Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Those Nasty Terms Of Service!

Facebook. Instagram. 500px. So many social media sites, so many web services. And when we sign up to use them we always have to accept the terms of service by ticking off a box and clicking OK. We have a sneaking suspicion that there's some stuff in there that we wouldn't necessarily want to agree to if we could help it, but we want to use the service. And after all, it is free.

I've done it. You've done it. We've all done it and likely will continue to do it. After all, what are the chances that somebody steals what you post. I mean, once you put 'stuff' on the internet that is searchable by Google, or other search engines, anyone can lift it right off the search page.

Well, it turns out that those pesky terms of service can, indeed, come back to bite ya! Recently, photographer and internet friend Mark Graf left 500px because of an incident where a company was and is legally able to simply embed his image on their site and use it commercially without any payment whatsoever. Rather than try to give you the details, why not hop over to Marks blog and read about it first hand? And sign up for e-mail notifications while you're there, his blog is a great read!

As Mark points out, photographer Michael Russel has also written about this. In fact, 500px was recently sold to the Visual China Group, and there have been subsequent concerns regarding intellectual property issues.

I had never signed up to use 500px, but I am on various other social media and sharing outlets that I am sure have similar terms of service. I guess we've been warned. This sort of thing has certainly been going on for a while. Welcome to the Digital Age (and I have to smile just a bit at the irony that as I proofread this I see my social media sharing buttons just below this sentence).

David Stein

Just the other day I was talking with a friend that I have known for some time (not really for the some time part, it just seems that way) and the topic of my grandfather came up in the conversation.  I had a very, very close relationship with my grandfather and he died in the early 80's.  I was born in 1958, so I was in my 20's at the time and have very adult memories of him, as well as childhood memories. It is amazing how old photographs can bring memories back!  And I realized that in the age of the internet nobody is ever totally gone in the sense of all memories being eradicated or in the sense of never being able to be found again if someone from later generations wants to find you.  But since he died in the 80's and before the internet era, he actually is nowhere to be found outside of memories and photos, which are fragile.  So now he will have an internet resting place and at least his picture can be found forever (is the internet forever?....well, I guess not if the hosting fees don't get paid, but then again there is the wayback machine that caches old pages).

So.....this is David Stein (born Berci Stein and given the name David by immigration).  He came to the United States in 1918, leaving his family behind in Europe with a plan to find opportunity and ultimately bring them to the US as well.   He worked and sent back money to bring over two of his brothers (I think it was two) but the rest decided to stay in Europe, where they all perished during World War II.  He opened a butcher shop in Newark, NJ where he raised three children.

He was an extraordinarily kind and amazing person and I could write a book about him...but this is just a blog.  I obviously never knew him when he was the age he is in this picture. But I think the photograph expresses his energy and his spirit.  And he was a pretty good looking guy! So he has his place in internet history so he can be found for generations to come.  So Google, go ahead and get David Stein in your search database!

David Stein