Hi. I'd like to open a can of worms.

I'm probably going to offend someone. (What else is new?) But if you haven't heard about the Payless/Chictopia upset at Independent Fashion Bloggers, you can read Jennine's article here. I wasn't going to say anything but WOAH guys my picture is up there too. (From this post.)

Now I thought they'd just pulled everyone who ever used "Payless" in an outfit tag, but there aren't actually that many pictures up, so I guess not. Anyway they obviously chose the picture where my disastrous haircut was least noticeable. Aha-ha.

FIRST OF ALL, I don't think bloggers should have any kind of grievances with Chictopia or Payless for using their pictures, because they (and I) signed away their rights when agreeing to the Terms of Service. That's our problem. Not theirs. Even if they don't link back. If it's in the Terms of Service, YOU AGREED TO IT.

SECOND OF ALL, while Jennine was supposed to be acting as a facilitator for the comments (and she did, at some nasty parts), I definitely think she jumped to conclusions when responding to the comment made by Liz from Late Afternoon and when talking about Helen from Chictopia's lack of response. I mean I'm probably biased because I've met both Helen and Liz in person, and I haven't met Jennine, but I thought this was such a sensationalist issue and Jennine didn't give the other side a chance to say anything before pointing Fingers Of Serious Accusation.

THIRD OF ALL, I think it's fine to want to make money off your blog. It's fine. The point of blogging is to have something that is all your own. So no one should be telling anyone what to do with their blogs unless it's hurting someone.

FOURTH OF ALL, OMGWTF I thought IFB was about community. What happened to that? So someone has an unpopular opinion. There's no need to degrade the comments section into a series of personal attacks and there is never any need to call a girl you don't know a whore. I wonder if this would have happened if we were having an open forum in person. ...Didn't think so.

FIFTH OF ALL, SERIOUSLY? Seriously? We're talking about legality of image use in an online endeavor where people almost never properly credit sources? Hell, I don't properly credit (photo) sources. I consider a link or name-drop to be enough credit for myself, so I do the same for everyone else. If Payless wants to use the images I GAVE UP THE RIGHTS TO when I posted them to Chictopia, so be it. If people really want to know who's in those pictures, of course there's a way to find out. Oh my God. If you see some classy-ass bokeh photo on someone's tumblr with no source link (oh, does this happen often? I had no idea) and want to find the photographer, THERE ARE WAYS TO FIND THEM. If people are interested enough, they'll find you. It's the goddamn internet, you guys.

SIXTH OF ALL, get over yourselves. We are all just girls who like good clothes. If you're treating your blog as a business, then be more careful with where you're posting your pictures.

AND LASTLY, dude, I'm on the Payless website. WHAT!!!

[EDIT: I thought perhaps because I only checked the Payless website a few hours ago, Chictopia had already started adding bloggers' links to their Style Watch gallery, but Kristine from eli presentacion (she works for Chictopia) tells me that the usernames have always been there. That is, if you click on the picture of me, you get taken to this screen:

and if you click that nifty Read More link, you see this:

So pretty much everything from my original Chictopia post has been preserved (except the formatting of the links, but I assume that was an oversight on Payless's part. Still, they bothered to parse everybody's photos to figure out what shoes they were wearing). It's made very obvious on the Payless website that this style gallery was formed in collaboration with Chictopia, and there is definitely credit attribution here - it's not like my photo of myself is being marketed as Payless's creative genius.

Now I understand why Erin from calivintage (whom I have also met in person and whom I think is epic and a total badass!!) would have preferred if Payless had contacted her to use her images directly, rather than use her images through Chictopia. If we're just talking about links, no, there is no link to her blog on the Payless website. So no, Payless isn't going to directly increase her traffic.

But (this is my FIFTH OF ALL point) I think that if people are interested enough, they'll figure out that they should search for your username on Chictopia. And that's a benefit for the blogger. Regardless of how indirect.

My two cents. /]
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