the image, IFLS had also used a photo of a Verreaux’s Sifaka – & misnamed it as a Silky Sifaka, to illustrate their info on the latter species.

    Link to this
  25. 25. joleneieC 5:13 pm 04/23/2013

    by giving proper credit when it is due, we encourage others in their work—we show them that, if they create something that is worthwhile, their skill and effort will be recognized. Conversely, when we take content from others and present it as something that we made ourselves, we discourage them. When we do this, we are asserting that the individual does not matter. That people do not have any rights to what they create through their skills, talents, and intellectual ideas.

    Ultimately, when we take another person’s work and present it as out own we don’t foster a society that is focused on building communities, sharing ideas, and working together towards a common goal. We don’t promote hard work or responsibility. Instead, we create a society that is separatist and isolationist. We promote cheap work and laziness. We discourage knowledge, research, and creativity. By plagiarizing and taking others work, we foster a world in which the only goal is to ensure ones own celebrity.

    Yeah, I hope you all have tons of fun in that world.

    Link to this
  26. 26. Quantumburrito 5:14 pm 04/23/2013

    shoXx: Read the post carefully – “The page may have started as a hobby, but Andrew now runs IFLS as a commercial venture. In addition to selling merchandise, Andrew also has a television show in the works. She is building a career from IFLS.”

    Link to this
  27. 27. dana1974 5:16 pm 04/23/2013

    Someone commented:

    “Miss Andrew does the same thing all page owners do – searches google images and finds content there.”

    Uh. Speak for yourself.

    I’m not the world’s most active Facebook page owner. However, when I do post images on my pages, I usually am sharing something I saw on another page or on a friend’s feed. As in, the image is still linked to them and if it’s illegal, they’re the ones who will get dinged for it.

    On the rare occasion I make my own graphic, either it’s completely mine and I wrote the text or took the photo, OR, I go dig it up off Flickr and attribute the original photographer.

    I can think of two exceptions to that general rule under which I operate and if either of those exceptions were illegal behavior, wow, you better go shut down I Can Has Cheezburger and all its affiliated sites right. now.

    But I sort of intuited that Google Images might not be the best source, yes, thanks.

    Link to this
  28. 28. dana1974 5:19 pm 04/23/2013

    Oh, and let me add that if you do go digging images up off Flickr, here’s how you do it. One, type in your search term and then go into Advanced Search. Two, select Creative Commons as a search criterion, and also check off the options allowing you to alter the image or use it commercially. Then search again.

    That’s what I do, and that leaves me completely in the clear.

    Link to this
  29. 29. grizzlepaw 5:19 pm 04/23/2013

    Creating an API or a central system for attribution of images would be a great way to address this problem, and possibly even open up a way for creators to get paid in residuals, especially for commercial use of their work (IFLS is on the borderline.)

    Creating defamatory articles probably isn’t the solution.

    Link to this
  30. 30. jedi_lady 5:27 pm 04/23/2013

    I don’t outright accept that giving in to the culture of ‘intellectual property’ is necessary the right thing to do. I think this deserves more discussion. I, for one, am not convinced that such a thing can even be said to exist. It would be wrong for anyone to claim a work belongs to them if it does not, obviously, but does one have to give credit for a work, or even part of a work? I don’t think so, as long as they don’t claim it belongs to them. That is just intellectually honest. Anything else is really stretching the definition of property to untenable limits.

    Link to this
  31. 31. RegisDudley 5:56 pm 04/23/2013

    Hi Alex. You don’t mention whether you actually reached out to Elise before posting this. If you’d sent her a message, I’m sure she would have responded, as she has to me and to the thousands of people with whom she chats daily.

    I’m sure her intention was not to cause harm and I’d bet money she’ll fix it quickly.

    Cheers!

    Link to this
  32. 32. Gneiss_and_Wacke 6:00 pm 04/23/2013

    Artists absolutely should be attributed… but your rant never mentions whether you have actually tried to address your concerns to Elise or if you went directly to the angry article writing.

    If you did the first, first I apologise for assuming you didn’t. But I have a feeling that she, like many other internet denizens is not necessarily aware of the importance of artist credits and is likely finding/being sent a lot of these images without the credit intact already. I’m not even saying it is your job to inform every single one of the people who fails to properly credit authors… but if you take the time to write a rant against a specific person, as opposed to the general trend of losing attribution to artwork, you might as well take the time to politely let them know that they are doing something wrong and why it is important.

    AND if you are going to take the time to rant about it… why not give your readers a tool that can help them give proper credit where it is due. Google has a wonderful but not as well known search by image feature where you can input an image and have it search for similar images which will often net you the original artist within a few moments of starting the search: http://www.google.ca/insidesearch/features/images/searchbyimage.html

    Boom easy attribution even if you are passing it on from someone else. Also, if you can’t find the attribution place a disclaimer on it saying “unknown” or “unattributed” or even soliciting for assitance “If you know the original artist please let me know”. It’s as easy as that and artists get the credit for their work and you still get to share it with people you think will like it.

    tl;dr

    1. Attribution is very important
    2. A rant against a single person should be prefaced by talking/communicating with them first (i.e. before writing angry articles)
    3. Google’s search by image feature is a wonderful tool for giving credit to uncredited images you want to share.

    Link to this
  33. 33. April Dove 6:11 pm 04/23/2013

    For those saying she doesn’t remove watermarks:

    This is from Hashem AL-ghaili’s wall. Elise got into the habit of taking infographics HE created, editing his watermarks off, (even the watermarks from National Geographic and such)then posting them for her (then) almost 4 million fans. At a profit. She sold some of the posting rights to her employer, LabX, for 15,000.00 when they hired her to run their social media. (Not to mention the fact that she sells IFLS merchandise on her pages).

    She’s taken images I’ve created dozens of times. When I contacted her for credit she told me she wasn’t going to credit me “now or ever” because I’m friends with someone she dislikes. These messages are still in my inbox on facebook.

    I finally had to block her from my personal wall so she’d stop taking content that I created.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this, Alex. A bunch of us have been victims of hers for a while now. Hopefully this article makes her think twice in the future.

    facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151374470974446&set=a.10150096360929446.283779.667324445&type=1&theater

    Link to this
  34. 34. Desincarne 6:18 pm 04/23/2013

    This isn’t exactly the first time this issue has come up with Andrew, and it won’t be the last. In point of fact, I know of several occasions that friends of mine have asked her to credit or remove images and been ignored, going back several months.

    In addition, Andrew owes the full time job she currently has to the success of the IFLS page, as well as any commercial ventures she’s currently undertaking around it. She was headhunted for it based upon that. Crediting an image is quick and painless and entirely ethically appropriate, but I’m not sure she’s interested in taking the time, sadly.

    Link to this
  35. 35. wanderingfalcon 6:19 pm 04/23/2013

    This happened to me as well.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=571904676163881&set=a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035&type=1&theater

    Despite emailing, and a discussion, and an assurance that she will post image credit if brought to her attention, There is still no image attribution to me. I was in the lab all day and not able to answer the posts within minutes so I guess I fell off the comment radar.

    With about 5 minutes of google image search I could source about 4 different original cartoon or Tshirt posts and find at least one example of a shutterstock image used without attribution.

    It’s not that she does not know that image attribution is a problem since it has been pointed out by other people and my post got quite a lot of likes. It’s one thing, I believe to use the ‘share’ feature of FB which links a thumbnail from the site or story in question, rather than do what she does which is re-upload image files from somewhere with no attribution or link to the original site. Those images are then in the IFLS photo albums with no credit.

    Additionally, I believe that the IFLS logo was chosen by a contest. Does anyone know if the person who did the logo is getting any compensation for having that logo on shirts which are now being sold?

    Link to this
  36. 36. StephenRamsden 6:35 pm 04/23/2013

    Interesting article. Im gonna go ahead and just say that there are WAY, WAY, WAY to many people worried about who gets credit for everything and who gets paid for what in the field of science, astronomy in particular. With todays imaging equipment, just about anyone can go out and capture a beautiful image of the Sun, Moon or the stars, etc… How about everyone just chill out on the me, me, me stuff and try and concentrate on spreading science outreach to the community anonymously, just for the good of society? Nothing ruins a good image like a silly 30pt copyright splattered all over it. Come on man, these images are so readily available from amateurs for free everywhere that no one seriously pays money for them anymore. It seems to me that anyone interested enough in these advanced science would not be self absorbed enough to worry about having their name all over it. Of course, I am constantly amazed at the level of absurdity that some people will go to in order to get attention drawn to themselves.
    I have seen stuff from IFLS on my social media feed but frankly, since I run a science outreach nonprofit and most of my posts are read by students and teachers, I am not really interested in having such a vulgar named page visible in my feed. You just gave this person a whole lot more press than she would have had otherwise, and for what? because you didn’t get your name on an image on Facebook? get over yourself and just spread science for the good of mankind.

    Link to this
  37. 37. Quantumburrito 6:43 pm 04/23/2013

    StephenRamsden: You could make the same argument about piracy of books or films. You could say that the benefits that accrue from this material being made available to thousands outweighs any question of credit. Do you think it’s unreasonable to ask for instance that home videos or blog posts be properly attributed?

    The point is that an image or a piece of text or a video is the result of someone’s sweat and toil; not every image is a simple point-and-shoot photograph of the moon on a clear night. Often there’s a lot of thought and hard work that goes into creating an image. It’s fine if the creators themselves allow their work to be used without attribution but otherwise it definitely does them a disservice.

    Link to this
  38. 38. Shmick 6:53 pm 04/23/2013

    Artist attribution IS important. IP, while not of universal benefit, is also important for fostering creativity.

    I love IFLS, and think Elise is probably a cool person based on interviews I have heard with her.

    But putting on my Legal hat (yes i’m a lawyer, sorry about that), vis-a-vis those above saying you can’t police what people post through social media, “don’t try and censor the net man!”, etc… The Law has always drawn a distinction between individual organic reproductions and enterprise reproductions.

    The key factors aren’t as simplistic as money being made, but include visibility, professionalism, regularity, etc… It maybe that IFLS started out as a little hobby but now it is a major forum and undoubtedly falls into the afore mentioned “great power = great responsibility” category.

    I’m not super tech-savvy so I don’t know the details about how hard it is to track down the originators of content, however several earlier posters seem to indicate it is not impossible.

    What I believe is required is a form of standard procedure to be undertaken before posting anything on IFLS, or other similar service, of the form, “we use service x, y & z to try to identify authorship before posting but will post without attribution if no conclusive result turns up”.

    This would indicate that an effort is being made and also signal to the creatives that ensuring they are findable by “x , y & z” will mean they get attribution. This is how industry standards of practice form, co-evolution of expected norms.

    Link to this
  39. 39. joleneieC 6:56 pm 04/23/2013

    Everyone who is posting about “for the good of science” take a look at that astronaut image again. How exactly is that furthering science? Answer: It’s not. She took that because it’s a cool image. Lets not get unnecessarily altruistic.

    Moreover, you don’t just include a random name in an image. That’s not good enough. You provide links to their webpage, deviant account etc. That’s how they really get credit. You’ll notice that IFLS never just lists “Space.com” or “ScienceAlert” as credit. She provides links to the creator of the image.

    There’s a reason for that…

    Link to this
  40. 40. gpbrent 7:05 pm 04/23/2013

    @shoXx (#17) “I’d like to see that graph by using a realistic percentage of images on IFLS. A <3.3% sample rate is a joke."

    The real joke here is somebody using "sample rate" as a gauge of a sample's validity. As any first-year stats student could tell you, when the population (number of images) is large, you don't need a large sampling fraction to get good estimates.

    With a sample of 100, you can expect sampling error on the order of 10-20% in these results. So it's possible that only 40% of the images she posts are completely uncredited… but that's still a pretty large chunk.

    Link to this
  41. 41. SKAluna 7:50 pm 04/23/2013

    Is no one ever going to ask her to give credit to the fact she did not do this venture alone??? She had many admins. Threw a fit over them calling her out on many things. Terminated all their admin status and then proceeded to take credit for IFLS?? No one has even thought to question her vague answers when interviewed. I don’t get it. I am all for her success. And what she is doing. But with decency and ethical responsibility. Other wise her beaming herself on the premise of being a woman running a famous science FB page means what??

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  42. 42. JohhFairchi 8:19 pm 04/23/2013

    Great article Alex, you have made excellent points. Miss Andrew benefits financially from the content that she shares, her responsibility should be to find the credit, especially now more than any other time. There is no excusing it.

    I should also mention that when IFLS first started, I remember there were a series of admins, about 8, who worked for her. She still has paid staff on her other pages. However, Miss Andrew is quick to claim all the credit of this page’s fame to herself when she kicked out the original 8 admins and never mentions them ever again. They are still actively telling the public of what happened, to much denial and hatred from people who just could not digest the truth of the matter: IFLS was not the sole effort of one person, nor is it as deserving of fame to one person than what it is made out to be in mainstream media. There are video proof on youtube of her former admin panel who she had bossed around and also congratulated for a successful page at 50K. People need to stop defending IFLS’s dishonesty and the fact that she is no longer doing this for free. More accurately, there is evidence to show that it was always intended to be a commercial entity (refer to video).
    Also, unlike her official story that IFLS was a brainchild spur of the moment idea, the name “I Fucking Love Science” already belongs to a page created in 2010 by the same name. You can look this up yourself on Facebook. Miss Andrew is quick to ignore this page, but it deserves to be addressed. Why call this an original idea when it as taken from another page?
    There are so many issues to point out with this page, but time and time again people defend it blindly. Remember it is about science, not about memes, Elise, or the cult like following that she has turned it into.
    Again, thanks for writing that article, it was long overdue.

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  43. 43. batmonkey 8:36 pm 04/23/2013

    Just out of curiosity, did you at any point ask her about this before publishing your column? Or send her a link after publication to invite her to respond?

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  44. 44. joshhughes77 8:45 pm 04/23/2013

    PepGiraffe said: “@joshhughes77 I’m not sure what the assumption would be. In about 45 seconds (yes, a *little* longer), I went to tineye.com and the >only< match to that picture is to the Katie Campbell t-shirt referenced above."

    Then you need to try reading more carefully. I said the big assumption is that Elise personally went to the original source, downloaded it, and cropped the credit as the author suggests. Neither you, the author, nor anyone else knows how many people that image passed through before it got to Elise.
    As for the people suggesting Tinyeye.com, I just tried it with two images of mine and it failed to identify my originals.

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  45. 45. nemilos 8:50 pm 04/23/2013

    Since 1989 a copyright symbol is not required for a work to be under copyright. So unless you see that a work is available for public use, you should assume it’s copyrighted. And if you are using the work as part of a way to make money, you still may be violating the terms set down by the author (many works available through Creative Commons, for example, do not allow for commercial use). Failure to find the original artist isn’t really an excuse, then. I realize these rules may seem arcane when applied to the Internet, and maybe they need to be revised. But the truth is unless material explicitly says it is available for use by anyone, you should assume it isn’t.

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  46. 46. farmedgirl 9:03 pm 04/23/2013

    There are tradeoffs involved here, and as a scientist and active reader of IFLS, i think those of you not credited are likely doing yourself a disservice with this article – I have looked up sources to many of the posts on IFLS, and never has it been difficult. I have likely learned about many of you through IFLS, despite not being credited. If you ask her to supply credits, the tradeoff will be you will not be shared if she cannot quickly find the source – so many besides her ‘share’ – likely she is often posting something somebody else posted… not the original.

    I have no problem with anything i have ever done being posted without credit. As long as the poster is not taking credit for it themselves. Its about sharing the knowledge, not getting credit, in my book.

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  47. 47. JohhFairchi 9:22 pm 04/23/2013

    Farmedgirl, yes, but Miss Andrew IS taking credit for herself wile ignoring her original 8 admins and also making a huge sum of money off these artworks. Have a problem with it, she is dancing around the law but at the end of the day, she takes images from people without asking and makes money off it. There is no noble cause here.

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  48. 48. Horst Faas 9:27 pm 04/23/2013

    Her name is not Elyse Andrew.

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  49. 49. Horst Faas 9:30 pm 04/23/2013

    Disregard. It is Elyse Andrew. My bad.

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  50. 50. stcrispy 9:35 pm 04/23/2013

    As a musician with 8 cds floating around the internet I get the desire for attribution and payment.

    But, please, pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease: give me 5 million people listening to my stuff and sharing it with their friends so much that they wonder where it came from.

    The only thing worse than hundreds of thousands of people hearing my work is nobody hearing it all.

    If you prefer obscurity, (or even if you don’t) I absolutely support your right to do the DMCA takedown.

    But I’m not sure if it’s the “*smart* thing to do.

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  51. 51. greg_t_laden 9:44 pm 04/23/2013

    In Minnesota, anyway, we have a thing called The Bug which shows up on anything printed for political purposes if printed in a union shop. If you are running for office and your t-shirts and lawn signs have no bug, you don’t get elected, and other bad things may happen to you.

    I’d like to see a meme bug symbol that people can put on their throw away memic outputs, meaning “Don’t bother attributing this, just pass it on” … a lot of stuff that I traffic in on facebook and elsewhere are memes sent to me by the makers, with the explicit statement that they just want it spread around as much as possible …. they have their own reasons for doing that. (Mostly climate change related stuff for me.)

    This way, if there’s not Meme Bug it should have an attribution.

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  52. 52. fapjacks 9:45 pm 04/23/2013

    BOO HOO.

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  53. 53. joshhughes77 9:49 pm 04/23/2013

    People who think she makes money directly from the page itself are clueless. She makes money from the IFLS brand, not the photos on the page. She’s not using other people’s work for her t-shirts, etc.
    Additionally, I have a hard time believing none of the self-righteous people here have ever illegally downloaded music/movies, bought a bootleg dvd, etc.

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  54. 54. greg_t_laden 9:56 pm 04/23/2013

    I’ve never illegally downloaded anything or knowingly bought a bootleg anything (can’t say that I’ve authenticated everything …. I might own a bootleg Jaluka DVD I bought in Cape Town, but then again all their stuff was bootleg for a while, being illegal and all).

    I do think it is a better guess that among the many people telling creators of original work that they don’t own their work create zero or near zero of their own stuff, but do download and buy bootlegs, and are just feeling badly about being thieves.

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  55. 55. greg_t_laden 9:57 pm 04/23/2013

    New rule on the internet:

    “If technology allows me to possess a thing, it is ethical that I possess the thing.”

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  56. 56. CindyMon 10:07 pm 04/23/2013

    It really isn’t that hard to dig deep enough to properly credit an artist. Just because it takes more than 30 seconds to do, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And if notified they are using an artists work, it’s easy to give credit ASAP! Credit all the artists!

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  57. 57. joshhughes77 10:08 pm 04/23/2013

    Who here has said “creators of original work don’t own their work?”

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  58. 58. muloka 10:57 pm 04/23/2013

    TL;DR

    Nikola Tesla is to Thomas Edison as Science Artists are to I F*cking Love Science.

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  59. 59. stcrispy 11:21 pm 04/23/2013

    Actually the “person” who is making money off your work is Facebook. So here is Scientific American, when they ask to be allowed our info to post on the comment board.

    The value of the actual file that can reproduced as art is pretty close to zero and no matter what we as artists do, that is not going to change, unless we allow the internet to be gate kept – at which point it’s no longer the internet, but another extension of Comcast or Fox News.

    What we have to do as artists is connect with people who like our art and give them a reason to buy. That’s the new model, whether we like it or not.

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  60. 60. MelHell666 11:22 pm 04/23/2013

    Elise got her start using people. She burned a lot of bridges in the atheist community after many of us promoted her page, big time. When it came time to reciprocate, she made it clear that our ideas and pages were too disruptive to share on IFLS. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if she didn’t beg for shares to promote herself with the promise of promoting our pages as well.
    It does not surprise me that so much of the page’s content is completely ripped off. They often have the excuse that other people share stuff to their page from Google and blah blah blah.
    It’s common with social media in general, I think, to share images without credit. I do it. Many FB pages do it. Most people maintain pages as a hobby, rather than a business. Elise is benefiting financially from other people’s work. She, and all of us, should step up and credit the artists that enhance our pages and online interactions.

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  61. 61. ctuck239 12:24 am 04/24/2013

    Just took a quick peek… it appears as if there is a sharp increase in the number of photo credits on her page since this blog post went up :)

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  62. 62. Collie 4:06 am 04/24/2013

    Just a question. Did you talk to her or challenge her or point out the error of her ways before the rant? Did you meet with any resistance?

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  63. 63. DarinHoward 9:38 am 04/24/2013

    Rantings from Scientist? Interesting… but losing the point. IFLS just passes on neat stuff, not riding the coat tails of artists – just passing on coolness… but under the microscope of the ill fated Ranter… and someone that only took a very surface look at the incredible networking created by FB and other sites, well, we get this Roseanne style embittered passive aggressive condemnation from someone so far outside the obvious loop he’s getting GPS that says ‘you are 4 hours away from your destination’…

    Popularity getting slings and arrows from jealous and bored minds – the social web created by social media is sticky but effective… it even brought your misguided comments to my screen. Now share this with your market research department. With the flick of a switch… Scientific America is now downgraded to ‘spam’ in my folder, as I follow 10 other ‘I Love Science’ groups along with IFLS… yes… 10 others.

    After a 1/2 cup of coffee… it would occur to me that the jealousy is just a reflection of the numbers being reported, the syndication being achieved, and the success that has passed over said author – to bad for you – maybe you should have based your oration on something you loved… instead of something your ranting about…

    …good luck with that – Love you too…

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  64. 64. MacDragon 10:10 am 04/24/2013

    “2. A rant against a single person should be prefaced by talking/communicating with them first (i.e. before writing angry articles)”
    - Gneiss_and_Wacke
    what she said..

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  65. 65. VAldr 10:22 am 04/24/2013

    Alex Wild: Pick a random image off the internet, and then try to find the author.

    Welcome to the internet Alex Wild, and to this century. Your jealousy has been noted; currently: nobody cares, please stay on the line.

    Seriously, do you know how many people make a career for themselves off of the work of others? I see major media outlets copy things ALL the time. That doesn’t make it right; but I’d rather worry about the media giants who do it than some girl promoting science. I know you are jealous but 1) learn how the internet works 2) get your priorities straight, attacking a girl whom is getting people interested in science? really? because we have enough scientists in the world and we don’t need anybody to inspire more, right Alex? This article screams troll: Lets type up a controversy about the most popular thing in science today maybe then the name Alex Wild won’t be forgotten! sorry buddy nobody will remember your name after they finish laughing at your writing.

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  66. 66. VAldr 10:32 am 04/24/2013

    Ohh I see you have an insect photography site http://myrmecos.net/about-alex-wild-2/ , Let me guess she used an image of yours without knowing it was yours and didn’t give you credit. So you write and publish an article in Scientific American complaining. Did you even email Elise and ask for the credit on your photo? Because if she knows who the artist is she will gladly give credit. Or did you just decided to publicly smear the name without even asking? They have a name for that, defamation of character. I hope you get sued for Liable.

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  67. 67. JoeBrockhaus 11:13 am 04/24/2013

    “If they hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have any idea, my artwork would remain uncredited, and the website would continue to benefit from using my work. So that idea can see itself to the door.”

    waah. you’re acting like someone broke in your house, rifled through your family photos, and found pictures of you as a fat teenager stuffing your face full of cake. Where did you post your pictures that would allow them to be copied and dispersed so easily without your knowledge? Accessibility to data cuts both ways; if you really cared so much about your content, you would lock it down .. but then that would likely mean you get less interest in or views of your content.

    It’s not someone else’s job to do yours: Ultimately, short of asserting theft (piracy is not theft), your lack of initial control over your content is to blame.. You can’t have your cake and eat it too..

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  68. 68. cwdressen 11:37 am 04/24/2013

    Thank you for writing this article. It’s hilarious to see some of these idiots standing up for her. They clearly don’t have a mind of their own either. Or much less, a brand of their own that they’ve worked hard to build and then see someone like Andrew steal and capitalize from. She only recently started including links with her photos and that was because of all the heat she’s been receiving. It’s a thousand times easier to “share” or copy a link and allow Facebook to naturally embed the available images rather than steal a photo and then upload it as your own. Think about it people!

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  69. 69. grizzlepaw 11:38 am 04/24/2013

    stcrispy has a good point. Where is the outrage that SciAm and Facebook are selling ads against this stuff? IFLS is getting their content from places that are easily copied. If this sort of meme-type reposting of work is honestly not okay you really aught to consider keeping your work off of the internet. As many people have pointed out, the technology to replicate an image that has already been uploaded is trivial. There are many many artists who I would never have bumped into if not for IFLS. If they would rather their work not be appreciated, meme’d or re-posted I am absolutely fine with that, but demanding some soupy middle ground without taking steps to avoid copying (like a watermark, a lawyer, or a registry) just seems insane and unrealistic to me.

    I can’t see how it’s not like Dave Chapelle demanding payment every time someone repeats one of his bits to a friend. At the end of the day it’s his genius, and it increases his exposure. That moment of “Oh, cool, YOU’RE the guy who created that awesome thing” gets lost in a see of pissing matches and legal disputes.

    Nobody is confused about whether what’s posted on IFLS is original work… and if you like the work enough you will click on the attribution link or do some googling to find the original story and artist.

    Like rational, normal, regular people in the same sort of culture that has existed for at least 50k years. Ideas survive and the people who create those great ideas change the world… and attribution, while important, is secondary to the concept itself.

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  70. 70. JST3P 12:05 pm 04/24/2013

    https://twitter.com/Myrmecos/media/grid Apparently you can steal but everyone else cannot, correct Alexander Wild? Are you going to tell me you have permission from all the interested parties to be publishing uncredited art, photos, logos and iconography? Zoolander, Sesame Street, the Eco Preservation Society logo, etc etc? What a whiny hypocrite.

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  71. 71. joleneieC 12:53 pm 04/24/2013

    As I stated before, the ignorance displayed these comments, the willful disregard for others work, is truly depressing. The internet should be a community, not an isolationist morass of self-serving jerks.

    Sharing content and linking back to the source is not the same as stealing. And you *do not* get credit unless it is given. If you think there is a “oh, that’s the person who made that” moment for 5% of the stuff IFLS takes without credit, you are kidding yourself.

    And it does, in fact, take all of 40 seconds to find a source. Anyone who know anything about the internet knows this. And if someone barely credits any images, it makes more sense to bring attention to the general public, as opposed to sending the page a message as it is clearly a systemic issue.

    I am guessing most of the people commenting are not artists and do not create their own content..at the very least, they have never had anything taken from IFLS. If it was otherwise, I think your comments would be decidedly different.

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  72. 72. orionmystery 1:39 pm 04/24/2013

    I f**king hate sites that post other photographers’ images without giving credits!

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  73. 73. zellsbells 2:23 pm 04/24/2013

    Comments are TL;DR.
    Most of the good points have probably been stated. (WTG joleneieC)

    My additional two cents:
    As far as I can tell, Facebook does not allow a “page” to share an image easily like an individual can. Not to say you can’t do it, but social media is for lazy people who want cheap, fast entertainment.

    With respect to this, knowing that your work will possibly be reposted without attribution, all artists would be wise to put your website over an image as a small watermark on everything.

    My boyfriend learned this lesson the hard way. A couple years ago he created a joke image and posted it to twitter. It was only meant for a few friends but since he is/was a webcomic artist, he’s followed by a couple hundred people. The joke was retweeted and took off like wildfire.

    http://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/web02/2010/4/14/2/flash-is-missing-12023-1271227816-6.jpg

    Granted, the characters are absolutely not his and I’m not suggesting he should have put a copyright on it as if to claim ownership. He should have simply put his website so that all the thousands of people who see this image would also know where to go for more humor like this.

    Just like it will only take someone 40 seconds to find the source, it will only take you 40 seconds to slap your name on something and cover your own ass. It’s rare that an image thief will go out of their way to remove attribution.

    Also: Use Adobe bridge to slap IPTC Metadata on all of your images. Facebook automatically imports this into the caption when someone uploads your image. Nothing’s going to stop them from simply deleting it, but at least you tried.

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  74. 74. zellsbells 2:28 pm 04/24/2013

    I’m a bad, bad girl. In my above comment I linked to someone stealing his image, not the original. See? I’m lazy too. AND I EVEN CARE.

    http://www.racomics.com/2010/04/13/iphones-and-ipads/

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  75. 75. bgriswold 6:41 pm 04/24/2013

    Making good art is hard work. The law is there to allow me to make a living from my work. If the things I make are taken without my permission. I make no more of it.

    Those who say you can you can monitize an idea are right. So take my idea and make your own da*n version of it – without copying my work! Or you can ask nice instead, and compensate me for helping you make a living using my art.

    Otherwise post all your blog entries without images and see how many readers you get!

    The law is you can’t use it without permission, so if you can’t find the artist/photographer, make your own version (without tracing!).

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  76. 76. mtnrunner2 8:51 pm 04/24/2013

    I like the feed in question, but I agree with the author: give credit, or don’t post.

    In fact, just yesterday I noticed one of my photos being used without credit in a montage (on a different Facebook feed). All excuses not to do so are lame. I hear the same pathetic excuses about stealing music and video.

    Going further, I hope those who support artists’ right to their hard work and property also support property rights in general.

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  77. 77. madcapfeline 9:53 pm 04/24/2013

    Oh look! There’s Jolene C. complaining again about infringement of her work that she herself committed infringments upon in creating! Small freaking world! It takes a truly self serving jerk to use another’s quote, apply it to yet another’s photograph, not credit either, claim it as their own work, AND THEN have that work mimic nigh identically another’s work that was shared well over a year previously. Bravo on being 2013′s most self-righteous hypocrite to date. Bravo. Honestly, you’re doing real artists a disservice.

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  78. 78. madcapfeline 9:56 pm 04/24/2013

    By the way, it took me far less than 40 seconds to find the photo you ripped off, Jojo.

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  79. 79. joleneieC 10:48 pm 04/24/2013

    Point out where I said any of that. All of my posts have been about how we should share content to try and build a community and encourage others… “The internet should be a community, not an isolationist morass of self-serving jerks.” Quote where I go on and on about how my images deserve anything. You won’t find it. Because all of my post simply consists of me saying, “hey guys, why don’t we just share content? What can it hurt? Why do we download stuff to our computers and post it…why not link it in?”

    Wow. Super offensive. Your righteous anger it totally justified.

    Some advice: Calm down. Reread what I wrote. Stop making baseless assumptions about what I must have seen, or done, or intended. Look up any popular quote, you will find that an image has already been made using it (this is not shocking or indicative of systemic issues). Spend some time looking up CC, public domain, and intellectual rights. Then, I don’t know, maybe stop being such a hateful wanker.

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  80. 80. OhYesIDid 6:45 am 04/25/2013

    I personally do not like I Fucking Love Science on facebook. Mainly because of the actual content on the page isn’t scientific 60% of the time, or it falls under the “pseudo-scientific” category. She posts a lot of inaccurate information, that has either been created with a political or anti-religious agenda in mind, or it is one of these “debunk” posts that have absolutely nothing to do with reality. I’m still waiting for someone [preferably a true scientist] to write an article about this. Seems like the page and the person are so hyped right now, that people forget to look at it critically. I don’t know… Maybe it’s just me, but a woman re-posting other people’s images in the name of science does not equal a science hero, who deserves praise.

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  81. 81. theDecoratedCookie 8:54 am 04/25/2013

    YES!!!! Word for word, this article could be used to describe what we food bloggers are going through with facebook poachers right now. Just substitute “food” for “science.” Your rant, from beginning to end, is the same as ours, and I so appreciate another voice of sanity for righteousness!

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  82. 82. theDecoratedCookie 9:06 am 04/25/2013

    Also, just read J’s response. This is what we food bloggers call cyber-bullying. When the law and basic ethics are pointed out to the infringer, rather than the infringer apologizing and correcting, they (and some of their readers) respond hatefully. Yes, images are protected by copyright, and no, everything on the internet isn’t free and in the public domain.

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  83. 83. nailpopllc 10:19 am 04/25/2013

    Elise posted my work once with the watermark cropped out and when she didn’t respond to my messages, I called her out on my website. That sure got her attention, because she then engaged me in a pretty epic sociopathic rant about how she was taking my work down and that “some people don’t deserve any help”. It was really weird, because all I wanted was for her to credit my work and she totally flipped out. Thank you for bringing attention to this, she really needs more people to call her out and help her understand why it’s so important to credit artists. (here’s)[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/agfZtFt.png[/IMG] one of my messages to her and (here)[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/bEbvKeD.png[/IMG] is the beginning of her rant

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  84. 84. DavidB67 10:52 am 04/25/2013

    Nice. As compared to contacting her and pointing it out, you elected to author a rant regarding her oversight. As wrong as she was, you are equally wrong for chastising her without contacting her. What a great effort on her part to bring positive attention to science in a country being dumbed down by reality TV. However, the best you can do is jump onboard with the reality TV group and lambast her instead of pointing out her error to her directly.

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  85. 85. dls3141 1:30 pm 04/25/2013

    Once is a mistake, twice is careless doing something like this on an ongoing basis is negligent, at best.

    Simply posting unlicensed images with the “just let me know if this is yours and it taken down” notice is like stealing a candy bar, then offering to pay for it if you get caught.

    My response to infringement is to send the infringing party an invoice for the usage at a much higher than normal rate for “unlicensed usage”. If they’re smart, they’ll pay and if they like, I’m open to negotiate a new license for continued use. If I get blown off or they just take it down, a takedown notice to their ISP and a demand for payment of the invoice from my lawyer are next. The smart ones pay. The dumb ones go to court and get to pay me triple damages, pay the court and my lawyer as well.

    FWIW, I know of several artists who make more money suing for infringement than they do selling art.

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  86. 86. dls3141 5:23 pm 04/25/2013

    It’s also not just about giving credit, it’s about getting permission beforehand. Aside from just being the right thing to do by the creators of the content that makes IFLS possible, using content that others created is infringement.

    I suspect that many of the creators would be happy with proper credit on IFLS. Others may not wish their content to be used on IFLS or may demand compensation. It’s up to the creator, not IFLS. This is especially important if IFLS is becoming a real commercial enterprise. Every image used without a license represents a potential legal liability. Any potential investor or partner should be scared to put their money where it might be wiped out in court because of something so avoidable as a copyright lawsuit.

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  87. 87. geekgroupie 11:35 pm 04/25/2013

    IFLS is nothing but a literature review page with some fluffy photos….. nothing special and nothing I can’t do myself. Anyone can copy/paste journal articles. BFD

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  88. 88. Steven 6:36 pm 04/26/2013

    Not much point of ranting about it, although it is good to bring the issue up on a public forum.
    I am not on Facebook that I know of, so have not been seeing this come up.
    Certainly if the images are copyrighted, and it is fairly easy to do, then posting the images without permission would be a violation of the law.
    Simple, call a lawyer.

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  89. 89. Steven 6:48 pm 04/26/2013

    This is a second post, but I have been reading the other posts, and there are certainly mixed feelings on this, from who cares, everyone does it, to strong feelings the other way, but everyone agrees it’s hard to know if something is copyrighted or not.
    Maybe they need to make it possible to label authorship in the image, as well as how to contact them so people are not inadvertently pirating images.
    Certainly in some countries, pirating is big business, but at least in the US, and I think the common market, there are attempts to maintain intellectual property rights.

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  90. 90. tismark 2:19 am 04/27/2013

    The problem isn’t just simple attribution or not. Mind you, that is a big bone of contention.

    The point though is also building a media empire off other people’s hard work. Intentional or not, once you’re essentially running a business, you should be either paying for your content or at least assuring that your content is in fact free to use. This is essentially a sloppy magazine that may or may not credit the people that made their content and never pays them. How long would a magazine stay in business with this business model?

    I saw several people comment they don’t know how to tell if content is copyrighted or not. Thing is you’re better off assuming it is. Most of it is. It doesn’t even have to be registered. Registering it allows you to collect larger damages (i.e. lawyers will be more interested in working with you). But the copyright lies with the creator the moment the shutter is clicked or the artist puts down their brush. There are instances when it’s fair game, but that happens when copyright expires, the creator purposefully places it in public domain, or possibly allows a creative commons license (even some of those don’t allow commercial use which this is). But something doesn’t become public domain simply by being uploaded to the web.

    Education of these points for the public is key. Otherwise the people who scream why didn’t you watermark it will win. The prize is that most of the images they see will have 40 point font across the middle of it. Not so pretty anymore.

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  91. 91. Glendon Mellow 8:31 am 04/27/2013

    Well said tismark.

    And we live in an era when contacting someone is faster and easier than any other point in history. Email, Twitter, they’re so fast and easy there’s no excuse.

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  92. 92. Alex Wild in reply to Alex Wild 9:46 am 04/27/2013

    tismark -

    I could probably just remove my original post and replace the whole thing with your comment. Thanks for the clearest statement yet on the problem.

    Link to this
  93. 93. resas2 3:40 pm 04/27/2013

    Oh please. This writer needs to be given something to occupy his angry, silly self. Visit any Facebook page and look at all the photos and memes and see how many are credited. Find the original images and see if those photos are credited. They rarely are. This is because it’s impossible to track them down half the time, and the other half they are attributed to the wrong people. You can’t credit everything. I notice that George Takei’s FB page does the same thing yet he doesn’t come under criticism for it. He doesn’t claim to own the images, and nor does Elise. Who cares? Neither of them make a load of money from the pages, and if you were a proper journalist you’d know that IFLS fans have been asking for months for Elise to sell Tshirts with the logo on them. Take a scroll through the comments and you will find THOUSANDS of requests. So she finally gave in.
    So she is offered book deals and TV time etc etc based on the success of her page. So what? It’s a damn good page, better than most of the fluff on Facebook.
    What I would like to know is why is it assumed that Takei’s page is stealing, but other’s aren’t? Is it because she is a young female? Are you really that jealous of her success? Sad, sad, sad.
    If meme posters are that bothered about their work being shared, when they share it on a PUBLIC platform, and in many cases ask people to reshare it, then they can simply embed a name/copyright image/attribution in the image or as part of a joining disclaimer. Few bother to do this. It’s like writing an article for Scientific American and then expecting people not to quote it because the writer was too stupid to leave a real name on the article. Although, in this case, the writer did the opposite. I’d be ashamed to put my name to this hateful piece if I was the writer.
    Science is under threat across the world and the least a SCIENCE magazine like this one can do is support FREE endeavours to share information and make it more accessible for the non-scientists.
    Shame on you.

    Link to this
  94. 94. tismark 9:51 pm 04/27/2013

    Resas2 – free endeavors on the backs of content creators you mean. You’re saying it’s okay to take from some people as long as some good comes from it. And that’s a slippery slope.

    As for Mr. Takei. Yes, he is guilty as well. Although the “other people are doing it” defense is pretty weak. What you’re seeing is likely a double standard of age not simply celebrity. Look at the lady in Italy who destroyed a church fresco in the past year. People defended her because she was a little old lady ‘who tried.’ If she had been 20, she’d likely be in jail for vandalism now. She was regarded as sweet because she was old. Takei is getting the same sort of old-folks pass, I think. “Isn’t it sweet? Online at his age!” Fair? Hardly. Defense for another person’s actions? Nope.

    The elephant in the room no one is talking about is the reason these people copy content on to Facebook rather than sharing links to it in the first place. It’s because Facebook severely devalues offsite links. They disappear from the news feed rapidly because Facebook doesn’t want you to leave their site (and their ads). If these pages shared links and got the same level of engagement, many likely would share links. Facebook is at least peripherally responsible for creating an environment that breeds this sort of behavior and then doing little to resolve it.

    Link to this
  95. 95. wakeele 10:06 pm 04/27/2013

    Get over it; it’s a Facebook page to share fun and interesting stuff relating to science. If she starts making a lot of money off the work of others, and this hasn’t been fully addressed, then you have ground to stand on. This inability to openly share work is what makes the world of science research so ugly in a corporate way. This growing greed of money culture in the US getting very sickening to me. $40 for one scientific paper in PDF form is bullshit–particularly when it’s less than five pages of info and citations. Student or not, some research just needs to be openly shared for free, or at most at a few bucks. Do people really not get you’ll likely sell more at $5 than $40–and we all know publishers don’t need to sell papers at $40 to make a profit. My university affiliation gets me some access to journals and papers of interest to me and my research, but I can’t afford to but a dozen papers at $40 a pop that may or may not be exactly what I’m looking for–an abstract can only tell you so much.

    Also, just print the word “fuck”. We all know what is meant and you are communicating it to us either way. It’s just a word. Let’s be mature about this. More and more I’m getting really irritated by the practices of this magazine, and I think I’m going to drop my subscription if this nonsense keeps up.

    Link to this
  96. 96. Sean McCann 11:17 pm 04/27/2013

    Hey “wakeele” :if you are a subscriber to Scientific American, you probably aren’t a scientist. And if you complain about people asserting their intellectual property rights, chances are you produce nothing of any value whatsoever yourself. So seeya later…

    Link to this
  97. 97. Alex Wild in reply to Alex Wild 12:23 am 04/28/2013

    wakeele writes:

    “If she starts making a lot of money off the work of others, and this hasn’t been fully addressed, then you have ground to stand on.”

    That’s the situation as I understand it. So, I’m not sure what your objection is.

    Link to this
  98. 98. sfoxx78 11:26 am 04/28/2013

    The credits she added (or uses) still don’t necessarily link to the sites where the photo was originally posted, nor do they necessarily link to the artist’s or photographer’s webpage. If I like the work or want more information about the artist/photographer/scientist, I am still the one that has to do the googling or other net research.

    Link to this
  99. 99. kellinaw 11:39 am 04/28/2013

    Well, if you have issues with her page (to which I subscribe and find incredibly informative), why do you not report it to Facebook for violation of the Terms of Service?? Better yet, contact her via message or email to inform her of the situation. By shouting to the audience “Foul!” you merely annoy the many, many, MANY people who like the page. FYI, I do not read the page for the art, I read it for the information. I have a page and I have a web site, and I am very careful about either using my own art and photographs OR citing the authors and providing a link back to their pages or sites. Others I have noticed (and IFLS is NOT alone in this) are not so careful. I like your article, yet you do not indicate what action you took when you found your work un-cited. That would be enlightening – to know what action the owner of IFLS took (if any) to correct the issue. Did she remove the artwork? By the way, I recently saw another post of the “I need more space” line … this time it was against a field of stars.

    Link to this
  100. 100. thehaag 7:36 pm 04/28/2013

    Its a great facebook page however the open mind of its creator is very limited blocking others from posting pages like this page: http://www.facebook.com/scienceandwisdom to help contribute to the shared knowledge space of science among fans. Wisdom of the crowds just cannot evolve on this page when people are blocked from commenting or sharing resources. Nice blog and very well said.

    Link to this
  101. 101. cvickroy 11:52 am 05/1/2013

    Its Facebook.. No credit is given or expected on the internet and she never claimed to own any of the material she posts.

    Link to this
  102. 102. Sean McCann 4:05 pm 05/1/2013

    And because you say so that makes it so, cvickroy?

    Link to this
  103. 103. camshanks 5:03 am 06/20/2013

    I just do not understand how 5,666,000 people can be irritating enough to find any of that rubbish she posts either entertaining or enlightening. Nor can I understand how copyright infringement is the only real criticism she picks up from the vast majority of commentators! It is an awful, lazy, ugly page if you ask me.

    Link to this
  104. 104. camshanks 5:04 am 06/20/2013

    Even those critical of it start there piece with “It is a great page, but…”

    Is it really?!

    Link to this
  105. 105. camshanks 5:05 am 06/20/2013

    Damn,

    their*

    How embarrassing.

    Link to this
  106. 106. Paul M 8:15 am 08/14/2013

    Those defending IFLS should be aware that they’ve been caught out REMOVING copyright notices in the past. That’s right; they’ve removed notices from images, and added their own.

    Just saying…

    And if you go on the page now, maybe 50% of stuff is still unaccredited.

    This is unacceptable as IFLS is a commercial venture now.

    Link to this
  107. 107. AntiR 11:14 pm 11/3/2013

    Not surprising.

    What is also sad, is that the shirt company she uses, Sunfrog shirts, has a history of stealing designs from other artists. There was a big mess about it a year back. They were called Sundog back then, but received a cease and desist since another shirt site with the same name did NOT want to be associated with them. So they use Sunfrog.

    When they got caught for stealing designs, of course denying it, they simply made their own versions of the shirts. Away from stealing art, and just stealing ideas now.

    Along with the main Sunfrog site, they are also known around the net as “Shirt Badger” on Storenvey, and Shirtnic on Etsy. So many names, seems so shady right? This is also because Etsy had to remove their previous account due to mass amount of Cease and Desist letters from artists.

    Here is a Facebook page, an older one, but shows how bad the stealing was.
    https://www.facebook.com/SundogShirtsStealsArt

    http://sundogshirts.blogspot.com/

    Link to this
  108. 108. MsVanwolf 9:34 pm 01/25/2014

    Not surprised at finding this article seeing as that I had a run in with this individual today. She posted an article and meme calling unvaccinated children “vile, rug rats, etc.”. I told her I had to unlike her page because her post was political not scientific and I was highly insulted by her language and decision to call people’s children and their parents such vulgar things. She responded by insulting my intelligence, and posting my information on her page encouraging others to harass me, posted my google plus account info in her page and proceeded to call me nasty names. She is highly unprofessional, illiterate, vulgar and not someone I would choose to represent anything scientific, period! Any companies associated with her would do well to steer clear from this individual.

    Link to this
  109. 109. KWeatherwalks 8:37 am 05/1/2014

    I would love to see another follow-up on this. I didn’t know about the shady t-shirt company. I’m upset with IFLS because I see a lot of misinformation that often goes uncorrected on the site and especially the Facebook page. This is a young company, so I’d like to believe that this will get better. However, based on what I’ve seen so far, IFLS is not a good source for scientific news. Most of the content posted today is sensationalist, narrative driven clickbait.

    Link to this
  110. 110. baraja 9:29 am 07/11/2014

    She still keep going in the same way.
    This time it’s jewelry, and the most sad thing is she copied someone that sent her free samples. No matter if it was as a payment to get shared on her page, or just a gift from a friend, doesn’t matter, it’s appalling either way.
    http://imgur.com/a/XgTVq

    Link to this
  111. 111. baraja 9:34 am 07/11/2014

    The right link seems to be http://imgur.com/gallery/XgTVq
    If you want to be able to comment there.

    Link to this

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