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Author Topic: Alamy way of handling copyright claims  (Read 2292 times)

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U11


« on: November 17, 2017, 11:55 »
+1
Story:
There is a person who copied my vector, changed color and put it on sale.
When I found it occasionally on SS I contacted SS team and they got it removed quickly.
Later when looking in google image search for examples of my picture in use I found the re-colored picture again now on alamy site.
And their way of handling the issue is making me very upset

Here is an e-mail trail:

Quote from: 'Me (in October)'

I would like you to take an action regarding picture xxxx which is hosted on your site and violating my copyright.
In order to support my claim  I am sending you:
1)my picture on shutterstock site (uploaded in 2014)
2)picture of one of your contributors
3)picture representing pictures 1) and 2) overlapping

as you can see it is not just copied idea but very exact copy(recolored).


Quote from: 'Alamy (2 days later)'
Thanks for letting us know. Weve contacted the contributor of the vector about this situation to ask for clarification.


Quote from: 'Me (month later)'

could you please update about the progress.


Quote from: 'Alamy'
...
we have reached out to the contributor regarding this and they have since confirmed that the image is their own design and are happy that they are able to sell the image on Alamy



Me: sending official DMCA take down request

Quote from: 'Alamy'
To quickly explain how we work, we dont own any images, or hold any copyright. Photographers and agencies upload images to license through our platform, and by doing so they confirm they have the necessary permissions to license these images through us. We have a non-exclusive relationship with our contributors, and the images may be available elsewhere. We dont commission work, or employ members of staff as photographers.
We understand you have previously been in touch with our contributor relations team regarding this issue who have confirmed to you that the contributor is the original creator of the image you are questioning and therefore would have the correct permissions to sell the image. The contributor can provide original source code for the image and once we have this we can pass this information on to you.
If you are happy for us to do so we can pass you information on to the contributor and ask that they get in touch with you to discuss the issue further.
 
We are unable to see what rights have been infringed and assume no liability case.


My conclusions:
 
  • anybody can get any vector,recolor it and put in on alamy site for sale
  • anybody can offer to provide original source code for any vector and be good in alamy eyes
  • standard DMCA  takedown process doesn't work with alamy

My question: should I look for a lawyer in UK or in US  (since alamy have US office as far as I know)?
 
PS I will not put any pictures or names here, assuming the info above is enough to discuss the issue in general

PPS I see that I am not alone facing the issue :
http://www.microstockgroup.com/alamy-com/alamy-and-copyright-infringement/

« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 13:09 by U11 »


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 13:41 »
+1
[The contributor can provide original source code for the image and once we have this we can pass this information on to you.
I'd start with insisting on this step being carried out.
TBH, I'm astonished that the contributor didn't rush to do that, as I'd do if I was accused of anything. I'd want to clear myself and get it over and done with PDQ. I don't like the sound of them 'playing for time', especially with a vector.

U11


« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2017, 14:57 »
0
Quote from: ShadySue
I'd start with insisting on this step being carried out.
but what can be proven by vector file source?
I can imagine that the thief didn't know that it is stock file and just traced it from some file found in internet, so vector nodes can be different from my file. And even if they are the same? My word against his.
The only good argument I have is SS upload date.
BTW the file is pretty popular with copycats, but they at least modifying it much more than this particular guy.
 

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 15:29 »
0
Quote from: ShadySue
I'd start with insisting on this step being carried out.
but what can be proven by vector file source?
I can imagine that the thief didn't know that it is stock file and just traced it from some file found in internet, so vector nodes can be different from my file. And even if they are the same? My word against his.
The only good argument I have is SS upload date.
BTW the file is pretty popular with copycats, but they at least modifying it much more than this particular guy.
As I don't know the file, I can't say. Maybe s/he should have their own reference photo. Hope that a vector supplier might answer saying what they'd do.

« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 19:50 »
+6
I think Alamy is completely incorrect in asserting that since they don't own the copyright to any images they don't have to do anything when displaying stolen images or vectors. None of the other agencies own the copyrights either and yet they take seriously their agency's reputation and don't want to be a disreputable place offering licenses to stolen work.

Just because the other party says they have the copyright, doesn't mean they're being truthful and this, again, is a problem other agencies have confronted. At one point (no idea what the rules are now) iStock used to require that vectors be uploaded either with a reference photo or screen shots of the work in progress so they could ensure the person uploading the vector had created it themselves (and not auto traced someone else's work).

Any agency needs to have a process in place to do more than just take the word of the uploading party. And I think any agency needs to have a process where the agency works it out or takes down content, not bailing on the issue and suggesting that the contributor has to work it out. You need to get evidence of your ownership together for them, but they need to do the leg work - that's part of what they get their 50% for.

Certainly your file being uploaded at other agencies at an earlier date is a good indicator that the other person's work is the copy. The other thing that can help call out thieves is when their portfolio has copies of multiple artists' work. Not sure if you've done some searches to see if you can find evidence of that.

Not sure about hiring a lawyer (expensive) but you should definitely push back on Alamy and explain to them how the other agencies handle this situation - even when they're slow and wait for contributor reports, it looks like everyone is better than Alamy in that they at least acknowledge it's the agency's responsibility.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 10:40 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 20:54 »
+1
This is just Alamy being lazy...or perhaps greedy.  The lack of support for copyright violations, the lack of a clear process for contributors to follow shows you what they are really in the game for....money. Most agencies do not make it easy to protect copyright.  Some take action, but it takes you being a nag to get it done.  Others like Alamy don't care.  Deposit Photos is the same way. They have been caught red handed selling other people's work well after their account was closed.

Perhaps James will come into the forum and clarify.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 21:36 »
+1
You should question them on this...

"We understand you have previously been in touch with our contributor relations team regarding this issue who have confirmed to you that the contributor is the original creator of the image you are questioning and therefore would have the correct permissions to sell the image."

They did not, and have not confirmed that. They only confirmed that the individual in question says that they are the original creator of the image. That's fine for a check box when uploading the content in the first place... but if somebody raises a valid claim of ownership then that's not going to cut it.

« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 00:30 »
0
You blame Alamy. But I could have blamed Shutterstock since the same thing happened to me, and they did Nothing.

« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 03:36 »
+2
Please link to the account. If they stole yours they probably stole a lot more too. Repeated offences should get their port pulled. If not I'm done with alamy.


 

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