Microstock Photography Forum - General > Image Sleuth

Stolen images - payback time... from Zazzle

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Update for the ones who are interested:

I recently found my bestseller on Zazzle.com on various products. I never created an account with them so I was a bit "confused".

After contacting the user to ask about a valid license I got the usual answer: "Ooooooh, I had nooo idea that this is your image. I will remove it right away from my Zazzle store".

As upsetting as this already is I received a second message from the user: "I've removed the image from my store. Thank god, that I've never sold any items with that picture on it".

Naturally I contacted Zazzle.com (again) to verify this statement.

And, big surprise the user DID sell items with my image on them. My luck that the royalties had not been paid out at that time so I claimed those royalties as mine, since Zazzle already made $$$ off of them.

Two weeks later I had my check in the mail and the user had been removed.  ;D

I'd like everyone to know that there are ways sometimes to pursue such situations - without a lawyer. Think about registering copyright for your images in the US which will back you up in many cases of abuse within the US and it's only $35 for as many images as you like to register.

Sadly, I've just sent 15 complaints to Photobucket's Abuse Department because my bestseller is all over the place.  :-X

Congrats on getting some money out of it!

Way to go!

Sorry you had that happen to you.  Glad to hear there are ways to take corrective action without having to hire a Lawyer.


congrats, it must surely be sweet revenge for you. I wonder if you could find someone who knows how to trace the origin of the thief and report them to the IP,etc.
An associate of mine used to work as  OSP Consultant and Team Lead and QA Training,  and in casual conversation once told me how they managed to trace out some obsessed pervert stalker who kept preying and harassing some of the top players.
They were able to find the bloke and got him banned from the network.
It would be a more satisfying double revenge if you could get this thief exposed and make it an example to dissuade potential copycats.

Whatever the case, I am happy for you. I think most internet fraud thrive on the assumption that not everyone can retain a lawyer, or know someone who can help. However, these days with fraud getting more prevalent, I notice that there are more recourse , such as  hackers networks sprouting to give the abusers a good run for their money. There are some very brainy hackers out there who would do this for free, as they get tired of other hackers giving them a bad name.
A bit OT here, but, I like to say Hooray to you.

I have the email address of the user who didn't seem to care too much about "her" identity. While an email address in itself is no conclusion to the real person/gender it still could offer you some "leverage" to expose them on the internet.

I'm not interested in that, concerning this particular case. "She" seems "she" wasn't doing this professionally so I just let it go.

This pretty much happens to everyone who is selling images. You just might not find your images at the beginning. Once an image reaches a certain momentum you will see it all over the place.

Keep your eyes open!


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