A reader recently alerted me to the fact that images from my blog had been stolen and were appearing on a childcare website. It appears that the woman running the daycare is using stolen images to advertise her daycare and make it appear that these activities and pictures were taken at her daycare. I am shocked and wondering if I even want to continue to have a public blog. I am very glad that I have made an effort to keep O's name and face off of this blog, and I advise other mommy bloggers to do the same since you never know who is stealing your images and how they are using them. Here is the link to the site where the stolen images appear. You may want to check it out since you may find some of your own images on this site. Thanks to Elizabeth for alerting me to the stolen images!
Update: I put this in the comments section, but thought I should add it to the original post...Thanks for the support everyone! I just feel very betrayed since I do this blog to share ideas and build relationships with other moms. I never thought anyone would steal my images and pass them off as her own. Putting a watermark on my pics is a great idea, and I'll definitely look into that. I don't want to stop doing this blog...I really enjoy it (most of the time!), and I already have about 10 posts saved in draft :) It makes me feel sick that my kiddo could be out there in cyberspace in places that I don't even know about. I need to be even more careful about not showing her face. I often show side shots, but I'll have to do better than that and maybe just show her hands. I definitely need to put a note on my blog about not using my images...I've seen that on other blogs. Uggg. What a hassle! I guess I was just really caught off guard by this. Thanks again for your comments!
Also, Elliott has emailed the owner of the daycare to let her know that we will be contacting our lawyer if the images are not removed. Maybe this was an innocent mistake on her part...maybe she didn't know that it's illegal to steal other people's images, and she really does do all of these activities in her daycare and her clients know that the images are not her own. I'll never know, but I'd like to believe that. However, I am just really bothered by my child being on someone's website without my knowledge. I don't think I would be as upset if she had not used a picture of O on her website. It makes me wonder if my child is out there on other sites...this is definitely something every mommy blogger should consider.
UPDATE: The owner of the childcare website has emailed an apology to us, and I can't ask for more than that :) She has asked that her personal info be deleted from the comments section, so I will honor this request. Thanks to all of you for your support :)