Microstock Photography Forum - General > Image Sleuth

Fiverr and stock photo thieves - again - still - ...

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Jo Ann Snover:
I know we've been around this block before, but I checked Fiverr for stock photos today and found there's been essentially no change - they have many gigs where people offer (for $5, $10, $20 etc. depending on quantity) bundles of agency stock photos they have no right to resell.

This gig, for example (new seller started December 2018, so this isn't something left over from long ago) has three options and includes stock images from more than one contributor (I searched Shutterstock) so it's not possible it's legitimate from the copyrightholder.


There are a ton more gigs just like this one. Very depressing that Fiverr continues to allow this shady practice. Very depressing that none of the big agencies will put pressure on Fiverr to shut these gigs down.

Ages ago, complaints from stock contributors, I think to Shutterstock as it was mentioned by name in some of the gigs, managed to get the worst offenders shut down, so agency names aren't mentioned any more.

In the meantime, has anyone had any success in reporting these thieves and getting anything on Fiverr removed? If so, how did you approach it.

The wiggle room is that with files at multiple agencies and a requirement for DMCA notices that only the copyrightholder can request removal, it's hard to pin the thieves down. They might even have licensed the images they're showing as "advertising".

Fiverr should be ashamed of themselves, but apparently aren't. Any suggestions for how to disrupt this scummy thievery most welcome

You already know all this, but... the purpose of the DMCA was to protect the big ISPs of the day from copyright lawsuits from insignificant gnats like us - not to protect our intellectual property. It was written by industry lobbyists with intent of putting all the burden on the copyright holder, resulting in an endless and futile game of chasing our work and IP across ever-changing servers and domains, firing off emails and 'takedown notices' to crooks who can safely ignore them, or hosting companies that don't need to care.

IMHO there is no way to protect our content unless and until the DMCA is replaced by something that makes it possible.

It may be that a future image file format uses some sort of blockchain technology to verify rights, but right now that seems impossibly complicated and unlikely to ever be adopted.  And even that, in itself, wouldn't be enough to compel action by infringers or their supporting infrastructure providers.

Leave comments on each one to warn people that they could get sued by the models in the photos since there will be no MR.

Hopefully the thieves don't have the ability of getting rid of the warning comments.

Not Today:


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