uses Cerno’s worst photograph without asking

I came across a blog called “city hits” that was using one of the most horrible photos I have ever taken to “illustrate” one of its posts.

For the record, I had taken this image from a speeding car. I used it illustrate my post about a poorly thought out billboard/hoarding. Particularly about the negative message it communicated about the Dilly’s brand. My post was in September. Cityhits used the same image in a post published in December. I put Creative commons licence on my blog with a site wide link to it in August. The criteria for using the image is clearly stated. It was of course ignored.

This IS the 3rd Verld no? So I wrote the email (for the sake of form) at the bottom of this post. No response (I wasn’t expecting one).

Etiquette is treated like a waste of time and its link building potential left untapped due to ignorance, laziness or a stupid obsession with the short term bottom line – though I won’t make any assumptions about “cityhits” ;).

Perhaps I should have told them that they were using the worst possible image given the content of their article.They SHOULD have used or at least linked to Alefiya Akbarally’s work for Dilly’s. These are not only appropriate for the topic but also bloody good photographs.

Note that I am not pissed or upset. I actually feel sorry for them. Its such a bad picture given the fawning text of their article. The image makes “MATHUZONE ENTERTAINMENT” looks rather amateurish (shouldn’t they have a domain name if they wanted to be serious?).

So no, this case is not the same as the whole Lakbimanews copyright violations in July 2007.

Its poetic justice 😉

My Email to Cityhits (not that it really matters):

Hi   I am the person who took the photograph you are usingin the post on your blog  called "Dilly’s goes to the movies"( will let you  to continue using this image if - you acknowledge the image credit by linking to  my blog from your post - preferably to my "about" page: or to the original post itself or to just the blog URL

( Just add a short line

of text saying "Image by Cerno".

All I ask is for a simple link back to my blog :) NOT

money. In return you'll get the OK to use the picture

legally with attribution for any other output


Background info:

The image used in your blog post was first used in a

post on my blog a few months (September) before your

post appeared

The original image is on my flickr site

I've had a copyright notice on my blog since August of

2007 about using material posted on my blog.

Best regards


Some references

Copyright & blogging: "Bloggers Beware: Debunking Nine

Copyright Myths of the Online World - Updated" copyright policy:

The google cashe of the page is at


11 thoughts on “ uses Cerno’s worst photograph without asking

  1. Cerno, you should tweak your photoshop skills and add a small semi-transparent watermark to all your shots before you upload them. Small and invisible enough not to take anything away from the photo yet large and visible enough to matter. Thats what most hardcore photobloggers do. That way no matter how anyone steals it, the photo will always be speaking up for you.



  2. horrible or not ,still the pix was taken by Cerno and its by all means Cerno’s.some of us may not give a rat’s f. about intellectual property blabla , but still its a matter of respect for another persons effort, however simple it may be.

    since I’m not a professional photographer i don’t use Photoshop etc, but still i post pix of mine time to time and i have seen people using my pix too, in blogs and even on a Uni newsletter (long story!) .

    but the point is ,we cant enforce our rights ,and some of us disregard even the basics of niceties just to make their voices heard. shame on them!

    should talk to Mahasen, he seems to be in the process of developing a watermark tool for his own work. read below post my Mahasen.


  3. CERNO – Copyright s Copyright. Totally with you on this. Shame on them. Easy to add a Copyright sign(s) and to fade it into the photograph.


  4. DominicI totally agree with you. Just never though anyone would be use such a poor quality image – and so utterly mismatch it with the content.

    I suppose it says a lot about the mindset of whoever is behind that site…


  5. And the dingbats use the line “Be Original” in their description. Personally I think there are way too many of these guys popping up trying to make a cyber-buck in the SL blogger scene. I say nuke’m 😉


  6. This may be a dumb question, but how did you manage to find out this site was using your pics? I don’t use Flickr, is there some sort of link back tracking in Flickr that you can see?

    I have loads of pics on my website, but I’ve only ever come across one site using one of them and it came about when I Googled my name. There was no link back to my blog, but I didn’t really care since they did mention “Photo by: Ian Selvarajah”.


  7. Ian I Googled “Dillly’s” and “Sri Lanka” or maybe it was “Colombo”. At the time I was more interested to see if Dilly’s Sri Lanka had a website. Came across the offending website in the process 🙂

    I wouldn’t consider it a violation if those city hits guys put a link to my website or simply has photo by (since that would adhere to my creative commons license)


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