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Author Topic: What's the limit of stolen images to be shut down??? fritzkocher issue  (Read 29040 times)

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alias

« Reply #50 on: October 06, 2009, 11:46 »
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It is almost unbelievable that all of these agencies seem to be allowing this to continue long after the issue has been reported. It seems almost as if they are deliberately allowing this. With luck someone with lots of followers will Twitter this story. Then maybe PDN and the other industry sites will pick it up.

This is one of the problems with some of the microstocks and the customers should know.


RacePhoto

« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2009, 11:54 »
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It is almost unbelievable that all of these agencies seem to be allowing this to continue long after the issue has been reported. It seems almost as if they are deliberately allowing this. With luck someone with lots of followers will Twitter this story. Then maybe PDN and the other industry sites will pick it up.

This is one of the problems with some of the microstocks and the customers should know.

Follow the links, you'll see that accounts and images have disappeared since yesterday. The agencies do watch and respond. I suppose you want instant removal without review, and then when some agency does just that, people scream that their account was closed unfairly without anyone contacting them.

Can't have it both ways and sometimes it takes a day or longer to review a case.

click_click you aren't the first and when the subject has come up about vectors and people who steal and copy and reconstruct it's been hashed over until vector artists have to defend themselves unnecessarily against a broad stroke of the guilt brush. The number of people who are unscrupulous is small, but the cases that are found may also not be most of them. Report it and be patient. Seems like you've been through this before and are doing the right thing by pointing it out and reporting them.

Then we have the subject messages:

XX closed my account
another vector thief
Stolen images - payback time
Theft again - please see if your images have been stolen, too.
Banned From XXX! What shall I do?
XX suspended our account
They froze my entire collection

Where people say they have done nothing and were suspended or closed unfairly.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 13:35 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2009, 11:55 »
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It is almost unbelievable that all of these agencies seem to be allowing this to continue long after the issue has been reported. It seems almost as if they are deliberately allowing this. With luck someone with lots of followers will Twitter this story. Then maybe PDN and the other industry sites will pick it up.

This is one of the problems with some of the microstocks and the customers should know.

It is a problem indeed.

Now to clarify a few things. No agency is "deliberately allowing" this.

I was affected many times of issues like this and of course I was very upset when it happened. When I contacted the agency I "expected" that there is one person waiting for my complaint and then starting to investigate right away to shut those idiots down.

Well that's not the reality. The agencies receive a lot of these reports on a daily basis and they have to investigate every single one of them. It does take time.

Shutterstock is usually very fast on that one. If I report it before lunch I can expect that the portfolio is down by the end of the business day.

At Dreamstime you have to get up earlier. If you report it early in the morning (Eastern Time) it might be taken care of by the end of the day.

Bigstockphoto is also very responsive.

All other agencies will take longer and that means agonizing hours and days...

Why SS and DT in this particular case have re-instated the account - I don't know.

Also please note this is only one situation here. There are a lot more out there selling our stuff.


I have written about this about 6 months ago here in the forum and received very little acknowledgment. I hope more people become aware that this is a bigger problem than it looks like at first glance.

« Reply #53 on: October 06, 2009, 13:18 »
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Also, every single time I reported a thief to 123RF they ONLY removed the stolen images but left the portfolio online.

I got a response from 123RF that the first time this happens the account holder gets a warning.

Now suck on that.

Looks like he's gone at 123rf now too. I contacted them 4 times already about this matter and finally...  :)
Stockxpert seems to have a problem of letting go of him  ??? still online with oodles of stolen pictures.

/~ and the beat goes on...

« Reply #54 on: October 06, 2009, 14:07 »
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Many of these agencies require identification to set up accounts, and surely if he had enough sales to get payouts there would be financial records too - shouldn't it then be possible for someone who's had their material stolen to track him down if he's in the US as he says he is?

Doesn't Istock claim to better protect exclusive contributors? Maybe its time for a precedent to be set?

« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2009, 14:15 »
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Many of these agencies require identification to set up accounts, and surely if he had enough sales to get payouts there would be financial records too - shouldn't it then be possible for someone who's had their material stolen to track him down if he's in the US as he says he is?

Doesn't Istock claim to better protect exclusive contributors? Maybe its time for a precedent to be set?


Of course offering an image for 'resale', which is effectively what he has done, would have required an EL anyway. Jo Anne could certainly ask IS to persue him in that regard (as the only place he could have bought her images). IS should have all his details and he may still have money in his account.

alias

« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2009, 14:21 »
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The images were probably bought on subscription would be my guess. Perhaps the IS stuff is from people who used to not be exclusive.

Protecting the buyers is as important as protecting the sellers. No corporate wants to be buying images from an agency which sells stolen IP.

« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2009, 14:31 »
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...Of course offering an image for 'resale', which is effectively what he has done, would have required an EL anyway. ...

Please elaborate on that.

Are you saying that anyone can buy my images as EL and then sell them as their own?

This case here is a full blown copyright infringement not a licensing problem.

« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2009, 14:37 »
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No, unless the copyright holder sells the copyright, there isn't ANY EL, AFAIK, out there that allows using someone else's photo in a photo and selling it as their own. Heck, when you upload a vector, if you drew the vector from a photo you have to prove you own the photo too!

« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2009, 15:01 »
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Also, every single time I reported a thief to 123RF they ONLY removed the stolen images but left the portfolio online.

I got a response from 123RF that the first time this happens the account holder gets a warning.

Now suck on that.

Looks like he's gone at 123rf now too. I contacted them 4 times already about this matter and finally...  :)
Stockxpert seems to have a problem of letting go of him  ??? still online with oodles of stolen pictures.

/~ and the beat goes on...

I asked an iStock staff member to try and hurry StockXpert along in closing his account (as they are now a Getty company too I thought they might be able to speed things up).

As far as I know there is no EL that entitles you to offer the image itself for resale - those ELs are for cards, calendars, mugs, prints, etc. where you are reselling an item with the image on it.

And yes, I used to be independent, but I don't think how he acquired the image is the issue. Nowhere licenses images so people can upload them as their own. IS is the only site currently entitled to license that image and anyone else who does so is treading on IS's business turf.

« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2009, 15:16 »
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I hope Achilles would come here and explain why DT didn't take stronger measures before.

« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2009, 17:18 »
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Some of the images have gone from StockXpert, but not all (one of the three of mine is still up; several of the lady liberty shots are even though one or two have gone). I've contacted IS again about this to let them know and urge them again to work to get StockXpert to pull the whole portfolio.

Submitters who repeatedly and willfully violate the terms of the upload agreement should not be allowed to be submitters, even for the images to which they do own the copyright. Otherwise how to discourage anyone from doing this, taking the money and running when caught?

« Reply #62 on: October 06, 2009, 17:33 »
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Some of the images have gone from StockXpert, but not all (one of the three of mine is still up; several of the lady liberty shots are even though one or two have gone). I've contacted IS again about this to let them know and urge them again to work to get StockXpert to pull the whole portfolio.

Submitters who repeatedly and willfully violate the terms of the upload agreement should not be allowed to be submitters, even for the images to which they do own the copyright. Otherwise how to discourage anyone from doing this, taking the money and running when caught?

I do hope that particularly in your case the affected images will be removed very soon.

It's such a shame that you as an exclusive photographer can not even have your own rights enforced within the same company...

« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2009, 17:40 »
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Some of the images have gone from StockXpert, but not all (one of the three of mine is still up; several of the lady liberty shots are even though one or two have gone). I've contacted IS again about this to let them know and urge them again to work to get StockXpert to pull the whole portfolio.

Submitters who repeatedly and willfully violate the terms of the upload agreement should not be allowed to be submitters, even for the images to which they do own the copyright. Otherwise how to discourage anyone from doing this, taking the money and running when caught?


Well, I guess you could always go on a date with him __ he certainly owes you a good meal and a drink from the money he's made from your stuff;

http://www.matchmaker.com/ComposeMail.do?to=fritzkocher&no_user=rso

« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2009, 19:47 »
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Eeew!!

Even if I weren't married, I think I'd thank you for your kind thoughts and...run!

@click_click. IS is making this happen, but they think there is some sort of a lag - they should all be gone (they said StockXpert's systems didn't work the same way theirs did; that's true - the StockXpert systems sometimes didn't record any of the Jupiter sales revenues until contributors hollered loudly enough :)) I am getting responses from IS HQ.

« Reply #65 on: October 06, 2009, 20:13 »
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@click_click. IS is making this happen, but they think there is some sort of a lag - they should all be gone (they said StockXpert's systems didn't work the same way theirs did; that's true - the StockXpert systems sometimes didn't record any of the Jupiter sales revenues until contributors hollered loudly enough :)) I am getting responses from IS HQ.

I'm glad the wheels are turning.

As a non-exclusive though I have to mention how sad it is what's happened to Stockxpert.

Unfortunately as soon as Getty was in the picture things got really messed up there. StockXpert used to be a great performer and very responsive.
Some nice people there have left the company. Sad thing to see.

Noodles

« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2009, 20:16 »
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click_click you aren't the first and when the subject has come up about vectors and people who steal and copy and reconstruct it's been hashed over until vector artists have to defend themselves unnecessarily against a broad stroke of the guilt brush. The number of people who are unscrupulous is small, but the cases that are found may also not be most of them. Report it and be patient. Seems like you've been through this before and are doing the right thing by pointing it out and reporting them.

hey, someone has copied and rehashed my vectors - oh wait, it was me - * I'm good :)

Its a serious problem, I agree - I just had to inform iStock someone has copied two of my illustrations. They didn't even try and change the style, just replicated them exactly!

« Reply #67 on: October 06, 2009, 20:27 »
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...
Stolen images - payback time
Theft again - please see if your images have been stolen, too.

...

Where people say they have done nothing and were suspended or closed unfairly.

@ RacePhoto:

Just to make this clear:

The list you brought up included two of my threads where I did not complain about a company shutting me down for stealing anybody's images.

Just to recap: I found one of my images all over the internet through Google's image search. In fact someone uploaded my image on Zazzle and sold products with my photo. I managed to expose the culprit to Zazzle and they paid the commissions to me instead of the thief. Very cooperative behavior which you can not expect from any stock agency.

I once talked to StockXpert about splitting the lost commission with me but in the end they didn't offer anything.

The other thread was to inform other fellow photographers about a site offering stock images via rapidshare. I'm just trying to help out the community.

RacePhoto

« Reply #68 on: October 06, 2009, 22:21 »
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...
Stolen images - payback time
Theft again - please see if your images have been stolen, too.

...

Where people say they have done nothing and were suspended or closed unfairly.

@ RacePhoto:

Just to make this clear:

The list you brought up included two of my threads where I did not complain about a company shutting me down for stealing anybody's images.

Just to recap: I found one of my images all over the internet through Google's image search. In fact someone uploaded my image on Zazzle and sold products with my photo. I managed to expose the culprit to Zazzle and they paid the commissions to me instead of the thief. Very cooperative behavior which you can not expect from any stock agency.

I once talked to StockXpert about splitting the lost commission with me but in the end they didn't offer anything.

The other thread was to inform other fellow photographers about a site offering stock images via rapidshare. I'm just trying to help out the community.


Just to make this clear, I agree with you about people using others images, vectors and making marginal "derivatives", which I think is unethical.

I don't think any of those threads were yours. (but heck I've been wrong before) They didn't have your name on them? Are there a couple of you?

My simple point was, some people want swift justice, hang em and have a fair trial later.  Others, which I believe you have been, ask that something be done, even if it takes an investigation. But when accounts are closed, without notice and without contact, people scream that the agencies are unfair. So what do they want?  ???

This guy was stealing isolated images, putting some new, crap background behind it, and re-selling. That's not derivative it's just plain copying.

« Reply #69 on: October 07, 2009, 07:45 »
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...
I don't think any of those threads were yours. (but heck I've been wrong before) They didn't have your name on them? Are there a couple of you?
...


Here Racephoto:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/image-sleuth/stolen-images-payback-time-from-zazzle/

http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/image-theft-copyright-infringement-and-the-like/msg96220/#msg96220

I think you did not refer to the second one as someone else posted a similar thread containing pretty much the same message.

I do agree with you as well so no hard feelings. I just want to make sure that I'm being thrown into the pot of thieves/complainers!


« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2009, 16:45 »
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It's not over yet:

I just sent another email to Bigstockphoto as still more stolen images remain in his portfolio.

I can not believe that the copyright owners who have been informed by me do not take appropriate actions to inform the agencies.

Furthermore BigStock was informed on multiple occasions to remove the images and they did not consider banning him up to this point.

Something is really off here.

alias

« Reply #71 on: October 07, 2009, 18:02 »
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why would any of the agencies leave his portfolios online at all ?

« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2009, 18:09 »
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His account at StockXpert is now closed, although there are still a couple of stray images showing up in searches. I've contacted IS again to ask that they get that fixed.

As far as BigStock, I didn't have any of my swiped images there so I haven't been working on that. However SS closed this @#$'s account, so I can't see how hard it would be to use SS, DT, IS, StockXpert and FT as examples and point out to BigStock that they are way out at the thin end of a limb all by themselves on this one as everyone else has closed his account.

RacePhoto

« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2009, 23:35 »
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I do agree with you as well so no hard feelings. I just want to make sure that I'm being thrown into the pot of thieves/complainers!


No that wasn't the point. Bringing this up and getting some action was good for many people.

It just takes time and hopefully all the agencies will remove him.

« Reply #74 on: October 08, 2009, 00:31 »
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why would any of the agencies leave his portfolios online at all ?

well it is important that the sites take their time to do the research and double check that the claims are true.  Otherwise people could say anyone stole their images and have portfolios improperly taken down left and right.  I suppose a site could put a freeze on an account while it is being inspected.


 

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