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Author Topic: another vector thief  (Read 8937 times)

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helix7

« on: August 22, 2008, 08:33 »
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Check out http://vectorstock.com/artist/?name=simon_jakub

I already wrote in to vectorstock to let them know about my icons being sold by this guy, but I'm not sure what else in his portfolio is stolen. Anyone recognize anything?




bittersweet

« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 08:46 »
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I'm sure there will be a few people here who think that his changing the color and moving the position on the page makes them somehow "different".  ::) (Like the guy who came here trying to get support for his rip-off of half of Tom Nulens's portfolio.) Obviously it is a blatant rip-off and if you were exclusive with istock, I'd say contact jeffyd and I'd be surprised if they aren't taken down today (assuming vectorstock is as responsive to their warnings as other sites have been). However, since you are not, it might take longer for istock to first investigate whether you are selling them elsewhere, and only then will they contact vectorstock if they are convinced that the purchase was made from istock.

Some of the other images are familiar to me, but I'm going to have to search a bit to place them. Any time someone's "style" is all over the place like that, it should be a red flag that they need to be checked out. Sometimes it's just artist experimentation, but clearly that is probably not the case here.

helix7

« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 08:53 »
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...only then will they contact vectorstock if they are convinced that the purchase was made from istock...

I'm not sure where he bought them, so I haven't contacted istock or any other company yet. Hopefully vectorstock will just pull the images quickly.


bittersweet

« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2008, 09:08 »
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Cool. Good luck with that!

Microbius

« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2008, 09:27 »
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how do you get his portfolio up on that site?

helix7

« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2008, 09:29 »
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Microbius

« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 09:35 »
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yup, total rip off. Slightly different so he probably just traced them and changed them a little rather than purchasing the original file.
Don't recognize anything else there. Hopefully they'll pull them asap

Microbius

« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2008, 09:49 »
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I'm sure there will be a few people here who think that his changing the color and moving the position on the page makes them somehow "different".  ::) (Like the guy who came here trying to get support for his rip-off of half of Tom Nulens's portfolio.) Obviously it is a blatant rip-off and if you were exclusive with istock, I'd say contact jeffyd and I'd be surprised if they aren't taken down today (assuming vectorstock is as responsive to their warnings as other sites have been). However, since you are not, it might take longer for istock to first investigate whether you are selling them elsewhere, and only then will they contact vectorstock if they are convinced that the purchase was made from istock.

Some of the other images are familiar to me, but I'm going to have to search a bit to place them. Any time someone's "style" is all over the place like that, it should be a red flag that they need to be checked out. Sometimes it's just artist experimentation, but clearly that is probably not the case here.


was that "zmajdoo" on shutterstock? Compare his icons (just an example, loads more in his folio). :

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-4743733--two-color-icons-also-are-available-jpg-version-and-two-black-and-white-versions.html

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-4743727--black-and-white-icons-also-are-available-jpg-version-inverse-version-and-two-color-version.html

with Tom's:

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/illustrations-vectors/vector-icons/2621944-website-internet-icons-alto-series.php?id=2621944

And what's worse they often make it onto the most popular list on SS! They must be making a killing off Tom's work!
I can't believe they're still up, but then that's SS and their attitude to copyright theft again.....

Do you have a link back to the original thread?

edited to add another link!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 10:42 by Microbius »

helix7

« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 10:21 »
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was that "zmajdoo" on shutterstock? ...

He wouldn't be the first. Another guy copied Tom's icons exactly, and then came into the forums saying that they weren't copies. You could overlay the copied icons over Tom's and they were identical in every way. The guy defended the copy by saying that one of his icons was rotated 90 degrees, and so it was different from Tom's. I rotated it back 90 degrees and put it alongside Tom's, and the guy said that I was "setting him up" by modifying his icon to look like Tom's.

Icons are tricky because they are so simple, and so many people do them. Even the abstract icons like the ones that this guy stole from me, there are tons of people doing them so I'm not surprised to see icons that sometimes look similar. Plus this stuff has been around longer than microstock, so there are tons of artists out there who have worked in similar styles for a long time. But in this case and in the various Tom Nullens cases, the icons were either downloaded and resold or traced directly. I think most people have come to expect that similarities will exist between icon sets. It's unavoidable. But when an entire set of icons get copied, the odds that it's a coincidence are pretty slim.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 10:24 by helix7 »

Microbius

« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2008, 10:46 »
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was that "zmajdoo" on shutterstock? ...

He wouldn't be the first. Another guy copied Tom's icons exactly, and then came into the forums saying that they weren't copies. You could overlay the copied icons over Tom's and they were identical in every way. The guy defended the copy by saying that one of his icons was rotated 90 degrees, and so it was different from Tom's. I rotated it back 90 degrees and put it alongside Tom's, and the guy said that I was "setting him up" by modifying his icon to look like Tom's.

Icons are tricky because they are so simple, and so many people do them. Even the abstract icons like the ones that this guy stole from me, there are tons of people doing them so I'm not surprised to see icons that sometimes look similar. Plus this stuff has been around longer than microstock, so there are tons of artists out there who have worked in similar styles for a long time. But in this case and in the various Tom Nullens cases, the icons were either downloaded and resold or traced directly. I think most people have come to expect that similarities will exist between icon sets. It's unavoidable. But when an entire set of icons get copied, the odds that it's a coincidence are pretty slim.

True, but this is the worst case I've ever seen, made worse by the fact that the files are still there months after upload
Check out the new link I just added to my last post, this guy has copied all his icons from Tom (and maybe all of Tom's icons). It's so blatant it's scary, even the same color scheme

bittersweet

« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2008, 10:48 »
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^^ Yes that is the thread I was thinking of.

(sorry couldn't post a link before; was posting from my phone)

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php/topic,3202.0.html
« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 13:22 by bittersweet »

« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2008, 11:29 »
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How can those still be up on SS from zmajdoo ?  Amazing!

helix7

« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2008, 12:03 »
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How can those still be up on SS from zmajdoo ?  Amazing!

That's what I was thinking. Especially with Tom being exclusive, I thought the istock legal eagles would put enough pressure on SS to get the images taken down.


helix7

« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2008, 12:14 »
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I just noticed that next to the stolen icon sets on vectorstock, it says "Exclusive to Vectorstock."

Ha!

:D

Also just got an email from the guy, denying he did anything. Says I got the wrong person. Of course. Must have just clicked on his email address beside my images accidentally.


« Last Edit: August 22, 2008, 12:43 by helix7 »

bittersweet

« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2008, 13:15 »
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How can those still be up on SS from zmajdoo ?  Amazing!

That's what I was thinking. Especially with Tom being exclusive, I thought the istock legal eagles would put enough pressure on SS to get the images taken down.



If it has been reported, they do. I have heard Tom say that he could have a full time job seeking and reporting all the instances of theft of his portfolio. It is that rampant. It is more profitable for him to spend most of his time producing more work than to spend it looking for infringement to report. He does some, but some gets done on his behalf by other contributors, such as us, who discover them.


helix7

« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2008, 15:54 »
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Case closed, at least for me. Vectorstock pulled the images, and the thief's account is under investigation for any other stolen images. He is also prohibited from uploading pending the investigation, and must explain his actions to admins or his account will be closed.

I did try searching around for other images in his portfolio to see if they were stolen, but didn't come up with anything. Hopefully no one else will be ripped off by this guy.

bittersweet

« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2008, 16:00 »
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That's good news! I'm glad you got the results you were looking for.

Microbius

« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2008, 12:46 »
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Good news! It's a shame that such a small site is so quick to react when one of the industry leaders doesn't seem to care

« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2008, 13:59 »
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Case closed, at least for me. Vectorstock pulled the images, and the thief's account is under investigation for any other stolen images. He is also prohibited from uploading pending the investigation, and must explain his actions to admins or his account will be closed.

I did try searching around for other images in his portfolio to see if they were stolen, but didn't come up with anything. Hopefully no one else will be ripped off by this guy.

Well done Helix, that's a great result. Like others, I'm also amazed that the guy on Shutterstock gets away with copying Sodafish's icons like that - the file seems to be consistently in the most popular files as well, so it's not as if no one can have noticed.

graficallyminded

« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2008, 21:15 »
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atta boy Mikey.  GET EM!

helix7

« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2008, 14:56 »
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Believe it or not, this guy is back at it again. I already emailed vectorstock, so hopefully they'll shut him down for good this time. I just can't believe the balls on this guy. He gets caught, denies it, then goes right back to doing it all over again. Shameless.



« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2008, 17:26 »
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Man, this problem is becoming common, Shutterstock are a bunch of greedy $%#@&[email protected]^ There is so many rip of vectors on there and they don't care - they never reply back when you ask for them to be removed. You know why - they don't care because they make so much money. No integrity at all, they pay some of the lowest payouts too. Tom really rocked it with his icons on istock, and shutterstock is making a killing for him....


 

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