Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter

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an apology

Sorry for disappearing for awhile. Verizon, which shall in the future be known as the Evil Empire, cut off my internet. As near as I can figure from my conversation with the fellow in India (who was very nice, by the way), it was because of a previous outstanding bill on a completely different account, which I could make payments on until it was paid off, I was told -- just before they sent me to collections. the internet bill was paid up, but they're not allowing me to pay it by check anymore because of a completely separate bill that they *are* letting me pay on by check.

So if anyone tried to e-mail me it probably bounced, and I also didn't get LJ notifications during that time; I'll backtrack and try to catch up as much as I can, but I haven't been online for three days, so I'm sure I missed something.

But never mind that, and maybe it was karma anyway: There's a more important reason I'm posting. Remember this?

As I said, Thursday night and most of Friday my internet was out. I spent all day Thursday searching for my original copy of the courthouse photo, so I could prove it was mine. The only copy on my hard drive was actually put there about a year after it was posted on my Photobucket, but my hard drive is filling up and I've been trying to burn everything onto disks. That turned out to be a good thing, since my CD-Rom drive is now broken.

I'm extremely disorganized, but I'd moved my office last year and figured all those CD's would be in the same box, along with other office stuff I took to the basement. I'm the paranoid sort, and usually burn files onto at least two disks before trashing them. Although there are CD's scattered around the house, chances were good I'd find the image in that box.

Only I didn't. I spent hours searching, and the only copy I could find is the one on my hard drive. I'm sure I didn't look in all my CD's, but I got to most of them.

Wait, it gets worse. It was wrong in my assertation that the wikimedia image shows my camera information. I was also using a Canon digital camera back then, one that's kept at the fire department. I went to the station and checked, and it is *not* the same model as the one shown. My photobucket image shows the same camera information as the wikimedia entry. Strike one against me.

That's a pretty hard strike. If I took the picture, why doesn't it have my camera information? Why can't I find the original copy? If I didn't take the picture, why do I have such a vivid memory of doing so?

On the other hand, why would I have used that picture as a userpic on LJ, when I have dozens of good Noble County Courthouse pictures of my own to use? I live three blocks from the courthouse; I walk or drive by it every day, usually with a camera on me. In fact, I found another picture taken from the exact same angle. I'm not a big fan of using the works of others without credit (thus my initial reaction).

On the third hand, all those other pictures might have gotten mixed up in my head. I've done internet searches for information on the courthouse before; maybe I found that pic, kept it, and later stumbled across it while looking for icons. By then I might have forgotten where I got it, and assumed it was mine. Heaven knows I've been known to get confused before, and that would make it my fault for not checking the photo details.

That's the only scenerio that fits all the known facts. I'm forced to conclude that it's not Derek Jensen who misappropriated the image, but me. And while it's true that he stated in his wikimedia post that he was giving it out freely, that doesn't change the fact that I tried to claim it as my own. I may not have known it, but that doesn't make it any less wrong.

I spent a lot of time brooding about this, and as much as my heart screams that I took that photo, my brain has crunched the numbers and just can't accept that explanation anymore. I feel horrible. I've insulted Mr. Jensen, and I've misled my LJ friends who were so offended on my behalf, and who even posted their own protests to wikimedia. I want to say how very sorry I am to all of you, especially Derek Jensen, that I caused so much heartache. I can only say that I'm humbled, will remove the image from my LJ and attribute it on photobucket, and in the future will be a great deal more cautious. I'm leaving comments open because anyone should feel free to give me a verbal slap in the face for screwing this up.
Tags: photography
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