A personal statement concerning the use of my name

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: A personal statement concerning the use of my name
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 08:43:19 +1000
Yesterday, 18 June 2010, I announced on BirdingAus a link to some photos I had taken of the Hooded Plover recently found at Noosa Heads, SE Qld. I have made the images available for public viewing for the enjoyment of birdwatchers in general and to provide an aid for those who plan to look for the bird themselves. I am sure many birdwatchers have seen this species elsewhere but I am also sure that many 'local' birdwatchers may not have had that pleasure yet. My other hope is that, by encouraging more birdwatchers to experience the birdwatching opportunities in the Noosa area specifically and the Sunshine Coast of SE Qld in general, more pressure may be placed on local authorities to recognise the value there is in preserving the natural resources of the area. As it is, a great deal of pressure is being placed on the area of the sighting of the Hooded Plover by human activity and this has the potential to cause a high degree of disruption to the well-being of the birds which use the sand areas of the Noosa River estuary. To the credit of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council they are taking steps to lessen that danger.

I receive no commercial (read monetary) gain from showing the Hooded Plover photos and the web pages which contain those images have no links of any commercial nature whatsoever. My photos are not for sale but I do, at times, allow the use of my photos for non-commercial and or community use. I do, of course, reserve the right to decide who I allow to use those images and where they may be used.

For a short time after the announcement of the link to the Hooded Plover photos a statement appeared on the Bird-O website stating that I had photographed the hooded Plover at Noosa on 17 June 2010. The statement was included as part of a so-called Trip Report and as part of what seemed to be a time-line. I did not ask anyone involved with the Bird-O website to include that information and I did not ask anyone at Bird-O to use my name in connection with their reporting of the presence of a Hooded Plover at Noosa Heads. I felt that using the statement containing my name but without any link to my photos was gratuitous in nature in that it did not provide any worthwhile information but was simply used as padding to make the 'Trip Report' appear more comprehensive and authoritative. In my opinion the use of my name in this manner could present me in a 'self-seeking' light in some people's view so I have requested that the reference to myself be removed from the Bird-O website.
That request has been complied with.

In responding to my request a moderator of the Bird-O website explained to me that they consider what appears on websites such as BirdingAus to be in the "public domain" and therefore they are entitled to make use of such information on their own website. Apparently they feel they do not need to pay the original author the courtesy of consultion before using the information originally provided by the original author in the original posting. If it is the case that what appears on BirdingAus, for example, is in the 'public domain' and is therefore considered to be available for use by any other party without request from or consultation with the original author then I am quite disturbed by that and I would therefore be very reluctant to post anything on any on-line forum in the future.

By way of a comparison and an example of how I think things should be done, I was approached by a moderator of Birdline Australia for permission to use a link to my Hooded Plover photos in connection with their entry for the Noosa Hooded Plover sighting. I appreciated the respect and courtesy contained in the request and, determining in my own mind the relevance and value to birdwatchers considering looking for the bird, I readily agreed to supply a suitable link.

I have no desire to totally prevent websites such as Bird-O from having access to and using information made available on BirdingAus, for example. However, in my case, when I post to BirdingAus I tailor that information for the list-members in a manner which I believe will suit the context of the list itself. If someone connected with websites such as Bird-O (for example) thinks that the information I have provided on another website is suitable for their own purposes I would like to be consulted first so that I can be satisfied that what is being used is relevant, accurate and of value to the potential readers. I have no desire to see my words or pictures or descriptions of my activities used simply in an attempt to 'enhance' the perceived value of a website I would not normally patronise.

I recognise that other people may have different opinions on this matter and that is their right. I simply ask that those people recognise that I have a right to my opinions also and that they respect that. If I am shown due respect and courtesy I am much more likely to respond positively to requests made of me.


Bob Inglis
Sandstone Point


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