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The Camel’s Back (Well, maybe…)

January 21, 2010

Here is the photograph that was featured on my home page for the last several months. I must confess, I am struggling with using it any more, because I don’t actually have permission.

This photo was originally discovered by a Google image search for “Camel in the eye of a needle.” I have made several attempts to contact the owners of this wonderful camel photo (like it was made just for me!), but to no avail.  No returned email responses. The website where it came from is not active, just gathering dust.

Since I am not using my own website to advertise or to make money, some have suggested that it might be okay to use the photograph, that there would not be much of a case for any copyright lawsuits.

But, still.

What do you think? What is your advice?

14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2010 10:40 am

    Everything’s available on the web — except when you go looking for it. You could always wait for their attorneys to call — but that’s not a strategy. I just did the exact same search on Google images — and this one didn’t appear. (Seriously, I would ask a copyright or intellectual property rights lawyer.)

  2. January 21, 2010 12:28 pm


    Since you asked for my opinion.

    1. Don’t use the photo until you have obtained the permission. If you don’t obtain the permission, don’t post it. Do this for the sake of your conscience.

    2. Maybe ask your readership to submit camel pictures that they have the rights to in a contest where you award a prize. Do it in such a way where you will have peace of mind about the rights of the photo. Myabe even use some kind of legal form if you need to. Giveaways seem to be in on blogs at present.

    3. applaud yourself for doing the right thing by taking the photo off.

    4. move on to what you originally wanted to accomplish this year on your blog

    5. Continue to pray for me- I am just totally and utterly lost in this career redirection phase of my life, and I am scared.

    6. I think protecting one’s conscience and having it squeaky clean is a lost art and a valuable one at that. Please pray that mine will improve this year and that I will do what I need to do in the area of protecting my conscience as well.

    • January 21, 2010 12:55 pm

      one other thought– I liked Glynn’s idea about contacting an attorney who specializes in internet copyright matters to see what their opinion is. this in itself could give you the peace of mind that you are looking for. I would highly consider taking it off for now- for your conscience sake. Blessings. Have a good day– Al

  3. January 21, 2010 1:38 pm

    Al. Dude, what excellent advice. I’m on it 100%. Will take care of it as soon as I get back to my computer tonight.

    And can everyone say a prayer for Al? Let’s get him through this rough patch.

    God has something in store for you, man.

  4. Deb DesMarteau permalink
    January 21, 2010 4:32 pm

    Al gave wonderful advice. One thought, you might consider hiring an illustrator/graphic designer/photographer to design the masthead for you. Enjoy your down-to-earth faith filled messages. Found it through my husband’s niece’s blog “Getting Down With Jesus” (Jennifer Dukes Lee), I believe.

  5. January 21, 2010 6:47 pm

    Al’s is the advice I’d have given.

    I researched this issue before I established my business Transformational Threads. I’ve become extra-sensitive to this issue, as I publish on my business Website images that I have contractual permission to use and have licensed. They are copyrighted. I would send strong language to anyone who copied them for use on their blog or elsewhere without the artists’ permission.

    What people do not always understand is that “available” does not mean “free use”. Taking images of photos from online newspapers, artists’ sites, gallery sites, photographers’ sites, etc., even if you give credit, can land you a lawsuit. Permission always should be sought and obtained, preferably in writing, with attribution per the owner’s specs.

    While we miss the image, you do the right thing by not continuing to use it.

    There are many artists who would love an opportunity to create a banner for you that you could brand. Sponsor a contest (I’ll feature it in my All Art Friday) and make it worth the artists’ time.

  6. January 21, 2010 8:57 pm

    How about asking someone to create a similiar Photoshop image?

  7. January 22, 2010 12:07 am

    forget it…

    i thought you took it off on purpose, because you wanted it gone.

    i noticed and feel that the new clean look is very cool.

    as a matter of fact, i like it a lot!

    especially with the smaller photos being used in the post that keep changing for interest and that tie-in with each post.

    • January 23, 2010 8:05 am

      Nancy – I really appreciate your feedback (especially coming from such an artist!). The simple decision of going to a streamlined design with no photo had me all worried that it would ruin the whole site. But then I started to realize that each post could bring something unique with it’s own photograph – And avoid having the blog look so busy. I’ll keep working on it. Thanks again for the comment.

  8. Michele Corbett permalink
    January 23, 2010 1:42 am

    I miss the camel. I work in marketing and no you are not allowed to use it. Bummer!

    But you can purchase one legally for cheap.

    What about these?

    Wrong size, but camel’s are cute!

    Could be cool cropped a certain way:

    Go to (more expensive images usually) and search for “camel wearing hat.” Should be 4th one in. Cute!

    Also search “camel crane” on Corbis and there is one that could be cut out and put in whatever background you want.

    None as perfect as your original, but cropped right, some of these are cool.

    • January 23, 2010 8:01 am

      Michele – No you know how lazy I am when it comes to this, and maybe that is the real sin. These are excellent photo’s – thanks for taking the time to link them all! I like the first one the most – the relaxed camel. He looks like he’s up to something, a little attitude behind the smile. That’s a good fit.

  9. January 23, 2010 8:06 am

    Great ideas everyone! I knew you would help me out. Now to actually make a decision….hmmm. I’ll keep you posted!

  10. February 18, 2010 1:07 pm

    Hi Bradley!
    Im Pablo from Argentina, and its really nice to read your articles!
    Connecting all with spiritual!
    Reading this post, We (as a company -Suyit- .. Creative and software factory, from Argentina) wanna help You!… if you agree we can send you a proposal to show “Shrinking the Camel” Wanna? then you can decide! you have our mail 🙂 … its also a way to say Thanks !
    Pablo Baldomá Jones

  11. February 19, 2010 9:56 pm

    Thanks Pablo! I will take you up on that.

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