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Author Topic: Where all those stolen portfolios on Shutterstock come from...  (Read 1527 times)

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« on: March 08, 2020, 22:27 »
+2
I honestly thought there was some sort of conspiracy going on.  I figured there were bribed reviewers, or some sneaky arrangements between Unsplash and Shutterstock itself.
 
Nope.  It's just that it's absurdly easy to do.

A bot can be set up to download the images, and upload them to shutterstock.   Suggested keywords are automatically added, and a five or more word title generated from the detected subject matter.   It's not even a lot of work to do it by hand.

When you download an image from Unsplash, the image title contains the name of the person who uploaded it to unsplash, and the word unsplash, for example:

joshua-earle-l6juNKOlzvs-unsplash.jpg


Even with the obvious file titles, and nonsensical keywords, the images are accepted.

I present to you, the easy peasy portfolio of Thiefy McThieferson!  (done by hand, no bot)

https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Thiefy+McThieferson

I will of course, be taking this down before anything has a chance to sell, but I thought the results of this little experiment should be shown. 

This was a fun day. 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 22:57 by Hannafate »


« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2020, 01:44 »
0
...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 08:11 by georgep7 »

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2020, 03:57 »
+3
To be brutally honest, whoever is an idiot enough to upload to Unsplash should be aware that there's a high risk that someone will upload their copyright for sale

« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2020, 04:29 »
0
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« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 08:11 by georgep7 »

« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2020, 05:04 »
+2
Hi,
Thank you for sharing this "simulation". In other words SS doesnt care if someone is a thief as long as they get their share of sale. Implement best practices against piracy? it is not mandatory by law and it costs money.

They will only act if these guys are discovered by someone. It's a jungle business where no government actually review or rule company practices. They dont care about contributors. they only care about customers. :-\

« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2020, 05:37 »
+4
To be brutally honest, whoever is an idiot enough to upload to Unsplash should be aware that there's a high risk that someone will upload their copyright for sale

Yes, of course it's the victim's fault - always! Just like the BBC are idiots for uploading their clips on YouTube, when they should of course realize that someone will just rip the footage and upload for sale. And when walking around at night you of course DESERVE to be robbed. Entirely your own fault. (for people unable to detect sarcasm - that was sarcasm).

To be brutally honest, that was, let's say, not a very wise comment. :)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 05:48 by increasingdifficulty »

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2020, 06:02 »
+3
We all have responsibilities...we need to take ownership for our actions, as do Unsplash idiots.

If one consumes fast-food everyday and develop health-problems, it's too easy to blame the fast-food restaurants when we have more than enough information out there to make educated decisions based on due diligence. Generally, we're living in a victim society where we constantly try to shift the blame to others.

Same with Unsplash contributors, but frankly don't think the vast majority of them care because they don't know...but if they did know I'm sure they would care. Unsplash contributors aren't completely to blame, of course the agencies should have more robust processes to avoid unauthorized licensing, which shouldn't be so challenging as noted by the OP.

Don't walk out at night alone in dangerous neighborhoods - simple. If one does, carry pepper-spray :)


« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2020, 06:29 »
0
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« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 08:11 by georgep7 »

« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2020, 08:06 »
+5
The POINT being, if Shutterstock gave a * about this, all they would have to do is tell their system to reject anything with "unsplash" in the file title.


« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2020, 08:10 »
0
ooops.
That goes to me.

Apologies for my offtopics @Hannafate, deleted them.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 08:14 by georgep7 »

« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2020, 08:11 »
0
BlackBox is giving free footage on youtube too... ready to steal and reupload. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCICWnim8HieqmKC9ajL0nEw/videos

« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2020, 08:24 »
0


When you download an image from Unsplash, the image title contains the name of the person who uploaded it to unsplash, and the word unsplash, for example:

joshua-earle-l6juNKOlzvs-unsplash.jpg




It is not so difficult to rename a file (or tons of files, in batch) with a dedicated software
(Example: "A Better Finder Rename" on Mac)

« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2020, 08:35 »
+4
Thiefy has had a couple of rejections.  A small percentage of the uploads.

Two for "noise/grain", which is true of those images.

One for Intellectual property, which is appropriate for that image. 

Three for "Previously Submitted Content: This image has already been submitted to Shutterstock."    This is interesting.

One is in this portfolio: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/WireStock+Inc

One is in these portfolios: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/srujan+kumar   and https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Yogendra+kumar+6699

The third does not seem to actually appear on Shutterstock.  None of these are the owners of the images.






« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2020, 08:39 »
+2
It is not so difficult to rename a file (or tons of files, in batch) with a dedicated software
(Example: "A Better Finder Rename" on Mac)

I bet they don't, though.  Some of the unsplash riddled portfolios also have images that seem to be the submitters genuine work (naive pictures of their pets, for example)  I think it's sheer ignorance of how copyright and microstock are supposed to work. 

« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2020, 07:40 »
+2
Anyone want to take bets on what happens if I submit images with watermarks on them?

« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2020, 08:25 »
+1
BlackBox is giving free footage on youtube too... ready to steal and reupload. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCICWnim8HieqmKC9ajL0nEw/videos

ahahaha...blackbox contributors will be very happy about that...

« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2020, 07:21 »
+1
I just disabled the portfolio, I was starting to get sales. (what?)

Apparently, you can't just close a Shutterstock account, so I had to send a message to support to ask for it to be closed.  I explained the reason thoroughly.

« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2020, 07:37 »
+1
For fun and because i can not believe what is going on here on SS i used the live chat at SS website.
I copy and paste the link to MSG and thiefy portfolio page and asked "realy ? ".
The answer was just sad:
"I don't think I understand your question, can you clarify it?"
 :o They do not care at all.

« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2020, 08:03 »
0
I just disabled the portfolio, I was starting to get sales. (what?)

Apparently, you can't just close a Shutterstock account, so I had to send a message to support to ask for it to be closed.  I explained the reason thoroughly.

Nice. Shouldn't you report to a copyright Authority or Unsplash itself that Shutterstock actually sells fake "licensed" content?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2020, 08:20 »
+5
I'm surprised and pretty shocked that you could set up a Thiefy McThieferson site.
Even ignoring the giveaway name, don't they check IDs of new potential contributors?

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2020, 08:27 »
+1
I'm surprised and pretty shocked that you could set up a Thiefy McThieferson site.
Even ignoring the giveaway name, don't they check IDs of new potential contributors?

I wondered that too, because say someone wacks a mole, stolen image account, then all that thief has to do is open a new account and start over? I had to provide an ID and I know the IRS and national security laws, require anyone making a payment to verify the identity.

2002 Homeland Security Act.

« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2020, 17:33 »
+2
They wanted a mailing address, phone number and all, I just used the information from a McDonald's down the street.

You do have to have a legit email, so, rather than risk contaminating my regular email, I got a Yahoo address.

They may eventually get around to checking these things, but evidently not before submitted images go live. 

« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2020, 17:34 »
+2
I also put the country as India, even though the mailing address is in the US.

I imagine China or Russia would work as well. 

« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2020, 02:06 »
+1

Sometimes I don't "get" you people.
Shutterstock misuse those "free" images.
Yes it has a bad accepting procedure,
yes it does not care it's contributors
yes you might be mad at Indians or Russians or whatever
yes people giving away free images might hurt your ego or wallet.

BUT

SHUTTERSTOCK IS SELLING FALSE LICENSES.

What are you afraid of to report the AGENCY?
Losing those peanuts you cry about in pages and pages of posts in this forum?


« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2020, 13:50 »
+5
I didn't say I thought it was the fault of some country or other.  I am sure that Shutterstock is aware of the differences in copyright laws in other countries, and that for some places, they face no risk of legal fallout.   I blame Shutterstock, not the other countries, for Shutterstock's taking advantage of the differences.

If you think you can report them to somebody who will do something, do so.


 

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