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Author Topic: Photo thief reselling on major agencies  (Read 16599 times)

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« on: August 17, 2011, 23:58 »
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Hi all,

Thanks to Google image search, I found, a couple of days ago, someone called Jean-luc Cochonneau selling one of my photos on pixelia.fr, a french stock site. It was a photo I donated to Fotolia free section and it was only available there. I emailed the agency and they took it down immediately.

Now I found it again on Shutterstock search results and I'm getting a bit pissed off, although it is already down. I'm about to contact Shutterstock to know if the photo had any sales.

I've been checking his portfolio for further violations, but I couldn't find any. However, it smells funny... Some of the photos are quite bad, others are almost National Geographic level, lots of montages... I'm listing his portfolio at all the agencies I could find, in case anyone wants to check it out:

Shutterstock
iStockPhoto
Dreamstime
Fotolia
BigStockPhoto
123RF
CanStockPhoto
Feature Pics
StockPhotoMedia
Cutcaster
Gimmestock
StockPodium
Most Photos
Deposit Photos
Pixmac
Pixelia
Zoonar
AgeFotoStock
Visco Images
Photaki
Free Web Photo

Edit: found in on Dreamstime, too  >:(. Edit2: And on many others... ::)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 14:33 by luder / Lus Brs »


red

« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 10:27 »
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I don't know if it is premature, but DT has already suspended this member. The portfolio in question is still on the other sites (as of today).

« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 10:37 »
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Amazing on his website he claims he is being working freelance for 30 years as graphic designer!
all the other links he has are dead....
On an amusing note cochonneau means little pig in French, I guess the pig got caught today ;D


« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2011, 10:42 »
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I would find it very, very unlikely that this portfolio was generated by one person. An algorithm could be designed to sniff this out...

« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2011, 10:59 »
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Thanks for the heads-up and good work on catching this thief.

Cogent Marketing

« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 11:09 »
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Scumbag  :o

« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 11:10 »
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These cows look like something Isselee would do? http://www.shutterstock.com/g/xedos4#id=30155161

« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 11:11 »
+1
Yes, thanks for posting. I wish some sort of punishment would be doled out, other than just banning the thief from a site.  >:(

« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 11:18 »
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These cows look like something Isselee would do? http://www.shutterstock.com/g/xedos4#id=30155161


So not only is he a thief, but he's okay with diluting his sales by 10 by putting 10 photos on one file.  ::)

« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 11:23 »
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SS shut him down as well.

Good work!

Keep working on it. Couldn't find any of mine there.

« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 11:30 »
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I don't know if it is premature, but DT has already suspended this member. The portfolio in question is still on the other sites (as of today).


Yes, DT confirmed the infringement and blocked his account. Not only did he upload a photo he did not own the copyright, he also upscaled it from 3 MP to 7 MP! :D I can't believe it was accepted...

By the way, this was the photo he stole:
http://www.fotolia.com/id/327909

Can't believe it made it into Shutterstock, either...

« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 15:24 »
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I wasted about 30 minutes trying to find any of my images stolen by that guy. I'm insulted that I couldn't find any. I think many of my images are more than worthy of being stolen by someone truly wanting to make money.
I agree that the selections of images are truly weird. In one of my best selling categories he had almost 1,000 images with a breathtakingly different range of styles, treatments in wildly varying quality levels. Red flag time. Glad to see he's being rooted out site by site.

« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2011, 15:52 »
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Nice that this person was caught but I wonder how many others are doing this?  I would of thought the sites could use software to stop this happening.  I hope they give any money earned to the copyright holder.  This isn't nice for the buyers either, I presume their RF license is worthless if the copyright holder hasn't sold it?

« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 17:31 »
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He appears to have an account on the3dstudio.com  FYI

rubyroo

« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2011, 17:39 »
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Thanks for posting this Luder.  It's always a relief to see another one taken out of circulation.


Microbius

« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011, 02:14 »
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SS shut him down as well.

Good work!

Keep working on it. Couldn't find any of mine there.

I'm still seeing his SS portfolio!

« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2011, 04:35 »
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SS shut him down as well.

Good work!

Keep working on it. Couldn't find any of mine there.

I'm still seeing his SS portfolio!

When you click on any of the photos it says that its temporarly not available. I assume that the images thumbnails and account will be closed after they fully confirm the thief status

Microbius

« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2011, 04:51 »
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Ahhh okay, got ya. Thanks

« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2011, 05:50 »
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I looked through his SS port and didn't recognize anything but thanks for sniffing out this thief.

Given that SS has some sort of check when you upload that an image was formerly in your portfolio - I have to add a statement with all such uploads that I deleted some files when I went exclusive and am now re-uploading - why wouldn't they do that check against the whole database to preclude this sort of thing from being possible?

Microbius

« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2011, 06:17 »
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Very good point, Google seems to be getting close to perfecting the technology, shouldn't be too hard to implement on a limited collection like Shutterstock.

« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2011, 19:37 »
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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2011, 19:48 »
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Well done!

« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2011, 20:37 »
0

« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2011, 21:04 »
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The first two sets of dice are identical copies just without the arrows.

The third image might be a direct knock off (or original) using the actual vector file.

The first two are raster so they could come from the Shutterstock vector without rounded edges.

Something that should be investigated. That's too much of a coincidence that the angle is absolutely identical not to mention the shown sides of the dice.

Looks fishy.

« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2011, 22:08 »
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rubyroo

« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2011, 02:34 »
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Not so sure about that one.  Is it not possible that xedos4 is the microstock name of that actual person?  

Have I missed something?

« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2011, 02:40 »
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Not so sure about that one.  Is it not possible that xedos4 is the microstock name of that actual person?  

Have I missed something?


Xedos4 is Jean-luc Cochonneau. I already contacted Jody Frank and he confirmed ownership of the photo.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 02:46 by luder »

rubyroo

« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2011, 02:51 »
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Oh sorry... I barely had a wink of sleep last night.  Apologies for that unnecessary post...  ;D

Again - great work!  Very thorough.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 03:00 by rubyroo »

« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2011, 06:09 »
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No problem, rubyroo  ;).

I understand what this guy is doing. Essentially, he creates derivative works, mashups. He picks portions of several images, creates a new one and tries to get away with it.

Check this:


It was tricky, but I managed to track the branch image to a book cover. Eventually, I was able to check the book and the cover images are credited to Jupiter Images. Here it is:



It looks like the copyright belongs to Photolink, I contacted them to clear it up. Maybe he works for them, somehow I doubt it...

« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2011, 08:48 »
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wow ludar, you have a lot of time on your hands. Thank you for your vigilance.   :)

« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2011, 09:15 »
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Great job!
Maybe you can start your own "find your stolen photos" service  :)

« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2011, 22:26 »
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Maybe you can start your own "find your stolen photos" service  :)


Haha, not too shabby! It is kind of fun, in a way. Reminds of the pixel hunts of the old point-and-click adventure games ;).

Found one more from iStock exclusive Subman:



Original:

« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2011, 23:05 »
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I'm speechless. This guy was really going at it.

« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2011, 04:18 »
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Not sure what to think of this:

by Jean-luc Cochonneau
by Gbydream
by Laschon Maximilian.


Off Topic: those dice are not realistic. Real ones always have six and one on opposite sites, as well as three and four.

« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2011, 05:20 »
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Off Topic: those dice are not realistic. Real ones always have six and one on opposite sites, as well as three and four.

Heh, well caught, I had never noticed that.

Found more, this time from Javier Larrea / Age Fotostock. This guy sure has imagination, look at this (just a sample):



Original:
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 06:58 by luder »

Microbius

« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2011, 08:03 »
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Off Topic: those dice are not realistic. Real ones always have six and one on opposite sites, as well as three and four.

Yep, I think opposite sides always add up to seven. Makes it even more unlikely the similarities are a coincidence.


RacePhoto

« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2011, 12:20 »
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Off Topic: those dice are not realistic. Real ones always have six and one on opposite sites, as well as three and four.


Yep, I think opposite sides always add up to seven. Makes it even more unlikely the similarities are a coincidence.


You are correct. 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, always, except cheating dice.


« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2011, 12:21 »
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I have a question about these sorts of issues: does all of the money for the sale of stolen images ultimately get returned to the original owners of the asset / content in cases like this ? Rather than only the commission. And are the buyers contacted and told that their licenses are not valid?

« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2011, 12:52 »
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I have a question about these sorts of issues: does all of the money for the sale of stolen images ultimately get returned to the original owners of the asset / content in cases like this ? Rather than only the commission. And are the buyers contacted and told that their licenses are not valid?

About the money: No. The original copyright owner will not get any money that has been made by another uploader, basically the agency gets to keep it all. This is wrong but true. I've had my images stolen and re-uploaded at all major agencies and not one agency either offered or actively refused (after inquiring) to pay me the lost royalties.

I assume the administrative efforts to move such royalties from one (abused) account to another are too big and the agencies don't wanna deal with that.

Only at Zazzle I had someone else's royalties paid out to me using my best seller.

I don't know if the buyers who bought it from the thieves' accounts get a note of invalid licenses. I don't think so, haven't hear of it.

« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2011, 15:18 »
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I don't know if the buyers who bought it from the thieves' accounts get a note of invalid licenses. I don't think so, haven't hear of it.

Really doubt it, that would give a bad image of the agency and could be a lost costumer. I asked Shutterstock about the royalties on the stolen image and haven't heard from them since I started the thread... :(

Meanwhile, found our dear copyright infringer selling the free stock photos that come with Photoshop 7. I think Adobe is looking into it.

By the way, is there a way to contact photographers at Fotolia? I tried to discuss the matter with Fotolia support, but apparently they don't care that one of their contributors is ripping other Fotolia contributors... They told me to file a DMCA complaint :o.

« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2011, 16:53 »
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I don't know if the buyers who bought it from the thieves' accounts get a note of invalid licenses. I don't think so, haven't hear of it.

Really doubt it, that would give a bad image of the agency and could be a lost costumer. I asked Shutterstock about the royalties on the stolen image and haven't heard from them since I started the thread... :(
But wouldn't it be worse for them to have a customer turning to them because they have been questioned?

Well, maybe this is less likely to happen in the RF world, but for ELs they might be more careful, also for editorial use (because of the requirement of having the photographer credited). Maybe they give a valid license for free.

« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2011, 06:17 »
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TinEye http://www.tineye.com/ [nofollow]  might be able to help with tracking down some images, including derivative/mashup works.

RacePhoto

« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2011, 12:58 »
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By the way, is there a way to contact photographers at Fotolia? I tried to discuss the matter with Fotolia support, but apparently they don't care that one of their contributors is ripping other Fotolia contributors... They told me to file a DMCA complaint :o.

Sounds strange unless you mean he's taking them from FT and selling someplace else and not on FT. In which case they can't do much, the DMCA must come from the owner, not an agency? Part two of that is always the complication that we'd have to prove that the thief is stealing from FT if the images are on any other site. That's why many of the agencies won't do anything except for exclusives.

Keep up the good work. Seems you are tracking down one big offender.

Cracked me up with the bit about stealing and re-selling Adobe Photoshop images.

« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2011, 19:13 »
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Sounds strange unless you mean he's taking them from FT and selling someplace else and not on FT.

Yes, that's what I mean, but I was hoping they would warn the photographers about it. They're not willing to do so, apparently.

« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2012, 03:35 »
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This might be an old post but I have to clear some things regarding the images with dices.
So, nobody stole from nobody . Adobe Illustrator, has a free inspirational symbol sample with these dices in the same position , it's very obvious these guys have used that :) . There is no "thievery" regarding that image.

Microbius

« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2012, 03:59 »
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Yes! you are speaking the truth. It's under the "3D symbols" set that comes with Illustrator.
That clears up the dice, and stands as a warning to us all, me included.

« Reply #49 on: February 08, 2012, 04:08 »
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:) Yeah, the dices are fine and a lot of people are using such things in their compositions but can't say the same about the other photos which are clearly altered ..

Microbius

« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2012, 04:32 »
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:) Yeah, the dices are fine and a lot of people are using such things in their compositions but can't say the same about the other photos which are clearly altered ..
Agreed, but goes to show that we need to bear in mind that similar images may have the same allowable source rather than being copies of each other.

« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2012, 04:51 »
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I agree with that :) .
As ADOBE EULA's states : " you can use any of the files that come with Adobe programs in your own work as long as you don't sell them 1:1, i.e. do not use a unmodified symbol alone and sell it to clients."
Which of course, doesn't comply with first two images but the third one agrees with Adobe's EULA's....
Of course, this isn't our problem.

« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2012, 19:17 »
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Nice that this person was caught but I wonder how many others are doing this?  I would of thought the sites could use software to stop this happening.  I hope they give any money earned to the copyright holder.  This isn't nice for the buyers either, I presume their RF license is worthless if the copyright holder hasn't sold it?
Too Many, too too many. It drives me nuts

antistock

« Reply #53 on: May 15, 2012, 01:29 »
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it's a lot worse than this.

as you see agencies are quick to shut down accounts with stolen or modified photos but in fact the thief gets no punishment, no jail, no invoices to pay, nothing, so what's exactly his risk ? near zero.

he can start over again with a new set of stolen pictures and he knows from the start that it will take a few months before being noticed, in the worst scenario he will still make some beer money from it with again zero risk.

as for those asking why agencies dont automatically check for duplicates, well it's not as easy and cheap as it seems, imagine alamy running a software like TinEye on its whole 30 million images archive, one photo at a time that's 30 million runups of software working on a whole data center and it cost a LOT of money ! and for what ? do you think they will start sueing image spammers one by one ? NOT gonna happen, ever, even if the stolen images have been sold.

your only chance is for instance to spot the stolen image being published somewhere with the thief's credit line, then emailing your agency and ask for a refund or something, good luck !

« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2012, 05:56 »
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By the way, is there a way to contact photographers at Fotolia? I tried to discuss the matter with Fotolia support, but apparently they don't care that one of their contributors is ripping other Fotolia contributors... They told me to file a DMCA complaint :o.

I notice that after almost a year Fotolia is the only leading microstock not to have pulled his porfolio. Why am I not at all surprised that they couldn't care less if they are keeping company with thieves?

Microbius

« Reply #55 on: May 16, 2012, 06:58 »
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Not surprised either, Fotolia are also one of the few not to have shut down the portfolio of the notorious pkdinkar:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/istock-account-closed-please-help!/

http://www.fotolia.com/p/202069824
http://www.vectorstock.com/portfolio/pkdinkar
http://stockfresh.com/gallery/pkdinkar
http://www.123rf.com/portfolio/pkdinkar/1.html

ETA, not sure why MSG link isn't working, just do a search on this forum for pkdinkar
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 07:01 by Microbius »

« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2012, 08:30 »
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It seems that the only ways to get thrown off Fotolia are:
1) Say something negative about them
2) Ask for money they owe you
3) Steal photos and use Fotolia to fence them for you


Ooops! What on earth made me think number 3 would apply?


 

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