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Microstock Photography Forum - General => General Stock Discussion => Topic started by: Epsilonth on May 26, 2014, 22:49

Title: infringement compensation
Post by: Epsilonth on May 26, 2014, 22:49
I found out people who infringe my images. i.e. watermarks visible. Am I entitled for compensation? In this case it's a shutterstock image used in a blog. Her name is visible. She's in America judging from her mail(Also visible! wow) I suspect there're many others, too.

How should I proceed?
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: qwerty on May 27, 2014, 00:07
How are you going to enforce compensation ? Sue them ? Do they live in your country ?

Practically if its someone using it for a blog, in reality best you'll do is getting it taken down or they may choose to purchase.

If it was a multinational company using the image for a world wide advertising campaign it might be worth your time and money.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Epsilonth on May 27, 2014, 00:48
How are you going to enforce compensation ? Sue them ? Do they live in your country ?

Practically if its someone using it for a blog, in reality best you'll do is getting it taken down or they may choose to purchase.

If it was a multinational company using the image for a world wide advertising campaign it might be worth your time and money.

That's what I thought.

Doing it myself will be a pain. I searched but there isn't sample cases anywhere. Agencies must have legal team for this but I cannot find it anywhere.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Ariene on May 27, 2014, 01:48
Google is helpful in geting images down in that situations. I would be really rich if I get money for all "borrowed" images.
Btw. Did anyone manage to get his money from thefts? Where do you start, what to do first? :)
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Christos Georghiou on May 27, 2014, 02:36
If you are in the UK, and the infringer is too, there's a new(ish) small claims track for perusing them http://www.own-it.org/news/the-pcc-small-claims-track-what-does-this-mean-for-smes (http://www.own-it.org/news/the-pcc-small-claims-track-what-does-this-mean-for-smes)

I have thought about it for people using my work to sell decals, wedding favors and the like on ebay. If the claim is for 600+ you can escalate it to the high court and get the sheriffs to go round and collect the funds for you. There was someone on "The sheriff's are Coming" (a TV show over here) who's case was exactly that, a guy selling mugs on amazon and ebay with his intellectual property on it.

For a blogger I would email asking them to take it down in a certain amount of time. When time's up give them a warning and a last chance, then go after their advertisers and Google. Advertisers usually have a means for sending a DMCA notice for sites displaying their ads. Even the threat of this has always worked for me. Most blogs are commercial enterprises.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: dirkr on May 27, 2014, 02:47
Have you contacted Shutterstock (you say there's a watermark on the image)?
They should take care.
Don't know if they receive any compensation and how that is shared with you, but you could ask them...

Just as an anecdote (I doubt it will work the same with a blogger): I once found an image of mine in use on the website of a newspaper in Switzerland, with the watermark of a German mid-stock agency on it.
I wrote them, they took it to their lawyer, and some time later I received 145.
The regular price for a high-res image would have been about 30.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Ariene on May 27, 2014, 03:09
I must say Google works very good! Just few minutes ago I got respond... It took 1-2 weeks and whole article with my (personal) image is down, wow.
https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905?rd=1

Shutterstock is helpful and fast as well.

I really don't like when my image is used if I wasn't ask, if I'm not even informed, no "thank you", no nothing...
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Epsilonth on May 27, 2014, 08:25
I found the shutter stock page! I've already contacted the prep. I'll what she says.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: KerinF on May 27, 2014, 20:16
As others have said - trying to enforce compensation yourself would be a waste of time and expense in these circumstances.  Getting the image taken down is your best bet.  Aside from the steps already mentioned, you should also look at issuing a DMCA takedown notice (similar legislation and processes exist in most Western countries at least).  Google and you will find lots on information and examples, but in short:

- conduct a Whois search to find out who the ISP of the infringing website is
- a reputable ISP will have its own information or forms, or contact person, to send ISP notices to, and often will also have their own form or template letter.
- if the ISP does not provide a template, there are lots of examples floating around. They are not complicated, but its very important that you include all the required information, and send it in the required format, or else the notice will be ignored

The ISP should take action pretty quickly - put simply, the system basically works on the principle that, once an ISP is on notice of an infringement, it is only given immunity from prosecution for infringement if it acts on a notice promptly.  So, it is in the ISP's interests to get the infringing image removed asap.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: ShadySue on May 27, 2014, 20:49
Or you might email her and ask her to purchase the image from Shutterstock.
I've done that a couple of times, and the pics were removed double quickly. In both cases, the bloggers had snagged the file from the same legitimate buyer, and had credited it to them - I got apology emails from them both -  they seemed pretty genuinely clueless, but no sales.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Hobostocker on May 28, 2014, 04:36
the big problem here is they've created a whole online economic ecosystem that is boundless and borderless and running worldwide disregarding every local laws and police.

basically it's the epithome of the Wild West, no police, no sheriffs, anyone is free to steal and the risk of getting caught and punished is near zero unless the offender is living in a western country and you've got plenty of time and money to waste with expensive IP lawyers.

what we need is a "web police", either that or nothing can ever change, not even inside the EU and the USA as the biggest multinationals like Google or Apple and Facebook are acting in total impunity regarding local taxation, antitrust, and privacy laws.

the other big problem is publishing : everyone and their dog is allowed to publish stolen content in a couple clicks and the companies providing publishing/social platforms are aggressively encouraging any sort of illegal "sharing" of such stolen contents in total disregard of the eventual copyright infringements and local IP laws, platforms like FB and Twitter in particular just don't give two sh-its if you publish stolen images, even the AFP was caught stealing and reselling news images and it took a few years for the photographer to get some justice after a long legal battle where he was even laughed in his face and told to pay back AFP a lot of money !







Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Epsilonth on May 28, 2014, 05:31
Well that sucks. This is all I can do. http://www.mybloggertricks.com/2011/08/how-to-report-copyright-violation-to.html (http://www.mybloggertricks.com/2011/08/how-to-report-copyright-violation-to.html)
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: KerinF on May 28, 2014, 06:18
this is referring to the DMCA system I mentioned.  It is the best cost-effective means of getting infringing content taken down, and partially address the cross-border issues. But you need to do that Whois search on the blogger's domain name, and then write the necessary letter/form and send to the ISP.  They are the ones who will take steps to remove it because they have a vested interest in doing so to protect their immunity under the Act.. assuming you don't just want to write to the blogger directly. 
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Epsilonth on May 28, 2014, 07:13
I have an update. I mailed and she is sensible enough to try to fix the problem. Since I'm not eligible for Statutory Damages and actual damage is low so I just directed her to license through shutterstock.

Her reason was "I did sign up with shutterstock and thought that I could use it, but I will try to correct this now"

I think this is a major problem in our industry. We cannot register every work due to the fee. See: http://www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html (http://www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html)

Case closed.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Ariene on May 28, 2014, 07:23
Her reason was "I did sign up with shutterstock and thought that I could use it, but I will try to correct this now"

Yeah, sure... It reminds me what I've found lately in some forums of graphic desingers (from memory):
"- should I buy EL for this image usage?
  - as you wish, but why pay if nobody can see? You'll pay if they (authors) find it in use... Pay $1 and sleep well. After all you can say: "ups,, sorry, I didn't know"
  - that's my thought, $1 is fair enough".

 :-\
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Epsilonth on May 28, 2014, 08:00
I ROFLOL'ed. Just now, she mailed SS admitting she infringed. People can be really stupid.. This is getting interesting. I'll keep you guys updated if something happens.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Epsilonth on May 28, 2014, 08:05
the big problem here is they've created a whole online economic ecosystem that is boundless and borderless and running worldwide disregarding every local laws and police.

basically it's the epithome of the Wild West, no police, no sheriffs, anyone is free to steal and the risk of getting caught and punished is near zero unless the offender is living in a western country and you've got plenty of time and money to waste with expensive IP lawyers.

what we need is a "web police", either that or nothing can ever change, not even inside the EU and the USA as the biggest multinationals like Google or Apple and Facebook are acting in total impunity regarding local taxation, antitrust, and privacy laws.

the other big problem is publishing : everyone and their dog is allowed to publish stolen content in a couple clicks and the companies providing publishing/social platforms are aggressively encouraging any sort of illegal "sharing" of such stolen contents in total disregard of the eventual copyright infringements and local IP laws, platforms like FB and Twitter in particular just don't give two sh-its if you publish stolen images, even the AFP was caught stealing and reselling news images and it took a few years for the photographer to get some justice after a long legal battle where he was even laughed in his face and told to pay back AFP a lot of money !


Here's a good example. This is one of the more popular image of mine: http://musts.me/post/80330225151/sun-conure-by-pumidol-leelerdsakulvong (http://musts.me/post/80330225151/sun-conure-by-pumidol-leelerdsakulvong)

It's been like shared reflagged over a thousand times and who knows how many untracked. If I sue everybody I'd be filthy rich. Sadly that's not quite possible.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Hobostocker on May 28, 2014, 09:43

It's been like shared reflagged over a thousand times and who knows how many untracked. If I sue everybody I'd be filthy rich. Sadly that's not quite possible.

because we're still in the Wild West of internet.

the NSA can monitor pretty much anything under the sun and yet the governments still claim it's impossible to track piracy and copyright infringements when they know pretty well that a "web police" would just take 5 minutes to take down pirate sites and pirated content and get any info about the criminals.

there's just no political will to change the ongoing disastrous situation as it would "break the internet" as we know it ... nobody could easily engage in blogging, social networks, chats, and in particular nobody could post images lifted from google images or FB without paying for a licence or permission !

but it's not all doom and gloom ... recently Russian politicians seem to have found an agreement about treating blogging on par with journalism and this means they will have to be legally responsible for anything they publish including stolen pics, next turn it will be forums and then eventually social networks like VK and FB and Twitter.

a police state ? it's already a police state so who cares ? what it is now is just a heaven for pirates and scroungers leaving nothing to protect us.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Ron on May 28, 2014, 12:41
I have been contacting a dozen website and blog owners because they stole my images. I contact them all nicely and asked for them to purchase the licence. I never asked to take them down, in their reply all they talk about is that they took the image down and thats the end of it, or they tell me they cant afford 2.25 euro for the licence. Where I couldnt find contact details I have sent a DMCA. Here are two responses that give you an indication of the state of the internet.

Quote
Dear Ronald xxxxxx, we are sorry that we used your marijuana leaf pic by accident. It was an accident.
By the way, this is what is wrong with the world. This penny pinching BS will destroy the Internet, but obviously you are after something else. The filthy lucre Ronald, the filthy lucre.
Anyway, it's been taken out and we will make sure that we will never ever publish anything from you or your company again. And we will tell our subscribers as well so they don't make the same mistake.
Over a pot leaf Ronald? Seriously?
By the way, why do you state on your site that the pics are
 "ROYALTY FREE STOCK PHOTOS / Stock Photo"
You can see our confusion, right?
xxxxx

Quote
Greetings from our editor-in-chief xxxxxxxx. He lets me tell you that he absolutely understands your position and received the image via a partner media without knowing about there being a copyright issue. In fact, we would not have used it if we knew.

That said, xxx international is a "struggling newspaper" and xxxxxx has invested more work and money in the project than he can afford already. Even very small amounts are very hard to afford when one is "quite literally" at the brink to starvation because the struggle to create independent media is a matter worth taking on for him.

He lets me ask you, if you would be so kind to grant permission to use the image, without charge. In return, he would of course let me insert a link to i.e your website, add your name, "Image courtesy of"... Alternatively we would remove it.

Please let me know which one you prefer.

Yours sincerely

xxxxxxxxxxx
Wife to our editor, mother, and equally starving editorial assistant.


Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: ShadySue on May 28, 2014, 12:56
"Royalty free" is a very confusing term. Only last week, an aquaintance was mentioning using Royalty free images for a non-profit use (a pro bono talk he was going to give to a community group). This is a very intelligent bloke, but in science, and has never been in this position before. He honestly thought, as I once did, that Royalty Free meant you didn't have to pay royalties. I pointed him towards CC, and warned that they might still be misappropriated images wrongly tagged as CC.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Ron on May 28, 2014, 12:59
I know, but what should it be called? Royalty Paid is as confusing. Royalty Due? And who can change this term? Who owns the terminology?

Anyhoo, the replies they gave me are blatant.
Title: Re: infringement compensation
Post by: Ariene on May 28, 2014, 14:01
Many thanks Ron for that text! Lots of LOL here, despite it's really sad situation...

I remember my first time when I saw RF, I was sure it means FREE from royalties... Btw, there's the joke (or it's not a joke) - tell chinese man it's copyrighted and he'll do copies as he get's it as right to copy ;)
Royalty free? Of course it means free! ;)

Back to serious, if someone doesn't know the right it doesn't mean he's free from responsibility.