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Author Topic: Bloggers Beware: You Can Get Sued for Using Pics on Your Blog  (Read 14617 times)

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« on: July 21, 2012, 18:17 »
0
Interesting blog by a professional writer who got caught using a copyrighted photo, and what happened to her.

"Like most of you, Im a casual blogger and learned my way into blogging by watching others. And one of the things I learned early on was that a post with a photo always looked nicer than one with just text. So I looked at what other people were doing for pictures. And mostly it seemed that everyone was grabbing pics from Google Images and pasting them on their sites. Sometimes with attribution, most of the time without.
   . . . .
"And I'm thinking--well, that must mean it's okay because if that weren't true, sites like Tumblr and Pinterest couldn't even exist because reposting pics is the whole POINT of those sites. So off I went doing what everyone else does--using pics from Google Images, putting a disclaimer on my site...
    . . . .
"Well on one random post, I grabbed one random picture off of google and then a few weeks later I got contacted by the photographer who owned that photo. He sent me a takedown notice, which I responded to immediately because I felt awful that I had unknowingly used a copyrighted pic. The pic was down within minutes. But that wasnt going to cut it. He wanted compensation for the pic. A significant chunk of money that I couldnt afford. Im not going to go into the details but know that it was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didnt have for a use of a photo I didnt need."

http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/7/20/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-for-using-pics-on-your-blog.html


« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 18:31 »
0
Interesting blog by a professional writer who got caught using a copyrighted photo, and what happened to her.

"Like most of you, Im a casual blogger and learned my way into blogging by watching others. And one of the things I learned early on was that a post with a photo always looked nicer than one with just text. So I looked at what other people were doing for pictures. And mostly it seemed that everyone was grabbing pics from Google Images and pasting them on their sites. Sometimes with attribution, most of the time without.
   . . . .
"And I'm thinking--well, that must mean it's okay because if that weren't true, sites like Tumblr and Pinterest couldn't even exist because reposting pics is the whole POINT of those sites. So off I went doing what everyone else does--using pics from Google Images, putting a disclaimer on my site...
    . . . .
"Well on one random post, I grabbed one random picture off of google and then a few weeks later I got contacted by the photographer who owned that photo. He sent me a takedown notice, which I responded to immediately because I felt awful that I had unknowingly used a copyrighted pic. The pic was down within minutes. But that wasnt going to cut it. He wanted compensation for the pic. A significant chunk of money that I couldnt afford. Im not going to go into the details but know that it was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didnt have for a use of a photo I didnt need."

http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/7/20/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-for-using-pics-on-your-blog.html


Kudos to the photographer who got lawyers involved. I just sent 5 takedown notices to bloggers who were using some of my watermarked images on their blogs. All through Google and/or Blogger (who is also Google). Two came down but I suspect the people at Google don't work after 5 on Fridays because they stopped emailing then. Still have 3 more to get taken down. No compensation for me though.  >:(

« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 18:53 »
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The comments were interesting. It's amazing how many people still didn't get it or vilified the photographer after she explained it pretty clearly.

You stole from him, and he wants his money.

« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 19:39 »
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The comments were interesting. It's amazing how many people still didn't get it...
What I found disturbing is that the blogger makes her living from selling IP rights. But she didn't understand anything about the IP rights of people who create images.

One commenter pointed out that the schools are to blame for a lot of this. They allow students to use text and pictures taken from all kinds of sources (which is usually legal in school as fair use) but do not tell the students that doing that outside school is illegal and unethical.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 19:49 »
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"And I'm thinking--well, that must mean it's okay because if that weren't true, sites like Tumblr and Pinterest couldn't even exist because reposting pics is the whole POINT of those sites. "

And yet some of our agents/distributors are positively encouraging pinterest, and for all I know the many other 'pinning' sites out there.

« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 19:54 »
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You should read the ignorant comments on her blog.  WOW!! Even a lawyer says she is getting screwed and it would never stand up in court.  

The guy said:

    Hello! I'm sorry this happened to you, it does not sound pleasant. As it is, I happen to be an IP lawyer and I agree with Sylvester below, it does sound much more like a scam than an actual legal case (this is not legal advice either, just one blogger musing to another).

    My issue is the line you wrote where "if you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice (you do have to take it down, but it doesn't absolve you." If you immediately took it down, what are his damages?

    If this ever did go to court (and it would have to be someone with buckets of money doing this) the first question I would ask as a judge is "How were you damaged?" Moreover, to get actual money damages, he'd have to have actually registered the work for him to get anything meaningful.
    (see generally:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

    In any case, sorry this happened to you. It's more bullying than anything (but you are right, you should avoid putting up other people's work without proper attribution).



The lawyer's name is Logan Lo.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 20:04 by Mantis »

« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 20:29 »
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The damages are she was using the image illegally! The damages are she stole! If she walked out of a store with a $20 purse, would she get arrested? If she got caught, yes! I cant believe how many people are ok with this.

EmberMike

« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 21:23 »
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Quote
...Im not going to go into the details but know that it was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didnt have for a use of a photo I didnt need...

This person is an idiot. A photo they "didn't need"? If they didn't need it, why was it on their blog?

3 years as a blogger, 700+ posts, and they never figured out how to get legal images for their blog? Come on.

« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 21:50 »
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You should read the ignorant comments on her blog.  WOW!! Even a lawyer says she is getting screwed and it would never stand up in court.  

The guy said:

    Hello! I'm sorry this happened to you, it does not sound pleasant. As it is, I happen to be an IP lawyer and I agree with Sylvester below, it does sound much more like a scam than an actual legal case (this is not legal advice either, just one blogger musing to another).

    My issue is the line you wrote where "if you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice (you do have to take it down, but it doesn't absolve you." If you immediately took it down, what are his damages?

    If this ever did go to court (and it would have to be someone with buckets of money doing this) the first question I would ask as a judge is "How were you damaged?" Moreover, to get actual money damages, he'd have to have actually registered the work for him to get anything meaningful.
    (see generally:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...



    In any case, sorry this happened to you. It's more bullying than anything (but you are right, you should avoid putting up other people's work without proper attribution).


The lawyer's name is Logan Lo.


that lawyer is a dumbhead... he should probably stick to making wills

« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 22:49 »
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Again a disturbing wake up call for all of us (and all other copyright holders world wide) - many (most) people simply cannot grasp the concept of copyright ownership out of pure ignorance.

I can't understand how these idiot$ really believe such behavior is not causing any harm to the photographer.

Let me try another analogy:

"If someone goes into your office and does your job, are you ok with not getting paid anymore? Do you understand that? You want to take my work to make your blog look better but you are not willing to compensate me for that? You want me to work for you for free? You think, posting my image on your blog will bring me millions of $$$ because OTHER people will actually pay for it although you didn't pay for it?"

People please start using your brains. We don't create good images for fun!!! We do this for a living!!!

Is this possibly easier to understand?

RacePhoto

« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 23:16 »
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Quote
...Im not going to go into the details but know that it was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didnt have for a use of a photo I didnt need...

This person is an idiot. A photo they "didn't need"? If they didn't need it, why was it on their blog?

3 years as a blogger, 700+ posts, and they never figured out how to get legal images for their blog? Come on.

Yeah, they should just go to DT and get the same shots for free.  ::) Legally!

« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 23:54 »
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My first question was...

What successful photographer has time to troll the web looking for his images used on blogs?

Total waste of time. Go find a client....

EmberMike

« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 00:29 »
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It's amazing that the person writing this rant about not knowing they couldn't use copyrighted images without a license is a published writer. Surely they have had to deal with piracy, their books being illegally distributed online, etc. I can't imagine there's an author around today who doesn't understand how this works.

So writing is valuable. Books are valuable. But photography? Illustration? Worthless and free, in their opinion.

I can almost understand someone in a completely unrelated profession that doesn't involve IP making the mistake of unknowingly violating a photographer's copyright. But a writer? I'm not buying this for one second. I think this person knew they were in the wrong and this blog post is just an attention grab and a plea for sympathy for being brought to task by this big meanie of a photographer.

Cry me a river

Microbius

« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2012, 02:40 »
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I don't buy she didn't know it was wrong, she just saw everyone else doing it so thought she wouldn't get caught. Good on that photographer.

« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2012, 07:08 »
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Glad she scared . out of the rest of her writer friends who were "shocked" and "had no idea"...

lisafx

« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2012, 16:27 »
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Glad she scared . out of the rest of her writer friends who were "shocked" and "had no idea"...

Ditto.  I hope more of them spread the word. 

« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2012, 19:32 »
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My original post was more coherent then that.  Not sure what happened.


« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2012, 20:21 »
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My original post was more coherent then that.  Not sure what happened.

It looks as if you used language that the forum doesn't approve of :) It automatically removes swearing, racist stuff unless you fool it by inserting punctuation or numbers, etc.

« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2012, 22:42 »
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Maybe I put "the heck" in there or something...

"Unfortunately because too many people are resorting to name calling, I'm going to close this thread."

ie., too many people thought I was wrong, so, I'm locking this...

RacePhoto

« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2012, 23:22 »
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She also mentions, it doesn't matter if: if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server which is actually stealing bandwidth and makes for more problems.

The whole story makes me wonder. How did someone get her to pay when we can't? SHe claims to have removed the image in minutes, why did she have to get a lawyer involved and also pay? I want some of that action.  :)

Is this a stunt to get people to read the blog and link to it, for SEO?

« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2012, 23:27 »
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She also mentions, it doesn't matter if: if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server which is actually stealing bandwidth and makes for more problems.

The whole story makes me wonder. How did someone get her to pay when we can't? SHe claims to have removed the image in minutes, why did she have to get a lawyer involved and also pay? I want some of that action.  :)

Is this a stunt to get people to read the blog and link to it, for SEO?

Maybe it's a photographer posing as a writer with a blog. LOL. False flag attack...

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2012, 05:23 »
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I've done a photoshoot for an author. She knows the deal. I did the shoot as a freelancer for a paper, and then she paid me to own the images for her own use.

i noticed there was comment from her about how photojournos own copyright; that's false too. If they're on salary then the media outlet owns copyright (at least in Australia). and now she's closed off the comment box, even though there's more misinformation than good.

I recently posted a comment in a Pinterest forum about this issue. Not one person has replied or acknowledged it. scary.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2012, 05:38 »
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She also mentions, it doesn't matter if: if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server which is actually stealing bandwidth and makes for more problems.

The whole story makes me wonder. How did someone get her to pay when we can't? SHe claims to have removed the image in minutes, why did she have to get a lawyer involved and also pay? I want some of that action.  :)

Is this a stunt to get people to read the blog and link to it, for SEO?
There's an Alamy tog, who posted a reply on that blog, who claims (on the Alamy forum) always to get considerable money from people she follows up for using her pics without buying them. Beats me, but she says she 'has a legal background'. Which is fine and good, but it seems odd. I've seen people here stealing cars and crashing them and getting fined e.g. 100 because they were unemployed and couldn't afford any more (Well, yeah, they also get six or nine points on the driving licence they usually don't have). I can hardly imagine a court would impose x10 that fine for using a photo in a blog. (But who knows what the courts might do? There have been some very strangely imbalanced outcomes way out of both sides of the 'reasonable recompense' spectrum.)

If it's a stunt by the blog author, good on her. There are loads of places where this info is available, but people either don't go to these sites or don't believe them if they see them.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2012, 06:17 »
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Is this a stunt to get people to read the blog and link to it, for SEO?

If it's a stunt by the blog author, good on her. There are loads of places where this info is available, but people either don't go to these sites or don't believe them if they see them.
could be. As I said, i recently posted in a forum regarding how 'wonderful' Pinterest was with a gentle warning. The blog author claimed there was a 'gray area' concerning copyright and I posted that there was no such 'grayness', it's just theft etc. ZERO responses to my post, just more "wow, thanks for you great advice on how to make my pinterest boards get more traffic'. I still believe that bloggers aren't our customers, so we don't technically "lose" money, but in general the attitude of many web users is scary. They could be our customers and we need to work hard to convert them into payers, not thieves.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2012, 06:40 »
0

Is this a stunt to get people to read the blog and link to it, for SEO?

If it's a stunt by the blog author, good on her. There are loads of places where this info is available, but people either don't go to these sites or don't believe them if they see them.
could be. As I said, i recently posted in a forum regarding how 'wonderful' Pinterest was with a gentle warning. The blog author claimed there was a 'gray area' concerning copyright and I posted that there was no such 'grayness', it's just theft etc. ZERO responses to my post, just more "wow, thanks for you great advice on how to make my pinterest boards get more traffic'. I still believe that bloggers aren't our customers, so we don't technically "lose" money, but in general the attitude of many web users is scary. They could be our customers and we need to work hard to convert them into payers, not thieves.
They are not, and may never be, our customers, but they just provide more and more platforms from which people can lift our images freely. I'm not sure if even 5% of them would ever become buyers.
Someone posted on that blog that you can buy images for blogs for a dollar from some micros he listed. While that could be technically true, you can't just go to any of the micros, pay your one dollar and come away with the one photo you wanted. To a maybe-would-be small buyer who followed these links, that's just 'yank my chain'. I realise that if people came and literally bought one image for a dollar, the costs to the company would outweigh the benefits and the sellers wouldn't be pleased with the cents they were getting.
Oddly, he didn't mention Alamy's Novel Use scheme, where one picture for a dollar may indeed be on offer. I can't see how the NU scheme, with the tiny payments and the sales advisor time for each sale, can possibly be viable to Alamy, far less the contributor, even if it's a 'sale they otherwise wouldn't have got'.


 

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