Speaking of people stealing stuff off the internet….. This photo was taken by me in May, 2008. I posted it here. These three bucks belong to Pete and Missy, who are friends of mine. We got our goats from them. I published the photo in my 2009 Chickens in the Road calendar, and also shared the photo with Pete and Missy. They published it with my permission on their website here, crediting the photo to me.

This photo now appears in the November issue of Dairy Goat Journal. It was published in the print edition of their magazine (on page 13) as well as on their website. You can see the photo on their website here in the online edition of the magazine. (They may take it down soon because they WILL be hearing from me–the photo on this post is a screen capture, so there is no running and hiding. Not to mention, it was also published in the print edition, which has been distributed.)

As you can see, they reference the photo only as “Prescott’s bucks”–which leads me to believe they lifted the photo from Pete and Missy’s site rather than directly from mine. Look again at Pete and Missy’s site and you will see there is no excuse for the lack of photo credit as Pete and Missy have the photo clearly credited to me. See here. If they wanted to use my photo, the proper thing to do would have been to contact Pete and Missy about the photo and ask them how to get in touch with me. Pete and Missy have their contact info right next to the photo, so that would have been easy to do.

Of course, credit isn’t the only issue. They owe me a fee for use of my work. I think it might be a fairly expensive photo!!!

FYI, Pete and Missy were not interviewed or contacted for the article, though the reference to “Prescott’s bucks” indicates it was taken from their site. They subscribe to Dairy Goat Journal and notified me when they saw the photo.

P.S. Here is the contact page for Dairy Goat Journal if you would like to let them know what you think about internet theft. You can find all their email addresses and phone numbers here:

The editorial email address is: [email protected]

P.P.S. I’ve tracked down the original article here where it does NOT include my photo. My photo appears to have been added to the article by Dairy Goat Journal.



  1. Will says:

    How much do barns run in your neck of the woods 😉

  2. Charley says:

    Oh MY GOSH! I would be livid. (Not that anyone wants to steal one of my pictures…) How can these editors let this happen? Talk about a lack of professionalism. Shame on them, I hope you charge them a pretty penny, seeing as how they ripped it off and used it both online AND in print. >:(

  3. Kathi N. says:

    You’ve been Griggsed!

    That is so wrong.

  4. Merlin says:

    The indignity of these people! 😕 :no: :hissyfit:

    These people owe a great big, humongous apology along with the money due to you!!!!!

  5. SandyCWV says:

    Interesting too that the only references the Prescotts get is below that photo. No location of the breeders, no information about the goats, and no connection to the story at all.
    Also according to the Breeders Directory and Links – the Prescotts do not advertise in their magazine (search for WV and West Virginia showed no results). Like you said – easy enough to contact them.
    Have to wonder if all the other photos in their magazine are similarly collected.

  6. patty says:

    Let us know how they respond :hissyfit:

  7. Susan Carty says:

    My daughter is a professional portrait and wedding photographer. Our local newspaper (albeit small) used a picture she posted on face book and did not give her credit in any way. They just took the photo and used it for their benefit!!! So, I can totally feel for you.
    Andy, btw, I have been a huge fan of yours for a very long time! I do believe you have every right to be upset and charge anything your heart desires<3

  8. heidiannie says:

    I really don’t understand how these publications think they will get away with this kind of theft. They are publishing and selling this stuff- DUH- someone is going to notice it!
    A member of my church once stole a whole slide show presentation I had put together- unethical and stupid- I had pictures of some of my family members in the line up. Umm- that is my niece in the picture you are claiming as your own?!

  9. hershiesgirl says:

    GO GET ‘EM SUZANNE!!! Going rate? Not sure, but I’ll ask. My sister is an Accountant in Atlanta, and one of her clients just happens to be a free lance writer/photographer/content contributor. I’ll ask her what his fees are. Look for the court system (if you have to use it) to double or triple fees for punitive damages. 🙂

  10. Angela P says:

    Oh Suzanne Im soooo sorry. How terrible! I subscribe to DGJ….maybe not for very long! :no:

  11. Larissa says:

    Suzanne–I am so sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately the general “internet” consensus is that if you dont lock down your photos, or watermark them, they are pretty much open for theft. I am not saying it is OK—it just seems to be the general modus operandi. (And as you found out, most photo-lockdowns can be gotten around with a quick screenshot) *hugs* and GO GET EM! At least get an apology.

  12. Denise says:

    Suzanne, Find out what the circulation of Dairy Goat Journal is and charge your fee accordingly! I would venture to guess that if they had hired a professional photographer to take this photo, they would have been charged a rate of $500/half day or $1000/full day. You can also factor in the multiple use (web and print) as part of your fee. Good luck!

  13. Kathi N. says:

    Here’s another article (from BlogHer) about a similar issue:

  14. hershiesgirl says:

    Hmmmmm according to the Gov’t website on Copyright infringement, you can make them recall all of their mags, have their internet provider remove YOUR content, your “compensation” can be based on their revenue, and penalty fines (paid to you) start at 15K and ago up to 150K. WOW.

  15. Deb says:

    I’m not sure how much magazine photos sell for, but I think you should research it and then charge the high end. Or maybe double since they published it in print and online…..

  16. Miss Becky says:

    I think you need to watermark your photos.
    I’m sorry you have to spend your valuable time dealing with crooks and thieves Suzanne. :no: :no: :no:

  17. Michelle says:

    I just sent an email to every contact listed for the Dairy Goat Journal expressing my disapproval in using copyrighted photographs without receiving permission. I would highly encourage everyone here to do that too. As mentioned above, you should receive the maximum allowed by copyright infringement guidelines. It may seem harsh, but the only way to stop what appears to be a far too common practice is to put some teeth behind the fines and penalties. :moo:

  18. Tisha@LMPrims says:

    Ooohhhh, There’s gonna be some finger waggin’, hiney scaldin’ going on here!
    What ever happend to “Could I or Would you mind?”

  19. jean says:

    It would appear that they used the following logic – it is sometimes easier/cheaper to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Don’t let them get away with this.

  20. Lori Skoog says:

    You have all the documentation you need to take them to the cleaners. Do it! They pay or you take them to court.

  21. Rose C. says:

    How low can someone go!!!!

  22. texwisgirl says:

    It was a beautiful photo so I can see why they wanted it for their publication, but shame on them for not asking first.

  23. Jim in Colorado says:

    It is not right. And it is theft. Plain and simple.
    I hope that you get back at them, and get some money from them. Or take them to court if you must. Seems some times that people want things for free. They just take and never ask.

    Do what you need to do.

  24. Cheryl says:

    Im so sorry you are having to deal with this! Its a sense of violation when you see someone else claiming your work! For every great shot a photographer takes hundreds of lesser ones. Its not just a skill and an art but a lot of hard work! No one likes to see their hard work ripped off and anyone in the publishing industry should soo know better! Go get em! Not just for you..but for all of us!

  25. Minna says:

    Oh, go ahead and skin them alive! They definitely deserve to lose quite a few dollars! :devil2:

  26. Diane says:

    It amazes me that a publication like that would steal a photo off the internet for their publication!!!! :hissyfit: You would think they would of contacted you about it. Since the contact information was with the photo!! Now I wonder how many photos are orginial in these publications?? hmmmm. Hope you get something for it. Not right working hard to produce a beautiful photo and not get credit for it.

  27. patrice says:

    That really stinks. I wonder if someone sold it to them. I hate “watermarked” photos with the photographer’s name across the photo, but I certainly understand why they do it!

  28. ellie says:

    Wow! I’m so annoyed/shocked for you! Thanks for letting us know!


  29. Jane says:

    I think we’re probably going to be hearing a lot more about this sort of thing in the near future since the Cooks Source incident. I imagine internet theft has been going on forever. Heck, when I used to blog, I would routinely post funny pix from emails or pix that were in the newspaper. I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything wrong (after all, what else was Google images for?;) but I also wasn’t making money from it. These people seem like a fairly small outfit. I think they should apologize – in print (next issue) and online (now), but more importantly credit you as the photographer. Maybe a link to your site would be nice? I wouldn’t go crazy with a $500 fine or anything. I would maybe charge like $100 or something.. it would all depend on how they respond to you. Good luck, and I hope everyone supports you by writing them a letter. I did!

  30. Mz E says:

    I think it’s time to watermark your work.

  31. Jane says:

    OK, I spoke too soon! I didn’t realise they had also ripped off the article word for word! There can be no excuse. Yeah, go for it.. hit them where it hurts!

  32. Carmen says:

    I wrote them an email (and cc’d it to you). Hopefully they’ll admit they were in the wrong and make things right. Keep us posted!

  33. Larissa says:

    Wowzer. I just got cought up on the Monica Gauido issue. Check out Cook’s Source’s apology. Zoinks. Suzanne, these people who took your photo had better have an apology for you ASAP.

  34. Ramona says:

    I can’t stomach a thief!

  35. Luann says:

    Just sent an email off to them, telling them that they have no integrity and I will no take part of an organization that does business in this manner. Good luck Suzanne!

  36. leavesofthefall says:

    There’s no excuse for that… so did one of their editors / field contributors write it, or was it done by a freelancer? What a crock. Yeah… I’d make that one mighty expensive photo… copyright infringement attached to their publication isn’t good for their PR — or their pockets. Sink your teeth into it and rip some hide! :hissyfit:

  37. ulli says:

    Now that would get my gander up! I used to write for magazines and found one of my articles in another publication without my permission or knowledge. Do what you have to do!

  38. Jane says:

    I keep jumping the gun here. They credit the original source of the article, but not your photo.. got it! Sorry about that.

  39. Bonnie says:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. I enjoy your photos stories and all the info you share with us. It makes me livid that they would do that. Don’t think I’ll be buying their magazine. you Know they should realize that was an expensive photo.

  40. Larissa says:

    I sent them an email as well. Nothing nasty, just a friendly link to the now-defunct CS website.

  41. Tennille says:

    HOW RUDE !! :shocked:

  42. bonita says:

    Suzanne, sent an email to the Dairy Goat Journal people (bcc’d you) as well as to the publisher, Countryside Publications in Medford, WI. Puzzles me that they asked permission from AAND for the article, but ‘overlooked’ the photo credit. Even more dismaying is that it, Dairy Goat Journal, indicates that its site is copyrighted. I’d say what’s right for the goose is right for the gander, but perhaps in this case it’s what’s right for the doe, is right for the buck. Glad you have a screen shot to prove the web infringement in the event they do remove the photo.

  43. stacy says:

    They definately need to pay you a fee-any other photographer would get paid!!

  44. jojo says:

    FYI… I called them and was told that they had already receive “a” call about it and that they were looking into it.

  45. Helen says:

    Hit ’em where it hurts, Suzanne! :devil2:

  46. Vicki in So. CA says:

    I just wrote to the editor and cc’d you. Now, back here, I see you have been busy on the phone with the thieves. Please do keep us posted.

  47. Joy says:

    I am sickened by this. And the publisher is Countryside? I have subscribed to Countryside magazine in the past, is the publisher and magazine (Countryside) one in the same, I wonder? I can’t imagine that the publisher would have any idea of this, ‘cuz I have really enjoyed the Countryside magazine. I do realized the Countryside and this Goat Journal are separate. Don’t want to confuse the issue here.

    Do what you have to do, Suzanne! I am going to email them as well. That is low down and dirty! And LAZY to boot! I am just beside myself! :hissyfit:

  48. Heather says:

    I work in copyright here in Australia and understand your feelings completely. I spend much of my time trying to convince people about the right thing to do, especially in regard to photos found on websites. Lots of people think they are free to use just because they are so accessible.

  49. Joy says:

    Oh I am so totally disappointed.

  50. Mary Kellogg says:

    :hissyfit: People do that ALL THE FREAKING TIME on EBAY. I post photos of items I have for sale, like Vera Bradley handbags or the like, and they blatantly STEAL my photos!

    Really ticks me off!

  51. margaret rusnak says:

    That really ticks me off! Also, folks that say if you don’t “lock down your photos or use a watermark” seem to think its OK to steal. Sweet Jesus what happened to honesty? Theft is theft and its wrong. Hope you enjoy your new barn!

  52. northcountrygirl says:

    Suzanne, I agree with those who suggested you watermark your photos. I am also surprised that Countryside allowed this to happen. I subscribe to both Countryside and Backyard Poultry. I always thought them respectable magazines. I truly hope they make this right with you.

  53. Johanna says:

    Good for you to document it all and chase them down. The internet remains the wild west and you have to be your own sheriff.

  54. Sarah K says:

    I wouldn’t mind a little “CTR” and a chicken track or something in the corners of your photos. Watermarks aren’t really all that intrusive, but it’s an extra step to take when posting photos. Extra steps are extra time. It’s horrible that they did this. I hope they both apologize and reimburse you for the use of your photo.

  55. Chris says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I understand copy right violations are a no-no. At the very least, the magazine should have asked permission to run the picture and given credit to you, or the designer should have just gone to iStock and bought a picture of goats for $30 and be done with it. But I doubt Dairy Goat Journal is raking in the cash, or Countryside, for that matter. In fact, I imagine a niche company like that is probably on the brink of bankruptcy like so many other magazines today. Do what you want to do, but I think a letter asking that the editor publish a note in the next issue crediting you for the photo and giving the address of your friend’s farm would suffice. (By the way, I work in publishing — politics and nonfiction — and not for this magazine or its parent company.)

  56. knancy says:

    Can’t stand a liar or a thief. Take them to court and get back what is rightfully yours. If you don’t do it they will keep stealing and lying about it. Stop this before more people get taken.

  57. Chris says:

    Listen, I didn’t want to offend you. I’m a long-time reader and enjoy what you do. I have a farm of my own and do publishing as a main job. Please read what I wrote: Copy right violations are a no-no. Period. Just because you don’t have lawyers like a company like Getty doesn’t give people the right to steal from you. I wasn’t excusing what Dairy Goat Journal did. I’m just adding that the magazine is probably already understaffed and underpaid. I imagine the designer grabbed the pic hoping nobody would notice. You did notice, and you called the magazine out on it. I was more responding to some of the comments. I don’t know exactly the condition of Countryside, but I do know some of these small farm journals are barely making it. I subscribe to a few, such as Hobby Farms and Mary Jane’s Farm, and I have contributed work for free to a few of them, because I love what they are doing. I highly doubt the publisher or the parent company knew one of their designers — and possibly the editor — stole a picture from someone’s web site. The fact that they grabbed a low-res pic off the Net for a print publication tells me they don’t have the highest quality control either. Still, going after Countryside for something a staffer at one of its magazines did is a bit much for me. That’s my two cents.

  58. Grammie Earth says:

    Plain and simple… that way of thinking is just WRONG. A simple 14 letter acknowledgement (basic courtesy) would have taken care of the frustration before it happened.

    :eating: “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” :eating:


  59. Drucillajoy says:

    It’s the American way…very little respect or honesty anywhere. I sincerely hope you get all you can get from them. If the situation were reversed, you know you’d be in trouble.
    You could take it as a compliment…or a blessing in disguise. Best of luck in your persuit & keep us posted, we care!

  60. Amy says:

    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a long time, Suzanne and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. This is just wrong on so many levels. If a publication is having a hard time then perhaps there is a reason. Yes, I understand it’s not a giant corporation, but that doesn’t make one lick of difference. Stealing is stealing is stealing. Theft is theft is theft. Intellectual property is no different than physical property and I would expect it to be treated as if they’d walked into your barn and stolen Clover herself. It’s inexcusable. Good luck!

    And I live in the community where Mary Jane’s Farm is located and she is doing VERY well, so don’t use her as an example, please.

  61. farmershae says:

    Well, I’m thoroughly disgusted. I remember back when you took and posted this photo (I’ll be a witness, lol.) This is an awesome photo that you deserve credit/payment for. I’m so disappointed in Dairy Goat Journal for pulling this kind of baloney. My subscription is up for renewal and they are clearly not my kind of people. What is this world coming to, when you can’t even trust ‘goat people’?

  62. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    As a blog owner, it makes me so mad to see this! For whatever reason it was used, it’s still stealing.

  63. Joann says:

    Wow – I had no idea this kind of thing was so prevalent! I hope it all gets straightened out, and that you get credit for your beautiful work!

  64. LisaAJB says:

    Sleezy! I teach my 7th graders not to use internet sources without proper credit. Why can’t adults manage that?! :hissyfit:

  65. The Retired One says:

    Totally UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!! I hope you get paid for this and that they get swamped with mail to demand it! Bad, bad ethics. Whoever did this needs to be fired for sure.

  66. Tow Lady says:

    Sorry, but I don’t agree that just because a place is small, it can’t have ethics. If you’re going to overlook stealing because of that, then there will always be a reason to condone things that are wrong. I understand errors. We’re only human. If it was indeed an oversight, then I’m sure they’ll make it right. If not, they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. I own a small business, and we work hard to give our customers more than they expect, and if we make a mistake, we fix it. If I hold myself to this standard, I certainly am not going to expect any less of others. Suzanne, thanks for what you do for us each day, and also for standing up for what is right. Not enough people do that anymore.

  67. judydee says:

    Suzanne-I am very sorry this has happened. Having been the victim of theft of property, I can somewhat imagine how this must feel. I have e-mailed the contact information given (and copied to you) to let them know others are planning to hold them accountable. We shall see if they are an ethical firm. If not, they do not deserve to prosper.

  68. margaret rusnak says:

    Just because the magazine that stole your photo may or may not be making a large profit does not give them the right to steal photographic property at will from any source they wish.

    My daughter is graduating with a BA in photography next month and this is a sore subject with me. One of her images was stolen and used for advertisement before she started using a watermark. She has the positive attitude to consider it a compliment to her work. I however, pay her tuition, and it ticks me off. I worry about whether she will be able to support herself in the future, especially with the prevailing attitudes of it being OK if the thief is poor. What about the poor photographer?

  69. Joy says:

    I completely disagree with Chris who think it may be a “gray” area that a publication that isn’t “raking in the cash” shouldn’t be held accountable. So it’s ok for a poor person to go into a store and shoplift? We should look the other way? I don’t care who’s doing it, it’s wrong. Especially since they used it in hard-copy print.

  70. Denise says:

    I have sold photos to magazines before, and the going rate is about $350 per photo. Don’t negotiate! Just invoice the douchebags!


  71. Chris says:

    Whoa, ladies, I just logged back in to see me getting trashed here. Put the pitchforks and the torches down and read what I wrote. Where did I say I condoned or even justified taking people’s work without payment or attribution? I said two things: One, copy right violations are a no-no. And, secondly, anyone who’s in farming knows there’s no money in it. That includes those niche publications, which report on it. I looked at Dairy Goat Journal’s media kit. It is a bimonthly, charges $21 a year for a subscription and prints 8,000 copies. They don’t tell you how many people are subscribers, and they are not audited, otherwise they would say so. You don’t have to be a math whiz to understand that, after expenses, the publication isn’t making money. So who are you going to sue for all this money, ladies? Worse still, you’re ready to torch the magazine and its parent company, when you don’t even know if some idiot designer was the one who did the cribbing? We don’t know who picks the artwork there. It could be the editor or it could be just the designer they are using that week. And, really, this is why I don’t post on blogs or in forums anymore. They’re too often just circular firing squads, and everyone’s got an itchy trigger finger.

  72. Cindy says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    This really s*cks. I would be seething mad. Good luck with getting some justice. I have to admit I agree with at least one of Chis’s points though. Even if you pursued suing the magazine, they might not have much money to pay you with (at least in terms of punitive damages). They certainly should have enough to pay a nice fee though. And I’d definitely be pursuing that if I were in your shoes.

    I do hope that this doesn’t cloud your days too much or cost you too much sleep. It’d be sad if it significantly impacted your piece of mind. You can only do what you can do. If you know what I mean.

    Best of luck to you. I’m rooting for you.


  73. Pete says:

    Chris! Enough, already!! We all read what you wrote, and each time you “clarify” it, you dig yourself further into the hole you are digging, so I strongly suggest that you just stop digging.

    For what it is worth, no one one has suggested torching anything, and that comment is simply over the top. While everyone around here is free to express themselves, misrepresenting what others say is not necessary or even advisable.

    And that seems to be the basic problem – it’s never OK to claim what is not true and it’s not OK to steal the work or property of another. Period.

    And when you get caught doing it, time to just own up to it, appologize, take your punishment and get on with life. As this company should do ASAP.

  74. marybeth7362 says:

    I don’t normally blog, but I felt “the need” to chime in. I grew up in a farming community and I know that there isn’t a lot of money in it. HOWEVER, most in the farming community know the right thing to do. For example, we wouldn’t “borrow” someone’s equipment without asking first.

    Someone commented that people nowadays seem to live by the rule “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission”. I grew up with the “it’s better to ask for permission than suffer the consequences”. The other statement Chris made that I take offense to is “We don’t know who picks the artwork there. It could be the editor or it could be just the designer they are using that week.” Ultimately, the publication is responsible for the people they hire. No excuses. This whole brouhaha could have been avoided by asking Suzanne’s permission from the get go.

  75. BuckeyeGirl says:

    “ I imagine the designer grabbed the pic hoping nobody would notice.“ Really? And it’s alright for a company to allow this sort of thing to go on, and not make it right if it does?

    This is called THEFT! Even if the parent company didn’t know, it’s their responsibility to insure that they know what is going on, and that they have a process in place so their employees don’t go around grabbing other people’s property off the net. They failed to do this! Irresponsible at the least, illegal at the most.

    As others have said, just because it’s a small company, doesn’t make it any more right that they tolerate and allow their employees to take such liberties. I’d say it’s either a wink and a nod sort of attitude, “I don’t know and I don’t want to know, just don’t get caught!” Or else the staff and editors incompetent and no one reviews articles to be sure these things don’t happen.

    Lets say it does happen, that’s when a responsible editor says, “This was an oversight on our part and we’ll make it right.” That’s when you make sure you say “mea culpa” make a simple apology. You don’t deny and lie about it which is what it sounds like is happening now.

    I don’t have much money either, where do you leave your car keys? If you leave them on the table next to your purse in a public restaurant, does that mean it’s ok for me to pick them up and use them? That’s a harsh example, but somewhat fitting IMO.

  76. ulli says:

    It’s so interesting to read the comments on this. Seems like some people think Suzanne is going to sue the pants off of the company, yet she has not indicated what would satisfy her. Some lessons are hard to learn, even for publications, but learn they must in some way. That’s up to Suzanne. Maybe she doesn’t want to tip her hand as the editors of the publication may now be reading the exchange here. Contacting the publication with our disgust is what we need to do–let them know how we feel about it. Our support for Suzanne, as some of us are readers of their publications, will send a big message. Suzanne, you do what you have to do, but I for one would be very interested to know how it all unfolds.

  77. Barbee' says:

    This has made me just too sick to comment. 😥 But, I have read every comment.

  78. Melanie L says:

    Suzanne- I haven’t read all the comments above me, but there is a logical explanation for this. Every time you post on your blog, there is a chance that the googlebots crawl your pages. That’s a good thing that makes you rank higher if someone were searching for an article on dairy goats, for example.

    What most people don’t realize is Google may cache a copy of the photos for Google Images.(I googled “dairy goat bucks” and this image came up on page 16, but did not link back to CTR).

    Most people are treating Google Images” like they are copywrite free “stock” photos. I’m sure that’s what happened here.

    Without a watermark, that photo was like a puppy without a collar and tags, is the best way I can explain it.

    Whether it’s an article on dairy goats or a kid’s homework assignment that needs a photo, people use Google Images.

    The answer is to watermark every photo before you post it.

    Adding tags and titles to the photos would help you in the search engines as well.

    Hope this makes you feel better.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Melanie, this is absolutely NOT what happened here. Dairy Goat Journal labeled the photo “Prescott’s bucks” and the ONLY way they could make that connection was to have stolen the photo from my website or Pete and Missy’s website (where the photo included my credit). They knew they were stealing. They did NOT take it from Google images. (And taking it from Google images wouldn’t excuse them in any case.)

  79. Deborah R says:

    Sent them an email, posted on my FB wall. They need to do the right thing.

  80. Janus says:

    And just when the fireworks from Cooks Source were beginning to die down . . .

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