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Author Topic: Freepik not taking DMCA seriously  (Read 766 times)

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« on: October 03, 2022, 07:23 »
+6
I'm a stock contributor for a long time, over a decade, with 50k assets on all major platforms.
Two months ago, while searching the net for a specific plant latin name I came across one of my images which lead me to a Freepik platform, which I am not contributing to. This was a very shocking discovery. My image was published under someone else's name, and when I visited his portfolio page I discovered that all 1000 images published there were mine. His port consisted of my and only mine images. After contacting Freepik I was instructed to file a DMCA which took me a few hours to complete, with all the evidence, screenshots, publishing dates, EXIF data, etc... And they finally took him down, after two days.

Last friday I visited a business news site I am frequently visiting, and on the front page I saw one of my images, again with Freepik web address. I did a search and found it again. The same contributor, same username just added a number at the end. Same story again, 500 of my photos published under his name, downloads are pilling, and everyone is happy except me. I have sent them a DMCA again, with the evidence supporting my claim, but they are not replying third day in a row.
After a thorough investigation, I have discovered that he is downloading files from my Envato Elements portfolio and uploading them to Freepik. As a matter of fact, he is downloading mostly pictures featuring me and my wife. I wonder what kind of MR he is submitting there.
Envato guys instructed me to work this through on my own. it would be faster. But Freepik ignores me, and supports thievery.

Eventually, they will answer, I know. And take him down again for some time. I guess this is a win-win situation for them. Money stays in their account at the end.

I wrote all this to inform you about the scheme. I believe I am not the only one affected so check Freepik for your files.


« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2022, 13:25 »
+4
Thanks for posting about this, and it's sad to see another example of agencies being very casual about image theft. Freepik is unfortunately not the only one that doesn't bother to check closely on new contributors (and it isn't hard to do) and also not the only one to slow-walk removal of demonstrably stolen content.

Keep after them to take the work down. In the past, I've taken to Twitter to shame Shutterstock into speeding up the takedown of stolen work when they were ignoring email reports to their "compliance" group. You could try the same thing with Freepik although be careful in how you word things (to keep it factual). It doesn't change things long term, but it does motivate companies to fix the one problem you shame them about.

Good luck

« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2022, 13:33 »
+5
So after serious twitting and emailing activity, I've got their response and the account is apparently down, but it'll take some time for images to actually disappear.
Really time-consuming and unnecessary tiring.

It's a bit annoying that it happened twice in less than two months so I guess he will be coming back and doing it again and this kind of activity is not doing anything good to the business industry we're all involved in. My guess is that it's some kind of scheme promoted across platforms with titles like "Earn 500$ a day by doing this thing" etc.. So check if you're making happy someone you don't know :)

And wouldn't it be fair that money earned by these crooked activities, be forwarded from banned accounts to a charity of choice or something...

« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2022, 14:43 »
+4
And I found another one, and filed another DMCA.

« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2022, 02:43 »
+5
Freepik are ruthless bottom feeders, don't count on their goodwill. Maybe you should at least consider consulting with a lawyer about recovering the money earned through the stolen portfolios.

« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2022, 04:37 »
+2
As Jo Ann said, it is not hard to do - checking the new contributors and detecting frauds... But they do not want to do that, since they gain anyways. Maybe even more if they let fraudulent activity happen here and there.
Going after that money - it won't hurt them much, but I guess it would be something every lawyer would be keen to do.

« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2022, 07:58 »
+1
As Jo Ann said, it is not hard to do - checking the new contributors and detecting frauds... But they do not want to do that, since they gain anyways. Maybe even more if they let fraudulent activity happen here and there.
Going after that money - it won't hurt them much, but I guess it would be something every lawyer would be keen to do.
No lawyer will want this work, unless you can pay thousands of dollars to get $5. If this happens to you it's happening to many others, but no one is taking action. Why do you think that is? Lawyers don't work for free.

« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2022, 09:14 »
0

I already said I'm not after the money and that this revenue should be forwarded to charity funds (no matter if we're talking about pennies, 5$ of maybe K's). I have also said that I believe that there must be many more honest people affected by this scheme, not just me. And all we have is a right to submit these claims which are rarely even considered?!

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2022, 12:47 »
0

I already said I'm not after the money and that this revenue should be forwarded to charity funds (no matter if we're talking about pennies, 5$ of maybe K's). I have also said that I believe that there must be many more honest people affected by this scheme, not just me. And all we have is a right to submit these claims which are rarely even considered?!

I've said this before and I don't know if it would work, but lawyers aren't going to work, unless there's big money for them. The amount any of us would get is so small, because it's pennies or dollars each. But... Class Action Suit. Now you can get some interest as the attorneys taking the case get a big part of the settlement.

I don't know why some copyright and trademark firm hasn't grabbed this yet, unless there are complications and why it wouldn't pay them.

I'd sure like it if someone finally woke up the agencies, that are denying, avoiding and ignoring complaints, that could cause them to be liable for expensive litigation. All it would take is one and the rest would step up to protect the artists rights. If it's going to cost them money, they will drag their feet. If it's going to cost them more money to ignore, they will suddenly pay attention.

Now back to the essential problem and it's not how much, or what we get back, it's how to get a law firm to file a compliance complaint. They don't work for free.


 

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