Saturday, June 13, 2015


The Swastika Laundry in Lansdowne Road in the 1960s
Click image for a larger version

Those who know me know that I have a very open attitude to sharing information. I have a website and some blogs for a number of years and people are welcome to use the material I have compiled. I have done a whack of research on family and local (Killiney) history over the years and I have made the results available through illustrated talks and extensive background pages on my website. I am normally thrilled to see my stuff appearing on other people's sites.

So no problem there. I really only have two conditions (and expectations) when people use or draw on my stuff. I would like, and am entitled to, some credit for the material, and all I'm talking about here is a mention of the source. And I do not like people, either explicitly or implicitly, claiming that my material is in fact theirs.

I think that is a very reasonable attitude and I have put a Creative Commons notice on my blogs and website so that people are aware that they are free to use the material for non-commercial purposes, provided they credit it to me and do not mess it up.

Anyone who has asked me about material has found that I am not only happy for them to use it, I am prepared to help them and put in some extra work myself if this is needed.

So I have got a bit pissed off on a very few occasions over the years about what I consider unreasonable use of my material, the most recent of those being yesterday. I thought then that I would mention these few in a blog post, just to get it off my chest once and for all.

Old Dublin Town

This is a very interesting website and the webmaster has put a huge amount of work into it and deserves a lot of credit for assembling such a vast range of relevant material. I have only two gripes here.

Two of my pictures appear on the site without any indication of where they are from. The first is of the Swastika Laundry (above) on a page dealing with the laundry. And the second appears on a page dealing with Nelson's Pillar. There is no mention of where these came from though both are on my site. The first appears in my Signs of the Times section, and the second in an extended slide show on Nelson's Pillar.

My second gripe concerns a video which appears on the Nelson's Pillar page and which is viewable either on the page or on Youtube. The soundtrack is The Dubliners on Nelson but the visuals consist almost 100% of pictures from my slideshow. The Dubliners are given credit, not on the page but on Youtube, but I am not mentioned.

Ballybrack Parish

I lived in the parish for about twenty years and only left after getting married in this fine church. The parish subsequently acquired a chapel of ease in Killiney village. This is St. Stephen's and it is a beautiful little church. Imogen Stuart was the artist in residence for its construction and fitting out and she did a fabulous job. I took some photos on visit to Killiney some years later and they can be seen on my site. Imagine my surprise when in more recent times I was checking out some material in the parish newletter online only to find the complete set of my photos up on the parish site without any mention of where they came from. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, they are now gone off the parish site, swept away in a site revamp.

Dublin, the old days and ways

This interesting Facebook site appears to be of relatively recent origin and consists of a group of people who have an interest in Dublin's history and photographs relating to it. I don't know why it is a closed group, but as the only way I could check it out was to apply to join, I did just that. After a slight hiccup with the admin I was admitted and started checking out some of the rare old photos. I fairly quickly came upon a piece about a grand uncle of mine complete with a photo of his old premises in James's St. I was well into the text when I started feeling there was something familiar about it and then realised that it was actually a piece I had written for the Pues Occurrences blog in 2010. It appeared here without any attribution and one could be forgiven for thinking that the admin who posted it had written it himself.

Being the neurotic that I am, I posted a comment giving a link to the source of the text and photo. I also gave a link to a page on my site dealing extensively with a bridge, across the Grand Canal at Fatima, which had been referred to in the discussion on the post. And I also linked to a page on my site which gave a lot of background to a talk I had given on my grand uncle some years back.

I took it, from the blue line on the left of my comment, that comments were moderated, but imagine my surprise when I exited the page later to find I was no longer a member of the group. Fortunately I still had a copy of the page open and took a screen shot which you can peruse here.

The discussion was lively and shaping up well and I was looking forward to participating in it and talking to some of the people who had actually crossed the bridge while it was still there. If you're really excited by this little adventure of mine you can see an annotated version of my exchanges with the admin here.

It was a truly weird conversation as far as I am concerned. Remember, I am the injured party here. He is behaving like I have injured him and then to rub it in he is offering me personal advice. I understand he is a hairdresser by profession and, in this case, he would clearly be better confining his attentions to the outside of other people's heads.

So there you have it. Anonymous testimony to the worth of my work all over the internet.

No comments: