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Author Topic: envato and copyright  (Read 15037 times)

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« Reply #75 on: January 26, 2012, 14:58 »
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Envato may as well just shut the house down, because almost everything people have pointed to is ripe for pending lawsuit.

This is my biggest concern (as a GR author), these copyright violations all come from 2 categories - Print templates (mostly flyers) and Add-ons (mostly Photoshop actions).

I almost exclusively publish web elements, where everything is made from scratch in Photoshop so there is never any issue of copyright, so solutions like this would really hurt me. Would my items be disabled until I can somehow prove that I own the textures, patterns and effects that I use in my work, will I then need to do it in every piece of new work? I feel it is enough to declare the work as my own (with no proof given), and then I take responsibility if someone accuses me of stealing their assets.

Authors need to be better educated (someone hit the nail on the head when they said that many authors are teenagers and amateurs), reviewers need to be better educated (it's a remote team and clearly some training has been missed) and certain sections need to be gone through and have items soft-disabled until the authors can sort out the files. Anything more drastic would be a disaster. After all this issue spreads to themeforest too, where literally hundreds of themes use images from TV/films in their demo templates (particularly Pixar films) - and TF is the big money earner.

It's all a bit of a nightmare really.

P.S. Hello :)


« Reply #76 on: January 26, 2012, 15:09 »
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Speaking ThemeForest - isn't it Yuri's image? I'm sure that someone paid for EL.
http://themeforest.net/item/rttheme-9-business-theme-5-in-1-for-wordpress/full_screen_preview/101242

« Reply #77 on: January 26, 2012, 15:14 »
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did a Tineye on it http://www.tineye.com/search/ce7e2cdfd86cf9c832b4529686d709707b5bbe69/
but they may or may not have or own a licence

« Reply #78 on: January 26, 2012, 15:28 »
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did a Tineye on it http://www.tineye.com/search/ce7e2cdfd86cf9c832b4529686d709707b5bbe69/
but they may or may not have or own a licence


I know. But after reading this thread it's unfortunately somehow difficult to believe that any of Envato contributors pays for licence.

« Reply #79 on: January 26, 2012, 15:58 »
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well I can say I do but I know what you mean

« Reply #80 on: January 26, 2012, 16:10 »
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Envato may as well just shut the house down, because almost everything people have pointed to is ripe for pending lawsuit.

This is my biggest concern (as a GR author), these copyright violations all come from 2 categories - Print templates (mostly flyers) and Add-ons (mostly Photoshop actions).

I almost exclusively publish web elements, where everything is made from scratch in Photoshop so there is never any issue of copyright, so solutions like this would really hurt me. Would my items be disabled until I can somehow prove that I own the textures, patterns and effects that I use in my work, will I then need to do it in every piece of new work? I feel it is enough to declare the work as my own (with no proof given), and then I take responsibility if someone accuses me of stealing their assets.

Authors need to be better educated (someone hit the nail on the head when they said that many authors are teenagers and amateurs), reviewers need to be better educated (it's a remote team and clearly some training has been missed) and certain sections need to be gone through and have items soft-disabled until the authors can sort out the files. Anything more drastic would be a disaster. After all this issue spreads to themeforest too, where literally hundreds of themes use images from TV/films in their demo templates (particularly Pixar films) - and TF is the big money earner.

It's all a bit of a nightmare really.

P.S. Hello :)

Welcome PixelBuffet!  I was hoping you'd hop on over here.  Your posts at GR have been right on target.

Unfortunately, it does seem like the only solution at this point is to disable at least the two sections you mention.  There's just too many infringing images.  I wouldn't even suggest that, if Envato had fulfilled the legal requirements necessary to protect itself from a gigantic lawsuit.  They need to file the necessary paperwork with the US Copyright Office ASAP, because the Eyes of Getty do watch this forum...and as I've said before, they do not play nice.  They typically demand damages of $1000-2000 per image.

Hopefully for your sake, and the sake of other artists who aren't using infringed images, they can work through the products quickly and don't have to take down those sections.

We have to submit proof of copyright ownership on certain items to the stock agencies.  For instance, if we create a vector that's a cut-out of a person, we either have to submit the source file or provide a link for proof that the source image is ours.  But general backgrounds, textures, and the other things you describe don't require proof.  The agencies trust the artists to provide them with legal material, and when it's discovered that an infringement has occurred, they remove the image and terminate the offending "artist's" account.  That's how it should work at GR and TF, and soon hopefully will so designers like yourself don't get caught in a messy situation like this one. 

« Reply #81 on: January 26, 2012, 16:16 »
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Envato may as well just shut the house down, because almost everything people have pointed to is ripe for pending lawsuit.

This is my biggest concern (as a GR author), these copyright violations all come from 2 categories - Print templates (mostly flyers) and Add-ons (mostly Photoshop actions).

I almost exclusively publish web elements, where everything is made from scratch in Photoshop so there is never any issue of copyright, so solutions like this would really hurt me......    It's all a bit of a nightmare really.


While that's quite understandable in your case, it doesn't excuse the agent. Ultimately they are responsible for this. Asking contributors to police themselves though is quite the joke. They will do one or two, or all of the following:

Ignore the agent
Play dumb and claim they didn't get the notice
Keep doing it anyway

You would think that if people are of legal age to enter into a contract with the agent they would understand the rules, but they don't and in many cases especially in the 18 yr old bracket as mentioned, don't even read the TOS agreement. Good luck to you whatever happens.

« Reply #82 on: January 26, 2012, 16:24 »
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That's a no-brainer for graphic designers living in their parent's basement to upload "Iron Man" templates and rake in the cash as long the agent does not enforce any copyright issues.

Some templates sold many hundreds of times, there is some serious cash moving here.

I'm completely stunned that not one of the big copyright holders ever had them fined. How could an infringement on such a large scale go on for so long without a major take down wave.

Sure, we don't know how many works have been previously taken down by Envato but judging from what is still live on their site it appears that they simply do not take this very seriously.

« Reply #83 on: January 26, 2012, 16:53 »
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We have to submit proof of copyright ownership on certain items to the stock agencies.  For instance, if we create a vector that's a cut-out of a person, we either have to submit the source file or provide a link for proof that the source image is ours.  But general backgrounds, textures, and the other things you describe don't require proof.  The agencies trust the artists to provide them with legal material, and when it's discovered that an infringement has occurred, they remove the image and terminate the offending "artist's" account.
Wow, now I feel naive too! I always knew where I was with copyright infringement, but had no idea other sites took so many more steps to ensure their contributors stayed within it! This really is quite sloppy from Envato then.

It is going to be interesting to see how Envato respond to this. They don't normally ignore us on the forums, so I suspect no one is quite sure what to say until they figure out an official stance on this (and how they are going to sort it all out).

One thing I would say though is that they've always ethically been a good company, Collis especially has always aimed for much more than just making money. They've grown very fast in only a few years and seem to have spread the key staff quite thin with all the marketplaces and other projects. Not much of an excuse, but I thought I'd try to put a good word in ;)

...having said that, I just noticed a flyer with Madonna on it just got accept in the last few hours.  ::)

« Reply #84 on: January 26, 2012, 17:12 »
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I love PSDTuts and really hope this mess doesn't hurt Envato.  I just got approved over at Photo Dune myself and want to see them succeed.  Years ago I tried to convince LuckyOliver to expand into fonts, templates, and logos, but they weren't built for that kind of vision.  Envato has the ability to become an industry leader, but they have got to get this stuff sorted out so a lawsuit doesn't destroy them.

« Reply #85 on: January 26, 2012, 17:42 »
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Wow, now I feel naive too! I always knew where I was with copyright infringement, but had no idea other sites took so many more steps to ensure their contributors stayed within it! This really is quite sloppy from Envato then.

It is going to be interesting to see how Envato respond to this. They don't normally ignore us on the forums, so I suspect no one is quite sure what to say until they figure out an official stance on this (and how they are going to sort it all out).

One thing I would say though is that they've always ethically been a good company, Collis especially has always aimed for much more than just making money. They've grown very fast in only a few years and seem to have spread the key staff quite thin with all the marketplaces and other projects. Not much of an excuse, but I thought I'd try to put a good word in ;)

...having said that, I just noticed a flyer with Madonna on it just got accept in the last few hours.  ::)
It's great to see long standing Envato members come here and join the discussion! It really helps a lot and most importantly EVERYONE if we keep exchanging our experiences.

The classic microstock agencies like iStock, Shutterstock, Dreamstime etc. do impose strict guidelines what is acceptable and what isn't (in terms of copyright).

In photography it's quite obvious that you need a model release from a person you take a picture to use that photo in a commercial way.

However, in other areas of design (web design, graphic design etc.) the "artists" or designers often use content that has already been created to accelerate their designing process. In general nothing wrong with that. And as long as the designer ensures that all used design elements allow commercial use, everything is fine.

In general though, also trying to be a "true" artist, the goal is to create all content yourself. That will be much more satisfying once you see sales but also you can consider it an insurance of not getting sued.

It is obvious that using photos of celebrities or world famous brands is going to boost ANY design but in almost all cases none of those celebrities or major brands would provide you with a written permission to use it for your personal, financial gain - simply because it is their intellectual property ( I don't mean you personally - I mean the reader who used unauthorized content before). And the reason why they want to protect it, is to ensure that they keep the $$$ rolling in order to produce future products, services etc. That's their business. So basically, many Envato contributors, have used other highly professional work to sell their product and that is just illegal.

There is a British show called "Peep Show". I don't remember the exact episode episode but Jez and Super Hans talk about producing a song and are about to rip off someone elses music when Jez says:

"You know, sometimes it's really hard to come up with your own stuff".

I hope this sums it up.

« Reply #86 on: January 26, 2012, 18:08 »
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There is a British show called "Peep Show". I don't remember the exact episode episode but Jez and Super Hans talk about producing a song and are about to rip off someone elses music when Jez says:

"You know, sometimes it's really hard to come up with your own stuff".

 :D

Not long ago I was reading about how rap and hip-hop music had to change dramatically, because it simply became too expensive to license all the samples they wanted to use.  They had to get creative, which IMO improved the entire genre.  

« Reply #87 on: January 26, 2012, 19:00 »
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Here is the bit I'm talking about - start listening closely at 0:45 until the end and you know what I mean:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toXV2eBBwEI[/youtube]

« Reply #88 on: January 26, 2012, 19:25 »
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OMG...that's just awesome!!!   :D :D :D :D :D

« Reply #89 on: January 26, 2012, 19:33 »
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Quote
This video contains content from Channel 4, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

If this isn't irony, then I don't know what is! :D

« Reply #90 on: January 26, 2012, 19:53 »
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I love the idea that the music was what he'd been thinking of and the other guy doing it was ripping him off :)

« Reply #91 on: January 26, 2012, 19:58 »
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I love the idea that the music was what he'd been thinking of and the other guy doing it was ripping him off :)
The writers of this show (or at least for that season) did a great job! They often hit it spot on. Hilarious stuff.

« Reply #92 on: January 26, 2012, 19:59 »
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Quote
This video contains content from Channel 4, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

If this isn't irony, then I don't know what is! :D
Yeah, another example of enforcing intellectual property. Don't know why we in America can watch BBC stuff. I can't stream stuff straight from their web site but on youtube it works. Weird.

« Reply #93 on: January 26, 2012, 20:30 »
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I don't see how at this point Envato can get a hold of this problem.

They would have to disable all content and review everything from scratch to make sure they are "clean".

It's "un....


.....ith.

Envato made a huge mistake. They should take responsibility and man up to get their collection sorted out.

I will be OK if they are willing and know what to do especially now when they have so much reviewers in action while peek of uploading is reached out. 

Few years ago BigStock go through all they files and edit bad keywords one by one when they had collection of 1 or 2 million images and do it in one week or two.
(isnt all Envato collection similar size as BigStok few years ago even half smaller because of rapid growth of PhotoDune which is lets say clean of copyright)
They biggest problem is they old products on they other sites.

P.S.
So Envato spit in your hands and rub them. Fasten reviewers to their chairs and connect them to an infusion or whatever.
In one week I want all to be clear of nasty naughty stuff...

Cmon Envato you can do it...

collis

  • Hello! I work at Envato!
« Reply #94 on: January 27, 2012, 02:07 »
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Hi all,

Just stopping in to let you know that we've posted up on our community blog about this issue
http://notes.envato.com/general/use-of-assets-in-previews-on-envato-marketplaces/, and across all our forums in response to the issues raised in this thread.

We have also updated some of our wiki information to be clearer and more specific in case there was any misunderstanding.

Most of the items from earlier in the thread (I'm not certain exactly, but I think the first two pages) have been reviewed and where appropriate disabled. Newer links that have been posted about will be looked into shortly, I believe the team is just about to do a pass through these forum posts.

Thanks! ... and on a sidenote, that big beat manifesto was hilarious  :D

« Reply #95 on: January 27, 2012, 03:04 »
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Hey Collis,

I can't see any mention of what you will do if authors don't update their files? Many authors are now semi-inactive, just enjoying the passive income they've built up, will they even know about this announcement?

Are there any plans to go through the site and re-review, or are you leaving it to the authors to sort their own work out?

Last question, to take a file approved yesterday:
newbielink:http://graphicriver.net/item/endless-party-flyer-template/1434134 [nonactive]

Now I don't think this includes images from film, TV or celebrities - but it does include some images which might not be licensed. Will there be any changes in the review process so people have a bit more confidence in us, or is that being left to the authors too?

My concern is that if it is just left to authors, then opinions like this (which seems entirely justified at the moment):
Quote
But after reading this thread it's unfortunately somehow difficult to believe that any of Envato contributors pays for licence.

...wont go away, and that makes me sad - because I'm proud to be an exclusive Envato author.

Microbius

« Reply #96 on: January 27, 2012, 03:56 »
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Statement seems to indicate very little change in policy and new uploads demonstrate that what is happening is "more of the same".
The only change in policy seems to be "we may stop blatant infringements at review". Other than that just CYA with DMCA policy etc.
The only thing that will have a real impact would be to ask authors to specify  in their descriptions where they purchased the images from (along with educating authors about legit sources). This would also help buyers wanting to license the same images for use with the templates.
Otherwise authors will still just assume sites like the Photoshop one are a perfectly legitimate source for images.

Even better limit authors to Photodune and your own legit free sources then you can keep track, levels the playing field too.

ETA if you do this I'm sure a lot of photogs will give permission for free use in previews as it will mean more sales to customers wanting to recreate the same flyer etc.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 03:59 by Microbius »

« Reply #97 on: January 27, 2012, 04:42 »
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Even better limit authors to Photodune and your own legit free sources then you can keep track, levels the playing field too.

ETA if you do this I'm sure a lot of photogs will give permission for free use in previews as it will mean more sales to customers wanting to recreate the same flyer etc.
Good idea. There is no reason why Envato should support officialpsds dot com or other sites by linking to their site if PhotoDune sell images as well. Not mentioning that officalpsds is full of stolen images.

« Reply #98 on: January 27, 2012, 05:20 »
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Yes I agree using Photodune would be the best practice for stock as you reviewers can quickly check what licence you own to use the stock image and Envato would be promoting one of its own marketing places.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 05:37 by cook »

collis

  • Hello! I work at Envato!
« Reply #99 on: January 27, 2012, 05:30 »
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Hey Collis,

I can't see any mention of what you will do if authors don't update their files? Many authors are now semi-inactive, just enjoying the passive income they've built up, will they even know about this announcement?

Are there any plans to go through the site and re-review, or are you leaving it to the authors to sort their own work out?

Last question, to take a file approved yesterday:
http://graphicriver.net/item/endless-party-flyer-template/1434134

Now I don't think this includes images from film, TV or celebrities - but it does include some images which might not be licensed. Will there be any changes in the review process so people have a bit more confidence in us, or is that being left to the authors too?

My concern is that if it is just left to authors, then opinions like this (which seems entirely justified at the moment):
Quote
But after reading this thread it's unfortunately somehow difficult to believe that any of Envato contributors pays for licence.

...wont go away, and that makes me sad - because I'm proud to be an exclusive Envato author.




Hi Pixelbuffet!

Nice to see some long-time Envato authors out here on Microstockgroup - it's a really interesting forum!

Because of our approach to the marketplaces, our policy remains very much that authors are responsible for their work, that we always respond to DMCA takedown notices and do our best to educate authors on their obligations and responsibilities. I'll give some thought to the scenario you mentioned however and raise it with the team.

With respect to reviewers, as I mentioned in the Notes post, we've asked the review team to use more of their discretion in reviewing items. This means for instance they might reject an item with a blatantly obvious photo of a celebrity. However it relies on the reviewer knowing and recognising that celebrity, so is not meant to be a prevention, and does not mean authors should rely on this in any way.

Changes to reviewer policies take a little while to take effect as there are many reviewers working on the marketplaces. So it may be a few days before such rejections start appearing.

The example you gave is a really good illustration of the rabbit hole that we'd end up going down in order to try to vet every asset used on every item that comes into the marketplaces. This is essentially why it is the author's responsibility as the seller to only upload items that are properly licensed.

I know you mentioned wanting others to have confidence in us. I totally agree, and I do honestly believe that our authors by and large are doing the right thing. And where they might not be, that more education will make the difference.

We have put a lot of time and energy in the past into drawing up materials to help authors understand their obligations, but I feel we can do more to draw attention to them. And that's something we're going to be working on.

Thank you for being proud to be an Envato author. And by the way, I like the rebrand from philmo! The little plate icon is awesome!! Though I did always like the old pm logo as well :-) I really need to update my icon on the marketplaces, it's past due!

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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