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Author Topic: How to recognize legal/illegal use?  (Read 17190 times)

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« on: August 21, 2011, 17:45 »
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Some weeks ago I tried Google image search. First search - Bingo.

Here is my image at FT:

http://de.fotolia.com/id/22390470

Here are the search results:

1.
http://halwatishop.com/Arome-Caramel
Looking at file information in PS5: The file information is empty.
No (Digimarc) watermark found.
There are two of my caramel images used in this image. There is no copyright information given.
I can't recognize legal/illegal use.

2.
http://boralipbalm.com/main.sc
Looking at file information in PS5: The file information is empty.
No (Digimarc) watermark found.
There is no copyright information given.
Filename: 110_F_22390470_vkIc9s8aPe7lcpiJGdsXtCcb61eHBxux.jpg
Size of the image: ImageLength 74 pixels, ImageWidth: 110 pixels
This filename and imagesize one gets, when he views the search results for "toffee" at FT in Firefox, makes a right button click on the image and choses "image info". Then he gets a new Firefox window with the page info and graphics info, where he can download the image with the button "save as". He gets a file with that name, size and whithout file information, whithout fotolia watermarks and whithout Digimarc watermarks.
I think, this image is in illegal use.

3.
http://pixers.fr/papier-peint/chercher/togetherness
This company seems to use Fotolia's stock. I don't want to think about them now.

4.
http://fukuoka.shoplog.jp/worlddrive3/15354.html
I don't know, what this company deals with, handbags, caramel sweets, images? I'm not good in Japanese.
Looking at file information in PS5: The full file information is there (IPTC etc.).
No (Digimarc) watermark found.
Copyright information is given (ingwio - Fotolia).
I think it's a legal use (and hope I've got my commission).

5.
http://www.worlddrive.jp/15354.html
The same as no. 4.

6.
http://www.rydnails.eu/no/boutique-onglerie/soin-manucure (and some other pages of www.rydnails.eu)
Back to the north of Europe and in the homeland of Tyler Olson.
The file information is empty.
No (Digimarc) watermark found.
My caramel image is used in this image. There is no copyright information given.
I can't recognize legal/illegal use.

7....
Several sites of microstock agents (FT, SS, 123RF).

And here are my questions:

Why can't I see a Digimarc watermark (no. 4 and 5)?
Fotolia describes this feature http://blog.fotolia.com/de/2005/08/23/digimarc-schutz-fur-ihre-fotos/. It's in German, I couldn't find it in English. The company is still at the market: http://www.digimarc.com/DigimarcForImages/.

Have the buyers to put copyright information in the files, when they use our images in their images?

How do you recognize a legal/illegal use of your images?

What do the agents do to prevent illegal use?

What could we do to let the agents prevent illegal use?

Would a license ID for each download help recognizing legal/illegal use?
The images have IDs. If we had a license/download ID too, we could recognize images whithout legal licenses, we could find double uses on different websites and we could check the commissions.


PS:
I don't want to write a book, I want my images earn money. And I don't trust the agents. I asked FT about the legal/illegal use of my image two weeks ago - no answer so far.


« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2011, 18:09 »
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The magic of RF - you don't know who licensed it for what use.

All you can look at is things like watermarks on images, or bigger sizes than allowed online.  Or anything else that explicitly goes against the license.

« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 18:56 »
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I don't bother as long as it's not on a product for resale or over 800 pixels width.

« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 13:28 »
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@sjlocke:

With an image ID and a license/download ID there is no need for me to know who licensed it for what use. License/download ID may be something like a timestamp (date and time of the download). Together with the image ID it's unique and anonymous.

If I find one of my images with those IDs on one website and I find this image and license IDs in my list of downloaded files, then usage mostly will be legal.
If I find more than one website using one of my images with identical IDs, it mostly will be illegal use (only one use can be legal). In this case I would fight against.
If I find one of my images without those IDs, it mostly will be illegal use. I would fight against.

Such an unique (and anonymous) license ID would give us control over legal/illegal use of our images in internet (and over agencies).

Watermarks may be fine things, but:
  • Visible watermarks (i.e. of FT) are deleted in a few seconds in Photoshop (content aware fill - a highlight of PS5, even for illegal use).
  • Invisible watermarks (i.e. Digimarc watermarks used by FT as declared in their blog) I didn't find. So I don't know, if they are used or not.
That's why I do not want to rely on watermarking.

« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 13:42 »
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AFAIK some agencies allow an image to be used many times - hence RF.

The buyer, a graphic/web designer can therefore use it for several clients.

Also your image may be used in composites and then the whole ID thing is out the window again...

In short, it ain't gonna happen with those IDs. It's wishful thinking which all of us would love to have...

Real world sucks.

« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 15:17 »
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@ click_click:
I don't bother as long as it's not on a product for resale or over 800 pixels width.

(Quote from http://www.microstockgroup.com/image-sleuth/an-experiment-about-watermarked-images-in-use/)
...
Picscout has already established that 9 out of 10 images online are used without a license. Speaks volumes...

This shows that your commission could be about 9 times higher, if all illegal users would pay for the licenses.

A 9 times higher commission would make me happy - and I think all the other contributors too. But you don't bother?

Your other post I will reply later.

« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 15:22 »
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... A 9 times higher commission would make me happy - and I think all the other contributors too. But you don't bother?...

I do bother and I did recover damages in some cases.

Once you have your system running with a rate of 5 times higher (not necessarily 9) PM me and I will sign up without even knowing your name.

« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 15:44 »
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PS:
... I asked FT about the legal/illegal use of my image two weeks ago - no answer so far.

FT Germany answered today in German, therefore in short (and without comments):
The operator of the website is located in US. The operator could not be assigned to a member account on Fotolia. They will notify me once they receive feedback from US.
"... Please understand that Fotolia in the pricing of the microstock market is not able to check every image usage without specific cause. If you have any helpful hints that constitute an abuse, we take it gladly."

« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 16:20 »
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ingwio,

Maybe you are not clearly aware of the allowed uses of a RF license. From FT itself:

http://www.fotolia.com/Info/SizesAndUses

Quote
What does royalty free mean?

A royalty free license allows you to use an image, vector or video without restrictions on the time or number of uses, or the number of prints.


(actually I wasn't aware that FT imposes no print run restriction; most sites do, even if very lenient)

A buyer may purchase a license and reuse it several times for different projects and different clients. I believe FT will only really do something if the usage required an EL and it was never licensed so.

Digimarc is a paid service that adds an electronic signature to your image. I am not sure this will be retained if the image is modified, or copied and pasted inside an editor.

« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 17:30 »
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Once you have your system running with a rate of 5 times higher (not necessarily 9) PM me and I will sign up without even knowing your name.

It's not a system or a machine, it will be hard work for the contributors to convince the agencies.

The agencies would have to create a datafield "license ID" in their databases, which is filled when a legal download happens. Not just difficult (I think something like that already exists but not visible for the contributors). It has to be switched visible in the list of the downloads for the contributor.

The second thing is, that the image ID and the license ID have to be written in the image file information (IPTC etc.) before the image is downloaded legally.  I think that's no problem. In the image file information (IPTC) is a datafield "Copyright information". I.e. FT puts the contributors name in this datafield and adds "- Fotolia", when the file is downloaded legally. They are able to write other datas too.

I explained my idea and I want you - the distributors - to think about the idea and work on the project.

This idea has to be checked and has to be realized. There is a lot to do:
  • The work plan has to be made.
  • The agreements of the agencies have to be read.
  • The results have to be written down.
  • The suggestions for the agencies have to be made.
  • We will have to find an agencie for testing.
  • We will have to convince the agencies.
  • The posts in the forums of the agencies have to be made, to get their members too (most of them are not active at this site).
  • etc..............

This is a little like working in a union. But this "ad hoc union" would have a clear mission: Find tools for recognizing illegal use of our work.
This union could go to the agencies and say: "Let's all together earn more money." And that's because not only the contributors would earn more money, even the agencies would, by selling more licenses.

I think this is a better mission for a union than saying: "Give us higher commissions." (Look at: http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/how-to-fight-against-lower-and-lower-commisions!/ and http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/new-commissions-at-fotolia/ and others.


PS:
@ click_click:
...
Real world sucks.

They suck our images illegally - we want to suck their money but legally.

« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 17:57 »
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@sjlocke:

With an image ID and a license/download ID there is no need for me to know who licensed it for what use. License/download ID may be something like a timestamp (date and time of the download). Together with the image ID it's unique and anonymous.

If I find one of my images with those IDs on one website and I find this image and license IDs in my list of downloaded files, then usage mostly will be legal.
If I find more than one website using one of my images with identical IDs, it mostly will be illegal use (only one use can be legal). In this case I would fight against.
If I find one of my images without those IDs, it mostly will be illegal use. I would fight against.

Such an unique (and anonymous) license ID would give us control over legal/illegal use of our images in internet (and over agencies).

Watermarks may be fine things, but:
  • Visible watermarks (i.e. of FT) are deleted in a few seconds in Photoshop (content aware fill - a highlight of PS5, even for illegal use).
  • Invisible watermarks (i.e. Digimarc watermarks used by FT as declared in their blog) I didn't find. So I don't know, if they are used or not.
That's why I do not want to rely on watermarking.

None of that would work.  Mostly because buyers are free to cut and slice and paste and modify the images into their own derivative works, both online and off.  There is no guarantee of any id remaining intact in any form.  So, basically, you are stuck with "if you see it somewhere, and it never sold, something funny is going on".

As mentioned repeatedly, more licenses allow (encourage) perpetual usage by a buyer for multiple clients.  You can license it once, see it on 10 different sites, and that could be just fine and dandy.

So, with RF, you are pretty much stuck with the obvious things, like I said, online bigger than X, a thumbnail with a watermark, etc.

red

« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2011, 18:03 »
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Adding Exif/IPTC data is pointless. It can all be easily removed. This is just one program that will strip data from a photo, there are many others.

Batch Exif Tag Remover - ExifCleaner

ExifCleaner is a handy batch utility that lets you to erase/remove Exif tags, geotags, IPTC, Adobe XMP, and other photographic metadata from JPEG pictures. This protects your privacy, helps you to hide unneeded, undesirable or sometimes sensitive information about the image, photographer and location. Did you know that every digital photo produced with a modern camera or a smartphone contains it? Removing metadata saves disk space and server bandwidth, reduces download times that is especially evident on small-sized, or on a large amount of images. Exif cleaner can also be useful for photo professionals, to strip out Exif data in photomontage works.

« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 18:15 »
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madelaide,

thanks for your post.

I didn't read the different license agreements of all agencies. But I know that they are different, so it's hard work. And I do not want to do the work allone (have a look at my previous post.)

A buyer may reuse a license several times. But I think, a buyer who uses an image for a site of an owner in Japan will mostly not have a client in France or US. I think most images are used for one client.

With the license ID we can't recognize illegal paper prints at this time. But let's try the first step - let's catch illegal online users. As click_click said, a perhaps 5 times higher commission would be enough.

I believe the agencies will hardly do something, it's easier to cut commissions for the contributors. But let us convince them. License ID would give us - the contributors - a chance to recognize legal/illegal use of our work. Because of international laws mostly the contributor must fight against illegal usage of his work.

Because Digimarc is a paid service we would never get all agencies to pay for this service. License ID is a feature, the agencies can realize on their own. I don't know if Digimarc really works in all cases, so far I haven't seen a Digimarc watermark in practice.

Let's look foreward. Let's fight against illegal usage of our work.

« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2011, 18:27 »
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Adding Exif/IPTC data is pointless. It can all be easily removed.
If image ID and license ID are removed the image looks like in illegal use. I would send a notice about that to the site owner.

« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2011, 18:56 »
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Adding Exif/IPTC data is pointless. It can all be easily removed.
If image ID and license ID are removed the image looks like in illegal use. I would send a notice about that to the site owner.
Unless agreements said that EXIF data could not be removed, then it would not be illegal. PSP allows me to set if I want EXIF data saved or not when I edit an image. My default is not.

« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2011, 19:13 »
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It cannot happen. Period. It can not!

For this to work you will have to work with ALL possible agencies in the world!

Please read this again: All - agencies - in - the - world!

Not even if all members on this forum would help we couldn't do it. Too much work!

You don't know who is submitting his/her images to which agency so it is important that every agency on this planet is working with this system.

Secondly, you are not going to pay money to the agency to make all necessary changes to their database and testing the system.

Do you really think the agencies do all that work for free? What are their benefits?

Are you going to share your lost revenue 50/50 with the agencies?

If 12,483 agencies in the world participate but iStock doesn't, then what?

Designers select, copy and paste parts and bits of pieces of our images. Tons of images are being manipulated that way and therefore lose the IDs. How do you prevent that? Prohibit the act of designing?

Come on, go shoot some pictures. It ain't gonna happen.

rubyroo

« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2011, 05:10 »
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Surely some solution will have to come to light some time.  You would think that an ever-burgeoning economy in digital works (and potential taxes) would be interesting enough to attract the attention of governments.

I'm not a programmer or security expert, so maybe this completely redundant -  but I wonder if there might be some way to embed some sort of secure 'toggle' into the image data that will get switched off or on when a transaction takes place.

It wouldn't be enough to ensure that licencing rules are adhered to, but could be enough to ensure that the image has been legiitimately purchased.

As with everything, a clever hacker could undoubtedly deactivate such a thing - but it's the only possible method I can think of.

Forgive my ignorance is this is a stupid idea.

« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2011, 05:48 »
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...
For this to work you will have to work with ALL possible agencies in the world!
Please read this again: All - agencies - in - the - world!
Not even if all members on this forum would help we couldn't do it. Too much work!
You don't know who is submitting his/her images to which agency so it is important that every agency on this planet is working with this system.
There is no need to get all agencies in the first step, but some of the top and middle tiers, especially the agencies I'm uploading to and the most of us distributors too. If one of the agencies makes the necessary changes, we could give them our new uploads. Others would follow us - and other agencies would follow, too (or they wouldn't get new uploads).
Quote
Secondly, you are not going to pay money to the agency to make all necessary changes to their database and testing the system.
Do you really think the agencies do all that work for free? What are their benefits?
Yes, I think they have to do it for free, because they would sell more licenses and get their commissions.
Quote
Are you going to share your lost revenue 50/50 with the agencies?
If the agencies would fight against illegal usage, they would sell licenses and the agency and the contributor get their commission. If I would have to fight against illegal use, there is no need to share the revenue with the agencies.
Quote
If 12,483 agencies in the world participate but iStock doesn't, then what?
If iStock wouldn't participate I wouldn't care, because I don't upload to them. If you would further upload to iStock, you would have to live with their decision.
Quote
Designers select, copy and paste parts and bits of pieces of our images. Tons of images are being manipulated that way and therefore lose the IDs. How do you prevent that? Prohibit the act of designing?
I don't want to prohibit the act of designing - I want to prohibit the act of using our images illegally without paying for our work. The designers want to be paid for their work too. I don't know how to prevent your described case at this time, it's part of working out the plan.

In the first step we will not find all images in all cases of illegal use. But let's begin to fight against illegal use.

In all examples of my entry post the owner of the sites try to make money with the help of the images. I think at least the half are in illegal use. Some are used in composits. If I can't see image ID and the license ID of my images in the image file information, I would write a notice about that to the owner of the site.

In the past music industry wasn't very successful in preventing illegal usage of music files. But there is a difference between music industry and microstock image industry. Most of illegal users of music files have downloaded them to hear the music alone or with their friends, not public. Most illegal users of images want to show them public, in paper prints or in the web - and in the web we have the chance to catch them worldwide.

Microstock images became an industry - there is no industry without politics. We have to work on politics - no one else will do this for us. But it's not a thing one can do alone.

Who is interested in working on that plan?

Who has some experience in international group working via web?


PS:
Quote
Come on, go shoot some pictures. It ain't gonna happen.
Yes, click_click, I want to shoot some pictures - for two or three hours a day. But I don't want to add up to 24 hours a day working for the illegal users - I do need my sleep really.

« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2011, 10:59 »
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rubyroo,

many governments have made their work by creating (international) rules for copyright. I don't think they will do more for us. Please have a look at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright.

It's our turn to fight against illegal use of our work. That isn't a simple problem (look at the music industry).

Digimarc watermark could be a secure toggle, but I don't know if and how it works in practice. And it's a paid service.

The image ID of the agency together with the license ID, generated when an image is downloaded, would work like a "passport" for the legal license. If the image appears in web with the "passport" (the IDs are in the image file information), mostly it will be licensed (legal) use. If the image appears without "passport" you could send a notice about that to the site owner and he can show you the "passport" (by sending you the IDs). If he has no "passport", it could be illegal use. If he has lost the "passport" (i.e. by deleting the original downloaded files) he could find the IDs in the list of his downloaded files at his agency account. If he has no agency account, he will not use the image legally.

A hacker could delete the "passport" of the image. No problem, the owner of the site in which the image is used, has a look to the list of the downloaded files at his agency account. Then he can show you the "passport" of the image.

I don't think, that there are stupid ideas, when fighting against illegal use, except the idea to do nothing.

« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2011, 09:21 »
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After I've telephoned with Fotolia I don't think that Digimarc watermarks are really practiced at Fotolia. I wrote them a notice.

« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2011, 10:02 »
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I just received DT's newsletter with a link to a new feature:
New feature: Report misusage - DMCA notification (http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_28308)

The thread shows how misuse could be handled by a microstock agency, but the problem is left: How to recognize misuse.


PS.:
I wonder how other agencies handle misuse. If they don't, I will know which agency gets my next uploads - exclusive.

RacePhoto

« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2011, 12:13 »
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After I've telephoned with Fotolia I don't think that Digimarc watermarks are really practiced at Fotolia. I wrote them a notice.

I'm a little slow on this. Your images are only for sale on FT?

You plan of registering licenses, but hidden from the artists view, makes no sense. How does someone who sells on 25 agencies find out which one sold the image? Ask all of them to go through and see if they have a sale at XYZ site for that shot? Wed' have to check every use we find, then write to every agency and have them check for licenses?

Please explain.

« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2011, 12:37 »
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I'm a little slow on this. Your images are only for sale on FT?

You plan of registering licenses, but hidden from the artists view, makes no sense. How does someone who sells on 25 agencies find out which one sold the image? Ask all of them to go through and see if they have a sale at XYZ site for that shot? Wed' have to check every use we find, then write to every agency and have them check for licenses?

Please explain.

I thought the OP meant that every image will have a license ID attached to the IPTC data of the file.

Each agency could have license IDs starting with the first three letters of their name followed by a 30-digit number.

Once you would find an image of yours online and check the IPTC (if it hasn't been stripped...) you could then match it up with other sites using that same image. If any of them have the identical license ID it would either mean that it was purchased by the same buyer but used multiple times or... and that's the idea of the OP, the file is stolen.

That's a lot of effort for a very low chance of making valid claims. The agencies would have to invest a lot of money and resources to implement that system and in the end it still has to be verified manually if two images may or may have not been used legally.

It's like treading water IMO.

« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2011, 14:05 »
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You plan of registering licenses, but hidden from the artists view, makes no sense.

If an image is used with a purchased license, you can't use a visible watermark, because the image would be worthless for the buyer. So you have to use an invisible sign. This could be an invisible (Digimarc) watermark. My idea is to use a unified license ID in the image file information (IPTC data).

How does someone who sells on 25 agencies find out which one sold the image? Ask all of them to go through and see if they have a sale at XYZ site for that shot? Wed' have to check every use we find, then write to every agency and have them check for licenses?

When FT sells a license today, they put a copyright phrase (i.e.: "ingwio - fotolia") and the image ID of FT into the image file information. Please look at my example 4 in the opening post. I think other agencies handle it similar, I did not check this so far.

The copyright phrase and the image ID show you, which agency has sold a license for an image with a special ID, but it is not a unified sign for a purchased license. Worldwide everyone could copy the image and when you find it on a site, it looks like a purchased license. Only the agency could find out, whether it's a legal license purchased by the owner.

I do not want to find out whether an image is in legal usage. I want to find the images without a license and would like the owners of these sites to purchase a license or remove the image. I.e.: An image is sold 30 times and used 60 times on web. Today you can't find out on your own which one is in use without a purchased license. Only the agency would be able to check, but it's hard work, because they had to check each website on which the image is used. They would not do that. And users who haven't purchased a license don't say: Look, here is an image in illegal use.

Therefore we - the contributors - need to distinguish legal from illegal use and fight against illegal (non purchased) use. Therefore I started this thread.

I thought the OP meant that every image will have a license ID attached to the IPTC data of the file.

Each agency could have license IDs starting with the first three letters of their name followed by a 30-digit number.

Once you would find an image of yours online and check the IPTC (if it hasn't been stripped...) you could then match it up with other sites using that same image. If any of them have the identical license ID it would either mean that it was purchased by the same buyer but used multiple times or... and that's the idea of the OP, the file is stolen.

My idea is to use a unified sign in the image file information - like a passport. Then we can check and do the following:
  • The image has a passport and is only found once: Legal use, nothing to do.
  • The image has a passport and is found more than once: Maybe legal use, nothing to do. Maybe illegal use, send a notice to the agency (when exclusive image) or to the owners of the sites (when non-exclusive image).
  • The image has no passport: Maybe illegal use. Send a notice to the agency (when exclusive image)  or to the owner of the site (when non-exclusive image).

In my idea of a simple unified sign (passport) it should have the following elements: agency, image ID, license ID.

In the image file information (part IPTC-Status) of an image licensed by FT we find the following data already today:
datafield Copyright: artist and agency (i.e.: ingwio - fotolia)
datafield Source: image ID of the agency (i.e.:22390470)

This data is written into the image file information, when a purchased download occurs at FT. Only the license ID is missed.

In a simple way the license ID could be the timestamp for that moment the image with the purchased license is downloaded. This data you find already in the artist's list of sold files at at FT (and in the buyer's list of purchased files too). With the format string "yyyymmddhhmmss" and the download date/time 2011-08-24 02:39:54 pm you would get 20110824143954 for the license ID, which could be added in the datafield Source (i.e. 22390470-20110824143954).

The license ID isn't a new idea. The IPCT, "International Press Telecommunications Council" (http://www.iptc.org/site/Home/), defined and described the datafields of image file information. Especially for Adobe users is the "IPTC File Info panel in CS5 User Guide" (http://www.iptc.org/std/photometadata/documentation/IPTC-CS5-FileInfo-UserGuide_6.pdf), read pages 14-16, 22-25. Implementing this would be hard stuff for the agencies, therefore my idea of timestamp as a simple license ID.

That's a lot of effort for a very low chance of making valid claims. The agencies would have to invest a lot of money and resources to implement that system and in the end it still has to be verified manually if two images may or may have not been used legally.

It's like treading water IMO.

I can't see that the agencies would have to invest a lot of money and resources to implement the additional image ID as I described above. I.e. at FT it looks more like a little finger exercise for a programmer at the beginning of his career: formatting date/time of the purchased download and writing it to the image file information together with the image ID.

@ click_click:

Now I've read about your opinion why an image ID would not work.

But what about your answers to my other questions in the opening post?
  • Have the buyers to put copyright information in the files, when they use our images in their images?
  • How do you recognize a legal/illegal use of your images?
  • What do your agents do to prevent illegal use?
  • What do you do to let the agencies prevent illegal use?
  • What would you prefer instead of a license ID for recognizing legal/illegal use?

Your idea seems to be to produce more images instead of fighting against the illegal use of images.

This would be like drawing water out of a boat which has a big leak IMO.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 14:28 by ingwio »

« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2011, 14:20 »
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Newspaper article about illegal downsloads of music, movies and books in the German "Frankfurter Allgemeine", FAZ.net (in German):

http://www.faz.net/artikel/C30350/illegale-downloads-verbaende-fordern-warnhinweise-30494082.html

« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2011, 15:02 »
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...
@ click_click:

Now I've read about your opinion why an image ID would not work.

But what about your answers to my other questions in the opening post?
  • Have the buyers to put copyright information in the files, when they use our images in their images?
  • How do you recognize a legal/illegal use of your images?
  • What do your agents do to prevent illegal use?
  • What do you do to let the agencies prevent illegal use?
  • What would you prefer instead of a license ID for recognizing legal/illegal use?

Your idea seems to be to produce more images instead of fighting against the illegal use of images.

This would be like drawing water in a boat with a leak IMO.

Let me start with what you said in your closing paragraph: We are photographers/illustrators etc. and all we do is produce content. We are no lawyers, we are not agents and we don't get paid to do those things.

So I can take a pick whether I produce more content that is supposed to be used legally (which it is, BUT also being used illegally as well - I know that) or take my time and research online which of my images might have been used illegally.

I actually do research online from time to time to check if my best sellers are available on Google Images etc. but I need a few dozen assistants that should do this for me 24/7 for all my images - it's a lot of work.

So at this point I HAVE to focus on producing more fresh content instead of the risk wasting my time pursuing infringers that won't pay anyway. I've made up my mind. Your mileage may vary and at the beginning when I had 1000 images I did this all the time. Now since I increased my portfolio I can't spend that time anymore.

Now your questions:
  • Have the buyers to put copyright information in the files, when they use our images in their images?
Too much work and hassle for the designer. Won't work. someone at least will forget and then you have already a case that you have to investigate that might turn up as a legal use. waste of time.

  • How do you recognize a legal/illegal use of your images?
Trial and error. Everyone I have ever suspected of stealing my images, did actually steal my image. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it's a duck.

  • What do your agents do to prevent illegal use?
Nothing. Watermarks are useless and they don't have money or other resources to legally pursue infringements. Furthermore as long as images are non-exclusives they won't put out money to pursue an image that might have been originally downloaded at another agency.

  • What do you do to let the agencies prevent illegal use?
I don't quite understand that question. Could you rephrase?

  • What would you prefer instead of a license ID for recognizing legal/illegal use?
In a perfect world the license ID would be enough. It's just real life problems that will lead to those IDs being stripped.

Again, either you have found an image twice online with the same IDs - they still could be used by the same buyer - which is legal or you find your images with the IDs being stripped from the files. Then you're back to square one.

That's not a very high probability that the agencies will invest money and time into something that can be easily circumvented.

In general, digital content is bound to be stolen. That's a fact. We can only go after the worst infringements and try to squeeze some money out of them, that's it.

Administrative efforts are far to big for a one man operation like me.

« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2011, 16:22 »
0
  • What do you do to let the agencies prevent illegal use?
I don't quite understand that question. Could you rephrase?

Oops, please excuse my untrained English. Next try:
How you act on the agencies so that they prevent illegal uses?

« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2011, 16:56 »
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  • What do you do to let the agencies prevent illegal use?
I don't quite understand that question. Could you rephrase?

Oops, please excuse my untrained English. Next try:
How you act on the agencies so that they prevent illegal uses?

Oh, I see. No worries about your English, it's fine.

I don't tell agencies what to do. They won't listen anyway.

For example here on the forum we've "told" Fotolia to change the watermark for years but they won't change it.

I'm not getting paid to consult any agents so I don't do it.

« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2011, 11:48 »
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The copyright phrase and the image ID show you, which agency has sold a license for an image with a special ID, but it is not a unified sign for a purchased license. Worldwide everyone could copy the image and when you find it on a site, it looks like a purchased license. Only the agency could find out, whether it's a legal license purchased by the owner.

FT sells an image to a designer, who uses it for two clients A and B. C grabs it on A's site and puts it on his blog. D grabs it on C's blog and uses it in his site. The designer uses it again for client E, but this time mixing this image with another one, so original embedded ID is lost.

You find 5 instances of the image in the internet, but sold it just once. Three are legal (one without the ID). How do you know which one is which?

« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2011, 11:50 »
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FT sells an image to a designer, who uses it for two clients A and B. C grabs it on A's site and puts it on his blog. D grabs it on C's blog and uses it in his site. The designer uses it again for client E, but this time mixing this image with another one, so original embedded ID is lost.

You find 5 instances of the image in the internet, but sold it just once. Three are legal (one without the ID). How do you know which one is which?

Perfectly illustrated!
+1

« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2011, 13:32 »
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FT sells an image to a designer, who uses it for two clients A and B. C grabs it on A's site and puts it on his blog. D grabs it on C's blog and uses it in his site. The designer uses it again for client E, but this time mixing this image with another one, so original embedded ID is lost.

You find 5 instances of the image in the internet, but sold it just once. Three are legal (one without the ID). How do you know which one is which?

I think the example is a little constructed. Mostly the purchased license of an image will be used once and not all images are illegal copied. But anyway, in the case described, I would have to decide to
- send a note to all website owners or
- do nothing.

Let's take another example of today's practice:
You find 50 instances of an image on sites from all over the world. You sold it 25 times. They all are without a today's copyright phrase (but that doesn't matter, they all or the half of them could have a copyright phrase).

What would you do in this case? Would you write a notice to them all? Or would you do nothing?

What about the images you sold about 500 times when you find about 1000 instances with or without a today's copyright phrase?

« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2011, 14:44 »
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example is a little constructed. Mostly the purchased license of an image will be used once and not all images are illegal copied. But anyway, in the case described, I would have to decide to
- send a note to all website owners or
- do nothing.

It is absolutely not "constructed".  Now, you will be harassing the legitimate buyers.

grp_photo

« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2011, 16:35 »
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There is nothing you can do! If you have a problem with this than RF is not for you!

« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2011, 17:10 »
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It is absolutely not "constructed".  Now, you will be harassing the legitimate buyers.

Harassing by deciding to do nothing?

Please don't turn this thread named "How to recognize legal/illegal use?" in a thread named "What's to do, when I have found images, that seem to be in illegal use"? There are some other threads with this subject. In many of them is posted about the difficulties of recognizing illegal use, too.

In this thread I tried to find out, how the contributors recognize legal/illegal use.

As I posted earlier in this thread: The idea of a license ID would only be a first step. In this first step we would not be able to recognize legal/illegal use in all cases. But for many found instances of an image in the web, we would be able to say it's legal. For the others I would have to decide what's to do. Perhaps I would do nothing. Perhaps I would write a (polite) note. A legitimate (polite) buyer could answer me, that he has a purchased license. Another legitimate buyer could feel harassed (bad luck). But the thief would get a note too (good luck).

I showed with my last examples (Reply #30), that today's copyright phrase doesn't help recognizing any legal/illegal use. Each instance of an image you find in the web today may be legal or illegal use, you can't find out.

If you don't agree with my idea of a license idea, make other suggestions please.

There is nothing you can do! If you have a problem with this than RF is not for you!
Is it possible that you mix up RF and PD (Public Domain)?

If we - the contributors - don't fight against illegal use, RF will turn into PD.

RacePhoto

« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2011, 17:57 »
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In this thread I tried to find out, how the contributors recognize legal/illegal use.


I'm not sure we can. The agencies do not require attribution, credits or anything that tells us who bought them, or from where. Which is why I asked someone else if they only sold through on agency. Once we sell through two, it becomes nearly impossible to tell if someone bought and image and who from. That's the problem.

I don't see a digital license as solving the problem, (and if we can make it, someone can remove or change it) because as someone else  pointed out, we don't know which person, is using the copy and which one paid. Lets say I have a picture that has sold a hundred times. How do I know if it's one of the 100 legal versions, or someone who is stealing one copy?

Maybe I didn't understand your points, but since we don't have a way to be notified, except sales, and no way to track each and ever sale to one customer, it's not a reasonable idea to make a complex database of every sale for every image of millions and millions of sales.

It would be nice if we knew, but for now, I don't think it's going to happen.

Back to the main question. If I sell on four or five sites, how do I know which one sold it?

« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2011, 18:59 »
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What would you do in this case? Would you write a notice to them all? Or would you do nothing?

As Sean said, you would be harassing true buyers asking them to prove they have the rights to use the image. Sorry, but it's nonsense. Even if the images have the embedded IDs you suggest, unless they were something so hidden than they would stay in the image even if EXIF/IPTC data was removed (maybe Digimarc does it), this would not really help trace illegal usage. And even Digimarc may be useles if it is a composite of several images (I don't know).

I'm sorry, I understand your being upset with illegal usage - that upsets me a lot too - but once you put your image for sale in the RF model, it is really very difficult to control illegal usage, unless it is watermarked or one that requires an EL, or infracts the contract in any other way.

Even in the RM world you would not be safe, you might just have less risk of being cheated.

« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2011, 18:42 »
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First let's have a look at Fotolia's general and download agreements. On this base I will explain in detail why I would decide to write a note to all users of the image in Madelaides example.

Quote
from Fotolia: Terms and Conditions of Use at http://en.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements/TermsAndConditions

3. Use of Works
...
You acknowledge and agree that no ownership of any Works can be transferred, and that no sale of any Works can be effectuated, on or through the Website. Only the rights expressly sublicensed in an applicable Content Download Agreement are granted on or through the Website. You acknowledge and agree that Fotolia or its licensors retain all ownership rights in and to the Works, and that such Works are covered and protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights of Fotolia or its licensors.

from Fotolia: Content Download Agreement (Standard License) at http://en.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements/StandardLicense

2. Sublicense
Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Fotolia hereby grants to the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, non-transferable sublicense to use, reproduce or display the Work an unlimited number of times in the authorized media solely for (a) personal or educational purposes and (b) in connection with the operation of a business.
...
Notwithstanding the above, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member shall have the right to sell or distribute the Work solely as incorporated onto an item of merchandise or other work of authorship if the Work has been modified to the extent that it is no longer substantially similar to the original Work (where such modification may be in the form of changes to the Work itself or the incorporation of the Work into other Non-Fotolia image(s), such as a collage), provided however that the modification must be sufficient enough to qualify as an original work of authorship.
...
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement (including, without limitation, the restriction in subsection 3(a) below), the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member may utilize all the rights under this Agreement for itself, and additionally, on behalf of one (1) of its clients. As such, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member may sublicense its rights and obligations hereunder to one (1) such client, and such client shall have all the rights, restrictions and obligations under this Agreement, but without the right to further sublicense these rights to additional parties. If the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member desires to use the Work on behalf of more than one (1) client, then the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member will have to download and pay for additional license(s) to the same Work.
...

3. Restrictions
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, and without limitation to any aforementioned restrictions, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member acknowledges, agrees and warrants that he or she shall not:
(a)...
...
(h) remove any notice of copyright, trademark or other intellectual property right, or other information that may appear on, embedded in, or in connection with the Work in its original downloaded form, it being understood that the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member shall reproduce any and all such notices in any backup copy of the file comprising the Work that the Downloading Member makes;
...
(n)...


There are some more interesting rules in the agreements, but this may be enough, because I think you all - especially the Fotolia contributors - have read and know them.


Here is Madelaides example:

FT sells an image to a designer, who uses it for two clients A and B. C grabs it on A's site and puts it on his blog. D grabs it on C's blog and uses it in his site. The designer uses it again for client E, but this time mixing this image with another one, so original embedded ID is lost.

You find 5 instances of the image in the internet, but sold it just once. Three are legal (one without the ID). How do you know which one is which?


Now let's look, wether the designer uses "the image" under the terms of the agreements of Fotolia.  Please, Madelaide, don't be angry when I describe the cases of your example a little pedantic, maybe a little ironic too. Be sure - I did want it.

Madelaide: FT sells an image to a designer, ...
This isn't what happens. FT sells a sublicense to the designer. He can use the image under the rules of the agreements.

Madelaide: who uses it for two clients A and B.
The designer gives a sublicense  to one of his clients (let's say to A) under the special terms of the agreements, that's legal.
The sublicense for client B is illegal, because the designer had to buy a second license.

Madelaide: C grabs it on A's site and puts it on his blog.
Illegal use.

Madelaide: D grabs it on C's blog and uses it in his site.
Illegal use.

Madelaide: The designer uses it again for client E, but this time mixing this image with another one, so original embedded ID is lost.
We can't decide this case without having a look at the resulting image of the mix:
  • If the result of the mix qualifies the new image as an original work of authorship of the designer it's legal use.  This case has to be decided Illegal use.
  • If the result is two images side by side in one image it's illegal use, because the designer had to buy a third license and he was not allowed to delete the copyright phrase.
  • There could be other results of the mix, that we can't not decide in a simple way.

Madelaide: You find 5 instances of the image in the internet, but sold it just once. Three are legal (one without the ID). How do you know which one is which?
You have at least 6 instances of the image: one at designer (we can't see it, because it isn't on web), 3 at the clients of the designer, 2 at the thieves.
Only two of these instances are legal, the one at the designer and one at the clients (i.e. client A).
In legal use we would have 5 purchased sublicenses, 3 purchased by the designer for his 3 clients and 2 purchased by the 2 thieves.

You see: In the result of this case description it was the right decision to write a note to all site owners. The clients B and E don't have a legal sublicense. The thieves C and D don't have legal sublicenses. Only client A has a legal sublicense. Perhaps client A would feel harassed by the note, but he would have to talk about it with the designer - that's the one who misused his sublicense. Let's hope he'll never do it again.


Even if there would have been sold 50 sublicenses by Fotolia you could recognize illegal use by looking for the license ID, because all the found instances have the same license ID or no one. Both is a misuse as described above (except client A).

Without license ID it's difficult to recognize legal/illegal use, that's what most posters wrote.


PS:
I think, some of the posters didn't know that a user has to buy several licenses, when he wants to give a sublicense to more than one client. Therefore they couldn't see, that a unique license ID would help to recognize legal/illegal use in the many cases.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 18:50 by ingwio »

« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2011, 18:58 »
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I think you don't realize that IS and others allow usage by one designer for multiple clients. 

« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2011, 19:11 »
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ingwio - don't go there. Please don't take that the wrong way but you took Fotolia just to make an example of madelaide's given scenario.

Other agencies have different licensing terms. Some are similar like Fotolia, some are very different!

Please keep this in mind.

« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2011, 02:24 »
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ingwio - don't go there. Please don't take that the wrong way but you took Fotolia just to make an example of madelaide's given scenario.

Other agencies have different licensing terms. Some are similar like Fotolia, some are very different!
I think you don't realize that IS and others allow usage by one designer for multiple clients. 

It was Madelaide who gave the scenario with a sublicense bought from Fotolia, it wasn't my choice. Therefore I described the different cases under the terms of Fotolia's agreements.
 
Yes, I know that the license agreements of the agencies are different. That's one reason why I upload my images to only 4 agencies and not to 25. I don't care about the agreements of IS, I don't upload there.

One question of my opening post was: Would a license ID for each download help recognizing legal/illegal use?
Now my clear answer is: Yes, it would (at Fotolia).

In the next weeks I will have a look to the agreements of my other 3 agencies and their efforts to protect my images from illegal use. After that I will decide to which agencies I will upload my images in future. I think Fotolia will be one of them - perhaps even exclusive.


PS:
In the past I sometimes wondered, why some of my images were sublicensed 7 or 8 times at the same date/time at Fotolia. Now I think that was, because a designer had 7 or 8 clients for whom he wanted to use the images - and he knew the download agreements of Fotolia.

« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2011, 02:51 »
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I think its great you want to stop illegal use of your work.

I think the point is that its very hard to track (impossible) selling with a RF licence.
I don't like my work being used without licence but its a reality and I would make more money shooting and uploading more than trying to enforce licence use.

Fotolia previously listed the purchaser of your file when you sold one. They got rid of the feature when people started emailing the buyer asking to know the usage. Emailing people to prove that they didn't steal the image isn't going to make legitimate buyers happy.

Have you heard of heroturko ? After you've shut them down you can implement your license id scheme.

« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2011, 02:54 »
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Back to the main question. If I sell on four or five sites, how do I know which one sold it?
I didn't check it for all agencies, but an image that is sublicensed by Fotolia you recognize by the copyright phrase in the image file information (IPTC). This copyright phrase looks like: RacePhoto - Fotolia.

Please have a look to the agreements of your agencies at your own. It seems that nobody can answer your question.

« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2011, 05:19 »
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ingwio,

Interesting to know that FT has this restriction. I only knew it in BigStock, and I don't even know if it is still there after SS bought them. I would be curious to know if designers write any formal agreement with their clients especifically about the licensed images, regardless of the one-use rule, forwarding the restrictions of the license terms. It would be expected that the client, once having the images in his server - in a website, for instance - would find it natural to use it in other means inside his business.

Anyway, even if in my example we now have 1 (or 2) legal usages of the 5 instances found in the web, what would you do? Write to each of the users to find which is legal? And if you find 50 instances of an image you only sold 10 times?

It's also about the time spent in this and the return you may expect. In my experiece, agencies won't do much about this. I believe they only do something when it is a case where an EL is required, they won't go after a person using  a small image in a blog. And if you write people, they just remove the infringing image. Only once I got a compensation, it was when the name of the blogger was published here and she came to the forum and was morally forced to pay me something, even after removing the image.

Still, even if your purpose is noble, I can not see any improvement in the current situation. Unfortunately, the multiple sales in the microstock world will make you crazy if you decide to go after each user. It is trouble enough to go after the more visible infringement (watermakred images, large sizes), with little or none compensation.

« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2011, 05:26 »
0
...
I think the point is that its very hard to track (impossible) selling with a RF licence.
I don't like my work being used without licence but its a reality and I would make more money shooting and uploading more than trying to enforce licence use.

... Emailing people to prove that they didn't steal the image isn't going to make legitimate buyers happy.

Have you heard of heroturko ? After you've shut them down you can implement your license id scheme.


RF:
All the agencies call their offer "RF". That's because "RF" isn't defined public, it's defined by the agreements of each agency and the agreements are different. But RF is not PD.

Legitimate buyers (i.e. Fotolia):
  • With today's simple copyright phrase it's difficult to recognize legal/illegal use. An image with a purchased license (i.e. from Fotolia) may be copied many times and even if the copyright phrase isn't deleted, you can't decide which one is a legal/illegal copy.
  • With my idea of a license ID you would see that an image has been copied illegal, because you find several instances of the image with the same license ID - and that's illegal use (i.e. at Fotolia). Yes, you are right, you could not find out the one who has bought a legal sublicense. But in this case you can clearly say, here are illegal copies of an image sublicensed by Fotolia. The agency would be responsible to check it and write a note to the site owners.
  • All instances of the image with a license ID used only once, will mostly have legitimate buyers. They wouldn't get a note.
  • In the case the copyright phrase is deleted (not allowed by the terms of the download agreements of Fotolia) and it's an exclusiv image or if you clearly can say, that's an illegal copy of the image at a certain agency (i.e. at Fotolia), the agency would be responsable to check and to write a note.
  • In the case the copyright phrase is deleted and it's a nonexclusiv image, the contributor can't decide at which agency the illegal copy is made. The contributor would be responsable to write a note.
  • Because nobody wants to write notes to legitimate buyers, there is the need of a unique sign for a legal purchased sublicense.
  • In some cases a legitimate buyer would get a note too, so the contributer has to think about a polite way.

Heroturko:
I've just read their DMCA information at http://www.heroturko.biz/dmca.html. It seems they know about the problems of misused media.

« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2011, 06:30 »
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RF:
All the agencies call their offer "RF". That's because "RF" isn't defined public, it's defined by the agreements of each agency and the agreements are different. But RF is not PD.

Do you think we are all stupid?

Anyways, still, your scheme of an id won't work because the content can still be comped into a design.

Also, I wouldn't use Fotolia as an example of stellar contracting: "You acknowledge and agree that Fotolia or its licensors retain all ownership rights in and to the Works, and that such Works are covered and protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights of Fotolia or its licensors. "

As we know, Fotolia does the licensing.  Its "contributors" or "suppliers" hold the rights.  Fotolia is the "licensor".  There is no agreement between the contributor and the buyer.

"Fotolia hereby grants to the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member" - What is a "non-exclusive downloading member"?  Are there people that only download from Fotolia?  Do you get a bonus for being an "exclusive downloading member" - only downloading from Fotolia?  What does downloading have to do with anything - I thought they were selling licenses?

"Notwithstanding the above, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member shall have the right to sell or distribute the Work solely as incorporated onto an item of merchandise or other work of authorship if the Work has been modified to the extent that it is no longer substantially similar to the original Work (where such modification may be in the form of changes to the Work itself or the incorporation of the Work into other Non-Fotolia image(s), such as a collage), provided however that the modification must be sufficient enough to qualify as an original work of authorship."

So, you can't use an unmodified image in any way?  A blog post?  A news article?  Everything licensed from Fotolia has to be modified?

"As such, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member may sublicense its rights and obligations hereunder" - So is it transferable or non-transferable?  Boy, talk about your contradictions in terms!

"the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member acknowledges, agrees and warrants that he or she shall not: ... remove any notice of copyright, trademark or other intellectual property right, or other information that may appear on, embedded in, or in connection with the Work in its original downloaded form,"

Great! Because you can never use it in its "original downloaded form" - everything has to be modified according to the earlier terms.  Or even if you crop it or flip it, it's modified.  Requirement for rights out the window...

etc.

« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2011, 17:16 »
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I think you don't realize that IS and others allow usage by one designer for multiple clients.  

I said in an earlier post, that there are different agreements of the agencies and that they have to be checked. So far I didn't check them. Because of the example of Madelaide I only checked the agreements of Fotolia.

Do you think we are all stupid?

No, at all no. I Think I answer the questions in the reply with great patience.

Anyways, still, your scheme of an id won't work because the content can still be comped into a design.

Please, excuse me, but because of my untrained English I don't know the meaning of "the content can still be comped into a design" and Google's translator didn't too. Please explain.

Also, I wouldn't use Fotolia as an example of stellar contracting: "You acknowledge and agree that Fotolia or its licensors retain all ownership rights in and to the Works, and that such Works are covered and protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights of Fotolia or its licensors. "

Fotolia repeats the rules of international right in the agreements. This is a clarification.

As we know, Fotolia does the licensing.  Its "contributors" or "suppliers" hold the rights.  Fotolia is the "licensor".  There is no agreement between the contributor and the buyer.

Here you are not right. In the terms of the Fotolia agreements the contributor (artist) gives a license to Fotolia and uploads his work under the terms of the upload agreements. The contributor (artist) holds his rights. The uploading artist (uploading member) is a licensor of Fotolia. Fotolia does the sublicensing to the clients (the downloading members).

There has not to be an agreement between the contributor and the buyer. In the case that an illegal used image was sublicensed by Fotolia, Fotolia has to fight against the misuse. In the case that you don't know who has licensed the illegal used image (perhaps because the copyright phrase was deleted) the contributor holds his rights and has the right to fight against the misuse - if he wants.

"Fotolia hereby grants to the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member" - What is a "non-exclusive downloading member"?  Are there people that only download from Fotolia?  Do you get a bonus for being an "exclusive downloading member" - only downloading from Fotolia?  What does downloading have to do with anything - I thought they were selling licenses?

The term "non-exclusive downloading member" is a term of the Fotolia content download agreement. It's declared in the first sentence of the link I gave you:
Quote
Content Download Agreement (Standard License) at http://en.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements/StandardLicense
This agreement (this "Agreement") shall be binding upon Fotolia LLC ("Fotolia") and any member (the "Non-Exclusive Downloading Member") who downloads a photograph, illustration, image or other pictorial or graphic work (the "Work") from the Fotolia.com website.

I think they use this term because the downloading member downloads an image non-exclusive - there may be many other downloading members who download the image and no one gets an exclusive download/sublicense.

Fotolia sells sublicenses to the clients (the downloading members), who want to use an instance of the image under the rules of the sublicense declared in the content download agreement. They are only allowed to download an instance of the image, if they have agreed to the content download agreement. And because they want to use the image, they do the download. That's what downloading has to do with the sublicensing and using an instance of an image. I think if you were a downloading member you were not glad if you only could purchase a license but could not download the image.

I didn't use the term "exclusive downloading member" and it isn't used in the content download agreement of Fotolia. It's your neologism. Please don't ask me to explain it.

"Notwithstanding the above, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member shall have the right to sell or distribute the Work solely as incorporated onto an item of merchandise or other work of authorship if the Work has been modified to the extent that it is no longer substantially similar to the original Work (where such modification may be in the form of changes to the Work itself or the incorporation of the Work into other Non-Fotolia image(s), such as a collage), provided however that the modification must be sufficient enough to qualify as an original work of authorship."

So, you can't use an unmodified image in any way?  A blog post?  A news article?  Everything licensed from Fotolia has to be modified?

I think you didn't see the first sentence of the content download agreement I quoted in that post:
2. Sublicense
Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Fotolia hereby grants to the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, non-transferable sublicense to use, reproduce or display the Work an unlimited number of times in the authorized media solely for (a) personal or educational purposes and (b) in connection with the operation of a business.


"As such, the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member may sublicense its rights and obligations hereunder" - So is it transferable or non-transferable?  Boy, talk about your contradictions in terms!

You talk about the terms of Fotolia's agreements that I quoted, so contradictions wouldn't be mine. But there are no contradictions in those terms. Let's look to the following example:
The designer (as a Non-Exclusive Downloading Member) has purchased a sublicense of an image and uses the downloaded instance of the image for his client A. In this case the designer has to sublicense his rights and obligations to his client A. This is only allowed for 1 client. If the designer wants to sublicense the image to more clients, he has to purchase a license for each client. These sublicenses for the clients of the designer are more restricted as declared in the agreements.

"the Non-Exclusive Downloading Member acknowledges, agrees and warrants that he or she shall not: ... remove any notice of copyright, trademark or other intellectual property right, or other information that may appear on, embedded in, or in connection with the Work in its original downloaded form,"

Great! Because you can never use it in its "original downloaded form" - everything has to be modified according to the earlier terms.  Or even if you crop it or flip it, it's modified.  Requirement for rights out the window...

You draw wrong conclusions because you misunderstood the rules of sublicensing as explained above.

etc.

Etc. you will find in the agreements of Fotolia or other agencies.

« Reply #46 on: September 03, 2011, 11:36 »
0
Madelaide,

thanks for your factual post. I will try to answer.

I would be curious to know if designers write any formal agreement with their clients especifically about the licensed images, regardless of the one-use rule, forwarding the restrictions of the license terms.

I think there will be designers who don't know the rules of the license agreements they have agreed with. So they won't write a formal agreement about the special rules of the sublicense they give to their clients. But my experience is, that many designers write agreements to protect their own work. In result it often makes no difference for the clients of the designer: the client gets a work that is protected by an agreement. In other cases there may be clients of a designer, who never would use the image in a further instance, because they are unable to handle digital media, create or change a website etc. So the rules of license agreements are protected by this.

It would be expected that the client, once having the images in his server - in a website, for instance - would find it natural to use it in other means inside his business.

Yes, that's right. And the client is allowed to use it inside his business. He has rights similar to the rights of the designer (as declared in the Fotolia content download agreement). But he is not allowed to sublicense the image again.

Anyway, even if in my example we now have 1 (or 2) legal usages of the 5 instances found in the web, what would you do? Write to each of the users to find which is legal? And if you find 50 instances of an image you only sold 10 times?

Under today's copyright phrase:
5 or 50 instances, exclusive image: I would write one note to Fotolia with the description of the (perhaps) illegal use.
5 or 50 instances, non-exclusive image: If I can find out that Fotolia licensed the image (by copyright phrase in the image, by the name of the downloaded file etc.), I would write one note to Fotolia with the description of those instances. The other instances are those with deleted copyright phrases, I would write a note to the owners of the sites.

Under my idea of a unique license ID:
Exclusive image, 5 or 50 instances: I would write one note to Fotolia with the description of the perhaps illegal use.
Non-exclusive image, 5 instances as described in your example: I would write one note to Fotolia for the instances with the same image ID. For the instances with deleted license ID/copyright phrase I would write a note to the owners of the sites.
Non-exclusive image, 50 instances: I would check the license IDs. Then I would write one note to Fotolia, but only for the instances with identical image IDs. Instances with deleted license ID/copyright phrase I would include in the note to Fotolia, if the source is an Fotolia licensed instance (see above). Otherwise I would write a note to the owners of the sites.

It's also about the time spent in this and the return you may expect. In my experience, agencies won't do much about this. I believe they only do something when it is a case where an EL is required, they won't go after a person using  a small image in a blog. And if you write people, they just remove the infringing image. Only once I got a compensation, it was when the name of the blogger was published here and she came to the forum and was morally forced to pay me something, even after removing the image.

In my opening post I described the result of Google's image search. It was the first time I used it, therefore it took a little longer. In the meantime if have trained the workflow and a search takes only about half a minute per image (plus the time to check the found instances and write the note(s)). Every week I search for 10 images, from week to week I change the images I search for. 5 minutes for search per week - that's much less time than I spend for discussion in this thread.

Fotolia says, they can't check each image that seams to be misused. They will only do something in case of misused exclusive images or when the source of the illegal used image is clearly an image licensed by Fotolia. And there are cases, they can't do anything, because of international rights and the ownership and rights of the uploading member. I agree with that. I don't have experience what will happen - future will show.

Would I write a note to a blogger who uses a small image?
I would have a look at the blogger's site and then decide. A blogger like Robert Kneschke (http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/) would get a note. By the way, I just saw a new article (in German) on his blog: The story of a picture in internet - copied, stolen, used (Die Geschichte eines Internet-Fotos Kopiert, geklaut, benutzt, 2011-09-02). Seems to be interesting.

I think, mostly I won't get compensation. But I think, mostly the one who got a note will not misuse an image again.

Still, even if your purpose is noble, I can not see any improvement in the current situation. Unfortunately, the multiple sales in the microstock world will make you crazy if you decide to go after each user. It is trouble enough to go after the more visible infringement (watermakred images, large sizes), with little or none compensation.


It's a long walk, we all together have to go to prevent RF turning to PD. With or without license ID: In clear cases the illegal user must get a (polite) note. Otherwise he will steal images again and again, because he doesn't know about copyright (after the first note he will know) or he doesn't want to pay for using an image (then there is to decide what's to do next, but that's another already existing thread).


PS
Let me tell an example of another case:

Last year my son asked me to go to a photographer (specialized on portrait and wedding photography, studio, some employees), who took some pictures of him two years before. My son had seen pictures of that session in the gallery at the website of this photographer. My son had not agreed in publishing and he didn't want the pictures to be public.

Not just a good job for me - the photographer is an acquaintance of mine. So we had a small talk first: good weather, nice studio, great website etc. Then I asked him, wether he had agreements with the persons he published in his gallery. He didn't know, because one of the employees was responsible for the website. But he suspected that there would be no agreements. However, he said, if anyone should be against the publication of his picture, he could sue in court.

This example also shows that you have to fight against the violation of your rights.

« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2011, 11:57 »
0
...
PS
Let me tell an example of another case:

Last year my son asked me to go to a photographer (specialized on portrait and wedding photography, studio, some employees), who took some pictures of him two years before. My son had seen pictures of that session in the gallery at the website of this photographer. My son had not agreed in publishing and he didn't want the pictures to be public.

Not just a good job for me - the photographer is an acquaintance of mine. So we had a small talk first: good weather, nice studio, great website etc. Then I asked him, wether he had agreements with the persons he published in his gallery. He didn't know, because one of the employees was responsible for the website. But he suspected that there would be no agreements. However, he said, if anyone should be against the publication of his picture, he could sue in court.

This example also shows that you have to fight against the violation of your rights.

This guy shouldn't have a studio if he is not even aware of the rights he or his models have or not have. This is ridiculous.

Any semi-professional photographer has the model (or their legal guardians/parents) sign a release that governs all possible uses of the images taken. As the photographer retains the copyright both him and the model want to be clear how the images can/could/will be used for.

I understand that the models are not aware of such proceedings but the photographer could find himself indeed in deep trouble if he/she hasn't taken care of the legal side first.

Naturally we will fight for our rights, but it has to be in proportion to the time we're investing compared to the recovery we get.

If someone sues a photographer for using their image commercially without signing a release they could recover a significant amount of money from the photographer.

What the heck do we get for an image that's used on a web site 500x300 pixels which would have earned most people 25 cents at SS (or a bit more)?

That's why I asked if you have ever talked to an IP attorney about this issue.

The first thing an attorney is going to ask you is: "Did you register copyright?"

If you happen to register copyright the next question will be "What are your damages?"

So, what are the damages? Well you say I missed out on 25 cents for that sale. You can consider yourself to be lucky when you have this conversation over the phone because by now the attorney will be fuming for wasting his/her time.

Do you seriously believe that any attorney in this world will take on a case for lost royalties in the amount of (possibly) 25 cents (or let it be 38 cents)?

You do realize that attorneys don't work for free right?

Having an attorney represent you even for out of court settlement negotiations could be costing you $1.000 or more. Who is paying that?
Oh right, since you registered copyright the infringing party has to pay that. Ooops, I forgot to mention that a significant amount of infringements are occuring outside of the US.

Now your attorney has to subcontract an attorney in the country where the infringing party lives in.

So, double the costs.

And... how again did you get the name and address of the infringing party in another country anyway?

« Reply #48 on: September 03, 2011, 16:29 »
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click_click,

I didn't answer the question about consulting an attorney, because the subject of this thread is: How to recognize legal/illegal use? As you see in the posts of this thread: recognizing legal/illegal use under the rules of the agreements of the agencies is hard stuff enough.

Asking how to fight against illegal use before you have clearly recognized illegal use is like doing the second step before the first - you will stumble. Therefore I beg you, don't turn the subject of this thread.

Nevertheless I will answer (some of) your questions in short.

Yes, I did. I asked my attorney, who worked for me for many years in good and in bad cases. Mostly I've won, sometimes a compromise had to be closed. Mostly he was paid by the opposing (loosing) party. He took the time to discuss the problem of illegal use of images with me - under German right.

I'm not an attorney, therefore you must go to an attorney in your country. Copyright is international right, there are not so many differences. But the rules of justice and the judgements may be different in the several countries.

What are the damages?
  • In case of a non purchased license for an illegal copied image with a copyright phrase (i.e. ingwio - Fotolia), the damage would be the commission I didn't get. I would write a note to Fotolia, they are responsable to check and (perhaps) write a note to the illegal user.
  • In case of a non purchased license for an illegal copied non-exclusive image without a copyright phrase, the damage would be the market price. The thief would not be able to rely on the price at the agency (i.e. Fotolia), because he has not agreed to the terms and conditions, especially not if he is not even a member of Fotolia. In my opinion (but I'm no attorny) you could calculate the price for the image like a non-microstock photograph would do (size, purpose, number of copies etc.). And that's a little bit more than the artist's commissions of the microstock agencies.

I will pursue copyright violations step by step, first in my home country (Germany), then maybe USA, the other European countries etc. Hard work is only the first time for each country. I hope there will be no illegal users in China or Japan, because I'm not so good in Chinese and Japanese. There is no reason to hurry, the illegal used copies will wait till I find time for them (except those which are deleted in the meantime).

Some of your other questions are already answered in this forum. Please, have a look at the other threads of this board "Image Sleuth".
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 16:32 by ingwio »

« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2011, 10:28 »
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I think you don't realize that IS and others allow usage by one designer for multiple clients. 

Do you think we are all stupid?
...
Also, I wouldn't use Fotolia as an example of stellar contracting: "You acknowledge and agree that Fotolia or its licensors retain all ownership rights in and to the Works, and that such Works are covered and protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property rights of Fotolia or its licensors. "
...


sjlocke,

do you want to annoy me?

Here are some terms of the agreements at IS:
Quote
from CONTENT LICENSE AGREEMENT at http://www.istockphoto.com/license.php

2. Standard License Terms

We hereby grant to you a perpetual, non-exclusive, non-transferable worldwide license to use the Content for the Permitted Uses (as defined below). Unless the activity or use is a Permitted Use, you cannot do it. All other rights in and to the Content, including, without limitation, all copyright and other intellectual property rights relating to the Content, are retained by iStockphoto or the supplier of the Content, as the case may be.

3. Permitted Standard License Uses

(a) You may only use the Content for those advertising, promotional and other specified purposes which are Permitted Uses (as defined below). For clarity, you may not use the Content in products for resale, license or other distribution, unless (i) the proposed use is allowable under an Extended License which is available for the Content; or (ii) if the original Content has been fundamentally modified or transformed sufficiently that it constitutes an original work entitling the author or artist to copyright protection under applicable law, and where the primary value of such transformed or derivative work is not recognizable as the Content nor is the Content capable of being downloaded, extracted or accessed by a third party as a stand-alone file (satisfaction of these conditions will constitute the work as a Permitted Derivative Work for the purposes of this Agreement). ...

(b) Seat Restrictions. Only you are permitted to use the Content, although you may transfer files containing Content or Permitted Derivative Works to your clients, printers, or ISP for the purpose of reproduction for Permitted Uses, provided that such parties shall have no further or additional rights to use the Content and cannot access or extract it from any file you provide. ...

(c) Permitted Uses. Subject to the restrictions described under Prohibited Uses below, the following are Permitted Uses of Content:
...

4. Standard License Prohibitions

(a) Prohibited Uses. You may not do anything with the Content that is not expressly permitted in the preceding section or permitted by an Extended License. For greater certainty, the following are Prohibited Uses and you may not:
1. ...
...
9. remove any notice of copyright, trade-mark or other proprietary right from any place where it is on or embedded in the Content;
10. sub-license, re-sell, rent, lend, assign, gift or otherwise transfer or distribute the Content or the rights granted under this Agreement;
11. install and use the Content in more than one location at a time or post a copy of the Content on a network server or web server for use by other users;
...
15. ...
...


The result of this at IS: retained rights, only 1 user, 1 client - 1 license, 2 clients - 2 licenses (or EL), deleting the copyright phrase is not permitted etc.

For me these rules are nearly identical to those of Fotolia. In some cases they are even more restrictive than those of Fotolia (read more at the above given link).

It seems you don't know the agreements of the agency you are a member of. But you should know the terms before you compare them with the terms of the other agencies. Please, read them at your own before posting and don't waste our time.

« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2011, 13:00 »
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I think this shows that you definitely didn't go to law school.

Trust me.  The IS license allows a buyer to use the license for multiple clients, for any number of projects.  Try reading the whole clause next time instead of just underlining the part you think backs you up:
"Only you are permitted to use the Content, although you may transfer files containing Content or Permitted Derivative Works to your clients, printers, or ISP for the purpose of reproduction for Permitted Uses, provided that such parties shall have no further or additional rights to use the Content and cannot access or extract it from any file you provide."

« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2011, 21:35 »
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ingwio,

Have you ever reported a clear infringement, such as watermarked images, to any site? Have they done anything?

Just as an example, when Google Images released that search tool, I found watermarked images from FT in six different sites and reported them to FT. They said they would "make an effort to resolve the issues". The watermarked images are still there:
http://theenglishstars.blogspot.com/2010/06/airport.html
http://www.infoaviacao.com/2010/02/em-marco-tem-novas-turmas-de-check-in.html
http://machhen-travel.blogspot.com/
http://deliraradois.blogspot.com/2010/08/checking-in.html
http://taxitravel.com.br/
http://ulatenglishbox.wordpress.com/2010/05/page/5/

So, this is an example of clear, unquestionable illegal use, and they didn't do anything about it. I have reported images above the max web size, nothing.

I have found images the exact same size of unwatermarked small thumbs from 123RF (the only site I saw with that specific size). It looks like a huge coincidence that someone buys an image and downsize it exatcly to their size. I reported those, no answer - this one isn't much of a surprise.

And the list goes on. Maybe I'm the only one whose reports have been unfruitful, but I have the impression sites really don't care, unless it is something big.

« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2011, 04:15 »
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ingwio,

Have you ever reported a clear infringement, such as watermarked images, to any site? Have they done anything?

Just as an example, when Google Images released that search tool, I found watermarked images from FT in six different sites and reported them to FT. They said they would "make an effort to resolve the issues". The watermarked images are still there:
http://theenglishstars.blogspot.com/2010/06/airport.html
http://www.infoaviacao.com/2010/02/em-marco-tem-novas-turmas-de-check-in.html
http://machhen-travel.blogspot.com/
http://deliraradois.blogspot.com/2010/08/checking-in.html
http://taxitravel.com.br/
http://ulatenglishbox.wordpress.com/2010/05/page/5/

So, this is an example of clear, unquestionable illegal use, and they didn't do anything about it. I have reported images above the max web size, nothing.

I have found images the exact same size of unwatermarked small thumbs from 123RF (the only site I saw with that specific size). It looks like a huge coincidence that someone buys an image and downsize it exatcly to their size. I reported those, no answer - this one isn't much of a surprise.

And the list goes on. Maybe I'm the only one whose reports have been unfruitful, but I have the impression sites really don't care, unless it is something big.


Madelaide,

I started this thread with the subject "How to recognize legal/illegal use?"

In many replies I got the answer, that we can't do anything. Some of the reasons were:
1. The agreements of the agencies allow multiple copying, sublicensing etc.
2. The agencies do nothing against misuse, even when I have reported misuse.
3. I can't recognize illegal use.
4. I don't want to spend time on that.
etc.

My answers are:

1.
The agreements are different. We must know them.
FT: The designer is allowed sublicensing to 1 client per purchased license.
SS: Allows 3 (with some complicated exceptions and time limits, that I don't want to repeat here).
IS: There is a discussion between sjlocke an me. We will see later.
DT: ...
123RF: ...
...

2.
I haven't the experience how reports are handled by the agencies (but they want to earn money by selling licenses and they don't earn money by allowing illegal use).
My first report to FT (Germany) was answered by a preliminary answer. The user of the image isn't a client of FT. They have given this case to FT (US), who are responsible. Maybe this turns to a first class funeral (as we say in German), but I have great patience and will write them again after a while.
My second report to FT (2011-08-24) wasn't answered so far. But that was hard stuff with multiple illegal use.

Because of Google's image search something is changing, therefore the agencies will have to act against misuse. Look at the DT Message Board (2011-08-11). They have a "New feature: Report misusage - DMCA notification" (http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_28308). That's one step to handle misuse - agency and artists together.

Some important things are described in that message, here are three:
"Educate yourself: know what your images can be used for."
"In some cases the images are used properly, in other cases the license is incorrect."
"We don't want this to be transformed into a witch-hunt."

I fully agree. I don't want to harass legitimate users. Therefore this subject: How to recognize legal/illegal use?

3.
That's the problem. Therefore we should put together the criteria by which we can detect illegal use. Some were already described in the replies.

The agreements of the agencies are different. It could be a good idea, that those of you repliers, who have special knowledge of the terms of an agency, would describe what a misuse is under the terms of that agency. Could this be a way?


4.
Great. If I were a designer and wanted to do my work without paying for licenses, I would ask: "Where are your images?"

RacePhoto

« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2011, 21:03 »
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ingwio I think I'm lost, but thanks for trying.

I didn't see where you said you knew where the images came from, because part was that we don't know where the images came from. That's why I asked, how you could identify the agency if there was no credit, no tracking and you didn't know who licensed it. Then you said, all of yours came from FT with attribution. I followed the links and still couldn't tell where they were from. (that's my problem)

So if you write to all the people using your images and don't know which were legal or not or where they came from, all you will do is alienate the legal uses and do nothing to the illegal and nothing changes. So what's the point? Making customers unhappy?

Yes, it would be nice to know who licensed every download, it's not done. When we get to page four or page forty of this banter, it will still be the same. It's not done and can't be done, because of the record keeping involved. Agencies do not track nor do they disclose who the buyer is. Any digital watermark can be removed.

Are you related to Don Quixote  ;D

« Reply #54 on: September 06, 2011, 03:00 »
0
Using the new image search I have found hundreds of illegal uses of my images.  Far too many for me to be able to do anything about it unless it is some big company worth going after. I would imagine that the stock agencies are getting inundated with illegal uses and just haven't got the resourses to chase them all up.

« Reply #55 on: September 06, 2011, 05:15 »
0
Sorry to go off Topic: "How to recognize legal/illegal use?",,, just wanted to point out how naive (silly) i was to think that when some 'agencies' offer a low % cut-back to the contributor/photographer (ie: me) that the rest of the money was partially going to protect my work too, apart from profits and other costs.

Going exclusive normally means you get a bigger cut of the money from your work being sold, which unless sold at a higher price too, means that's less money is going to the agency... which is less money for them to 'use/waste' time on hunting down illegal use.

( I bring up this post, since a previous post mentioned, forget having your work defended unless your an exclusive,,, although that does make sense too since it's harder to track down the source/agency )

Also want to bring up a point about google-images-search and tineye etc... these site don't track every image on the web, so illegal use might be greater, or lets be positive, your/our work might be out their more than is found.  Also am pretty sure that stock is being used for Printed media that doesn't appear on the web, let alone to be found by any image-finding-site.

« Reply #56 on: September 06, 2011, 08:07 »
0
I would imagine that the stock agencies are getting inundated with illegal uses and just haven't got the resourses to chase them all up.
Indeed, but even before the Google tool, all my contacts with the sites (FT, IS, DT, StockXpert, 123) resulted in nothing. Only when I contacted infractors myself, were images removed.

RacePhoto

« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2011, 11:24 »
0
I would imagine that the stock agencies are getting inundated with illegal uses and just haven't got the resourses to chase them all up.
Indeed, but even before the Google tool, all my contacts with the sites (FT, IS, DT, StockXpert, 123) resulted in nothing. Only when I contacted infractors myself, were images removed.

As Chris S pointed out, and you also and let me re-state it in my own words. The agents take 80-85% of the commission on downloads and in return we get NOTHING, no protection, no trying to block illegal use? Do I have that right?  >:(

Good God and people still try to get friends involved in selling on MicroStock sites after we get crapped on like this?

ShadySue

« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2011, 14:45 »
0

1.
The agreements are different. We must know them.
FT: The designer is allowed sublicensing to 1 client per purchased license.
SS: Allows 3 (with some complicated exceptions and time limits, that I don't want to repeat here).
IS: There is a discussion between sjlocke an me. We will see later.
DT: ...
123RF: ...
...

So if you're independent, the first hurdle you face is finding out which site the image was originally licensed from (unless the image has only ever been with one agency).
Then work out the license for that agency.
Then work out whether the use is valid for the agency it was purchased from.
Then you wonder whether the agency will back you up (if they can be bothered, usually the most you'll get is a purchase for the license that was missed, or the abuser might take the image down. This after several weeks or months, depending on the agency and how quickly they take it up.)
Or pay a fortune to hire a lawyer specialising in international law to chase them down.
Or you could just write a polite email to the website owner yourself; but better be sure they are an abuser. You can't just go writing to everyone who uses your file asking to see their license. (Unless you know the file has never been sold.)

Then there are all the Russian sites flogging or giving away stock images en masse. Only today, I happened to be looking at the webalyser stats for a website I maintain for a local campaign group. An incredible number of visits were apparently coming from .ru sites. Checking a few (c10) at random, they were either image distribution sites (whom I presume constantly spider the web looking for images to steal) [the others looked like an identical forum with multiple URIs].

So, yes, recognising illegal use is very difficult.
The only real solution is either never to post any images anywhere or only with Getty, who I hear go after abusers like the Wrath of Khan.

« Reply #59 on: September 06, 2011, 15:13 »
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ingwio I think I'm lost, but thanks for trying.

RacePhoto,

I don't think so, because you posted again just about 14 hours later. ;).

Are you related to Don Quixote  ;D

Don Quixote? The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha?

I don't think so: no Rocinante (only a bike, but skinny), no Dulcinea in mind, no Sancho in sight (do you want that job?), can't speak Spanish. There are too few similarities :D.

No, I think I'm more related to some of the enemies of Don Quixote - the windmills. I sold my last (and only) windmill about 20 years ago, built about 1860, 25 m in height, 1 m thick walls on the ground floor, without sails (lost by a strong storm years before and not lost by Don Quixote). I sold it to - you won't believe - a photographer.

But there is an interesting thing about the author Miguel de Cervantes and his work I read in the German Wikipedia. I don't know wether it's true but it's similar to the discussion we have in this thread.
Quote
from Wikipedia - Don Quijote (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quijote)
Translation:
The work was a bestseller immediately after its initial release in early 1605 - a few weeks later, three pirate editions appeared.


Please, excuse me. I'm a little out of topic today. But I wanted to answer the funny part of your statements. I think we should go on with this thread. As you can see in the statistics, there have been about 1700 views since 2011-08-21, not just a little. It seems to be interesting to many.

I'll try to be more serious tomorrow - I promise.

RacePhoto

« Reply #60 on: September 06, 2011, 16:15 »
0
ingwio I think I'm lost, but thanks for trying.

RacePhoto,

I don't think so, because you posted again just about 14 hours later. ;).

Are you related to Don Quixote  ;D

Don Quixote? The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha?

I don't think so: no Rocinante (only a bike, but skinny), no Dulcinea in mind, no Sancho in sight (do you want that job?), can't speak Spanish. There are too few similarities :D.

No, I think I'm more related to some of the enemies of Don Quixote - the windmills. I sold my last (and only) windmill about 20 years ago, built about 1860, 25 m in height, 1 m thick walls on the ground floor, without sails (lost by a strong storm years before and not lost by Don Quixote). I sold it to - you won't believe - a photographer.

But there is an interesting thing about the author Miguel de Cervantes and his work I read in the German Wikipedia. I don't know wether it's true but it's similar to the discussion we have in this thread.
Quote
from Wikipedia - Don Quijote (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quijote)
Translation:
The work was a bestseller immediately after its initial release in early 1605 - a few weeks later, three pirate editions appeared.


Please, excuse me. I'm a little out of topic today. But I wanted to answer the funny part of your statements. I think we should go on with this thread. As you can see in the statistics, there have been about 1700 views since 2011-08-21, not just a little. It seems to be interesting to many.

I'll try to be more serious tomorrow - I promise.


Yeah, I can try too, but I'd be lying if I promised.  ;D

You are getting into why we have Copy Right Laws because of the ease at which people could suddenly copy books when movable type was invented. Imagine the same for photo copies which was some kind of a threat, and now digital, where nothing is safe. That's why Sony and the big ones tried to block videtape recorders. funny we have CDs and DVDs and both of those technologies will be short lived. 78 RPM records may have lasted longer than 45s? Now we have electronic and don't need things that scratch and break and we can make our own back-up copies. The world is changing and the laws need to change.

In case you haven't noticed, my latest rant (pitch, mission, soap box speech?) is similar to your tilting at windmills. DMCA does nothing. It gains us no damages, it stops no one, because if they get caught the penalty is, "Oops, I'll take it down" the problem goes away. They don't even need to apologize. Why bother when it's a toothless dog that doesn't bark?  ;D

You might go back to the base question and hurdle. Multiple sites, selling the identical images, no tracking, no way to track, and I'm adding, even if they did, we can't get restoration or recovery. So what's the use? Write DMCAs, send notes, stop them, that's fine, but the agencies are not going to help. If you sell the same product at 25 different sites, why should they pursue infringement when they don't know where it came from?

« Reply #61 on: September 07, 2011, 02:47 »
0
I think this shows that you definitely didn't go to law school.
Yes, you're right. But I never claimed that.

Trust me.  The IS license allows a buyer to use the license for multiple clients, for any number of projects.  Try reading the whole clause next time instead of just underlining the part you think backs you up:
"Only you are permitted to use the Content, although you may transfer files containing Content or Permitted Derivative Works to your clients, printers, or ISP for the purpose of reproduction for Permitted Uses, provided that such parties shall have no further or additional rights to use the Content and cannot access or extract it from any file you provide."
Yes, you're right.

ShadySue

« Reply #62 on: September 07, 2011, 04:02 »
0
"Only you are permitted to use the Content, although you may transfer files containing Content or Permitted Derivative Works to your clients, printers, or ISP for the purpose of reproduction for Permitted Uses, provided that such parties shall have no further or additional rights to use the Content and cannot access or extract it from any file you provide."
Yes, you're right.
Plus I have no idea how you can make sure you client 'cannot access or extract it from any file you provide'. Just about any file (word, pdf, powerpoint, etc.) can be screendumped and the photo saved out in Photoshop (etc) and the file would have to be provided as an entity in e.g. an html web page or IIRC e.g. InDesign, so that's just an unpoliceable rule.

« Reply #63 on: September 07, 2011, 05:14 »
0
"Only you are permitted to use the Content, although you may transfer files containing Content or Permitted Derivative Works to your clients, printers, or ISP for the purpose of reproduction for Permitted Uses, provided that such parties shall have no further or additional rights to use the Content and cannot access or extract it from any file you provide."
Yes, you're right.
Plus I have no idea how you can make sure you client 'cannot access or extract it from any file you provide'. Just about any file (word, pdf, powerpoint, etc.) can be screendumped and the photo saved out in Photoshop (etc) and the file would have to be provided as an entity in e.g. an html web page or IIRC e.g. InDesign, so that's just an unpoliceable rule.

ShadySue,
thank you. This gives a chance to play on words. I don't know how to solve the described problem with the agreements of IS. But your signature in your posts gives an answer: "There is a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in". Let's ask sjlocke, he's a crack (in the German meaning of "expert") of the agreements of IS - I hope he will let the light get in ;).

ShadySue

« Reply #64 on: September 07, 2011, 05:46 »
0
ShadySue,
thank you. This gives a chance to play on words. I don't know how to solve the described problem with the agreements of IS. But your signature in your posts gives an answer: "There is a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in". Let's ask sjlocke, he's a crack (in the German meaning of "expert") of the agreements of IS - I hope he will let the light get in ;).
You'll notice that on all IS legalese, there is lots of wiggle room and 'scope for interpretation' for iStock and for buyers, but none for contributors. You'll often see if someone brings up a suspected misuse of a legally bought image that the rules give a lot of scope for disagreement on the forums.

For example, in the Standard Content Agreement, Clause 4 is:
Prohibited Uses.
You may not ...
6.   use the Content in a fashion that is considered by iStockphoto (acting reasonably) as or under applicable law is 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;
7.   use or display any Content that features a model or person in a manner (a) that would lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service, cause, association or other endeavour;

The issue with (6) being that wnat one person considers 'reasonable' others would consider 'beyond the pale'.
The issue with (7) is that many, many in-uses feature a model apparently 'personally endorsing' a product, for example a photo of the model with a text saying, e.g. "My X is better now that I'm using product Y" or somesuch.

You're not going to get any further on the forums.
Your only recourse is to contact contributor relations/support on the site from which the misused file was been bought or stolen and see if they'll take it on for you. Don't hold your breath.
Or as I said before, hire an international IP/Copyright lawyer and mortgage your grandchildren.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 06:07 by ShadySue »

« Reply #65 on: September 07, 2011, 06:19 »
0
Sorry to go off Topic: "How to recognize legal/illegal use?",,, just wanted to point out how naive (silly) i was to think that when some 'agencies' offer a low % cut-back to the contributor/photographer (ie: me) that the rest of the money was partially going to protect my work too, apart from profits and other costs.

Some agencies promise to do so in their blog. I think it's only to get some more new photographers.
A while ago I decided to stop working with some agencies (low earners). One reason was: they didn't use watermarks in their previews or the watermarks were very small and deleting them would be very easy for a thief.

Going exclusive normally means you get a bigger cut of the money from your work being sold, which unless sold at a higher price too, means that's less money is going to the agency... which is less money for them to 'use/waste' time on hunting down illegal use.

( I bring up this post, since a previous post mentioned, forget having your work defended unless your an exclusive,,, although that does make sense too since it's harder to track down the source/agency )

If you upload an image to more than one agency it may be difficult to recognize where the misused instance of the image comes from. Which agency would be responsable?.

That's no problem if you are an exclusive photographer - there is only one agency.

I don't want to go exclusive. There are other ways I decided to go (and will strictly go in future):
  • The image is uploaded to one agency only and declared as a part-exclusive image (if possible/allowed).
  • The agreements of an agency (i.e. SS) doesn't allow part-exclusivity at all. They only get non-exclusive images, but no other agency will get these images.
  • If an image is uploaded as an exclusive image to an agency, the agreements don't allow uploading a similar image to other agencies. In this case all agencies get non-exclusive, similar, but unique images.
In result: all agencies have unique images, it's possible to recognize which agency is responsable for an instance of an image.

Also want to bring up a point about google-images-search and tineye etc... these site don't track every image on the web, so illegal use might be greater, or lets be positive, your/our work might be out their more than is found.  Also am pretty sure that stock is being used for Printed media that doesn't appear on the web, let alone to be found by any image-finding-site.

That's my experience too. Google found more than 20 instances of an image. Tineye found none.

I think in future there will be found more instances. It's only a matter of time before the databases of search engines are more complete.

On the other hand, we must recognize that we only see the tip of the iceberg today. Perhaps the iceberg is growing under the water level.

« Reply #66 on: September 07, 2011, 08:02 »
0
...
You are getting into why we have Copy Right Laws because of the ease at which people could suddenly copy books when movable type was invented. Imagine the same for photo copies which was some kind of a threat, and now digital, where nothing is safe. That's why Sony and the big ones tried to block videtape recorders. funny we have CDs and DVDs and both of those technologies will be short lived. 78 RPM records may have lasted longer than 45s? Now we have electronic and don't need things that scratch and break and we can make our own back-up copies. The world is changing and the laws need to change.

I think there is a small error in your thought. We don't have the Copyright Laws because movable letters were invented. We have these laws, because there were people in the past who fought for their intellectual property.

We must fight against the illegal use of images, otherwise the impression might arise that copyright laws (for photographers) are unnecessary and the laws would change, but not for the better (for the photographers).

« Reply #67 on: September 07, 2011, 08:04 »
0
...
So, yes, recognising illegal use is very difficult.
The only real solution is either never to post any images anywhere or only with Getty, who I hear go after abusers like the Wrath of Khan.
Shouldn't we act like like Getty too?

ShadySue

« Reply #68 on: September 07, 2011, 08:08 »
0
...
So, yes, recognising illegal use is very difficult.
The only real solution is either never to post any images anywhere or only with Getty, who I hear go after abusers like the Wrath of Khan.
Shouldn't we act like like Getty too?
If you've got the money to pay the lawyers, go ahead.

« Reply #69 on: September 07, 2011, 08:27 »
0
...
So, yes, recognising illegal use is very difficult.
The only real solution is either never to post any images anywhere or only with Getty, who I hear go after abusers like the Wrath of Khan.
Shouldn't we act like like Getty too?
If you've got the money to pay the lawyers, go ahead.
Oops, I didn't know that Khan paid a lawyer to fight for him.

RacePhoto

« Reply #70 on: September 07, 2011, 14:22 »
0
...
You are getting into why we have Copy Right Laws because of the ease at which people could suddenly copy books when movable type was invented. Imagine the same for photo copies which was some kind of a threat, and now digital, where nothing is safe. That's why Sony and the big ones tried to block videtape recorders. funny we have CDs and DVDs and both of those technologies will be short lived. 78 RPM records may have lasted longer than 45s? Now we have electronic and don't need things that scratch and break and we can make our own back-up copies. The world is changing and the laws need to change.


I think there is a small error in your thought. We don't have the Copyright Laws because movable letters were invented. We have these laws, because there were people in the past who fought for their intellectual property.

We must fight against the illegal use of images, otherwise the impression might arise that copyright laws (for photographers) are unnecessary and the laws would change, but not for the better (for the photographers).


OK so much for history and education. Try this on for size.

The history of copyright law starts with early privileges and monopolies granted to printers of books. The British Statute of Anne 1709, full title "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned", was the first copyright statute. Initially copyright law only applied to the copying of books. Over time other uses such as translations and derivative works were made subject to copyright and copyright now covers a wide range of works, including maps, performances, paintings, photographs, sound recordings, motion pictures and computer programs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law

I asked an attorney last night and he said, HA the court system does nothing even when I took them the evidence. We have to file and take the time to go to court, and there's no money in it. Why should artists have to take the case to court for a criminal offense when with other crimes the state and Government prosecutes.

Somewhere in there I see two reasons why it's a waste of effort. No recovery and even the governments won't help do something.

Frustrating as all heck and I'd like some laws that protect our work, but, read again.

DMCA and even registration is a toothless dog that doesn't even bark!

So how does recognizing illegal use do anything to help? We can find illegal use now and it's useless. Should we and the agencies spend more money and time, feeding and caring for that toothless dog, and get nothing out of it but some dog poop?  :o

« Reply #71 on: September 07, 2011, 17:28 »
0
Hi RacePhoto,

the known history of copyright and copyright laws is about 1600 years elder than described in the English article at Wikipedia. Please read the more detailed article at the German Wikipedia (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_des_Urheberrechts). But the dates don't matter, we live in 2011.

There are different laws in US and Germany today. Therefore I said in a previous post, in the first step I would hire an attorney to fight against illegal use in Germany. In Germany we use the so called "Abmahnung" when a copyright infringement happened. I don't want to explain "Abmahnung" here. There is a detailed article in German on the German Wikipedia (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abmahnung) and a very short and uncomplete article in English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abmahnung).

The result in short: You must be sure, that there is a clear copyright infringement. The attorney you hired writes the "Abmahnung" to the illegal user. The illegal user has to pay the attorney and your damage. If he doesn't, the attorney will go to the court. If there is a clear copyright infringement, there is no risc for you, the illegal user will have to pay. And because of the costs of the attorney and the court it will be a little more than a dog poop - I promise you 8).

I don't want to have a risc, when it's necessary to use the "Abmahnung", therefore I opened this thread: How to recognize legal/illegal use?


PS:
You would like some laws that protect our work? Then we must work for that - in unions, political etc. That's what I said in one of my first posts in this thread. Do you think, the agencies will do that for us? Never!

But if you would have that laws sometime in future, you would get back to the subject of this thread: How to recognize legal/illegal use? ;D
« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 17:29 by ingwio »

RacePhoto

« Reply #72 on: September 07, 2011, 23:25 »
0
good luck ingwio


 

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