Rant, Rant, Rant Your Boat...
Lately, the crediting debate has been raging like a teenagers hormones around our little world of Fanpop. Some of us have strong opinions. Others of us don't give a crapsicle about crediting. So, I thought I would have a big long rant about the topic, satisfying my own need to yell my opinions at people while procrastinating starting an incredibly boring university assignment.
When I Was A Young Warthog...
Yes, that is a Lion King reference. When I first joined Fanpop, I had no idea what an "image credit" meant. Thus, some of my earliest contributions are image credit-less (although, I have been attempting to go back to all those images and credit them as best I can). Eventually I started to figure out what has meant by an image credit by following the lead of other Fanpoppers. I was crediting the website that I found the image on and the maker of the person who made the image (for example, a user on LiveJournal) and was merrily adding content by the bucketload.
But... I'm A Sweet Transvestite...
As I continued on my merry way, I added some delicious pictures to the Rocky Horror Picture Show Spot and was very pleased with myself and little turned on. A couple of weeks later, I head back to the spot and notice that the images that I had posted had been rated somewhere between 1 and 3 stars. GASP! Why would some evil person rate such beauty so lowly?! Horrified and dejected, I asked the Anti-Trolling Squad to help me out, as I was certain some bastard troll had been pooing all over my wonderful contributions. Turns out, that my images had been rated low because my image crediting technique was not as fantabulous as I had thought it to be (and my keywording wasn't good either, but that is a rant for another time). link
, even though I argued my position quite strongly and from then on I tried to credit my images more accurately.
As Cindi Lauper Once Sang, Confusion Is Nothing New...
I began to notice that most of my peers had not adopted this form of crediting. It seemed that I was alone in my crediting ways in almost all the spots that I frequented. Some people questioned my seemingly bizarre form of image crediting. I felt lost and confused and I was deeply troubled.
Eye Of The Tiger...
I decided to take the bull by the horns and stare into the eye of the tiger, and with the agility of spider monkey, I adjusted my image crediting technique to what it is today. I have essentially mixed and matched to create a Misanthropeian style of crediting that is not even slightly unique to me, but I just wanted to use the word "Misanthropeian".
Here is my
image crediting style. It is a sort of hierarchy that I use to help me give what I perceive to be the best image credit I can give:
1) The Name of The Photographer - This is the first name I try to find.
2) The Company Who Owns The Photograph - For example, Getty Image or WireImage. This is the company who kinda owns the image because they have bought the photo from the photographer. Also, companies like Fox and 20th Century Fox (like Dr Devience talks about in the link I provided earlier in this rant) fall into this category.
3) The Website/User Who Posted The Image - This is fairly specific to LiveJournal in my case, as I spend quite a bit of time there too. To illustrate, if a LJ user posts some great photos of Johnny Depp, but does not provide any other crediting information, then if I decide to post those images here, I will credit that LJ user. This is not ideal crediting, in my view. But it is better than nothing, in that there is some information about where the image was found.
I credit the company that produced the movie or tv. That information is very easy found on IMDB.
If someone other than myself took the screencap, then I will include their name in the credit too.
For wallpapers, fanarts and icons, I tend to credit the photographer/company as well as the person who edited the images to make the image. For example, if an LJ user makes an icon of House, I will credit Fox and the LJ user. To illustrate further, if I make an icon of Olivia Wilde from a particular photoshoot, I will credit the photographer and then say that I have edited the image.
Overall, I ideally like to give as much detail in the image credit as I can. When I know lots about the image credit, I will write it all out in the description box, so that people can see as much information as possible. This, I think, is particularly important because the image credit box does not accommodate lengthy image credits.
I should also point out that these are the criteria by which I rate. I look for the detail in the image credit. The only stumbling block that I have reached in this form of rating is that when people use full links as image credits (particularly for LiveJournal community links), the full link is never available to the rest of us, so we cannot ever know the full credit (unless of course we have a Fanatic Medal in a spot and can access the image's full information). I am still a little bit lost when it comes to this kind of crediting, because on one hand, the credit is very specific (which is good), but on the otherhand, we can, more often than not, never access that full credit (which is not good).
R E S P E C T! Find Out What It Means To Me!
I think it is important to understand why we credit the things that we post.
Of course, legal issues are really at the heart of it. But at the end of the day, we are all stealing little bastards, so lets let that argument stand on its own. We know about the legal stuff and it bores people and, quite frankly, there are some of us *cough* who like to stick it to the man a little bit, because lets face it, those big-ass corporations are full of millionaires eating caviar and buying hookers and our fandom
and promotion of their products actually makes them richer. Bastards.
Anywho... The reason that I always credit LiveJournal users and other people who make wallpapers, fan artwork and icons, is that it is out of respect for them. They have taken the time and gone to the effort to create something new to entertain people. For that reason, I think it is basic courtesy to credit an LJ user or wallpaper maker or whatever.
So, if for no other reason, credit people out of respect.
I May Disagree With What You Say, But I’ll Defend To The Death Your Right To Say It...
One of the main problems here is that we all have different ideas about what correct image crediting is. Plenty of people will read my Misanthropeian Image Crediting Style and think "What a dork. This person is clearly a moron." And by their image crediting standards, I will be a moron. I myself have read about other peoples' ideas of what "proper" crediting is and have disagreed wholeheartedly with their methods.
My point is that it is highly unlikely that we will ever agree on what proper crediting is. We all come with different ideas, based on our different experiences. So what is acceptable to one person, is horrifying to another.
We do tend to have a unified view on what bad
crediting is. For example, no credit at all, or claiming that you are the person who photographed Angelina Jolie in an elaborate photoshoot (I wish...). But it has been difficult for us to come to a consensus on "proper" image crediting.
At the end of the day, we all have power to praise or punish image crediting styles, with our Magical Fanpop Rating Stars Of Awesomeness. We can inform mal-crediters that they do not meet our image crediting standards and we can help them find a way of crediting that suits them, that is of course if they haven't bitch-slapped us for critiquing their precious image-postings.
We can all learn from and help each other when it comes to image crediting. Some Fanpoppers have no idea what image crediting means, let alone what "proper
" image crediting means. Hell, those of us who are old-timers around here can't agree!
My overall point is that image crediting is important, but we need to engage in intelligent debates about what constitutes good and proper image crediting.
And so ends my blabbering. I hope someone got something useful out of it, because I certainly did. I still haven't started my assignment. Sweet.