I’m sure I’d have plenty of money for my studio fund if all the media outlets who stole this photo (and even use it without attribution) actually paid me for my work.

This photo is so popular.

It originally appeared on my website here. Do you know how patient, patient, patient you have to be to get three bucks to line up like that for your camera? Yeah, so why bother when I already did the work.

If you go to this article here….

….and scroll down….

….there it is! (Thank you to reader Karen Burgess who sent me the link.)

Remember Dave Belanger?

I don’t even think they copped that photo off the Dairy Goat Journal site because what DGJ ran in their magazine was a black-and-white version (and they couldn’t lift a digital copy off the magazine anyway), and what they ran concurrently on their website was a quite small color copy. The copy of the photo running on the Informed Farmers website is a larger copy in decent quality, so they probably scooped it right off Chickens in the Road.

People just love free stuff, don’t they? I mean, WHY PAY FOR ART WHEN YOU CAN STEAL IT?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 25, 2012  

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47 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 1-25

    I guess since they are in Australia, they figure they can get away with this kind of theft. The website “appears” to be operated by decent folks, and it’s hard to say if someone there stole the photo on purpose, or if they’re just stupid. I’m sure you contacted them. I know I did. Let’s see what happens next. Like you said however, if you spent all your time tracking down copyright thieves, you’d get little else done. The bigger sites on the other hand might be worth pursuing.

  2. 1-25

    I wasn’t very kind in my letter. I used to work in publishing and this kind of thing really steams me. Here’s my letter:

    Just because you’re overseas and away from U.S. laws does NOT mean you’re out of the reach of being… oh, I don’t know… ETHICAL HUMAN BEINGS. Shame on you for stealing other people’s photographs. (See “Three Wise Goats”)

    Your website says you have a “friendly staff” at Informed Farmers. Apparently someone on your staff is not only NOT friendly, but are thieves.

    How would you like it if someone stole information from articles you posted on your website, and posted it to another site as their own work? It would suck, right?

    Do the right thing please. Either pay Suzanne McMinn for her work, or take it off of your site.

    And try to learn a little bit about copyright and journalistic integrity for future use. Buying stock photos or using royalty-free art is so cheap and easy, there is really NO excuse for just stealing.

  3. 1-25

    This is why I leave a watermark on my photos. It might help a little bit. Kind of hard to be the photo police 24-7

  4. 1-25

    Chastising email sent.

    I agree, you should put something on your photos, a watermark, or copyright Chickens in the Road.

  5. 1-25

    Well…I do graphic design…and those of us who do know that you can “take care of” a watermark quite easily if you’re good at it. It can help someone think twice, however, before having to put in all that effort!

    I think there are 2 types out there: Those who really don’t know there’s a problem using other folk’s photos (not thinking, but inocent at least); and those who know but want to try to get away with it.

    Not sure if you already have a copyright notice with a statement that photos need to be used with permission only? Might be worth taking a look at “”…

  6. 1-25

    I wrote to them too. EVERYONE here should inundate them with emails demanding they contact Suzanne to arrange to pay for the photograph!

  7. 1-25

  8. 1-25

    Here’s their address:

    [email protected]

  9. 1-25

    sigh, not again… I don’t even use your pics on Pinterest, because I don’t know if it’s okay, and because I know you are concerned with photo theft.

  10. 1-25

    beforethedawn–pinterest draws a thumbnail, the same way Facebook does, with an embedded link, and it’s a link-sharing site for the very purpose of sharing links, so yes, that is okay! (Totally different thing.)

  11. 1-25

    Well, I sent them an e-mail, BCCd you Suzanne. I couldn’t find out a specific name other than the assistant editor who wrote that article, their directory came up a blank page so I addressed it to Dear Sir or Ma’am. Hate doing that but oh well. :help:

    Not sure I said everything right, but hopefully they’ll get the message! I did notice that the site slowed down noticeable, do you suppose there’s enough of us to do that? Yeah, me either. Still a nice thought. Not that I’d do something like that on purpose, I’d just like to think there’s enough of us who love Suzanne and CitR to affect a web page that way!!!

  12. 1-25

    I, too, sent the (un)informed farmer email about paying you for the use of your photo. Best of luck to you and all your ventures. I hope you get something from these informed farmer folks.


  13. 1-25

    If the owners of the Informed Farmers website have not responded to communications from you telling them that they do not have your permission to use the photo, then you should report them for copyright infringement. I did a “whois” search and found that their webhost is

    Contact their webhost here:

    Report copyright infringement by one of their customers, and include links to the original photos on your website and the infringement on the Informed Farmers website. Reputable webhosts will almost always “disconnect” a website for copyright infringement. Once the photos are removed or you have notified the webhost that the issue has been resolved to your satisfaction, Informed Farmers website will go live again.

    I’ve had to do this myself when someone “borrowed” my photos and ignored my communications. You can bet they started paying attention once their website went dark.

    Good luck! And stick to your guns – you don’t have to allow anyone to use your photos without payment (or a link to your site, if that’s your preference) just because you want to be nice. Clearly, THEY haven’t been very nice in this instance.

  14. 1-25

    Looking forward to seeing how this pans out. :no:

  15. 1-25

    Suzanne, it’s odd…I’ve been writing about this photo’s adventures for a case study I’m working on, and here it is again! Dealing with copyright infringements is part of what I do in my work as a consultant (I am not a lawyer). May I help you, as sort of an “in-kind” contribution to CITR and the studio fund?

  16. 1-25

    If you put watermarks on your photos they’ll be less likely to be stolen. Without watermarks, you might as well put a sign on them saying, “steal me, please”

  17. 1-25

    Yvette, I would be happy to have your help!

  18. 1-25


  19. 1-25

    Those three Billy Goats Gruff do get around don’t they? I hate to say it but I think sometimes folks in Australia just think they are so far off the grid that no one notices what they do.
    Like learn-as-you-go farming, your website has brought some painful lessons to bear. Glad you watermark the photos now. While it’s no guarantee…it does give pause. Sorry, but I no longer believe any of these photo ‘lifts’ are innocent. Certainly not when the perp os a business rather than an individual.

  20. 1-25

    Oh, me, here we go again. Not surprised, though, for that is one of the most amazing photos I’ve ever seen. Go after them, Suzanne. What they did is just wrong! Seems to me they could have at least asked first. (YVETTE, thank you from all of us.) Now, I’m off to write another shame-on-you e-letter. :pirate:

  21. 1-25

    I’ve emailed them too – let’s hope they’ll put things right….

  22. 1-25

    I emailed a note, too. Keep us all informed as to how things go.

  23. 1-25

    IJust to let you know I’ve sent an email asking them to do the ethical and professional thing. I choose to believe incidents like this occur because of ignorance, rather than malevolence. I know you’ll let us know what happens.

  24. 1-25

    It is such a shame that people do those types of things. Good luck in getting this taken care of!

  25. 1-25

    Suzanne, I’ve just sent a message to you at your CITRcontact address. Some quick questions.

  26. 1-25

    Just sent them an email asking them to compensate you for the picture. Sorry this had to happen to you again!

  27. 1-25

    I sent them an e-mail and shared on facebook. You most definitely should be paid for your work. Thanks!!!for the books, they just arrived.

  28. 1-25

    Maybe send them a link to the posts about the LAST time that photo was stolen, and how it panned out? Maybe they’d learn from Dave Belanger’s experience and cut to the chase. They’d be wise not to make a fight of it, because the bad publicity would not help their business. I think farmers tend to be down-to-earth people who appreciate old fashioned integrity in the people they do business with.

  29. 1-25

    Email sent! This sort of crime is covered in Australia’s laws as well as a treaty between the US and Australia, so I mentioned that in my letter.

    Keep us posted!

  30. 1-25

    I agree you need to put something up to keep people from stealing. You should take it as a compliment. Other than the calenders do you sale any of your work? Your very good and people would pay for your work. Do you do cards? I could see that being a big business for you between the adorable pictures and your cute sayings. I think you should even do an exibit. Maybe during the time you do the retreat. :sheep:

  31. 1-25

    opps never mind I just seen on the site where you do lol good idea! :lol:

  32. 1-25

    According to their website, the CEO and editor is named Gary Hutchinson. It also says “Where we have sourced the information from other sites, we have acknowledged and provided links back to the original source and we have focussed only on material that is already freely available in the public domain.” So it would appear they are aware of copywrite issues.

  33. 1-25

    I sent them an email also Suzanne. It’s just bad form when someone wants to write an article and attach pictures to it ~ but they don’t have the patience or time to get their own bucks to line up nice and pretty for them. I hope this time around is resolved the same was as the last time.

  34. 1-25

    Added my e-mail to protest the theft. I know this is a big hassle for you but I hope you don’t let this go. You have many, many supporters here who will help in any way we can. Keep your chin up and keep us informed. Hmmm, wonder if any of the Australian newspapers would be interested in this?

  35. 1-25

    Thank you Yvette for offering your help to Suzanne, that is awesome! :shimmy:

  36. 1-25

    My email is on the way….hopefully you will get a favorable response. Keep us informed!

  37. 1-25

    Wow Suzanne that sucks :( I had a photo posted without my permission or credit given and it sucks. My photo wasn’t even one that I put a lot of effort into so I can imagine how it would feel if to have something like that stolen.
    Even though it’s not pretty maybe you should start water marking all your photos?
    “I hate to say it but I think sometimes folks in Australia just think they are so far off the grid that no one notices what they do.”

    :( I’m in Australia and I certainly don’t feel that way

  38. 1-25

    Gah! They can’t even spell! Look at the caption below the first (also stolen?) image they used.
    I wouldn’t trust this webpage for anything! If they steal and can’t spell, they’re probably WORSE than useless for anything else!

  39. 1-25

    Yes, they other photo is also stolen…from a photo blog illustrating help for Rwandans and other poor families! I bet they could put some lawsuit money to good use helping out the families they’re working with.
    Here’s a link to the blog form where the pic was stolen:

  40. 1-25

    If a person who knows what they’re doing really wants to steal a photograph, a watermark is easily removed.

  41. 1-26

    I’ve also emailed them about their theft of your photo. Hopefully, we’ll get their attention. I’ll continue to email them daily until they do the responsible thing. Let us know how this goes. Good luck!!

  42. 1-26

    E-mail sent telling them that the assistant editor has stolen a copyrighted picture from your website and that you need to be compensated for this copyright infringement.

  43. 1-26

    It just occurred to me that another reason for watermarking is if someone wants to contact you for permission to use your photo. I just saw a wonderful photo of a wolf pup and a crow as big as he is, and wanted to ask if I could use it. Tineye found many instances of it, but I have no way of knowing which of those sites owns it.

    I emailed the Austrialian folks too.

  44. 1-26

    Katsat: How interesting…my reverse image-search tools are unable to “see” the photoblog you found. Nice work, on your part! How did you trace that image back to its source?

    The best thing that bloggers/writers/photographers can do to protect their copyright is to formally register with the U.S. Copyright Office. It could also be helpful to watermark photos, EVEN if the watermark is easy to crop out or remove. Being able to prove that an infringer KNOWINGLY infringed your copyright (for example, by having taken the time to remove your watermark), according to the law, might matter in court.

    Here is what the law says about “statutory damages,” which assume that the work is registered:

    “In a case where…the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000. In a case where…the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court…may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200.” (From

    Why not watermark “Copyright 2012 YourName [or however you’ve registered]” onto your images, to help “awareness”?

  45. 1-26

    Hoping the stolen goats make a contribution to the studio…letter(s) sent. Shame on them.

  46. 2-20

    I’ve spent the last two days obsessively reading every blog post since I stumbled upon your site. I worked in direct response advertising for 10 years since pausing to have kids. I never specifically studied the habits of blogs yet, but would be happy to lend any expertise, especially after the intellectual journey I’ve been on the last two days. While this post is over a month old, I’m hoping you will still find it.

    Two things I would recommend. As you make money on clicks to your site, I found your site through pinterest and have been obsessively pinning from it, many things I’ve liked. I would encourage you to find some way to link some of your more popular entries to pinterest. Since I started pinning your blog, just over two days, I’ve had an increase in followers (of people I don’t know) and many, many repins of the items of yours that I have pinned. Unless, for some reason, you don’t get revenue from those, I would recommend bulking up your pinterest site.

    Secondly, I don’t know if you use google adwords, and especially may not want to because it’s additional advertising dollars going out, but they have occasional promotional emails where they offer someone $100 google adwords credit to try it out. It might be good for one of your retreats or if there is a specific thing you want to advertise.

    Again, any help I can give, I’d be happy to. Unfortunately being a single income family with one kid and another on the way doesn’t allow for me to make financial donations, but am happy to make intellectual ones.

  47. 3-10

    That is a shame your work was stolen.

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