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Author Topic: RF License Infringements  (Read 6254 times)

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josh_crestock

« on: May 19, 2008, 03:35 »
0
Hi all,

The inspection team at Crestock are noticing an epidemic of images being uploaded that are breaking RF licensing agreement by including another artist's work as a part of their own work. This is a pretty disturbing trend and its in everyones best interests that these individuals who are copying or using another artists work as their own, are stopped. Fortunately, the inspection team, being contributors and active on other sites, are vigilant and can often recognize these thiefs. Unfortunately, its impossible to detect every license infringement though, especially as it becomes an increasingly lucrative pursuit for some.

If you notice someone uploading your images or parts of your images to Crestock, please don't hesitate to let myself or helpdesk [at] crestock.com, know.

To be clear about it, I mean people that are actually using your images or parts of your images and passing it off as their own. I don't however mean people who are producing images that you feel are similar to your own, e.g. conceptual goldfish, woman on laptop, businessman on white background, etc. Illustrators should be especially careful as we're noticing a lot of silhouettes being replicated in other people's illustrations.

We really appreciate any help with this.

Thanks!

Josh Hodge
The Crestock Team


« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2008, 04:36 »
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Thanks for letting us know about this.  If it is happening on crestock, I am sure it will be happening on other sites as well. It would be great if the sites shared information on these cheats.

« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2008, 06:09 »
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Josh, thanks for letting us know.

Is there a way to spread the word about confirmed thiefs on a unified web page? Maybe it would be a good idea for the microstock community and all the microstock agencies if someone comes up with "thief's board" so all us can communicate with appropriate microstock authorities and eliminate these, excuse me, idiots.

josh_crestock

« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2008, 06:24 »
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I think its important that any information regarding image thieves should be circulated on an open forum which is not required to reflect the interests of any particular site.. That way it would be each agency/site's responsibility to keep their collections free of copied images.

We do follow any discussions regarding License infringements here. But, it gets a little difficult to keep track of every forum, especially if it means visiting every site's forums. In one case, we needed to go onto the free stock site, sxc.hu, when somebody was found to be downloading images there and uploading them to Crestock.

For the time being, I think microstockgroup is probably the best place to post any concerns you have. I imagine most agencies do read posts here.

Thanks!

Josh

« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 13:55 »
0
Josh, thanks for letting us know.

Is there a way to spread the word about confirmed thiefs on a unified web page? Maybe it would be a good idea for the microstock community and all the microstock agencies if someone comes up with "thief's board" so all us can communicate with appropriate microstock authorities and eliminate these, excuse me, idiots.


Could be very dangerous to do that. What if the originator is tagged and he/she is not the thief? There are then things like libel and slander issues. One  scenario where thngs could backfire is if the image is grabbed from a macro shooter who isn't even on the micros. And then that image get's copied over and over. I do believe one art site tried to start something like this and I think the abandoned because of such issues. Public whipping is not the answer and if such a site existed, it would be the site owner that is left holding the bag when it comes to damages due to defamation, etc..

I find the best way to spot a fraud is to look at the overall quality of the portfolio if findng a questionable or familiar image. If there is a load of garbage in the port, and one or two stellar shots, they are likely grabbed from somewhere.

Last year I ran across a contest for a company on the web (yes as a way to find their own promo images). In the rules it stated that the source file must be made available to the company, meaning raw camera file, photoshop layered file, or original vector file. They did not require you to submit it with the entry, but there was a qualiifier box to say, "Yes I have the source file and it is available for inspection" or something like that.

Maybe it is time to kick things up a notch and begin to implement such a qualifier. Apparentlty the common qualifier of "yes I own the copright" is not working too well. Availability of a raw camera file or files, would certainly put the brakes on the photo thieves. For vectors, much harder and I can't offer suggestions there. The vector stuff is just running amuck with theft especially in the old Eastern Bloc countries, (Russia, the Slavs, etc)

Josh, have you looked at Tin Eye and it's possible integration into your system? Take a look at the video there.

http://tineye.com/login

May not be feasible for every single image but could be useful if you just have that feeling it has been nabbed.

« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008, 15:12 »
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I am just curious, are pictures stripped off EXIF/IPTC data, watermarks after being uploaded to microstock websites? I guess this this can be replaced anyway if somebody downloads picture he/she bought.

« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008, 16:40 »
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Josh, have you looked at Tin Eye and it's possible integration into your system? Take a look at the video there.

http://tineye.com/login



wow, cool stuff.
I have signed up for a beta account.

« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 17:30 »
0


Josh, have you looked at Tin Eye and it's possible integration into your system? Take a look at the video there.

http://tineye.com/login



wow, cool stuff.
I have signed up for a beta account.


Yes it really is great. Back 2 years ago I had a travel agency keep ripping images off of my website. When DMCA kicked in, i then did not even notofy them (the travel people) anymore, I just notified their ISP and the host took the site down. No thefts from them since. I just don't have time to screw with stupid people anymore.

This tool excellent for tracking infringement issues, and also for those who enjoy seeing their images in use. Or better yet, for that person who has had no luck finding his "in use" images, and can finally land one ;-) There is something good for everyone here and it may finally at least help control all of the thieving. Getting very tiring.

Most value probably will be for designers and ad agencies. They can buy or comp a stock image, and get a good idea of where and if it already appears on the web.

josh_crestock

« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 03:35 »
0


Josh, have you looked at Tin Eye and it's possible integration into your system? Take a look at the video there.

http://tineye.com/login



wow, cool stuff.
I have signed up for a beta account.


Thanks for the link, Snurder. Its interesting technology which we've been aware of for awhile. I've been testing it again this morning using links to high selling images.. the results aren't very encouraging.. A search using one of Yuri's best-selling images only got 4 results.. where its probably present on at least 14 stock sites alone. Not to mention the hundreds of times it must have been downloaded and used for webpages and online content. Given these results it doesn't really seem like its a practical solution, yet...

Anybody come across different results from this? Leaf?



« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 03:58 »
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no, it looks like they need to expand their database a bit more.

Nice technology though - they just need more search spiders.

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 07:57 »
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Very interesting discussion.

Thanks so much, Josh, for being so vigilant in keeping Crestock's site free from stolen images.  I sure hope the other micros that have had these kinds of problems will follow your lead.

« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 08:34 »
0
I believe the site is in beta at the moment  and they only have a small amount of internet images indexed. I found quite a few on my images in use that I hadn't seen before and reading forums on other sites people are finding quite a few misuses of images that still have watermarks.
It should be a great tool when it's all up and working properly.



Josh, have you looked at Tin Eye and it's possible integration into your system? Take a look at the video there.

http://tineye.com/login



wow, cool stuff.
I have signed up for a beta account.


Thanks for the link, Snurder. Its interesting technology which we've been aware of for awhile. I've been testing it again this morning using links to high selling images.. the results aren't very encouraging.. A search using one of Yuri's best-selling images only got 4 results.. where its probably present on at least 14 stock sites alone. Not to mention the hundreds of times it must have been downloaded and used for webpages and online content. Given these results it doesn't really seem like its a practical solution, yet...

Anybody come across different results from this? Leaf?




josh_crestock

« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 02:57 »
0
In terms of a tool that would help inspectors to catch image thieves in their tracks, unfortunately, Tineye, isn't quite sophisticated enough to be put into practical use. We'll definitely keep testing it periodically into the future.

I think this tool can help photographers keep updated on where their images are being used, though.

One of our biggest problems is thieves using an illustrator's vector in their own uploaded illustrations. An inspector, in most cases, can be intuitive enough to notice that in these cases the rest of the illustration doesn't match the quality of the copied part. I would expect the better selling vector artists are especially vigilant about their vectors being copied and uploaded for commercial gain.

Thanks again for your input!

Josh
The Crestock Team


 

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