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My Love/Hate Relationship with O.J. Simpson...
Posted Jan 17, 2008 - 13:10:30

OJ Simpson, joined by our Duct Taped Hero, Duct Tape BoyLook at the image on the right. Seriously. Look at it. That, my friends, is Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson, the retired football player, actor, former-broadcaster, and (of course) felon. Behind him, you will (of course) see everyone's favorite Discount Superhero (and No Brand Con mascot), Duct Tape Boy. The image is (originally) from the random project "Duct Tape Boy's Adventures Through Time," and I later reused it in the far superior Duct Tape Boy: Living Legend Mockumentary. It's a reworked version of this photo of OJ trying on the legendary "bloody glove" during the infamous murder trial -- with Duct Tape Boy replacing what I believe to be a Bailiff that was standing in the background.

It is also the most stolen image from my website.

The reason for this? For some odd reason of coincidence, luck, and the apparent structuring of my website, the image had wound up on Google's Image Search for the phrase "OJ Simpson." Not totally unexpected, but whatever. Those visitors must be entranced by Duct Tape Boy's "shiny" qualities (as his smelly ones don't really translate to the electronic media), and they click through to TRHOnline.com.

This results in a couple of things. First off, every single time OJ ends up in the news there is a related spike in website traffic as more people look for pictures of him (as if we'd all forgotten what he looked like). This I actually don't mind at all, and frankly I encourage more traffic to this site for whatever reason I can get. But what also happens is the aforementioned stealing of my image.

Bloggers like to swipe it, which is bad enough, but they also swipe my bandwidth along with it. This is why I added the "TRHOnline.com" tag to the image - the only tag of its sort on that entire webpage (I'd say site, except I had to do the same to most of my Shaq Fu images as well).

This frustrates me to no end.

I mean, there is a total lack of consideration in that sort of action. Sure, I'll occasionally swipe an image from someone to illustrate a blog entry - but I try to avoid it. But when I do, I host the image myself. I have no desire to run up someone else's transfer because I wanted to put up a pretty picture. Sure, we exist in a world where transfer limits are pretty dang high, and it's nigh impossible for some punk's blogger account to cost me any money... but still. It's one of those things that just irks me on some fundamental level.

Mind you, I have zero problem with people posting my images to message boards or sharing them with friends. That's conversational. That's communal. That's informal. -- it's when it's presented as content in a final webpage, and someone might mistake it for someone else's work instead of mine - combined with my having to pay for it to be displayed still.

Of course, I'm probably pissing off the photographer who took the original photo, so what do I know.

At least I'm not making the photographer pay for its use.

I don't threaten anyone with any sort of legal action or make a big fuss (although I did go on a short spree of making nasty comments on people's blogs), but it's one of those things which still peeves me on every level of my being.

Well, maybe not every level... just a lot of them.
- Traegorn

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