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Author Topic: envato and copyright  (Read 32080 times)

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« Reply #100 on: January 27, 2012, 10:07 »
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... With respect to reviewers, as I mentioned in the Notes post, we've asked the review team to use more of their discretion in reviewing items. This means for instance they might reject an item with a blatantly obvious photo of a celebrity. However it relies on the reviewer knowing and recognizing that celebrity, so is not meant to be a prevention, and does not mean authors should rely on this in any way.

I appreciate you coming back to this forum to inform everyone about the current situation at Envato!

I'm not quite sure if your legal department has verified what you are posting here but to me (and I'm NOT a lawyer - however a long time contributor to other agencies) this statement appears not thoroughly advised by a professional.

The sole purpose of model and property releases is to ensure that the contributor has the right to publish the images. That's why ALL Envato contributors should provide a release or other authorizing document that explains their rights to publish that content. Otherwise there is no way to make sure that ANY photo that is included in a template/flyer/Envato product is used legally.

This does sound terrifying to your whole business operations as Envato has many thousands of products in the marketplace that have been submitted/reviewed and passed without releases.

Every single one of them could be a lawsuit waiting to happen. As we have a saying around here:
"I would be sh!tting bricks right now!".

Furthermore, and I don't know if this was already mentioned before:

Why would Envato allow the use of a product preview that does NOT represent of what is actually in the file sold?

This is really misleading.

Envato may be standing in a legal gray zone here with that strategy but to me this doesn't look professional at all to let/allow blatant copyright infringement happen on the front page just because it's written in the description that the illegally used photos are not included.

If they are not included - why are they shown then? I hope you understand my point here.

Envato is not innocent here and I simply cannot suger code this: Using images of Disney and other brands without being recognized during the review process makes me wonder what the reviewers are actually paid for.

By now, as you have mentioned, the infringements of the first 2 pages of this thread have been reviewed/removed from the marketplace. How long is this "clean up" process supposed to last until Envato can provide a transparent and properly licensed product?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 10:10 by click_click »


« Reply #101 on: January 27, 2012, 11:17 »
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Excellent points and questions Click.

Yeah, Disney no one to fool with. They go after grandmothers who sell Minnie Mouse dolls at flea markets.

The images are being used by those who don't care to create or legally procure their own in order to increased Perceived Value, which of course can be sometime much different than the actual value.


« Reply #103 on: January 28, 2012, 09:02 »
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... A crude analogy is that when you buy a blender from the mall, there will be a picture on the front showing the blender with a bunch of food in it. But you don't expect the food to actually be sold with the blender. ...
OK, now you are comparing apples and oranges (nu pun intended).

While the blender manufacturer adds the fruit into the blender when the product images are being taken, P.Diddy wasn't aware that his face was used on an Envato flyer.

Those are two completely different things.

First of all, it wasn't the same photographer who published the flyer and who took the portrait shoot of P.Diddy, which would have been the shortest stretch of why someone would use a photo in their own flyer.

Secondly, I'm quite confident to assume that Envato never received a model release from P.Diddy ...

Here is another "comparison" if you like them so much:

Just because a celebrity is lending their face for let's say a car commercial, I as a buyer of course don't expect to purchase the celebrity along with the car.

However, the celebrity GOT PAID to promote the car.

How can you/Envato not understand that if you are in this thing for profit, using photos and logos of major brands and people, that this requires the consent of the copyright owners in question.


Oh and here another one. Let's talk about Photodune shall we?

Let's say I took a photo of a business office interior. According your analogy, I would be allowed, to use one of Yuri's images (one with a smiling, pretty model) that I could isolate and incorporate into my shot of the business office to demonstrate who the product CAN look like?

Then the buyer downloads the photo to discover that the model is gone and they only got the office background?

Is this how we photographers are supposed to increase our sales at Envato? Using other people's work to make our stuff look better?

Remember, I used the example of taking one of Yuri's models, which of course is totally illegal. However, as you said, Envato reviewers cannot know every brand and every celebrity and therefore have to use their best judgement. How is that supposed to work in the future if Envato does not enforce model and property releases for content that has to be released?

I feel like I'm running around on a Turkish bazaar, where they sell Benetton and Lacoste shirts for $3 a piece.

Microbius

« Reply #104 on: January 28, 2012, 09:09 »
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 I don't have time to continue this argument, but as it seems to be having zero impact there isn't any point anyway.

Asking reviewers to stop only the files where celebrities or films have been obviously infringed shows again it is not that you care that people are stealing IP on the site, but care that you might be sued by a big studio. It does nothing to protect photographers who are having stockphotos stolen.

I am really disappointed to see that there have been no real changes to procedure. I am not surprised as it has been made clear that it has come up may times on your forums with no results. And as many of the clearest infringing files were top sellers and featured in news letters and the like it's pretty obvious what the attitude of the site is.

No one is asking for a 100% guarantee, but some kind of over-site for a collection that you curate would be in order. Again, every other stock site that sells graphic elements asks for verification links or files and closes accounts when violations occur.
But then again, they would never have been in a position where their top selling files clearly breach copyright as they actually do care about copyright rather than just paying lip service (or at least see the hypocrisy of selling licences for image use while turning a blind eye to theft on their own sites).

Are we to believe that:
A. You and your staff had never seen the flyers on the site that prominently featured the Tron Poster and the Iron Man Poster or the Web template that prominently featured various animated films even though they are top selling files from featured authors and featured in collections and emails newsletters or
B. That you saw them but didn't realise that that was a copyright violation? Or
C. that you saw them but loved raking in money from their sales so much you didn't care?

I won't answer the question for you but I think the answer is clear.

Given that this was your attitude a couple of days ago a massive cultural shift overnight (ever?) cannot be expected.

Sufficed to say I would never consider purchasing a file form one of your sites for a client, as I cannot have any confidence that I would not end up being sued for use of stolen IP.

My attitude has changed from I really hope that you get the site sorted out to I really hope you get sued so you finally learn a lesson

« Reply #105 on: January 28, 2012, 12:38 »
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Sufficed to say I would never consider purchasing a file form one of your sites for a client, as I cannot have any confidence that I would not end up being sued for use of stolen IP.

My attitude has changed from I really hope that you get the site sorted out to I really hope you get sued so you finally learn a lesson


Plenty of examples at http://www.extortionletterinfo.com/forum/index.php that show how Getty Images loves to sue innocent people who buy templates containing stolen images.

This part is stunning:
Quote
Model and property releases are a distinct issue from copyright issues however.

With copyright, it's important to understand that the DMCA process exists to help sites like ours function without drowning under the weight of checking for every possible copyright issue.


I get the impression Envato thinks we're amateurs instead of the law-abiding professionals that we are.  It's just ridiculous.  Proper releases, especially property releases, exist to ensure copyrights and trademarks aren't being violated for commercial purposes.  And DMCA notices often come with hefty bills attached and threats of legal action.  In fact, I just sent one myself to another company for failing to remove my portfolio in a timely manner.  They owe me almost $9,000 in license fees for using my images without my permission after our contract was terminated.  

When I was a reviewer at LuckyOliver, we were ALWAYS on the lookout for stolen images.  ALWAYS!!!!!!  The last thing we wanted was for our company or customers to be sued for copyright infringement.  No one cared how much extra time it took to investigate a possible stolen image or whether an image required a property release.  The most important part of our job was protecting the rights of IP owners.

I find it remarkable that a company, which has an amazing win-win solution with PhotoDune right there at its fingertips, won't utilize our suggestions for solutions.  It's very frustrating.  I guess they just don't care that a ticking time bomb can and will explode at any moment.

We've given plenty of warnings and all we've gotten in return are pathetic excuses and half-measures.  Microbius' last sentence are my sentiments exactly.    

  

« Reply #106 on: January 28, 2012, 14:28 »
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Quote
Model and property releases are a distinct issue from copyright issues however.

Yes too bad they don't know the distinction.

The impression I get from the Envato people through all this is that "Hey, we're just going to keep doing it." That's pretty pompous. Well they won't have such a casual attitude when Getty comes knocking.

« Reply #107 on: January 28, 2012, 15:42 »
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This thread has reminded me of Lady Gaga one year old copyright issue. It's OT at the moment but it could change one fine day.

http://www.photographybay.com/2011/05/18/lady-gaga-demands-copyright-to-photos-taken-at-her-concert/

« Reply #108 on: January 29, 2012, 04:31 »
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This thread has reminded me of Lady Gaga one year old copyright issue. It's OT at the moment but it could change one fine day.

http://www.photographybay.com/2011/05/18/lady-gaga-demands-copyright-to-photos-taken-at-her-concert/


Yes I heard about this in the news when it was going around. There are pics of her on there. She's feisty I hear ;-)

« Reply #109 on: January 29, 2012, 11:56 »
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This thread has reminded me of Lady Gaga one year old copyright issue. It's OT at the moment but it could change one fine day.

http://www.photographybay.com/2011/05/18/lady-gaga-demands-copyright-to-photos-taken-at-her-concert/


Yes I heard about this in the news when it was going around. There are pics of her on there. She's feisty I hear ;-)


Betcha Beyonce is, too.  Found a portfolio using both her name and photo on more than a dozen templates.

collis

  • Hello! I work at Envato!
« Reply #110 on: January 30, 2012, 02:35 »
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Hey guys, back with a few more comments!


@click_click:

I think perhaps I should have been clearer in answering your prior question. I was explaining why an image might be used to illustrate a flyer usage, even though the image is not included in the download.

The answer is that it helps the buyer understand usage scenarios for what they are purchasing. But nonetheless the image being used to show these usage scenarios *should* be licensed correctly, I was by no means saying that a photo of P.Diddy would be suitable!

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my last message.



@microbius:

I really appreciate you taking the time to give your feedback, so please don't think that there's no point!

I understand you don't feel we are doing enough. We are certainly going to be doing more to educate authors. Community education has gone a long way on other author issues, and I have faith that our community of authors will respond, and in fact already are responding, well to this.

Anyhow, again I appreciate all the feedback you've given in the thread, and its highlighted an area that we are going to work on more in future.



@karimala:

Hey karimala, I think perhaps I've somehow given the wrong impression. By no means do I think that the photographers on Microstockgroup are amateurs or not law-abiding professionals. If there is one thing I've learnt over the years its that photographers are, on the whole, very well informed on the law! My father-in-law is a long practising photographer who gave me a lot of help with this stuff when I was a freelance graphic designer some years ago.

As with my comments above to microbius, I'm sorry you feel frustrated by my responses. I do believe that the tack we are taking will result in our author community being more informed of their obligations and responsibilities, and is the right approach for our marketplaces.

 
---

Alright guys, again thank you for all the feedback. I do believe that by and large our authors are doing the right thing, and with some more work we'll make sure they all are informed and help bring new authors similarly up to speed.

Thanks

« Reply #111 on: January 30, 2012, 19:40 »
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@ collis
From all blindness above I see that the only option for us Dune authors is to take withdrawal option more often before Envatos account runs dry in upcoming sues.

man
look at my post on 4th page

ORDER/COMMAND to you reviewers or inspectors to go through all marketplace items and put all possible "gray" infrigment items on soft rejections.
When authors edit and update they items and "gray" preview files with appropriate releases and new previews then you approved they items for sale again.

I dont know what is so hard you to understand what you authors are doing in way of presenting they work but I know for sure if I do what they do and submit this kind of work to other stock places Ill be immediately kick from this sites without any warnings to change or disable file or something. While your copyright behavior is less rigorous than on the various "rapid, mega, share" pirate sites!!!

Is Envato stock company or share company?


« Reply #113 on: January 31, 2012, 13:44 »
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« Reply #115 on: January 31, 2012, 16:44 »
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« Reply #116 on: January 31, 2012, 17:14 »
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<sarcasm>
Come on, cut PD some slack. They just applied the new restrictions a few days ago.
And not everyone knows Kylie Minogue. Can you really consider her a VIP or celebrity? She's only sold 63+ million records worldwide...  :P
</sarcasm>

« Reply #117 on: January 31, 2012, 18:00 »
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<sarcasm>
And not everyone knows Kylie Minogue. Can you really consider her a VIP or celebrity?

Oh so she's like Snookie then  : :D

« Reply #118 on: February 10, 2012, 10:30 »
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has anyone tipped off any of the copyright holders?

I would think some of these stars would love to see their photo's being used...

I just wish they would of used some of mine!!!!

« Reply #119 on: February 10, 2012, 22:05 »
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Even better limit authors to Photodune and your own legit free sources then you can keep track, levels the playing field too.

ETA if you do this I'm sure a lot of photogs will give permission for free use in previews as it will mean more sales to customers wanting to recreate the same flyer etc.


I have been following this thread with interest, as I had just signed up to be a contributer with PhotoDune.   I did notice on a thread in their forums that the Member TOS already allows use of watermarked Photodune images on previews as long as a link back is provided.   I hadn't seen it mentioned here before, but maybe this is already common knowledge.   Personally, I am OK with that for my images, but I thought I would post for others who missed it in the TOS.

From the Member TOS (http://photodune.net/legal/membership):
You agree and acknowledge that an Envato affiliate can use your watermarked previews in their promotion of the Sites. No compensation is due or payable for such uses of your preview.

You agree that a Seller may use a watermarked preview of your Product in a preview of another Product without requiring permission from you, without violating your copyright and without providing monetary compensation to you. The Seller must credit such usage by providing a link to your Product.

Microbius

« Reply #120 on: February 11, 2012, 02:04 »
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Yep they made that change I think as a response to this issue. Their MOD went through on the relevant thread on their forum inserting the fact that they had changed the terms meaning other authors could use your work free of charge as long as it's watermarked.
I assumed they would have let contributors know?
Did they not send out an email or anything telling contributors?
I saw it as a positive change as long a contributors were informed.

ETA: e.g. here
http://graphicriver.net/forums/thread/important-use-of-assets-in-previews-on-envato-marketplaces/58291?page=2
"EDIT By Jordan_M: Its actually a new part of our terms of use that authors can use watermarked photos from PhotoDune as part of their previews without prior permission from the author."
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 10:16 by Microbius »

« Reply #121 on: February 11, 2012, 13:08 »
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And what about Getty? Beyonce? Modonna, The others? Last time I looked at the new incoming there things had not changed. This "created 7 Feb

http://graphicriver.net/item/24-pages-wedding-magazine-version-two/1538579?WT.ac=category_thumb&WT.seg_1=category_thumb&WT.z_author=ciolca

« Reply #122 on: February 11, 2012, 14:50 »
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And what about Getty? Beyonce? Modonna, The others? Last time I looked at the new incoming there things had not changed. This "created 7 Feb

http://graphicriver.net/item/24-pages-wedding-magazine-version-two/1538579?WT.ac=category_thumb&WT.seg_1=category_thumb&WT.z_author=ciolca


If I remember well - this one was removed and is back online.
http://graphicriver.net/item/32-pages-sports-magazine-version-three/1028881?WT.ac=portfolio_item&WT.seg_1=portfolio_item&WT.z_author=ciolca
Someone probably came to conclusion that it is legal to use Getty watermarked images.

collis

  • Hello! I work at Envato!
« Reply #123 on: February 13, 2012, 17:13 »
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Yep they made that change I think as a response to this issue. Their MOD went through on the relevant thread on their forum inserting the fact that they had changed the terms meaning other authors could use your work free of charge as long as it's watermarked.
I assumed they would have let contributors know?
Did they not send out an email or anything telling contributors?
I saw it as a positive change as long a contributors were informed.

ETA: e.g. here
http://graphicriver.net/forums/thread/important-use-of-assets-in-previews-on-envato-marketplaces/58291?page=2
"EDIT By Jordan_M: Its actually a new part of our terms of use that authors can use watermarked photos from PhotoDune as part of their previews without prior permission from the author."



Hey Microbius,

Actually 'new' is a relative term in this context. This part of our terms and conditions has been in there since 2010, so everyone joining PhotoDune would have been agreeing to this when they joined. Our marketplaces date back to 2006 however, so there are lots of authors on the other marketplaces for whom this would be new - as it applies not just to photos used in previews, but for instance audio using in VideoHive previews (which is a common usage).

Hope that clarifies!

« Reply #124 on: February 13, 2012, 17:19 »
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Yep they made that change I think as a response to this issue. Their MOD went through on the relevant thread on their forum inserting the fact that they had changed the terms meaning other authors could use your work free of charge as long as it's watermarked.
I assumed they would have let contributors know?
Did they not send out an email or anything telling contributors?
I saw it as a positive change as long a contributors were informed.

ETA: e.g. here
http://graphicriver.net/forums/thread/important-use-of-assets-in-previews-on-envato-marketplaces/58291?page=2
"EDIT By Jordan_M: Its actually a new part of our terms of use that authors can use watermarked photos from PhotoDune as part of their previews without prior permission from the author."



Hey Microbius,

Actually 'new' is a relative term in this context. This part of our terms and conditions has been in there since 2010, so everyone joining PhotoDune would have been agreeing to this when they joined. Our marketplaces date back to 2006 however, so there are lots of authors on the other marketplaces for whom this would be new - as it applies not just to photos used in previews, but for instance audio using in VideoHive previews (which is a common usage).

Hope that clarifies!


So the Getty stuff is ok then?


 

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