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Author Topic: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?  (Read 20702 times)

summit68

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2014, 01:17:56 pm »

In general though, I think the vast majority of folks who do screen copies are using them for decorating their blogs or Facebook pages, and not making prints or in a commercial venture.

One could argue that using in blogs and Facebook is commercial.
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Colorado David

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2014, 02:58:43 pm »

The measure might be WWDD, what would Disney do?  If you posted a Disney character on your blog or facebook page and Disney discovered the use, I bet you'd hear from their legal department pretty quickly and pretty firmly.

telyt

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2014, 07:45:52 pm »

The measure might be WWDD, what would Disney do?  If you posted a Disney character on your blog or facebook page and Disney discovered the use, I bet you'd hear from their legal department pretty quickly and pretty firmly.

Disney's legal department has better funding than mine.
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Colorado David

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2014, 08:11:04 pm »

Disney's legal department has better funding than mine.

I know they have a better funded legal department than mine.  And in a case of infringement, they win every time.  I was responding to this:

In general though, I think the vast majority of folks who do screen copies are using them for decorating their blogs or Facebook pages, and not making prints or in a commercial venture.

that a blog post or a facebook post might not rise to the level of infringement.  I contend that it does.  It is the image owner's prerogative to pursue as he/she sees fit.

jjj

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2014, 06:39:22 am »

One could argue that using in blogs and Facebook is commercial.
Blogs, yes to commercial if blogger earns money. FB also yes if it is someone using FB for a business promotion.
However if you shoplift from a shop, should you be let let off if it is for your personal use?
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jjj

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2014, 06:40:34 am »

It is the image owner's prerogative to pursue as he/she sees fit.
Absolutely.
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Nick Walker

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2014, 07:10:51 am »

For a stress-free approach to this problem:
Never post hi-res images to the web.  By this I mean something that could be used to make a good print larger than 8" x 10".
Consider that unauthorized lo-res images (screen-saver quality) that appear on the web with your copyright notice is free advertising.
You are not losing any money with this approach as the people that post those images won't pay for them. They are just advertising for you.


Advertising - sharing pictures across the internet rarely pays the bills.

I have pursued all manner of companies for copyright theft, PGA of America, Scandinavian Press (23 images), even a small food outlet based in France, several other companies - one company has admitted responsibility (27 infrigements) but continues to ignore payment demands.

I have lost track of the amount of money I have recovered over the years but it has been somewhere between £12,000 - £15,000. It is not complicated to pursue offenders and you don't need an overpaid copyright lawyer in straight forward copyright theft cases - just evidence, letters and invoices. Also it helps to provide the offender the chance to admit any further copyright abuses and offer them a discount.

I fail to understand why people don't pursue copyright theft, especially those committed by companies.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 05:39:21 pm by N Walker »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2014, 02:12:42 am »

How do you check if you photos have been copied?

Nick Walker

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2014, 04:33:30 am »

louoates

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2014, 03:57:01 pm »

If you are on blood pressure meds I suggest you forget about searching the internet for your images.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2014, 05:39:10 pm »

I checked a couple of mine.  Guess they weren't good enough to steal.  How depressing!

rcdurston

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2015, 01:15:31 pm »

A little bird told me last year, that if you belong to Photoshelter you will have some good news when it comes to tracking down copyright infringers in 2015.

R
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Iluvmycam

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2015, 08:54:34 pm »

Someone approached me recently via email and offered to run a Google reverse image search in bulk across my whole landscape photography website. I was curious and told them to go ahead. Well was I surprised when the report arrived showing literally thousands of copyright breeches across the world. A quick scan revealed everything from small time bloggers and forum posters, to a large number of travel related commercial websites, and on up to larger businesses and even some government departments.

What to do? Photography represents a large portion of my income, and image licensing is about half of that (the other half being print sales). It’s a business I’m trying to build up, so to me this is serious concern. I tried contacting a few off the top of the list highlighting the copyright breech and asking they either take the images down or pay my licensing fee. Explanations so far have been:

1) When my images are used with copyright watermark cropped off or photo shopped out:
- They did a Google image search, found images without a copyright watermark and assumed (quite incorrectly) that they were free to use.
- They bought the website from someone else or had it developed by someone else and have no idea where the images came from.
- They fail to respond, presumably out of guilt, but the images are taken down.

2) When my images are used with copyright watermark still in place:
- They and thought I'd be flattered to have them appear on their website (sans payment).
- They thought it was okay to use any image (sans payment) provided the copyright watermark was left in place.

Granted I've only contacted a small handful of the thousands on the list, but in all cases thus far they have immediately taken down the images from their website and have no interest in purchasing a license. Given these are the calibre of people who are prepared to commit a crime to avoid spending a few dollars that doesn't surprise me.

What I'm looking at then is probably a solid three weeks of work to:
- Open each URL and verify the image in question is mine.
- Identify the company or individual involved and cross check against legit paid invoices.
- In the case of theft, search their site for contact details.
- Email them with links to the offending pages requesting take down or payment.
- Respond to replies and verify images are taken down.

I don't have three weeks spare for what could be zero profit. I could possibly find half an hour in a week free, but at that pace the list will have grown back to the same size by time I get to the end.

One other issue that this has highlighted to me is how many copies of my work out "out there" without my copyright notice on them. I suspect this has come about from using image hosting/printing sites that don't watermark their small preview images. Of course as photographers we know that "copyright protection does not depend upon registration, publication, a copyright notice, or any other procedure — the protection is free and automatic. A photo is protected by copyright automatically from the moment it is taken". (See: http://www.copyright.org.au/admin/cms-acc1/_images/732757805533a4bbed9e2a.pdf). However the general public seems to take the view that if it's not nailed down it's free to take.

So anyway, does anyone have any advice on how to proceed? I'm tempted to just scan the list for anything that looks like large commercial/government organisations and deal with those, leaving the rest.

That is how it is nowadays.

Use low res images.  No one can make a killing off your 75 kb files.

Personally I use very hi res images for my web images (2 to 3 mb) and hope and encourage people make use of them. So we are on different wavelengths.
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jjj

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2015, 06:46:19 pm »

There a new website Pixsy that seems to find your images, sort out legal stuff and take a cut from that.
It's still in beta, so can't comment on its effectiveness, but potentially could be a useful resource for photographers who'd rather take photos than serve legal notices.
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Iluvmycam

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2015, 08:57:52 pm »

For a stress-free approach to this problem:
Never post hi-res images to the web.  By this I mean something that could be used to make a good print larger than 8" x 10".
Consider that unauthorized lo-res images (screen-saver quality) that appear on the web with your copyright notice is free advertising.
You are not losing any money with this approach as the people that post those images won't pay for them. They are just advertising for you.


Yep that sums it up.

I posted high res at Wiki commons. But they are deleting 250 of my images and not allowing me to post anymore, many hi res to boot. They didn't even want the for free. (They demanded commercial rights, I offered educational and editorial rights only.) And my work is in nearly 90 museums and public collections. I wouldn't care about commercial rights, but as a doc photog I get no model or property releases.
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jjj

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Re: Thousands of copyright infringements – What to do?
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2015, 11:59:51 am »

For a stress-free approach to this problem:
Never post hi-res images to the web.  By this I mean something that could be used to make a good print larger than 8" x 10".
Consider that unauthorized lo-res images (screen-saver quality) that appear on the web with your copyright notice is free advertising.
You are not losing any money with this approach as the people that post those images won't pay for them. They are just advertising for you.
Except images are usually stolen for other web use, not printing and there is no advertising if there is no attribution. Watermarks are removable, credits rare and you are most certainly losing money if people are using your work without paying for it.
I hear pro photographers complaining all the time about stolen work and oddly enough they do not talk about work they subsequently get from this theft.
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