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Author Topic: A look into the some thoughts of image thieves  (Read 12979 times)

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« on: March 16, 2010, 20:15 »
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I ran across this blog post about some site that was using istock watermarked thumbs and got a take down notice from Getty.

Reading the comments section gives you an idea how some of these thieves think, its their right, its fair use and so on.

Here is the link if you care to have a look........if you do it will probably piss you off, like it did me.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100202/0325448009.shtml#comments

-Don


« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 20:56 »
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I ran across this blog post about some site that was using istock watermarked thumbs and got a take down notice from Getty.

Reading the comments section gives you an idea how some of these thieves think, its their right, its fair use and so on.

Here is the link if you care to have a look........if you do it will probably piss you off, like it did me.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100202/0325448009.shtml#comments

-Don


Powerful stuff. I think it's a very thin line in a gray area - so it's hard to tell from our perspective to say whether it's right or wrong (and we will have people on both sides).

Surely Getty won't agree with those practices and they have their reasons.

On another note it is "just" a collected pile of "awkward" images with watermarks intact, no products or services promoted and reference links added. Indeed it would drive traffic straight to the copyright holder - which shouldn't be a bad thing in itself.

I doubt that any significant amount of royalties were accrued that way but this might be the least of our worries in terms of copyright violation.

I'm seriously more concerned about designers and companies using our images in flyers, catalogs, ads, TV, Internet and more without licensing them.

« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 23:54 »
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I agree with click_click. It seems pretty minor in the offense category. There seems to be bigger fish to fry than some guy's blog making fun of crappy images. If there are real pirates out there, why are you busting the guy working at Long John Silver's?

« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2010, 01:45 »
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If there was a link back to the image on IS and the watermark was preserved, you could argue very well that this is fair use, as the image was shown for critique or review.
Another case is where a local Philippines travel blog took a thumb from iStock (a landmark, one of my good sellers) and posted it, IS watermark included. No reference to IS or me whatsoever. The blog owner added a note in the article that it should be against the law to ruin such good shots with an ugly watermark over it.  ;D

Microbius

« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 03:21 »
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Problem is that the micro market is largely based on pricing images in a way that makes it possible for bloggers etc. to pay to use them. If we start saying it's okay for the little guy to steal our work (even when they can buy it at super low prices) the model starts to collapse and we're left without a job.

« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 03:44 »
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Yeah, I think it is a bit of a gray area. 

Here is the site they are talking about
http://awkwardstockphotos.com/

Dreamstime, Crestock and Fotolia even provide links to hotlink back to them.  I have been a little confused as to when it is and isn't OK to use this hot link, but I do know that Crestock for sure gives you permission to use the image for free in a blog post if you use the hot link code.

« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 08:01 »
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Yeah, I think it is a bit of a gray area. 

Here is the site they are talking about
http://awkwardstockphotos.com/

Dreamstime, Crestock and Fotolia even provide links to hotlink back to them.  I have been a little confused as to when it is and isn't OK to use this hot link, but I do know that Crestock for sure gives you permission to use the image for free in a blog post if you use the hot link code.


Using a watermarked image for a blog makes it look unprofessional. I doubt that highly successful bloggers would actually use watermarked image on a regular basis. If a small group of bloggers that doesn't have the money for even the smallest sizes (they still have to buy credit packs...) then I'd rather see them use my image with a watermark and a straight link to the agency.

After all, I'm not complaining about all the people looking at my watermarked image at an agency NOT buying it...

« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 08:24 »
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After all, I'm not complaining about all the people looking at my watermarked image at an agency NOT buying it...

That's because those people aren't USING it to their gain.

« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 08:45 »
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That's because those people aren't USING it to their gain.

I don't see any ads whatsoever that could remotely generate any monetary benefit for this site owner unless the site becomes so incredibly famous that he would be featured on CNN for his outstanding work...

I guess the Tumblr referral link is what you are referring to?

Other than that, this site is a dud. Who cares?

I started the thread about the printing company in Indiana that is using images from National Geographic photographers as well as other Macro and Micro shooters. That guy never bought one license and is selling tons of products with the images on them.

That is a problem, not some watermarked, agency-linked and "awkward" images.

« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2010, 08:55 »
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It is interesting that author removed all IS photos, but left all getty ones. Waiting for another letter?

IMHO: if this blog violates the law - there is something wrong with the law :( What is next - letter to Leaf to remove all mentions of IS on this site (and in users posts) because name is copyrighted?

It looks like subject of your editorial photo suing magazine (and you) for the editorial use.

« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2010, 09:10 »
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That's because those people aren't USING it to their gain.
I don't see any ads whatsoever that could remotely generate any monetary benefit for this site owner unless the site becomes so incredibly famous that he would be featured on CNN for his outstanding work...

His gain, monetary, ego, hobby or otherwise.

« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2010, 09:26 »
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His gain, monetary, ego, hobby or otherwise.

I absolutely agree that author used these photos (links) for his gain. What I cannot agree with is that this usage violated any rights.

P.S. He was forced to change IS images to links (did not finish yet). How it is different from "gain" point of view?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 09:28 by UncleGene »

Microbius

« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2010, 11:59 »
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It's simple. He doesn't own those images, the contributor does.
He has no right to use them without the contributor's permission.
There's a general feeling that a lot of people have that they are entitled to stuff just because they wan't to use it.
I think it has something to do with the feeling that everyone's opinion is equally valid on all things, the internet is partly responsible for that, as well as the general dumbing down of all media. "I think I should have it so who's to say I'm wrong?"
What matters is the law not what some ill-informed blogger thinks. I'll side with Getty's lawyers on this one.

« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2010, 12:11 »
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Some other thought. This shows how huge utopia is to believe that you can sell microstock images to bloggers. They usually doing it as a hobby so there is no way they are going to pay for images. This market will never take off.

Microbius

« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2010, 12:36 »
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Bloggers definitely do buy micro images, if I do a Google search of my name I get many blogs coming up with my images legitimately used and copyright acknowledged.
If they can't afford it that's fine, they shouldn't use stock images then. I don't object to bloggers not using images they don't own.
If a blogger does make cash from ads etc. or if a hobbyist wants to spend a couple of dollars sprucing up their blog they can pay and use stock images.
Shimples

« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2010, 17:42 »
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Using a watermarked image for a blog makes it look unprofessional. I doubt that highly successful bloggers would actually use watermarked image on a regular basis.


How many blogs are professional, or done in a professional way?

What reminds me of this lady here, using a DT watermaked image in her professional blog:
http://karasmamedia.com/home/20-tips-for-legal-marketers-looking-to-make-some-meaningful-changes-in-their-business/

and what about how she describes herself?
Quote
Kara Smith is the founder and president of Karasma Media, a Harlem based boutique specializing in Social Media Public Relations Campaigns for the legal marketing industry.  She works with legal marketers to create a more clearly defined focus and distinctive business strategy that will provide them with a competitive advantage for new business, higher reputation recognition, and enhance their ability to attract, win, and retain the clients they really want.


I wrote her weeks ago explaining she could not do this.  I even said "As a serious bunisesswoman, I am sure you will act correctly, respecting my intellectual property rights."  Now, writing to DT will only make her remove the image, without any compensation for her insistence on doing something illegal.

We need to find ways of punishing such people.  They know they are doing something wrong.  Even if it's just about hurting their reputation, it is already a way to punish them.  Any idea of how to do that?  Are there sites were I should post a complaint?  Probably a blog comment will not last a single day.  I would like something that would make people in her field know she did something wrong.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 17:45 by madelaide »

« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2010, 18:20 »
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...
I wrote her weeks ago explaining she could not do this.  I even said "As a serious bunisesswoman, I am sure you will act correctly, respecting my intellectual property rights."  Now, writing to DT will only make her remove the image, without any compensation for her insistence on doing something illegal.

We need to find ways of punishing such people. ...

WHOIS info

Quote
Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :      
      Karasma, L.L.C
      [email protected]
      15 West 120th Street
      #5
      New York, NY 10027
      US
      Phone: 917-865-5410
     
      Record expires on 19-Mar-2012    
      Record created on 19-Mar-2007
      Database last updated on 19-Mar-2007
 
      Domain servers in listed order:    Manage DNS
 
      NS11.IXWEBHOSTING.COM         
      NS12.IXWEBHOSTING.COM         
     
        Show underlying registry data for this record
     

Current Registrar:    NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
IP Address:    76.163.243.147 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
IP Location:    US(UNITED STATES)-KENTUCKY-HOPKINSVILLE
Record Type:    Domain Name
Server Type:    Apache 1
Lock Status:    clientTransferProhibited
WebSite Status:    Active
DMOZ    no listings
Y! Directory:    see listings
Secure:    No
Ecommerce:    No
Traffic Ranking:    Not available
Data as of:    22-Apr-2008

This is the web host who you should contact:

IXWEBHOSTING.COM

from their Terms of Service:

Quote
...
D. Intellectual Property Provisions

Subscribers of IX Web Hosting's services are prohibited from storing or posting content or links to content that infringe, or otherwise violate the intellectual property rights of third parties (e.g. trademark, patent or copyright infringements).
...

Your best bet is to contact the 24/7 live support online and ask for the email address where you have to send you DMCA claim.

Send that email to Erin ([email protected]) on CC as well so she can forward it to DT's legal department.

If you can' afford a lawyer that's all you can do I'm afraid.

That lady knows that you couldn't sue her for a lot of money - that's why she is doing it. Seen it happening too many times.

Good luck!

« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2010, 20:30 »
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click_click,

Yes, I can contact their host and DT, but in the end she will simply remove the image.  No punishment, life goes on.  And she works for the legal market!  What type of consultant is she?  I could accept she not knowing this was illegal, but after I emailed her saying it wasn't legal, offering her a chance to buy it or contact Dreamstime for clarification, she simply ignored this and kept using it - this is absurd!

« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2010, 20:43 »
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click_click,

Yes, I can contact their host and DT, but in the end she will simply remove the image.  No punishment, life goes on.  And she works for the legal market!  What type of consultant is she?  I could accept she not knowing this was illegal, but after I emailed her saying it wasn't legal, offering her a chance to buy it or contact Dreamstime for clarification, she simply ignored this and kept using it - this is absurd!

I know that this is incredibly infuriating "although" we're talking about a watermarked thumbnail but I truly understand how you feel. It's not right.

I had issues before and did find lawyers who were willing to help me on a contingency basis. It might take you 10 or 20 phone calls but it could be worth a try.

Usually the lawyer would write a nasty letter threatening with a lawsuit, offering a settlement which really makes sense. But some thieves are going to try to hard ball it and wait and see because litigation is very costly for a lawyer (his time) and they want to avoid that when working on contingency. If you'd pay them of course they'd be happy to go to court.

Furthermore the lawyer will take into consideration what amount of damages are estimated. That would determine the settlement amount. I guess we're not talking about tens of thousands of $ of damages. Licensing fee for the lady would have been 2$ or 3$ and what are your damages? You better have registered copyright on that image. That might help the lawyer to gain some leverage (that's what I've been told... - I'm NOT a lawyer!!!).

Sorry, I wish I could do more. I've seen this happening so many times it doesn't even bother me anymore (as sad as it sounds). Another long time contributor whose images were ripped as well by the Indiana printing company just wanted to have his images removed. He wasn't interested in damages because he knows there is nothing to get - or at least not enough to make it worth while. It is sad indeed. But cyber-criminals do have a relatively easy life online.

Best of luck!

« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2010, 20:53 »
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I know there is no grounds to justify hiring a lawyer, especially about a thumbnail, but there should be ways to punish the person.  Like posting this in a forum she takes part, with a screenshot of the page. 

BTW, a photographer I know said it is possible (at least here) to have a notary testify a certain image is in a website, and then use it for a lawsuit, so the infractor can not just remove the image and say this has never happened.  Of course, this is not worth in this case, but it's another story in his case, a reknowned nature photographer, as the license to use one of his images must be high.

« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2010, 12:10 »
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Hello Madelaide --

First, I must profusely apologize for the understandable upset my non-response has caused you.

No excuses are viable, yet and still, I receive well over 400 e-mails per day, so a telephone number either in the e-mail you sent me or in your listing here could have saved you much anxiety.  Unfortunately though, until you posted the link back to this site, this issue was not a the forefront.

Your thumbnail image has been removed from my site and I wish you all the best, 

Kara

« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2010, 12:22 »
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Mad

First, allow me to apologize for the any anxiety I may have caused you.

Excuses aside, I receive more than 400 e-mails per day, so until you posted a link to this platform on my blog, your concerns were not bought to the forefront.  I could have contacted you right away if there was a telephone number in your profile here or in the e-mail you sent me.

Your thumbnail image has been removed from and I wish you all the best,
Kara Smith
Karasma Media PR
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 12:24 by karasma »

« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2010, 12:25 »
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Mad

First, allow me to apologize for the any anxiety I may have caused you.

Excuses aside, I receive more than 400 e-mails per day, so until you posted a link to this platform on my blog, your concerns were not bought to the forefront.  I could have contacted you right away if there was a telephone number in your profile here or in the e-mail you sent me.

Your thumbnail image has been removed from and I wish you all the best,
Kara Smith
Karasma Media PR

So are you going to compensate Madelaide for the theft and use of her image?

« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2010, 12:25 »
0
Posted x2

« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2010, 12:45 »
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After following up with a copyright attorney, since the image has been removed and I do not receive monetary gain from the platform.  I have no legal obligation to do so. 

However, I realize that uncompensated use of images online is a serious and unfair practice as evidenced from the content here.   So, I am willing to negotiate a small payment if Madelade calls me directly at 917-856-5410.

Thank you for following up,
Kara

 


 

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