Re: my henna site

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Posted by Maureen on June 11, 2002 at 04:21:16:

In reply to: my henna site posted by Jameela on June 11, 2002 at 02:30:11:

Hi Jameela,

Since I am not personally involved with this, let me take a stab at
explaining why people may be surprised or offended when finding that
their pictures or text documents have been used on your or another's
website. And perhaps shed some light on what people would expect
from you or others who might desire to use their work products.

One misunderstanding in your post above is that because the pictures
are on the internet for the public to view, that by being there makes
them public property to be copied and used at will. That really
isn't correct. On many of the same websites where those pics are
displayed, there is also a copyright statement. Often within that
statement is permission for henna artists to use the designs for the
creation of their own henna art. That is intended to mean that
another henna artist who likes the design can create the design on
themselves freely. Some sites may well indicate that the pics and
documents may be used freely by anyone for any purpose...that would
be rare. So it is important to check out each website and understand
what permissions one might have regarding use of the content on that
particular website.

I believe just as a matter of courtesy and protocal, one must seek
permission prior to using anyone else's property. I would think that
a safe assumption regarding material on people's website is that what
is there is a product of their own work and efforts and therefore
they should have the right to give or refuse permission to use their

When something that appears on you website is not your own work
product, then there should be some reference to that unless it is
obviously part of public domain. If it is a picture that was taken
by another henna artist of their own work that you want to use on
your website, when seeking permission to use it you would be expected
to indicate that you will credit the picture and work to them. When
one comes to a website and sees a lot of pictures there, it is would
be natural to assume that the work is of the owner of the website
unless it is otherwise noted. That is why providing the credit for
the work (either pictures or text)is important. It would also be
expected that the credit is provided in near enough proximity to the
picture or document so that there is no misunderstanding.

Another issue may well be found in the difference in a commercial
site and one existing just to display examples of Mehndi body art.
When a site sells henna powder and paste and displays pics of henna
on people, the connection can be made that the henna stains in the
pictures were produced by the henna powder being sold on that
website. So for your website where you sell Jamila, to have pictures
done by other henna artists using a variety of henna powders to
produce their stains can appear misleading. Especially so, if you
have used pictures created by other henna artists who also sell henna
powder and the henna powder they sell is the one used to create the
stains in the pictures you have used on your website. Your
competitor is not going to be very happy finding pictures of their
work done with their powders on your website in ways that help you to
sell your henna powder...unless they have explicity given you their
permission to do so.

So just as a rule of thumb, it is best to always ask permission prior
to borrowing a picture or text from someone else's website. The same
as you would have to seek permission to copy verbadem a quote or poem
from someone's book or other copyrighted material. A work product is
a work product. The text documents come from many years of learning
and experimenting to come up with recipes and techniques. As stated
above and on the websites, it is there to be used by henna artists
but not to be published in hard documents or on the web without
giving proper credit and obtaining permission.

Another rule of thumb would be to have pics on your website of the
henna powder you sell. Since you sell Jamila, you want your
customers to see what Jamila stains look like...not other henna
powders. So it is even in your best interest to just have Jamila
pics there. Your customers may even feel mislead if they believe the
pictures they see on your website are Jamila stains and then find out
it is another henna powder instead. Things that might make your
customer feel mislead should be avoided. Your customers expect the
message to be clear. They don't want to have to figure it out. If
you have a picture of a product, that is the product your customers
expect to receive. If you have a picture of a product like the
bottle of oil you have on your website that is recognizable by its
shape and label, your customer will expect to get "that" oil. If
your are selling something other than that particular oil, then again
a customer my feel mislead. So it behooves you to as much as is
possible make what your customers see coincide with what they get.

Sometimes people borrow pictures and documents from other websites
without proper permission and providing proper credits because it is
easier and convenient in the short run. But, in the long run, that
practice can create problems for you.

I have found people who use henna powders that I sell to be more than
generous in the sharing of pictures of their work with others. I too
like to showcase the artwork of as wide variety of artists as
possible. Explaining that to henna artists and seeking their
permission up front is usually met with a generous long
as your business, goals and intent does not conflict with theirs.

Hope this helps you to understand a bit more the feelings generated.
There indeed appears to be a compliment in your desire to use some
peoples art work, but the compliment gets loss and unfortunately,
accusations can get made if you do not take the necessary steps
regarding credit and permissions.

Take care and good luck in your business. Given your name, your
choice of henna powder to sell is a good one.



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