pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: A question about legal use of stock photo in portfolio  (Read 2687 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: March 25, 2012, 11:23 »
0
Can a photographer buy a stock photo and use it in his own "portfolio" section on his/her photographic web site portraying it as it is his/her photograph to his/her customers?
From a moral stand point it is of course not ok, but how about according to license terms?
I have come across such use of some of my images and I am not sure if this really is ok?
I have no problem with my images being used in commercial activities, but when someone else is taking credit for my work, claiming indirectly that they created it, Im getting annoyed.
Any thoughts?


Microbius

« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 11:38 »
0
I would guess (and it is only a guess) that it isn't at all okay. Look up "moral rights on the internet".
I should think most terms on the micros also forbid it.
Plus the company could be in a dodgy legal position in some countries for false advertising.

« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2012, 11:44 »
0
Is the abuser located in the same country you are in?

That should make things easier.

If the person who runs a "photographic" web site claims that all of the images are his copyright then it's not ok.

A lawyer should be willing to take this on contingency. If not even if you pay for it, it's a clear situation.

Most likely when you put that "thief" on the spot he/she will claim: "I didn't know" but that doesn't count in court.

Especially of the web site is made to create a monetary gain like promoting a photography business or making money off of advertising etc.

To consult a lawyer would be your best bet.

« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2012, 11:59 »
0
I person in question is not located in the same country.
When I contacted the person, the reply was in short:

"I bought the images at Veer, and this is a legit use. Other photographers use stock in their portfolio all the time" At least I paid for them."

ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 12:00 »
0
If the person who runs a "photographic" web site claims that all of the images are his copyright then it's not ok.

I don't think in this particular case that the buyer has claimed directly that they're his/hers. The OP says, 'claiming indirectly that they created it', so I'm envisioning a scenario where someone has their own photographic site with e.g. a Gallery, which would strongly imply they took the photos, or at least that's what they want potential clients to infer, rather than actually has their copyright on the pics.

However, if I'm wrong, and they have claimed copyright and if you know which agency the image was sold from, contact the support dept of the agency first. Last week I found a site which was claiming their copyright on one of my pics. I contacted iStock's CR and they told them to remove their copyright. Interestingly, they chose to drop the photo. Slightly surprising, as it wasn't a photographer's site, it was a location information site, and they had credited another tog with copyright on their pic and use under creative commons. However, they'd used it, so it couldn't be a refund.

« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 12:01 »
0
I have tried to read the licensing terms, but cannot find anything about such use. I am not a lawyer and English is not my first language so I might be missing something in the legal text that the agencies use.

« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 12:04 »
0
It is a photographic business that does maternal/baby photos and my images are in its portfolio showroom for maternal photos.
It is not stated in text that he/she claim copyright but that's the way it is portraited towards the customer.

« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2012, 12:05 »
0
Contact Veer and let them know!

I'm dying to find out if a photographer can hang other photographer's images in his studio "just because he paid for them" making it look like they are his work.

I would be steaming!

ShadySue

« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 12:09 »
0
Contact Veer and let them know!

I'm dying to find out if a photographer can hang other photographer's images in his studio "just because he paid for them" making it look like they are his work.

I would be steaming!

Morallly it's wrong, but legally I'm not sure it's any different from e.g. using stock interior shot and claiming it's your own company's work. In some countries, that seems to be perfectly OK (not in the UK, so it rattles me every time).

However, contact Veer in the first instance, maybe checking their t&c first.

« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 12:18 »
0
Wait and see what Veer tells you about this.

Legal or not, this is BS. Most people walking into a photo studio don't expect photos on the wall of another photographer than the one they are about to hire.

This is just blatantly taking advantage of people and quite insulting. Very bad business practice.

However, what you could do is go to to review web sites like Yelp, yahoo, Google etc. and leave raving reviews about a particular photograph in his showroom that you were blown away by until you realized "WOW, I took that shot" and post a link to your portfolio online.

« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2012, 12:25 »
0
I have contacted Veer and we'l see what they say about the matter. I can't believe how anyone would build their photographic business upon others work. Unbelievable.

« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2012, 13:08 »
0
I would think this is a catch all for using images in any unsavory way...

Sensitive Subjects: use the Content in a fashion that is considered by Veer in its sole but reasonable discretion, or under applicable law, may be considered pornographic, obscene, immoral, infringing, defamatory or libelous in nature, or that would be reasonably likely to bring any person or property reflected in the Content into disrepute

rubyroo

« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 13:55 »
0
Well it's pretty clear that no-one else can overtly claim to be the creator of someone else's images, but it'll be interesting to see how Veer respond to a case like this, where (if I'm understanding it correctly) it seems that there is an implication rather than an overt statement as to who the creator is.

I look forward to hearing how this turns out.  

« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2012, 18:22 »
0
This becomes less of a copyright issue and more of a willful misrepresentation issue, and it happens all the time.

http://www.petapixel.com/2010/09/15/photographer-offers-groupon-deal-using-stolen-photographs-chaos-ensures/

In the US, my first stop would be the Better Business Bureau for their area. Unfortunately, stock agency terms do not explicitly prohibit this kind of use. It's wrong, but one would think that such unethical usage would be understood by a business. Looks like it's not here.

Save your money on the lawyers unless they are a big fish and actually worth pursuing. Take screenshots of your image in use. Also take a screenshot of their copyright notice or anything that might relate to claims of it being their own work. Send a takedown request. Set a time limit in the request. If the images are not removed, post the business link and your stock link EVERYWHERE, especially on sites that are big in local commerce where the photographer does business. Avoid personal commentary, just state the facts. Avoid the phrase "stolen images", since technically he did not steal, he said he licensed them. Better to use terms like Misrepresentation or False Advertising.

Send to your local news agent too. They may not even care, but if it is a slow news day, the news agents these days have published less important things. Also if the photog is using advertisers to gain revenue for their site, contact them too. This will put the screws to them better than any claim of copyright infringement.

Edit: My error in not thinking - when making your statement make it Misleading Advertising, not False Advertising. And BTW, if you go to that Dana Dawes photography site, looks like it is now out of biz and the site owner may now be attempting/planning to monetize by writing about stuff like auto parts and restaurant supplies.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 19:17 by stormchaser »

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 18:38 »
0
It is a photographic business that does maternal/baby photos and my images are in its portfolio showroom for maternal photos.
It is not stated in text that he/she claim copyright but that's the way it is portraited towards the customer.

Completely agree with Stormchaser above.  It's a misrepresentation, not a copyright violation unless he has specifically claimed copyright of the image. 

I've seen mine used that way, on a photographer's website a few times.  As long as the photographer is only using it for illustrative purposes, not reselling it, and not explicitly stating it is their work, I have always understood it to be okay with the agencies.  

I agree it is completely unethical, but I don't get upset every time some photographer in some other state or country uses my images to illustrate his website.  If I were his customer and his work did not measure up to his website, then I would be upset!  

As another example, hair salons have pictures all over their walls of models whose hair they did not style.  This is kind of the same thing.  
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 18:41 by lisafx »

KB

« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2012, 19:03 »
0
As another example, hair salons have pictures all over their walls of models whose hair they did not style.  This is kind of the same thing.  
I'm not sure that's a good example, Lisa. In that case, those photos are there to serve a purpose ("oh, hey, that looks nice, can you do something like that?") rather than any pretense that they did that work.

Perhaps a better example are some websites I've found with one of my photos of a particularly well-maintained home being used as samples of "Our work" for a construction company (nope) and a lawn & care business (again, nope).  ;D Complete fabrication and deliberate mis-representation. But I'm sure it goes on all the time.

« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2012, 20:51 »
0
Hey, hey we're not talking about some business advertising some product or service using our (or in this case the OP's image) - we are talking about a photographer advertising his/her business with photographs of another photographer.

This all may not be illegal but simply put a very idiotic business sense. Not only is he/she risking getting caught advertising his/her services with other photographers' images but also that consequences in terms of getting exposed publicly.

I have yet to come across a dubious "professional" photographer's web site that does NOT claim that ALL images are copyright of the respective owner of the business. Therefore I take a stab in the dark and strongly assume that this photographer as well may paint this picture of: "Hey look at my portfolio to see my previous work". This is 101 promotion of any photographer, to showcase previous job's in order to get more work.

So the situation in itself is just very upsetting for the original photographer because it's not about the license (and the associated fees - microstock yay...) but actually about the humiliation of nasty and stupid competition decorating themselves with shots they didn't take and many times the original photographer is the one who gets the short end of the stick.


OM

« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2012, 04:34 »
0

lisafx

« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2012, 16:18 »
0
As another example, hair salons have pictures all over their walls of models whose hair they did not style.  This is kind of the same thing. 
I'm not sure that's a good example, Lisa. In that case, those photos are there to serve a purpose ("oh, hey, that looks nice, can you do something like that?") rather than any pretense that they did that work.

Perhaps a better example are some websites I've found with one of my photos of a particularly well-maintained home being used as samples of "Our work" for a construction company (nope) and a lawn & care business (again, nope).  ;D Complete fabrication and deliberate mis-representation. But I'm sure it goes on all the time.

You make a good point about the hair salons.  I never imagined the hair stylists styled the models in the pictures, but a reasonable person would assume a photographer took the images on their own website. 

I am not defending the practice in any way shape or form.  People who do it are clearly misleading customers, and in some cases outright lying to them.  Not to mention, they must be awful photographers if they can't come up with good images they HAVE taken to populate their website with.

Just saying that if they stay just this side of the law, and aren't violating TOS from the micros, then there isn't much we can do about it. 

« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 19:33 »
0
Whats funny to me is that if you're going to fraud your way into a profession, why pick photography?  Pay is low and clients are guaranteed to find out you're not what you cracked yourself up to be.

« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2012, 14:49 »
0
Orginal poster here again :) Thank you for all your comments.
I contacted Veer and they came back to me very swiftly and professional. They meant that it was not a clear misuse according to the licence terms but they still wanted to see the site for themselves and discuss it with the legal team. Before we got that far, however, the photographer removed all my content from her site. I guess that's enough for me. The conclusion I make is that this could happen in micro stock and the only thing you can do when you find out such things is to try to talk sense into the person and if that is not working, taking the problem public, so the end customer can see the fraud for themselves.

Thanks

RT


« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2012, 15:22 »
0

ShadySue

« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2012, 20:48 »
0
I just got a Groupon pop in with the offer to go for a paid-for tutored photowalk with one Leon Dickson.
Now wishing to get into a libel case, but he has this page on his site:
http://liamdickson.com/portfolio/page/2
One of the pics seems to be well used:
http://tinyurl.com/d4vftug
and another appears to be someone else's photo, or else someone has stolen it from him or he has a nom-de-camera on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/363607328#

Oddly, Groupon seem to be complicit in the implication.
Their landing page for this offer is:
http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/glasgow/liam-dickson-photography/4548574?nlp=&CID=UK_CRM_1_0_0_93&a=19
Frpom which you might infer than Mr Dickson took the photo of the Armadillo. Well he might have, but that photo is used all over the place by Groupon:
http://tinyurl.com/d96wghd

Caveat emptor, it seems.

@OP: Amny more feedback from Veer?

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
43 Replies
6772 Views
Last post January 25, 2009, 21:30
by Randy McKown
23 Replies
3886 Views
Last post June 21, 2009, 10:01
by Wisent
29 Replies
3784 Views
Last post April 21, 2011, 17:09
by cathyslife
24 Replies
3018 Views
Last post January 04, 2012, 15:10
by Sean Locke Photography
32 Replies
1904 Views
Last post Today at 14:56
by michaeldb

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors