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Author Topic: Abiding by the DMCA does not mean you "take copyright seriously"  (Read 714 times)

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« on: May 05, 2019, 04:24 »
+8
Dear every agency out there,

Abiding by the DMCA does not mean you "take copyright seriously". We are sick and tired of reading and hearing that you care, then finding out your whole policy is just doing the minimum laid out by the DMCA.

Abiding by the DMCA is the absolute minimum you must do to avoid being sued when infringements show up on your site.

Even worse, and very common, is an agency out sourcing reports to a third party specialist company that assumes legal responsibility and handles all DMCA/ copyright related correspondence. This contractually prevents the company doing anything themselves.

These practices are absolutely disgusting from anyone claiming to represent creatives and we have had enough of the BS.

Simply following the DMCA without any other oversight or investigation of suspect accounts doesnt prove you take copyright seriously it shows you absolutely do NOT take copyright seriously (beyond covering your A**) and only care about not getting sued. Quit the BS we can see through it.

Thanks


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2019, 06:14 »
0
So just guessing here, but... somebody filed a DMCA against you, the agency removed your content, but you believe the DMCA has no merit?

« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2019, 06:25 »
+5
So just guessing here, but... somebody filed a DMCA against you, the agency removed your content, but you believe the DMCA has no merit?

Nope, the opposite. I'm tired of informing agencies of portfolios with multiple infringements and being told I am not the copyright holder so they can't take any action.

Or reporting my work infringed and the thief sending a counter notice with easily checked made up information (for example copied off a business on the internet they have no connection to) and the agency accepting it because it covers them under the DMCA.

Or I have spent hours trying to track down contact info for other contributors to let them know their work has been stolen only to find the agency has only taken down the individual pieces of work in a portfolio that is entirely made up of stolen work. Leaving me and the others only option being to spend days tracking down every single other contributor infringed and getting them file takedowns one by one.

It is a joke. JUST doing the bare minimum the DMCA calls for clearly broadcasts "we would do even less if we could, but we can't by law without getting sued"

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2019, 07:33 »
0
Well it isn't their content (the agencies), and in some of the instances you've mentioned, it isn't your content either... so it's kind of understandable that nothing can be done. Surely you'd be the first to complain if you had some of your content removed by a DMCA submitted by some random person who isn't even the copyright owner?

Sure the setup isn't ideal, with plenty of shortfalls and loopholes, but I'm not sure what else you would suggest? Other than the agencies hiring teams of investigators at great cost for minimal, if any, return.

And if they did all this investigation stuff/research rather than just doing the minimum with regards to DMCA action (removing or not removing content based on the info/actions of the two parties... wouldn't they then not even be doing the minimum with regards to DMCA action?   
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 07:35 by SpaceStockFootage »

« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 07:49 »
+1
Well it isn't their content (the agencies), and in some of the instances you've mentioned, it isn't your content either... so it's kind of understandable that nothing can be done. Surely you'd be the first to complain if you had some of your content removed by a DMCA submitted by some random person who isn't even the copyright owner?

Sure the setup isn't ideal, with plenty of shortfalls and loopholes, but I'm not sure what else you would suggest? Other than the agencies hiring teams of investigators at great cost for minimal, if any, return.

And if they did all this investigation stuff/research rather than just doing the minimum with regards to DMCA action (removing or not removing content based on the info/actions of the two parties... wouldn't they then not even be doing the minimum with regards to DMCA action?


I agree with your first paragraph. However, the agencies most certainly should investigate when multiple people complain about a whole portfolio of stolen work. Most of the legwork is being done for them, by contributors, free of charge! Its a cost of doing business (or should be). And once one single stolen image is found in a portfolio, the whole port should come down and the contributor banned, not just the stolen image. But you see the agencies dont care where their sales $$ comes from. Legal or illegal, no matter to them.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2019, 07:54 »
0
And once one single stolen image is found in a portfolio, the whole port should come down and the contributor banned, not just the stolen image.

Completely agree with you on that one.

« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2019, 07:57 »
+1
Not sure I follow a lot of what you are saying

Well it isn't their content (the agencies), and in some of the instances you've mentioned, it isn't your content either... so it's kind of understandable that nothing can be done.

No it really isn't understandable, in fact is just isn't true that nothing can be done. It is their site. They can do what they want. They are choosing to do nothing but cover their a**. In this instance if a portfolio full of obviously stolen images is pointed out to them by anyone, with links to multiple other people's portfolios demonstrating where the images were stolen from they could review the evidence and shut down the perpetrators. In fact that is 100% what they should be doing. They aren't just a platform. They owe to their buyers to do everything they can do guarantee they are buying a legitimate license and to their contributors not to aid in the theft of their work.


Surely you'd be the first to complain if you had some of your content removed by a DMCA submitted by some random person who isn't even the copyright owner?

Not sure why you are hung up on this, maybe because you got the wrong end of the stick to start with? But anyway, this is exactly what would happen now if someone sent an illegitimate DMCA. They would remove the work without any investigation. So not sure what you are on about. I would prefer they actually look into the case.

Sure the setup isn't ideal, with plenty of shortfalls and loopholes, but I'm not sure what else you would suggest? Other than the agencies hiring teams of investigators at great cost for minimal, if any, return.

Looking into cases in detail like IStock once did many moons ago was perfectly workable and didn't put them out of business. The cost would be minimal. Look how much one contributor has managed to do with catching people on SS (and the response was to try and silence the whistleblower).

And if they did all this investigation stuff/research rather than just doing the minimum with regards to DMCA action (removing or not removing content based on the info/actions of the two parties... wouldn't they then not even be doing the minimum with regards to DMCA action?
No, they would be doing more than the minimum. Agencies did it in the past, some still do. In fact some of the worst offenders now used to be very good at shutting down flagrant or repeat offenders.

« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2019, 07:59 »
+1
And once one single stolen image is found in a portfolio, the whole port should come down and the contributor banned, not just the stolen image.

Completely agree with you on that one.
This is basically the core of my argument. At the moment agencies are increasingly just taking down the specific content the DMCA takedown notice references. That is what I mean by "bare minimum"

« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2019, 08:12 »
+2
If I saw someone stealing sausages from the butchers I wouldn't  expect to report it for the Police for them to say "They are not your sausages its none of your business"

« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2019, 08:46 »
+1
[]
Simply following the DMCA without any other oversight or investigation of suspect accounts doesnt prove you take copyright seriously it shows you absolutely do NOT take copyright seriously (beyond covering your A**) and only care about not getting sued. Quit the BS we can see through it.

Thanks

Excellent!!

« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2019, 08:58 »
0
If I saw someone stealing sausages from the butchers I wouldn't  expect to report it for the Police for them to say "They are not your sausages its none of your business"


There is a popular saying going around now...see something, say something. It is in regards to crime. Any crime. Stealing other peoples property, whether tangible or digital, is a crime and should be investigated and punished. And dismissing the good samaritan, and continuing to reward the criminal, is inconscionable.

« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2019, 09:24 »
+1
If I saw someone stealing sausages from the butchers I wouldn't  expect to report it for the Police for them to say "They are not your sausages its none of your business"


There is a popular saying going around now...see something, say something. It is in regards to crime. Any crime. Stealing other peoples property, whether tangible or digital, is a crime and should be investigated and punished. And dismissing the good samaritan, and continuing to reward the criminal, is inconscionable.
In the UK huge amounts of cyber crime/fraud are ignored by the Police due to a combination of lack of resources and perception that somehow because it doesn't involve something physical its not a "real" crime. Meanwhile probably 100s of vulnerable people are fleeced of their life savings every day.

« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2019, 15:41 »
+1
 Not taking things down unless youre the copyright holder requesting it doesnt make sense. I understand their concern about people making mistakes, but dont they also have a responsibility to the customer? If I want to purchase a photo and there are two identical photos on two different accounts, which one am I supposed to buy?

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2019, 21:22 »
+3
Not taking things down unless youre the copyright holder requesting it doesnt make sense. I understand their concern about people making mistakes, but dont they also have a responsibility to the customer? If I want to purchase a photo and there are two identical photos on two different accounts, which one am I supposed to buy?

I agree that the agencies should do more, and especially when they only remove one per claim when the whole collection is known to be fraudulent. Some day, the laws may get changed and then there will be real protection, instead of this waste of time. I got this from an attorney, and I asked because I didn't understand why only the owner could file a claim.

Under the DMCA, the takedown notice specifically states "...notification from a copyright owner or from a person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner..." so it's not possible to issue a valid takedown if you are not the copyright holder or their authorized agent.

Under the Copyright Act, to sue you must have standing. Standing has been highly litigated since under copyright law there may be multiple parties that have interest in a copyright. I'm not talking about multiple copyright holders, rather this has to do with rights-holders that have full rights for different types of rights. For example, someone may be the copyright holder but another party may be the sole rights-holder with regard to royalties. In that situation, there becomes a legal question as to who can sue. It's actually very complex and there are many law review articles written on legal standing in copyright infringement cases.


The places that do nothing, have an interest in selling stolen works, because they make money from the content. Conflict of interest?

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2019, 08:17 »
+3
SS's in-house Legal team has obviously advised their management that in order to escape the brunt of legal issues, they just has to follow the DMCA procedures. This is wholly inadequate since the copyright owner is left in the dark in the vast majority of cases.

However, no such procedure was followed when they've removed the user passing off Ansel Adams's Snake River. Simply had to tag SS's top management on twitter, including Jon Oringer. If you do spot these fraudulent accounts, do post it on the SS forum and twitter. They'll shut down threads but simply start a new one. Latest one here:

https://forums.submit.shutterstock.com/topic/95117-another-thief-among-us/page/5/#comments

Public shaming of thieves is by far the most effective way to combat this issue. A few mistakes will be made along the way but that's why there needs to be a robust procedure in place.

I really do want to help them out and in talks but they're really expecting me to do their work for free, really. Shocking. 

Part of the problem are those scummy free download sites: Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash, etc but that's another issue related to the devaluing of their/our work.

« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2019, 13:21 »
0
the DMCA protects the stock agencies.

however, I am pretty sure there is a copyright law that predates the DMCA that states that once they know there is infringement, they become liable from that date. so even if you are not the owner, the site is still liable if they do not take any action.

« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2019, 02:23 »
0
the DMCA protects the stock agencies.

however, I am pretty sure there is a copyright law that predates the DMCA that states that once they know there is infringement, they become liable from that date. so even if you are not the owner, the site is still liable if they do not take any action.
The point is that the action required by the letter of the DMCA is completely insufficient to ensure a site like a stock agency isn't inundated with stolen work. And any agency who's whole copyright stance is "we abide by the DMCA" is just covering their a** and shouldn't expect a cookie for doing it.

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2019, 07:00 »
0
the DMCA protects the stock agencies.

however, I am pretty sure there is a copyright law that predates the DMCA that states that once they know there is infringement, they become liable from that date. so even if you are not the owner, the site is still liable if they do not take any action.

Need more research but there appears to be a case made for breach of duty of care towards shareholders and clients. If I recall from my negligence / tort law school days, it goes something like this in a common-law jurisdiction (mainly for personal injury claims / medical negligence, but would also apply in this case, i believe):

1. Establish a duty of care between SS and its shareholders, clients and contributors: A duty of care is a legal obligation which is imposed on a legal entity requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.

2. Breach of such duty of care by action or omission: In this case, by being aware of a tort and not taking action (omission). They may argue that they set up DMCA procedures but may be counter-argued that it's insufficient. This is also known as "corporate neglect", for example, a car-company knew about a serious defect and did nothing about it.

3. Causation leading to damage (cause in fact): This may be the trickiest of all. To prove that the thieves led to economic damage / reputation damage to the company. First, one needs to know the extend of thievery to have any notion. On an individual cases it may be easier, such as the Ansel Adams...if a SS buyer purchased a license to such image for a book cover as an EL and printed 1million copies.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 07:04 by Brasilnut »


 

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