This is the place where I round up a corral chock-full of mixed media art, vintage collections, digital escapades, and some occasionally snarky observations about life with junk, books, rescue dogs and nearly-grown children.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things that Hack Me Off

I was looking at Roy Rogers collectibles on eBay today, and found a neat site, "The Pony Pen," which carries all sorts of horse-image postcards.  Some of the seller's offerings are new remakes taken from the original postcards, and that is clearly stated.  I was almost to the end of a 21-page set of postcards, and was planning to order, when I stumbled across this listing:
Click to see it a bit bigger--I apologize for the poor resolution.  My personal computer is at Fry's (that's another thing that hacks me off).  I immediately recognized the Trigger image--I made it.  It's on my Flickr photostream.  Here it is below:

I made the image using a Creative Commons background from the Flickr Textures for Layers Group, and added the Trigger image, carefully cut out and cleaned up in Photoshop--by me--to the layer.  It is the opening image in a set called "Just Trigger," which is an homage to my favorite famous horse.

I will admit that I don't personally own a hard copy of this particular Trigger image.  I found it some years ago on the  Internet in a vintage magazine advertisement offered for sale.  I downloaded the ad.  About a year ago, I cropped out Trigger so I could play with the image.  In the strict sense, I am guilty of copyright infringement.  However, I posted the image as an artwork--a digital collage.  It is not for sale nor have I benefited financially from it.

I realize that anything posted on the Interwebs is fair game.  I realize that entrepreneurial types troll the depths of Flickr looking for high-quality images.  I realize that by posting my images (including my scans of ephemera from my personal collection) that people may "harvest" and sell them.  My scans are part of the free exchange of information that is encouraged by the open nature of the Internet. I try my best to give credit to the owner of any image I use, and I do not sell pieces containing work that doesn't belong to me.

Taking an image from my Flickr stream without notice and selling it without even altering the background is stealing.  The seller/creator of the card bills this item (and there are more than 10 available) as "ROY ROGERS' THE ORIGINAL TRIGGER PALOMINO HORSE POSTCARD; Continental Size Chrome Postcard in NEW MINT CONDITION".  
It's not original. And sticking a new frame and some doodles on it doesn't change that.  Now, had this seller sent me a Flickr email asking to use the image, and explaining that he/she would like to make a postcard of it, I would have been happy to send the cut-out Trigger PNG file (minus the background) to the seller.  I don't mind so much that the seller is marketing the cards for $1.49 each.

What hacks me off that my un-altered image is the basis for the product!

I have written the seller a note via eBay.  I have also printed out the report forms to fax to eBay. I have filled them out and will fax them tomorrow.  It was a matter of time before I came across the inappropriate use of my work on the Internet.  I'm willing to bet this isn't the only instance.  But I won't sit by without alerting the miscreant to the fact that I know what has happened.

The seller's eBay user name is clear570.  The seller's shop is "The Pony Pen."  Please do not buy from this seller.

On another note--and not a happy one--I am hacked off at Fry's.  You know them--the big computer chain store.  My personal computer, an HP Pavilion laptop, has been at our local Fry's since August 10th.  For the third time (yes, you read that right), my video card has messed up the motherboard, and I am awaiting a repair.  Evidently this is a problem with the Pavilion Laptop series. I have a service contract--a good thing--because this is a $400 repair according to folks on the HP forum. I'm using my husband's generic laptop, which doesn't have my Photoshop, printer or scanner programs.

I have already been without my computer for almost 6 weeks this year due to the previous repairs.

This hardware problem has meant that I have become well-acquainted with the geeky staff at the Fry's Service desk.  My buddies include Yuri, Brian and Tina.  Fry's caters to actual computer nerds, so the Service desk people aren't used to working with non-techie people like me.  I have decent computer skills (I've been on computer since 1985--that's another post)--but the way Fry's handles their repairs is so tedious it makes me grind my teeth. Or worse.

Fortunately I have backed everything up.  Yuri talked me through a full-backup in safe mode during a long Saturday night phone call in March.  I did a full disk restore.  So scary.  It didn't solve the problem but it did speed up the second repair since I had already performed the back up/restore.

After the latest freeze-up and screen issues on August 9th, I was able to back up the photos and documents that I had added from the end of March through early August.  I even downloaded brush presets for Photoshop--because I do have skills!  Now, I had to do some of the  backup at Fry's when I checked my Laptop into service repair last week. The girl checking me in wasn't thrilled that it took a half hour to download files onto my portable hard disk before she could put my laptop on a shelf.  That was irritating. But at least I knew Yuri could look into my problem.  He was coming in the next day.  I called him and talked to him last Thursday and he said he'd take over the service request.   But, alas, Yuri, quit this week.  

I talked to Brian today--all the tech guys/gals at Fry's are my close personal buddies, you know.  Brian promised me so sincerely that he is going to speed this one along.  He says they are really short-handed and that there are many computers awaiting diagnosis, along with mine.  But this machine has been there more than 7 days.  We know already it is a repeat of an earlier problem.  My service contract has more than paid for the repairs and Fry's is losing money on this machine.

And now Fry's is going to lose more money because I am telling you:  Do not ever, ever get your computer from Fry's.  They aren't set up for home users.  Use Best Buy--at least the Geek Squad is set up to interact with their customers in an efficient way.  I didn't pick out this particular computer.  My husband and son got it to replace my Sony VAIO in May of 2008.  The unit isn't even that old--and the problem showed up in January 2010.  It makes me want to scream.

The photo in the "iMiss" image is courtesy of HP.  The "iMiss" tag is a clear rip-off from Apple.  The mock-Polaroid frame is courtesy of Picnik.  Just thought you might want to know.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks visiting my Rancho. Take a moment to say Howdy. I truly appreciate my visitors and followers!