Keywords Copying - Is It A Crime?


posted on 27th of may, 2008

© Looby (Help)
I have to start with an observation about complaints what occur occasionally on stock photography sites: "Somebody stoled my keywords - please, stop it!", "How can I prevent others from copying my keywords?", "Keywords copied - is it right?!"
Well, from legal wiewpoint - there's no law about words copyright. "Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents" are NOT eligible for federal copyright protection, stands on webpage of the U.S. Copyright Office. (http://www.copyright.gov)
You can't own keywords, you can't copyright them, so there's no legal base for punish people, who copy keywords. From ethical viewpoint - is it right thing to do? Everyone can decide. But let's consider another viewpoint. Buyers viewpoint.
If I would be a buyer, I would be very happy, if same type of images have similar keywords. So I could type only one word or few words into search field and get all possible results on that topic. And I could quickly select my image. It would be very frustrating to think out all kind of synonyms to find all good images on the subject. Kinda sad, if I don't get a good image among results only because the seller missed out a vital keyword.
So, if we are thinking from buyers side, the more unity we have in keywords, the better it is and the more happier buyers are. The more happier buyers are, the better reputation site has. The better reputation site has, the more buyers we have. The more buyers we have, the more happier we are. So, there's a conclusion - IT'S NOT BAD AT ALL TO COPY KEYWORDS. Of course only when they are RIGHT and RELEVANT keywords.
But - if we are thinking like sellers, who hate competition and want only OUR images into search results, then of course we protect jealously our rights on words. But the point is - if we have good images and buyer get them on search results, then he definitely notice them and buys them, but if we have average images, but good keywords, and buyer gets only our images on search results (because creators of good images on this topic don't speak English or are not clever enough to think up those keywords like ours), then maybe buyer buys our average image, and we are happy, but it could be the last purchase of that buyer on this site, because buyer gets impression, that we have only average images online. And maybe he decides not to be returning customer.
So maybe it's better, that we could have similar keywords with others, buyer gets wider selection in search results and is not frustrated about thinking up synonyms, and maybe this time he buys another good image and not our, but he is happy about quality, and returns to buy another image about another topic, about which WE have a good image. Wouldn't it be much better? Buyer returns, site stays in business, and we have opportunity to improve our portfolios?
We are not here because we have great verbal skills, we are here because of our images. And buyers are because of our images. So really - all keywords are irrelevant... only images matter.
Keywords are mere means for buyers to find images THEY need, and our job is to provide those images, and use such keywords, what help buyers find what THEY need. That's stock industry about.
So, I really think that copying keywords is a good thing, it's good for site and it's good for buyers, and everybody can copy my keywords, if they find them good. I really don't mind. But please, copy only relevant ones, cause I'm also eager to report all irrelevant keywords, what disturb my searches on site. I want Search Engine to work perfectly, and do what I can to improve its functioning. It's the heart of stock industry.
PS: OK, after reading some feedback, I correct some things what I previously said and take back my words "everybody can copy my keywords". I still wouldn't be mind, but I can see, it's not acceptable on Dreamstime. So, please don't do it. Though I still think it could be a good thing for buyers and site in the long run.

Comments (12)

Posted by Jiajianzheng on June 25, 2008
the problem of keywords are matter,thanks.
Posted by Maigi on June 24, 2008
Hdanne, Likakoyn, thanks for your comments! Good things is that as time goes buy, keywording gets more and more easier. Keymasters program is a pretty good learning aid too. Good luck with your keywording!
Posted by Likakoyn on June 24, 2008
I do not know English enough. And when I select keywords I look similar images. I never copy everything but so I study English that in the future to not address any more to search. Because very difficultly not knowing it is very good English to pick up keywords. Itself I can pick up no more than 8 words. And in general if copy work very good means. In fact great artists are copied much also by them do not take offence. Always it is necessary to think the head. To study at others, instead of to copy.
Posted by Hdanne on June 13, 2008
When searching for suitable keywords for a particular photo, I sometimes look at similar images. Often I get a good inspiration to improve my own keywords. That is important for me as non-native English speaker. But I avoid copying them.....
Posted by Maigi on June 07, 2008
Well... all of a sudden adding or suggesting keywords to images of other contributors lost its meaning... go figure, why...
Posted by Creativei on June 03, 2008
Well Maigi,
I guess two search field will not solve the problem, one thing i always wanted in DT was more categories, or even search within search would be another option. I know its hard for DT to change drastically. But well I heard DT is developing another site which I heard will be very user friendly, but I havent seen any announcement here in DT, i heard from one of my friend, anyways lets see but I guess DT will come with better options in near future, hope it happens very fast.
Posted by Irisangel on May 31, 2008
Niagaragirl, you make an excellent point. I have made a note to myself to keep the keywords simple. Thanks for the insight.
Posted by Creativei on May 30, 2008
ONE MORE QUESTION, HOW MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO COMMENTED ON THIS BLOG ARE REAL BUYERS??????? I GUESS MOST OF THEM ARE SELLERS. WELL I JUST CHECKED 90 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE WHO COMMENTED ON THIS BLOG ARE SELLERS.

WE NEED VALUVE FOR MONEY WHEN WE BUY IMAGES, LETS NOT BE BEHIND THIS KEYWORDING. LET THEM COPY KEYWORDS WHICH MATCH THERE IMAGE, SORRY DT IF THATS AGAINST YOUR LAW, BUT PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT GIVE MORE CHOICE I PERSONALLY DONT WANT PEOPLE TO GO TO THE SITE TO DOWNLOAD IMAGES. AS OUR COMPANY IS DOING
Posted by Irisangel on May 29, 2008
Maigi, believe me, there is no need for you to apologize. if anything, you helped bring this to the foreground, so that others could see a problem that needed to be debated. Rest easy, you have done nothing wrong. Thanks for opening the debate.
Posted by Niagaragirl on May 28, 2008
On occasion if my mind goes blank on an image I will do a search to see if I have missed something. It sometimes helps me generate even more valid ones.

But what really gets me is the outright spam I find on the site. I have found it several times. Images I have reported in the past seem to still be there with the same spam. I quit reporting. I would rather have someone emulate a keyword structure than have garbage in the keys that does not apply at all.
Posted by Maigi on May 28, 2008
Okay, thank you, guys, you are sweet. I have tons of thoughts now to go through, so ... I really appreciate your thoughts and sharing them with me. Thank you!
Posted by Ellenboughn on May 27, 2008
also does it seem fair to copy keywords when the person whose work is being copied has either paid for the keywording or spent hours of their time (time IS money after all) doing the work in the first place? It may not be a violation of the copyright but it is a violation of good behavior in my mind. Call me old fashioned, I guess!



Comments (12)

This article has been read 3308 times. 6 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Wessel Du Plooy, Fallenangel, Geotrac, Kurhan, Liv Friis-larsen, Pablo631, Roman Milert, Showface.

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