Is Amit Agarwal a Photo Thief?

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Adam Nollmeyer has a post out about blogger Amit Agarwal stealing a photo he took of Seth Godin.

From Adam:

“Sure enough, Amit Agarwal a “well known professional blogger and personal technology columnist for national newspapers” had stolen my photograph of Seth Godin as seen below. He did not simply embed the photo on his blog, he re-uploaded my photograph, and then marked the photo as Creative Commons (CC) which means that he is allowing others to use, share and re-mix a photograph which HE does not have rights to.

I’m not sure why, but Amit seems to have scrapped various web sites and put a bunch of Web 2.0 type celebrity folk up that he’s found in his Flickrstream. In the case of the Seth Godin photo it looks like subsequent to Adam’s post this photo has been removed from his stream.

A few of my photos seem to be in Amit’s photostream as well.

My response?

Personally I could care less.

My photos are routinely used without my permission all over the internet. I just don’t care. I think it’s fine for Adam to care. And my friend Scott Beale cares a lot about this too and that’s fine as well. But my choice is that I just don’t. I’m more concerned with creating new art than I am with what happens to my previously published photos. My photos are licensed CC non-commercial with attribution. But even when people use my photography commercially or don’t attribute I still don’t ever do anything about it.

Life has a finite number of days, hours, minutes and seconds in it. Every hour I spend worrying about unauthorized use of my photography means an hour less that I get to spend with my kids or taking photos or processing photos or engaging in conversations that are valuable to me. I’ve always considered theft of my photos simply to be a byproduct that goes along with the choice to share my work online.

Amit may be a photo thief, but it doesn’t much bother me personally. And I’m certainly not going to go through the time or take the trouble to have him remove photos of mine that may have ended up in his photostream. I’ve got too many other things I’m working on for the time being that are more important to me.