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Author Topic: Fiverr and stock photo thieves - again - still - ...  (Read 1954 times)

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« on: January 18, 2019, 17:24 »
+6
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.

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/funny-chihuahua-dog-posing-on-beach-1081879181
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/romantic-date-candle-light-dinner-love-749063584
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/blue-pipelines-carrying-clean-water-household-677991997
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/bamboo-pedestrian-hanging-bridge-over-sea-536177866
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/mohammed-salah-gabriel-professional-egyptian-national-1098345056

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


« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 16:33 »
+1
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.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 18:58 by stockastic »

« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 21:49 »
+3
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.

k_t_g

  • Caution. Images are hot.
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 23:13 »
0
Hopefully the thieves don't have the ability of getting rid of the warning comments.

« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 01:23 »
0
.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 03:55 by Not Today »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 10:36 »
+1
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.

Good opinions. When they make a law that fines the people posting the stolen works, we might see a change. I understand why the host sites are not liable, if they are willing to remove anything illegal. Problem is, how does Fiver get away with not doing anything? They are knowingly allowing people to market illegal products. Last I saw, the guy who claimed he was only hosting a storage service, that was a pirate haven, was still getting a trial.

We need to report Fiver to the Attorney General and FTC, not stock sites. Of course small note: DMCA is a United States Law. Where is Fiver located?

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 10:54 »
0
We need to report Fiver to the Attorney General and FTC, not stock sites. Of course small note: DMCA is a United States Law. Where is Fiver located?
Tel Aviv, apparently:
https://www.fiverr.com/intellectual-property?source=footer

« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 15:23 »
+1
A little more google searching reveals that it's rumored Fiverr will be launching a US IPO in 2019.

https://entrepreneurs.maqtoob.com/is-fiverr-going-public-2423e548cf2d

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/.premium-fiverr-online-freelance-platform-eyeing-ipo-at-1-billion-valuation-1.6427826

Fiverr doesn't seem to be deterred from its "see no evil" business practices by lawsuits - note that amazon sued over 1,000 sellers because of gigs offering posting of fake reviews (they ran a sting operation and sued "John Doe" sellers). Fiverr doesn't get caught in the net, unfortunately

https://moneyinc.com/fiverr/

https://smallbiztrends.com/2015/10/fiverr-amazon-fake-reviews-lawsuit.html

Threre is already quite a lot of information online about the risks of getting image content you don't have the rights to use if you buy from Fiverr, so it's not news that the place is a shady market

https://toughnickel.com/business/The-Pros-and-Cons-of-Fiverr

"...the site is legitimate, but the sellers vary! ...any stock images or drawings provided to you might well be copied from elsewhere..."

http://neo-stock.com/blog/the-indie-authors-guide-to-stock-photography/

"The best thing to do to protect yourself in this instance, is ensure that youre working with a PROFESSIONAL (preferably fulltime) artist. AVOID websites like 99Designs and Fiverr which is where the vast majority of unscrupulous designers operate."

https://kindlepreneur.com/stock-photos-for-book-covers/

"Just because an artist says they have a license for a stock photo site, it doesnt mean that they actually do. ...Many of my covers were designed by artists that I hired on Fiverr.  However, I always provide my own stock and figurative images"

Fiverr has partnered with Getty to offer stock image add-ons for gigs (which isn't the type of offering I'm discussing where the whole gig is handing over stock photos obtained from agencies). The idea, which I'm sure they don't police, is that the image is integrated into the gig deliverable. Sellers get 25% of the license price.

https://www.fiverr.com/terms_of_service

"...Important: Each selected Stock Image is authorized for a one time use. The selected image is integrated with the delivered work only and not as a stand-alone or for recurring use. Sellers are unauthorized to share the original image file with the Buyer or any third party."

They're expanding - opened a Berlin office in December 2018 (they already have offices in New York, Miami, Chicago & San Francisco). Business must be good...

http://nocamels.com/2018/12/fiverr-opens-new-office-in-berlin/

I'll keep an eye out for news about an IPO in the US. I'd expect that in the current political climate, the US attorney general would be a waste of time, but the NY Attorney General would possibly be more likely assuming they'd have any jurisdiction based on a subsidiary office there

https://www.fiverr.com/jobs/offices/nyc

Looking at the California Attorney General's web site, it occurred to me that one might have to be a consumer of Fiverr's services to file a complaint with them. There's also the fact that their terms of service say Fiverr isn't responsible for the "User Generated Content"

"Fiverr does not check user uploaded/created content for appropriateness, violations of copyright, trademarks, other rights or violations. We invite everyone to report violations together with proof of ownership as appropriate. Reported violating content may be removed or disabled"

I'm not a fan of the hands-off approach whereby the "platform" disclaims all responsibility for the content their sellers offer but still collect their 20% from all sales.

Fiverr uses stock photos in its own advertising, so it clearly knows how the business should work...

https://twitter.com/fiverr/status/1080584646981754881

https://www.dreamstime.com/man-laptop-working-late-christmas-night-man-working-home-laptop-christmas-eve-image125255303
https://depositphotos.com/211766912/stock-photo-man-with-laptop-working-late.html
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/man-working-home-laptop-on-christmas-1170916885

« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 16:33 »
+2
They'll just claim they're only a "platform". Napster tried that, but the music recording industry had the muscle to shut them down.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 18:04 by stockastic »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 11:12 »
+1
They'll just claim they're only a "platform". Napster tried that, but the music recording industry had the muscle to shut them down.

This guy tried that also:  https://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny-news-kim-dotcom-extradition-20180704-story.html

"The latest decision comes more than six years after U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom's file-sharing website Megaupload and filed charges of conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering against the men. If found guilty, they could face decades in prison."

He and the partners claimed they were just a hosting site.

If fiverr comes to the us, there could be a class action suit waiting for them or maybe the us dept of justice would take complaints seriously.

« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2019, 15:38 »
+2
But note that Kim Dotcom was charged with things like money laundering - not copyright violations. Whatever he was doing, he p!ssed off the wrong people, who were able to get big time law enforcement on his trail.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2019, 12:54 »
+1
But note that Kim Dotcom was charged with things like money laundering - not copyright violations. Whatever he was doing, he p!ssed off the wrong people, who were able to get big time law enforcement on his trail.

Actually, charges of conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering. Plus, Although the site knew it had infringing videos and songs on its servers, it wanted the contents to spread far and wide for maximum ad money. In order to reach their goals, they bribed users to do it for them. Also, The U.S. Department of Justice labeled it as one of the largest copyright crackdown in history.

And his answer when asked to stop allowing people to share copyrighted music, files, and video was: "We are a hosting company and all we do is sell bandwidth and storage. Not content. All of the content on our site is available for 'free download.'"

If Fiverr is going to say they aren't making money from theft, and aren't allowing copyright infringement and want to play the innocent game, that's fine, but it's not going to let them continue without someone wanting to file charges. The fact that they know that people are uploading stolen collections and don't do anything about that, lets say SS collections, is not going to be good if they come to the US.


 

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