Last Tuesday, I was browsing through the feeds on Facebook when I happened to come across a post from a Filipino community. Normally, I would have just proceeded to the next item on the feed, but what made me click on that particular post was the image because it was the exact same photograph of one of our pre-nup pictures taken in 2007!
Ok, I admit I was flattered at first. Even though it was just a silhouette and our faces couldn’t be seen clearly, nakakataba ng puso to know that your picture was used by a community or page that has hundreds of thousands of followers.
But the strong reactions I felt were shock, anger, and annoyance because I never received any message from Pinoy OFW requesting permission to use the picture. I even asked our friend who took the photo, as well as our official wedding photographer, but both denied receiving any requests from anyone to use it.
And to make it worse, the article where the picture was used was about a couple who were jailed! Augh!
We immediately commented on the post and article asking for their image source, but none of the site administrators replied.
|Screenshot from the site's Facebook page|
|Screenshot from their website|
I honestly don't know where they may have gotten the picture. I checked Google, but the image never showed. All I can remember is we might have uploaded it on our wedsite and/or Multiply account...but then those pages no longer exist. Even our wedding photographer's old website where he published the photo isn't online anymore.
Several friends insisted that we file a case against the site or report it to the police. After all, what they did was obviously wrong. It was an invasion of privacy, and it placed us in a false light that was highly offensive and embarrassing because of the article it was used in. We definitely had the upper hand.
But then the site seemed to be working from Hong Kong. We live in the UAE, and the person who owns the photo is in Canada. Obviously, the location differences would be an obstacle, and each country’s laws were different.
And so, we just let it pass...with a prayer that this will never happen to us or anyone else again.
We sincerely hope the administrators of Pinoy OFW will have learned their lesson and ensure they follow the proper ethics before they hit the “Publish” button on their website in the future. They were lucky with us; they might not be lucky if they do the same thing next time.
Now I’m seriously considering watermarking all images I share on this blog. It will definitely take me longer to publish posts, but at least I’ll know they’re secure.
What do you think? Should we have gone ahead and sued the site? What else should we have done? Shall I watermark all my future images or just a select few? Please share your thoughts. I'd really appreciate them.