I had a bit of a shock yesterday evening. It seems a couple of weeks ago a Chinese woman called Cheng Chen emptied the internet of all the pictures she could find of Khyentse Rinpoche, including several from this blog, and printed them in a thick, full-colour book. I saw it yesterday.
She neither sought permission from any of the photographers (some of whom are professionals, not rank amateurs like myself) nor named her sources. The impression you are left with is that she took all those photos herself and has therefore known Rinpoche all his life.
It’s definitely fun to share photos and articles by linking to websites, etc, but to publish other people’s photos as a book and pass them off as your own is theft. And if not theft, it’s definitely taking ‘sharing’ a little too far.
I appear to be feeling outraged! But it’s so long since I was confronted with that particular emotion, it could be something else entirely.
Unfortunately, the above is so colouring my perception right now that I can’t think of anything write. And I find I’m a little wary of posting any of the pictures I had lined up. I’m sure this mood will pass as the strength of my reaction fades, but in the meantime the picture I’ve posted today is an innocuous snap that I took on my lunchtime walk. I doubt anyone will want to download or print it, in spite of the pretty colours.