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Author Topic: Stolen images - payback time... from Zazzle  (Read 7668 times)

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« on: July 10, 2009, 08:01 »
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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


« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 08:06 »
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Congrats on getting some money out of it!

Way to go!

« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2009, 08:21 »
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Sorry you had that happen to you.  Glad to hear there are ways to take corrective action without having to hire a Lawyer.

Marburg

« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2009, 09:44 »
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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.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 09:54 by Perseus »

« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2009, 09:54 »
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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!

« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2009, 10:01 »
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It's funny how compassionate we are when we are defrauded by a lady, isn't it?
But having work in sales , I have learn not to be so compassionate, as many professional shoplifters are "female"; "grandmothers", etc. Even had one professional scammer who emailed me for tuition claiming to be a "lady" from Geneva, only to call me sounding like a nigerian male from Toronto.

Lately we have found crooks from police constable growing weed in their basement, to grandmothers running some shady operations. That's why they are so successful, they know the best way to pull the wool over our eyes.

« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2009, 10:07 »
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That being said, it's not to say that there aren't innocent bystanders. I had recently emailed a young person who thought anything with the words "royalty free" means you can download and use it without paying any mechanical royalty,etc..
It was understandable too, as many teenage magazine freelance writers are spreading this misinformation re: music, TV, film,etc.. so naturally stock photos "RF" falls into this dome of free use without pay.
I think the stock agencies should change the word Royalty Free, or make it more explicit . It 's obviously needed when editors of magazine do not even catch this misinformation from their publications.

« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2009, 10:16 »
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It's funny how compassionate we are when we are defrauded by a lady, isn't it?...

Yes, I think there is truth to your statement.

I must clarify though that there were no "special" procedures applied in the "prosecution" of "her".

I've been contacting so many people about stolen images that I really don't care anymore if they are young, old, Chinese, American, mother, child, sister, neighbor, doctor or whatever else.

If I can shut them down efficiently I will do so or if I see that I can get some compensation out of it.

Quote
It was understandable too, as many teenage magazine freelance writers are spreading this misinformation re: music, TV, film,etc.. so naturally stock photos "RF" falls into this dome of free use without pay.

Well, that's where I draw the line. Even as freelance writers you need to accept the fact that you are contributing to the media industry in some way. As in every business it's vital to know the rules AND laws. If you don't care what your business is about you won't be very successful. Especially these people need to be made aware of such misunderstandings.

Furthermore, the image that has been used for Zazzle was used for a reason: it's a good image. People: use common sense. Obviously many, many people still believe that good images are made by photographers for free for everyone. Doesn't it ring a bell to at least make an effort to find out about the usage rights? Of course we all here know that but I totally believe that writers, editor, ad agencies, freelance designers should know how image licensing works (at least to some extent). Probably useless to ask for even that.

« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2009, 10:20 »
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It's funny how compassionate we are when we are defrauded by a lady, isn't it?


Or by 80 year old pensioners remember these?

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1020752_pensioners_admit_art_fraud

David

puravida

  • diablo como vd
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2009, 11:31 »
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It's funny how compassionate we are when we are defrauded by a lady, isn't it?


Or by 80 year old pensioners remember these?

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1020752_pensioners_admit_art_fraud

David


exactly David. we keep forgetting that crooks grow up and get older. when they do, they don't reform, they get better and more invisible because "old people and women don't rob banks, or commit industrial espionage, credit card fraud,etc.." lol

that petty thief kid that used a fishing rod to pull my father's rolex from his bedside table is how old nowadays? something like 80 years old today, more or less. i am sure he is still ripping off people
except his grandchildren is running the business, and he is having weekly party on his yacht, lol.

not everything we see is just in the movies. script writers don't just get these revelations in their sleep. good link, David.  thx !

puravida

  • diablo como vd
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2009, 11:42 »
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get this: final paragraph:

.........."who attended court in a wheelchair, and his wife, but said he wanted the matter dealt with quickly, considering their ages."

oh bugger,
that really kills me !
which reminds me, i should be looking for some plaster of paris, and a wheel chair.
i could do with a new yacht ! :)   
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 11:47 by puravida »

« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2009, 12:20 »
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A useful tineye.com tool would be able to take your entire portfolio and find similars on a certain site, like zazzle or whatever, instead of one by one, everywhere online.

Good job on your new cash!

« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2009, 13:49 »
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Congrats Click!  Well done on finding the misuse and actually turning a profit from it! 

We should all be as vigilant.  :)

« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2009, 14:13 »
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Pure luck.

I used tineye as well to find many abusers.

But as every long (or medium) time shooter will agree, in the end it's barely worth spending time on copyright infringement. Only if you have major corporations abuse your stuff it's worth going after. Everything else is pretty much a waste of ones time.

« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2009, 23:35 »
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wow so cool!!!!
well, the abuse sucks ... people just go to stock sites get images pay the standard license that doesnt allow cafepress and such ...They dont' read the agreements...

I any case, don't you get tired of  bhaving your images abused??

 I got my illustrations and opened a zazzle acount myself.....I mean, if someone is going to make money from my work is going to be me ....

since IM no longer istock exclusive I'm spreadking my images on other sites...including cafepress zazzle....so that covers more territory ahahaha

bittersweet

« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2009, 00:48 »
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since IM no longer istock exclusive I'm spreadking my images on other sites...including cafepress zazzle....so that covers more territory ahahaha


Good luck with that. You could have been doing that even while exclusive. As long as they were your images, that is perfectly allowed under their exclusive contract.


 

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