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Author Topic: Your creative work downloaded for free  (Read 5931 times)

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« on: June 30, 2015, 16:11 »
+1
I was going to post this to the subject below; but then I realized that, while related, it's not the same (although it is related to Google ).
I design and manage my sister's website on early literacy through singing, and because I photograph stock, she knows all about what we do and values our work and creativity.

Plus, she's a very ethical person, and does not mind paying for what we do.
Recently, she put together a poster to publicize a local scavenger hunt, and wanted to have an image of a child looking through a magnifying lens. Found it, and printed 15 posters to put around her town in stores.

I took one look at the image and (like any of us) recognized that it was a professionally done microstock image. I asked her what site she bought it from, and she said it was free. She had carefully looked for a copyright or credit; and seeing none right-clicked to capture the image. Small res, but ok for the small picture on her printer. (and CERTAINLY large enough for a website.)

I did a quick search, and immediately found it on SS and BS. The site she got it from was totally unrelated. I'm sure THEY purchased it legitimately from one of the agencies for use on their website - which is where she found it.
(Of course, with not credit or copyright.)

When I showed her the image for sale on other microstock sites, she was mortified, aghast, and understood immediately how this had happened. And, will never do it again, now that she knows.

This from a highly intelligent, moral, educated person. (ok...maybe I'm biased. But she is; and an amazing person to boot)

The point is, there is always going to be a certain amount of this "capture" being done, whether the person is aware of it or not. That's just the reality we live with in this digital age, and really nothing we (or the agencies) can do about it.
I guess it goes along with the "cost of doing business" like store write off a certain amount of inevitable shoplifting.

Like many things in our modern world, we have a love/hate relationship with Google. Sometimes, it's just too * good at finding information.


Shelma1

« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2015, 16:19 »
+2
I think people need to be educated about the fact that all content, everywhere, is copyrighted unless expressly stated otherwise...and even then I'd be very hesitant about using it. It's just better to be safe and nice and license whatever you need.

That goes for photography, illustration, music, graffiti, writing, graphic design, product design, recipes, and on and on and on.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2015, 16:24 »
0
I've had the same discussion with several people who don't regularly use images, but might just want to make a charity event poster once a year or somesuch. Most people I know have never heard of stock photography. Luckily, with non-pro designers, they are most likely to be using Word for their posters, so generally use their clip-art, but still they'd probably think they're OK to use pics if there isn't a nearby note to the contrary. In the UK, our work is automatically copyright, there doesn't need to be a note to that effect, not do images have to be registered. But most people not in the business don't know this, and Google has no interest in educating them otherwise.
In many cases, I think it is genuine ignorance because of not being involved in the world of design and stock. Just like I know nothing about the legal minutiae at least 99.9% of the world's industries.
Some of the agencies don't make it easy to find the information; Royalty-free implies to outsiders "free of royalties, viz 'free' = great!", and too often the legalese used in the licence conditions would make most people cross their eyes  and give up.
Once I had two bloggers who were using my image and credited copyright to the magazine which presumably had legitimately purchsed it. I'm pretty sure both were genuine when they though they just had to credit the magazine and link to the article there, and that they had no idea about stock images. Sadly, both declined to pay, but instantly took down the image. As they were non-commercial, I accepted that. That's the best I've ever got by taking up even commercial misuses with iStock.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 17:27 by ShadySue »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2015, 16:31 »
0
I think people need to be educated about the fact that all content, everywhere, is copyrighted unless expressly stated otherwise...and even then I'd be very hesitant about using it. It's just better to be safe and nice and license whatever you need.

That goes for photography, illustration, music, graffiti, writing, graphic design, product design, recipes, and on and on and on.

You're right of course, but how do you get that message over to people who very seldom use photos etc? Especially when there are exceptions, for example where I live, all premises owned by the local council have paid for licences which mean particularly that music used at functions held there is covered (so long as there isn't an entrance fee specifically for the music, e.g wedding receptions, local clubs). So people running such a function don't need to think about it, so probably don't think about it in other contexts.

I can assure you that the computer department at the school I worked in had the S1 kids making posters about the importance of copyright, but the kids just thought that was something 'stupid old teachers' thought, and because it said so in a school textbook didn't make it so.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 16:53 by ShadySue »

Shelma1

« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2015, 16:40 »
0
I agree that "royalty free" is an unfortunate and confusing, for most people, descriptive term. "non-rights-managed" is a mouthful but gets around the "free" part. I don't know...with the huge uproar over illegal downloading and sharing of music, and YouTube taking down videos with copyrighted music, I think most people by now should have a sense that they need to pay for creative output. I think they don't think it through. How does a beautiful photo get created? Do they wonder that?

But it's difficult for me to put myself in their shoes as well, since I'm in an industry where NDAs and non-compete agreements and negotiating huge payments for rights is just a normal part of doing business.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2015, 16:46 »
0
I don't know...with the huge uproar over illegal downloading and sharing of music, and YouTube taking down videos with copyrighted music, I think most people by now should have a sense that they need to pay for creative output.
I probably wouldn't know anything about that if I wasn't on msg!

« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2015, 16:48 »
+1
...And, will never do it again, now that she knows.

Good story - thanks.

I have had similar experiences where one look at an image someone was proposing to use tells me it has to be stock and not public domain. I usually help people find legitimate free images if they have no budget (or if it's family, I offer them something of mine if it works).

In your friend's case, she could make it right by purchasing a license after the fact...

I think Google should - if it had any ethical sense at all, which I see no evidence of - spend a ton of its profits educating people about this stuff and sticking a bit of text saying "this might be copyrighted" isn't even a decent start. This would apply to all sorts of copyrighted content that its search finds, not just images.

Hire a creative agency, make some videos, some ads, having something pop up when you're looking at image search or using Chrome to Save Image As...

Shelma1

« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2015, 17:02 »
+2
It would be easy for Google to add a disclaimer to the top of image search results explaining that all images are copyrighted unless expressly stated otherwise.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2015, 17:06 »
0
It would be easy for Google to add a disclaimer to the top of image search results explaining that all images are copyrighted unless expressly stated otherwise.
It would absolutely, and it begs the question why don't they?
Remember I've posted more than once about the event I was at with Google about special needs software and I distinctly heard the speaker say, you find your picture via Google images and paste it in like this ...no caveat.

Shelma1

« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2015, 17:10 »
+1
It would be easy for Google to add a disclaimer to the top of image search results explaining that all images are copyrighted unless expressly stated otherwise.
It would absolutely, and it begs the question why don't they?
Remember I've posted more than once about the event I was at with Google about special needs software and I distinctly heard the speaker say, you find your picture via Google images and paste it in like this ...no caveat.

That's exactly why...Google knows people are right-clicking those images, and it helps make them the most popular search engine.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2015, 09:09 »
0
I find a ton of my stuff reused by people. Blogs, event pages, file share sites and you name it using images that are either watermarked or are questionable if they paid for a license or just copied it from somebody who did pay. But with RF there's no way to tell if it's a paid license unless you ask them. And with all of these partner deals it could have come from anywhere. I think most of it is just people who don't understand most images are copyrighted and you need permission to use them. A small percentage knowingly steal stuff thinking nothing will be done about it.

That's why all of my new premium images are being registered with the US copyright office and will only be sold directly as RM. So when I find images that aren't on my customer list it will be easy to know who's a client vs thief. There's probably more money in infringement lawsuits than in licensing the images.

« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2015, 09:46 »
0
There's probably more money in infringement lawsuits than in licensing the images.

Is this your expectation or have you been successful in retrieving money for misuses of your images?

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2015, 10:22 »
0
There's probably more money in infringement lawsuits than in licensing the images.

Is this your expectation or have you been successful in retrieving money for misuses of your images?

I haven't pursued anything yet but with my new RM work I will definitely review any infringements on a case by case basis with an attorney.  Infringement of copyright registered works in the US can have statutory damage compensation of up to $150,000 per work. For images that aren't registered with the copyright office you still own the copyright but can only sue for actual damages which for a micro image is a few dollars and no contributor is going to pay an attorney thousands to sue for a few dollars. So folks in the US, register your images with the copyright office.


 

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