This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.



October 2004

Sara is Famous!

At October 28, 2004 18:36:46 UTC out of the blue I got an email from Frank:


Did you know one of YOUR pictures is “famous”?  I just got this e-mail, and I immediately recognized one of the pictures. (You’ve got to admit, that’s a classic photo!)  Speaking of which, what happed to that and other pictures that used to be on your web site?  I went looking for them (cuz I couldn’t remember your dog’s name) and couldn’t find them.

– Frank

And forwarded along under the message was one of those emails that gets forwarded all around the Internet with inspirational little messages interspersed with cute pictures of animals. But lo and behold, one of the pictures in the email was this one. From my website!

That is a picture of Sara, the puppy I found trying to cross I-95 in July 2001. The picture is from August, when I came home one day to find out that Sara had basically torn up the whole house. I had posted the picture on PhotoSig where it is still the fifth highest rated picture using the camera I had at the time. Then this guy saw it there and made it the Daily Pet Photo on his site (with permission). And I guess someone saw it there, or somewhere else, and decided to add it to this inspirational email thing and then forward it to all their friends, who forwarded it to all their friends, who forwarded it to all their friends, until it eventually got to someone who knew me and had seen that picture before.

On the one hand, it is uncredited, and that isn’t the coolest thing, but on the other hand, my very own picture of my very own dog (well, my mom’s dog now) is making the rounds in one of those email messages that gets passed around forever all over the place! How cool is that?

I’ve seen bunches of versions of this email with most of the same pictures and slightly different messages, but this is the first time I have seen one with my picture of SARA in it!!! Sara is famous now!

Here is the message itself, including my pic and all the rest that were in the email. This is the best I could reproduce the email in this forum…

Thoughts for good days

Always try to help a friend in need.

Believe in yourself.


But remember… its ok to be afraid sometimes.

Give lots of kisses.

Don’t be overly concerned with your weight,
its just a number!

Always try to see the glass half full.

Meet new people, even if they look different to you.

Remain Calm…

…even if it seems rather hopeless!

Take a nap if you need one..

Have a good sense of humor and laugh often.

Love your friends, no matter who they are.

Don’t waste food.

Take an occasional risk.


Try to have a little fun each day

AND its important, no matter what…

…to work together as a team,

Share a joke with your friends and neighbors,

and fall in love with someone special

Say I love you often.

Express yourself creatively.

Always be up for surprises.

Share with a friend.

Remember the saying,
Good things happen to good people!

There is always someone who loves you
more than you know.

Exercise a little each day!

Live up to your name.

Hold on to good friends;
they are few and far between!

Remember this advice and have a wonderful day!

8 comments to Sara is Famous!

  • Abulsme

    Where is Erica when you need her?? :-)

  • NM175

    I agree it’s not cool for them to use your photo without permission (while understanding that it’s flattering, nonetheless) — but according to your argument a couple years back about napster, etc., doesn’t this just fall under intellectual property rights (which you’re against) and unless you make technical safeguards to prevent such a thing from happening, isn’t it, according to you (which I’ve always strongly disagreed with), fair game?

    And what if G.W. Bush stops using the “Still the One” song and instead flashes the picture of Sara at ralleys and makes her his freedom puppy? Should you be able to tell him to stop?

  • Abulsme

    Absolutely. It is just a matter of courtesy to include attribution. It should not be a matter of law.

  • Abulsme

    Oh, and to the second part, no, I should not be able to tell W to stop. By releasing the picture to the internet in the way that I did, it became fair game as you said. I at that moment gave up any and all rights I had to control that content.

    It would still be the “right thing” for someone to do to attribute the picture to me, and as a courtesy to tell me they are using it, but it is just a courtesy. It should NOT be something I could enforce. In fact, if I were to restrict the use of the picture, I would be doing the WRONG thing, because I would be restricting the free flow of ideas and information for selfish reasons.

    Having said that, it should not be illegal for me to put technological restrictions on my work to prevent its spread. It would be an asshole thing for me to do, but it should not be illegal. And if someone broke the restrictions, then so be it. It should be up to me to protect my work, not to the law. And if I put no restrictions, either technological or contractual (click through agreement before seeing the picture or whatnot) then it should be automatically assumed that my intention was to release the work into the public domain.

    Law or government has no business whatsoever in this domain.

  • Abulsme

    Oh, one more thing… on the contractural thing… if I had set up a mechanism whereby to get to the picture someone had to read and sign or accept an agreement restricting the things they could do with the picture, then that SHOULD be enforceable as a matter of contract law. But it should not be a matter of criminal law. It would simply be breach of contract, not any violation of intellectual property rights or any such thing.

  • NM176

    Ah, I was wondering how you were going to weasel out of that. Commie.

    Oh well, your photo is in the company of the greats — cat squashed in a glass. PRICELESS!

  • Abulsme

    No weasel at all. I am consistant. I actually thought about that as I put in the coment about it being uncredited. I chose my words carefully, saying that it was uncool, but then saying it was also cool. It would have been nice to be credited, but it is by no means NECESSARY.

    I am honored to be in the company of cat squashed in a glass! It is uncool not to attribute the source, the polite thing is to do so… but that does NOT mean that government should intervene and make it illegal to not attribute… it is just plain none of the governments business what people do with bits on their computers… or at least it shouldn’t be.

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