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Author Topic: Open letter to "artists" who copy my work  (Read 17543 times)

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« on: February 10, 2015, 16:18 »
+34
I don't know what the point of this is other than to vent some frustration over this never-ending problem and maybe inspire someone to not be so inspired by other people's work. Enjoy... :)

------------

Dear Unoriginal Vector Artist,

Thanks for viewing my portfolio and picking out a few things you really like. I can tell right away which of my designs you were most inspired by because you copied them and are now selling them.

Fortunately for me you are as unskilled in creating vector graphics as you are in coming up with ideas of your own, so your stuff isn't really competing with mine. But you have still created some problems for me and I have to do something about this. But before I do, I thought you should know why. Because inevitably, whenever I report someone for copying my work, I get that angry email afterwards asking why I'm such an a*****e and why I bothered reporting you.

First, save the excuses. I've heard them all. Maybe you think I'll believe that you were just practicing, trying to learn how to do something by copying something else. And that's fine. I've done that myself. But I have never copied something to learn and then inadvertently keyworded it, saved it to various sizes and formats, and then accidentally uploaded it to multiple stock sites and put it up for sale.

You may also think I'll believe that you didn't know you couldn't sell other people's work. Or that you didn't think your design looked that much like mine. You were just "inspired" by my work and tried to do your own version.

Or if you're especially brazen you may even think anyone will believe that you actually are the original designer of that vector and that I, in fact, copied you. Even though it's pretty easy to prove otherwise.

But let's assume for a second that you don't throw any of these excuses at me and you really did just make this one mistake. You had this single lapse in judgement and 99% of your work is truly original. Then sure, I'd like to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you'll be more careful in the future not to copy anything of mine. But we still need to deal with this. Here's why...

I reuse a lot of elements from my designs in new work. I'll grab an icon I did last year or a graphic from a couple of years ago and work it into a new design. And since often the way that agencies assess cases of possible copying is to simply look at who uploaded the image first, now I could potentially look like the copier if I upload an image with that same graphic at a later date. Now because you copied my work, I'm potentially in danger of having my account with an agency terminated or suspended while they investigate. And although ultimately I'll be able to prove that I was the original artist, I can't take the chance that my accounts could be suspended even for a day. I'm not losing a day's earnings because of you.

So go ahead. Call me names, get angry that I reported you. Have at it. But understand that the innocent copying you did, thinking there was no harm in it, puts my livelihood at risk and hurts my ability to reuse stuff that I created and you decided to copy and sell. Maybe you think I really am an a*****e for being so overly protective of some silly clipart or vector icons. But please know that those silly graphics are the result of years of learning, practicing, studying the market and figuring out what sells and what doesn't. It's how my mortgage gets paid and how I pay for the clothes on my kids' backs. It took you just a few minutes to do your sloppy version of my design but it took me 8 years of working at this to get to this point, and I'm not about to let you or anyone else take it away because you felt entitled to copy my work.

I like to think I'm not a total a*****e so if this is a situation where it looks like you just copied 1 or 2 things of mine, I'll give you a chance to delete the infringing work, rather than going straight to the agencies and getting your accounts shut down. But that's a one-time, short-term offer to do the right thing. Refuse to remove the copied designs, try to explain why it's not an exact copy, or even refuse to respond to my request in a timely manner, and you're on your own in dealing with the wrath of compliance departments who won't give you the same courtesy I am.

If you do manage to come out of this with your microstock accounts still online, consider yourself lucky. Not many people who get caught copying others are able to get their accounts reinstated. Enjoy your good fortune and learn from it. If you are one of those few people who really did have a small lapse in judgement and made this one mistake, and you really do want the chance to build a legit portfolio, don't squander the opportunity.



« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2015, 17:17 »
+2
Great post!  Could not agree more.

I wish that as photographers we had the same options to go after people who copy our bestsellers.   All a copier has to do is change one small thing like lighting, angle or one tiny element and there us nothing we can do about it.

« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2015, 17:37 »
+4
Mike's well-written rant and PB's comment have both reminded me of yet another reason why I like "shooting" birds and other wildlife in their natural habitats.

Not only do I not need model releases, but also it would be almost impossible for some amateur, would-be thief to duplicate one of my images. Even if a copier happened to find the exact same wild critter out in nature, the background, lighting, weather, pose, etc, would be virtually impossible to duplicate.

Not to mention the different effects obtained by different lenses, most of which are probably too expensive for that sleazy, would-be thief to buy.  ;D


Semmick Photo

« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2015, 17:55 »
+2
Good post Mike.

Honest question, also related to PixelByte's comment, why is it allowed to copy a photograph but not copy a vector?


Thanks,

« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2015, 20:40 »
+4
Honest question, also related to PixelByte's comment, why is it allowed to copy a photograph but not copy a vector?


It isn't.

Back when iStock was really an agency (before Getty destroyed it), they had an image of the week that it later turned out was a re-shot and re-posed almost-duplicate of something a different photographer had created. Not only did they replace the image of the week, but I think they closed the contributor's account.

There was a lawsuit over a shot of a red double decker bus that a cheap client wouldn't pay the original photographer for, where the copy (not identical shot but same concept) that the cheap client had made was held to infringe the original photographer's copyright.

http://lawclanger.blogspot.com/2012/02/photographer-of-westminster-omnibus.html

But if you do just the smallest amount of work, you can create something from scratch on your own to try and gather up some sales of popular works - and lots of the top sellers in microstock have done that with some themes and setups that have been used by many other photographers over the years. It isn't copying but it obviously upsets those who were previously selling like crazy and see reduced sales.

This is one situation where the right models can help - if the image depends upon the wonderful expressions/face/poses of a particular model, it's harder to recreate for those who want to do that.


« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2015, 21:59 »
+8
Honest question, also related to PixelByte's comment, why is it allowed to copy a photograph but not copy a vector?


Is it harder to prove that a photo was copied? Maybe that has something to do with it.

Vectors, it's a little more cut and dry most of the time. It's pretty easy in most cases to tell if it's a copy, just inspired, or just in the same theme or style but not derived from something existing. The cases I report, they're usually the most obvious ones. When I can take my graphics and place it over the other person's and cut the opacity and it's exactly the same, that stuff gets reported.

Like this one that's going to the agencies if I don't get a response from the "artist" by tomorrow:



I guess they figured if they merged my 2 versions the resulting version would be "original". ;)

ruxpriencdiam

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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2015, 22:29 »
-5
You may want to attend a shuttertalk video session one day.


« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 02:55 »
+4
Yes, there's the problem with painters as well. A huge problem in fact!  >:(

I have a close friend. One day we were watching my gallery and she got that great idea - she'll paint my images and sell it on PODs. When I told her she can't do this she did her eyes so huge! "What do you mean I can't paint your pictures?! It will be my work then, I'm not stealing yours!" Well, not really. This is still the same work just copied in another form.
More examples we can see on FAA and every other POD site, I'm affraid   :-\

Semmick Photo

« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 03:18 »
+3
You may want to attend a shuttertalk video session one day.


Try to be a little bit more condescending for once

Semmick Photo

« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 03:21 »
0
Thanks Mike, Jo Ann, it seems to be a difficult situation most of the times.

Snow

« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2015, 04:19 »
+4
Vent all you want Mike, that is partly what this forum is forum no, expressing our concerns with this business.
Good post!

« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2015, 06:05 »
+7
Good post Mike.

Honest question, also related to PixelByte's comment, why is it allowed to copy a photograph but not copy a vector?


Thanks,

The thing with vectors is that quite often it isn't just a copy of an idea, but a direct theft of the vector by downloading on one of these warez sites or even licensing it then reuploading it as your own.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2015, 06:12 »
0
But I have been told that its ok to copy an idea as you cant copyright an idea, or something in those words.

« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2015, 07:39 »
+7
You may want to attend a shuttertalk video session one day.

Not sure I follow what you're saying here.

« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2015, 07:58 »
+11
You may want to attend a shuttertalk video session one day.

Not sure I follow what you're saying here.

I'd worry more if I did start following something he was saying  ;)

« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2015, 12:17 »
0
I think the other person was talking about this shutter talk live workshop about protecting your content...

 http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/learn-how-to-protect-your-content-in-our-shuttertalk-live-workshop

ruxpriencdiam

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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2015, 12:24 »
-4
I think the other person was talking about this shutter talk live workshop about protecting your content...

 http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/learn-how-to-protect-your-content-in-our-shuttertalk-live-workshop
Bingo it is all explained right there.


ShadySue

« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2015, 12:27 »
+3
I think the other person was talking about this shutter talk live workshop about protecting your content...

 http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/learn-how-to-protect-your-content-in-our-shuttertalk-live-workshop


Well, after it took 45 seconds of nothing to get started, she said she was going to cover copyright, releases and editorial. Nothing about how to protect your images from being stolen by others.

« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2015, 12:28 »
+7
I think the other person was talking about this shutter talk live workshop about protecting your content...

 http://www.shutterstock.com/blog/learn-how-to-protect-your-content-in-our-shuttertalk-live-workshop
Bingo it is all explained right there.


What's explained? As it relates to this discussion, people copying other people's work, I don't see the connection. I get that ideas aren't copyrightable, only the expression of the idea is. And in the examples shown in that video (ironically one of which is my nautical graphics set) the point is that if things are sufficiently different, they are considered separate works. Which I completely agree with.

But I'm not talking about that here. This is about people fully copying my work, to the extent that you could place one image over the other and see that the copied image was clearly traced from the original.

« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2015, 12:54 »
0
If anyone is interested , there is going to be a free live class on Creativelive about protecting copyrihts, licensing etc..is a long class. But after it airs , the class can be purchased to be watched later. On the live class people get to ask questions...Creativelive is a good site, once in a while they have some famous people teaching there, they had Anne Geddes a while ago.

I don't have the link handy , but just go to creativelive.com and in the search box look for "intellectual property".

I am not affiliated with this site or anything, I just like to watch some of their courses.







« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2015, 14:29 »
+3
But I have been told that its ok to copy an idea as you cant copyright an idea, or something in those words.

Copying other people's ideas is a d*#k move tho,  unless you do a totally different take on it.

« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2015, 14:45 »
0
But I have been told that its ok to copy an idea as you cant copyright an idea, or something in those words.

Copying other people's ideas is a d*#k move tho,  unless you do a totally different take on it.

I can't say I have a ton of ideas, so if you are copying me, you are probably copying the design.

« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2015, 14:49 »
0
But I have been told that its ok to copy an idea as you cant copyright an idea, or something in those words.

Copying other people's ideas is a d*#k move tho,  unless you do a totally different take on it.

I can't say I have a ton of ideas, so if you are copying me, you are probably copying the design.

Yeah.  I was more thinking of photos.  Vectors are much easier to prove copying.  D*#k move either way, but photogs seem to get away with it more.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2015, 15:49 »
0
But I have been told that its ok to copy an idea as you cant copyright an idea, or something in those words.

Copying other people's ideas is a d*#k move tho,  unless you do a totally different take on it.

I can't say I have a ton of ideas, so if you are copying me, you are probably copying the design.

Yeah.  I was more thinking of photos.  Vectors are much easier to prove copying.  D*#k move either way, but photogs seem to get away with it more.

How can you get away with something if its legal? If you cant copyright an idea, then making your own version  is legal.

« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2015, 18:01 »
+3
But I have been told that its ok to copy an idea as you cant copyright an idea, or something in those words.

Copying other people's ideas is a d*#k move tho,  unless you do a totally different take on it.

I can't say I have a ton of ideas, so if you are copying me, you are probably copying the design.

Yeah.  I was more thinking of photos.  Vectors are much easier to prove copying.  D*#k move either way, but photogs seem to get away with it more.

How can you get away with something if its legal? If you cant copyright an idea, then making your own version  is legal.

Ron, my friend,  I was making the distinction between legal and ethical.  I am sure you understand there is a difference, and that to copy someone else's work and  change it just slightly enough to be legal is still unethical.

If you don't see the problem here then you are very lucky nobody has copied one of your bestsellers and hurt your income.  When it does happen, and it will, then you may agree it is a d*#k move.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2015, 18:12 »
+1
I can  see the problem. Did I say i didn't? I agree with Mike fully. I  just wanted to understand the difference between copying vectors and photos.

« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2015, 19:08 »
+4
I can  see the problem. Did I say i didn't? I agree with Mike fully. I  just wanted to understand the difference between copying vectors and photos.

Conversation that inspires clarity to larger numbers of contributors is good for all of us.


No Free Lunch

« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2015, 21:54 »
0
Here is what would happen if I were to send a letter to someone that copied my best images-

Yes, I did copy your image but I feel my image is now better than yours  8)

« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2015, 18:32 »
+16
If anyone reading this happens to be in the business of copying other peoples' work, or even being just a bit too inspired by other artists' work, consider this:

Shutterstock, the top company that everyone wants to be in business with, has an absolute zero-tolerance policy regarding infringement. If your account gets shut down, it's over, there is no coming back, no account reinstatement, nothing. You're done there, forever. I've been told that when SS became a publicly-traded company, they really ramped up their infringement enforcement and adopted this "no 2nd chances" policy. Previously, I know of at least one case where someone who had their account shut down got it reinstated, which I personally thought was odd since it was a really clear-cut case of copying. But in any case, back then SS was a little more forgiving. Today, it's a different story. 

Knowing that this is how they operate, I'll at least try to contact a copycat directly first and discuss the matter. But if you don't respond, I don't have much other choice than to report it. And like the case today I had to deal with, SS will shut down your account in a matter of hours, and that's it. It's over. Sorry. Those 900+ images you uploaded? Waste of time, I guess. But that's how it goes when you don't do original work.

If you have copied or overly-inspired images in your portfolio, delete them now while you still can. Otherwise you will get caught, and the penalty from companies like SS is severe.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2015, 04:18 »
+4
What about cliches? The concepts that everyone does?

The business handshake, the flag on face, the fish from the bowl, etc, stuff that has been around for years and years?

What if the first person ever to shoot the business handshake was to report all others after him?

What if two persons got to the same idea, without ever having seen the other's portfolio?


« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2015, 07:44 »
+11
What about cliches? The concepts that everyone does?

The business handshake, the flag on face, the fish from the bowl, etc, stuff that has been around for years and years?

What if the first person ever to shoot the business handshake was to report all others after him?

What if two persons got to the same idea, without ever having seen the other's portfolio?

The handshakes, fishbowls, etc, those are broader ideas. No one can own the idea of a handshake.

Even with the possibility of two people thinking up the same idea without knowing about each other's work, if it's something so generic that two people could accidentally create the same image, it's not a protected idea then.

I think these companies have seen enough of this to know what to look for and how to spot a true copy from an accidentally duplicated idea. In vectors it's very common for people to have similar ideas. If you work in icons, for example, there are only so many ways to represent a house, a bike, a computer screen, etc., in icon form. For sure some people will have common ideas about what those things should look like as icons.

I think companies also look for patterns of behavior. A copycat rarely copies just one thing. They'll have other things in their portfolio that are suspect. The one I reported yesterday had several images that were copies of mine, as well as numerous others that looked suspiciously like stuff I've seen from other contributors. Two people having the same idea for one image, that could be chalked up to coincidence. One contributor having the same ideas as a few other contributors and doing it often, that's extremely suspect.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2015, 08:50 »
+2
Makes sense, thanks for the explanation Mike. I appreciate your input here and on the SS forum.

« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2015, 10:25 »
+7
What about cliches? The concepts that everyone does?

The business handshake, the flag on face, the fish from the bowl, etc, stuff that has been around for years and years?


Was fish jumping from a bowl a clich until people starting stealing the concept ? I would love to know who came up with that first.

I never saw the face flag overlay thing done as a complete series before duncan1890 did it at iStock before the 2006 World Cup. I reckon that most people doing those today were either directly or indirectly inspired by his work (actual paint on faces is obviously a sport fan thing and is very different).

Early handshake stock:

« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 10:37 by bunhill »

« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2015, 11:56 »
+3
I never saw the face flag overlay thing done as a complete series before duncan1890 did it at iStock before the 2006 World Cup. I reckon that most people doing those today were either directly or indirectly inspired by his work (actual paint on faces is obviously a sport fan thing and is very different).
The face flags were the first thing I thought of when I saw this thread.  There was obviously some "inspiration" involved.

ruxpriencdiam

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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2015, 17:49 »
-2
Aleksandar

« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2015, 19:14 »
+4
This has been a major problem with microstock from the beginning. There's little you can do about it because its like wackamole. You swat one guy down and two more pop up.

« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2015, 21:00 »
+1
Was fish jumping from a bowl a clich until people starting stealing the concept ? I would love to know who came up with that first.
Interesting question. The first person I remember getting big sales with versions of that was Lise Gagne on IS.

I wonder how many of the iconic stock images - ones from which so many derivations have originated - we could trace back to their original creators. 


« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2015, 05:11 »
+1
Was fish jumping from a bowl a clich until people starting stealing the concept ? I would love to know who came up with that first.
Interesting question. The first person I remember getting big sales with versions of that was Lise Gagne on IS.

That is also how I remember it. (I also have the impression that there is a whole look and feel which either started with her -- or certainly that was the first place I saw it).

Back to the fish - I think that there may have been some either British or European (possibly cigarette) advertising in the 70s or 80s which might have used this concept or something similar. Possibly from whichever agency was behind the surrealistic stuff which Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut were using in that era. I might not be exactly right but I think I am in the right area.

Maybe Shelma1 would know.

Shelma1

« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2015, 05:23 »
+3
I remember ads with fish jumping out of fishbowls from waaaaay before the days of iStock. "A fish out of water" is an old idiom. There's nothing new under the sun.

« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2015, 05:37 »
0
I remember ads with fish jumping out of fishbowls from waaaaay before the days of iStock. "A fish out of water" is an old idiom. There's nothing new under the sun.

It would be great if you could dig up a specific example done in that style. Because I can picture it in my mind - I think I have seen it - but I cannot find an example. Which makes me wonder whether I am mis-remembering.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2015, 06:03 »
0
To me, as a late comer, they are all cliches. I started in stock in 2012 and fish in a bowl, flags on faces, handshake, white puppets with puzzle pieces, girl with headset, Keyboard in shallow dof, etc, etc all that were cliches.

« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2015, 06:12 »
0

If you have copied or overly-inspired images in your portfolio, delete them now while you still can. Otherwise you will get caught, and the penalty from companies like SS is severe.


Agreed...but curious to know what is the penalty?


P.S. and this "scam" still going on (apparently) -

http://turnkeypublisher.com/2011/06/27/beware-of-stock-photo-entrapment-extortion-scam/

http://www.zyra.info/getstu.htm
« Last Edit: February 14, 2015, 15:00 by KnowYourOnions »

Shelma1

« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2015, 06:14 »
+1
I remember ads with fish jumping out of fishbowls from waaaaay before the days of iStock. "A fish out of water" is an old idiom. There's nothing new under the sun.

It would be great if you could dig up a specific example done in that style. Because I can picture it in my mind - I think I have seen it - but I cannot find an example. Which makes me wonder whether I am mis-remembering.

I wish I could too. The idea has been done to death. I remember an ad with the fish jumping towards something better...Perrier? Vodka? But every iteration of a fish in a fishbowl or jumping out of a fishbowl has been covered, with McDonalds recently doing a sandwich-shaped fishbowl for filet of fish and a glass cleaner ad with a fish wearing a helmet (glass so clean he keeps bumping against it).

« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2015, 12:39 »
+1
Was fish jumping from a bowl a clich until people starting stealing the concept ? I would love to know who came up with that first.
Interesting question. The first person I remember getting big sales with versions of that was Lise Gagne on IS.

That is also how I remember it. (I also have the impression that there is a whole look and feel which either started with her -- or certainly that was the first place I saw it).

Back to the fish - I think that there may have been some either British or European (possibly cigarette) advertising in the 70s or 80s which might have used this concept or something similar. Possibly from whichever agency was behind the surrealistic stuff which Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut were using in that era. I might not be exactly right but I think I am in the right area.

Maybe Shelma1 would know.
Agreed. There was something with goldfish back then. Colour supplement type advertising IIRC.
It's itching in the back of my brain!

« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2015, 15:26 »
0

If you have copied or overly-inspired images in your portfolio, delete them now while you still can. Otherwise you will get caught, and the penalty from companies like SS is severe.

Agreed...but curious to know what is the penalty?

It varies from company to company, but at Shutterstock, it's permanent account closure. You can never again be a contributor. At least as far as I understand the policy. From what I've been told, if you're caught copying even a single image, your account is shut down and there is pretty much zero chance you will get it reinstated.

I don't know if that's "official" policy, but from what I've been told, Shutterstock has dramatically ratcheted up their response to infringements since becoming a publicly-traded company. They don't want contributors on board who aren't doing 100% original work.

I know to some it sounds kind of silly that a "severe penalty" is getting your account shut down. But for someone what was making decent money at this, and especially at a place like Shutterstock which is now pretty much a must-have agency in any contributor's portfolio of companies they work with, getting that permanent ban is brutal. You're done at that point, no coming back.

And it doesn't matter if someone only copied 1 image and had 9,999 legitimately original ones. Just for that one shortcut they took, that 1 instance where someone decided to just trace another contributor's icon or graphic or whatever, all of that original work is now basically worthless if you can never find a good place to sell it again.

« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2015, 21:30 »
+2

If you have copied or overly-inspired images in your portfolio, delete them now while you still can. Otherwise you will get caught, and the penalty from companies like SS is severe.

Agreed...but curious to know what is the penalty?

It varies from company to company, but at Shutterstock, it's permanent account closure. You can never again be a contributor. At least as far as I understand the policy. From what I've been told, if you're caught copying even a single image, your account is shut down and there is pretty much zero chance you will get it reinstated.

I don't know if that's "official" policy, but from what I've been told, Shutterstock has dramatically ratcheted up their response to infringements since becoming a publicly-traded company. They don't want contributors on board who aren't doing 100% original work.

I know to some it sounds kind of silly that a "severe penalty" is getting your account shut down. But for someone what was making decent money at this, and especially at a place like Shutterstock which is now pretty much a must-have agency in any contributor's portfolio of companies they work with, getting that permanent ban is brutal. You're done at that point, no coming back.

And it doesn't matter if someone only copied 1 image and had 9,999 legitimately original ones. Just for that one shortcut they took, that 1 instance where someone decided to just trace another contributor's icon or graphic or whatever, all of that original work is now basically worthless if you can never find a good place to sell it again.

Account closure doesn't stop anyone from opening another one or submitting to another agency. These guys are not genuine contributors and they are doing this to quickly make some money.
In other words, this will happen again and again until agencies start taking serious measures and prosecute these crooks or at least give massive support to us to do it.

Why they don't publicly name and shame them, I always wondered? Probably cos they don't want bad publicity.
AND once image is sold (if you ever find that out), what do they do with buyers...like this recent case below?

vceinc 30 Jan 2015 17:55
"By the way, I'm still waiting to hear from you guys regarding the three clips that were uploaded and sold from my film "Trinity and Beyond" on Pond5 by another seller without permission. You've acknowledged it, you've removed the clips, now make it right by letting the folks who purchased these clips that they are not Royalty Free or PD."

« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2015, 08:54 »
+1
Account closure doesn't stop anyone from opening another one or submitting to another agency...

Maybe true some places. But Shutterstock is really strict about it. I think they have ways of knowing if it's the same person trying to set up a new account. It's easy to blacklist an IP address, email address, and you have to submit personally identifying information in order to get paid, so unless you can fake an entirely new identity, it's not so easy.

Of the many people I've seen banned for copying my work, I have yet to find images from any of them back on the site later on.


« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2015, 16:23 »
0
Account closure doesn't stop anyone from opening another one or submitting to another agency...

Maybe true some places. But Shutterstock is really strict about it. I think they have ways of knowing if it's the same person trying to set up a new account. It's easy to blacklist an IP address, email address, and you have to submit personally identifying information in order to get paid, so unless you can fake an entirely new identity, it's not so easy.

Of the many people I've seen banned for copying my work, I have yet to find images from any of them back on the site later on.

Glad to hear!
Have they been sold too? If so, did you get any compensation from SS?

« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2015, 19:22 »
0
Glad to hear!
Have they been sold too? If so, did you get any compensation from SS?

I've never been compensated, and I neither expect to be nor would I say that any agency can or should compensate people for sales of stolen images. It's too complicated to do. Especially with vectors. In the latest case, there were images that used some of my designs as well as those by other artists, all in the same file. There's no way to really dish out compensation to artists when it's so hard to even determine what percentage of a sale of a single image would go to which artists whose work was copied in that image. 

I'd love to be compensated but it's not realistic to expect agencies to do this. I'm just happy to see the infringing images removed.


 

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