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Author Topic: Zazzle Content Review: Someone's claiming my photo is theirs  (Read 6074 times)

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« on: May 25, 2016, 20:49 »
Zazzle Content Review have emailed me saying that:

Design contains an image or text that may infringe on intellectual property rights. We have been contacted by the intellectual property right holder and we will be removing your product from Zazzles Marketplace due to infringement claims.

All my designs with this photo on it have been removed. The photo is absolutely mine (http://www.silken.photography/-/galleries/landscapes/-/medias/ecb52352-6ad2-4533-b60e-01211b9a5082-winter-sunset-in-iceland), taken in 2011.

Has anyone else ever had this? Any advice on the best way to prove that the image is mine?

I have responded to the email saying as much but I'm wondering what other options I have or if there's anything else I should do. I'm in Australia if that makes any difference.

« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 21:28 »
Do you have the raw file? If you have the raw file that should resolve it.

« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 21:35 »
Don't forget that you also have it in all your stock agency portfolios. Send them links of the image to each of those portfolios will strengthen your case.

I'm always afraid of something like this happening. Someone else stealing your image, then accuse you of stealing to get the agency go after the rightful owner.


« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 00:29 »
That is bad. My sympathies. Have you tried a reverse image search to try and track down if they have uploaded it to zazzle under their account?

« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 01:31 »
Two thoughts on proving the image is yours. You have the RAW file, or you have the camera and the JPEG zazzle has will have the camera serial number in the metadata (unless you strip that out).

The upload dates on the image in stock portfolios will be helpful, especially if the scammer has uploaded it to zazzle more recently.

Ages ago, I remember someone saying that they always trimmed a few pixels from the edges of all images they uploaded as stock as an insurance policy in case someone claimed the image was theirs (having the few extra pixels was something the thief couldn't produce). Any chance you cropped this image before uploading?

Is it possible that this is a competitor trying to shut you down with false DMCA notice (versus a good faith mistake)?

« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 03:58 »

« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 06:42 »
Thank you everyone. I'll send them my stock photography links, and yes I have the raw file and it is cropped, well rotated, very slightly. I've also found I have some photos from a slightly different angle but clearly the same place.

Just tried an google image search, can't find any references to the image beyond mine really.

@Jo Ann Snover - I'm such small fry I don't have any competitors known to me by name. It's all very odd.

« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 07:17 »
Nice case, maybe it's just a mistake from an other photographer. And he or she believe it's her/his image. Landscape images can be so similar among themselves. If both have taken a picture at same place. It can be possible.. it can be the answer of the mystery :)

« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 11:56 »
I can see this happening with a landmark - (I've seen dozens of interchangeable golden gate bridge shots from "that" spot) I was even at the bank and "my" photo of Niagara Falls was in their calendar.  Except it had someone elses name beside it - and the boats were in different spots.  That photo was so similar in colour and mood, both obviously from the same tower - it could have been taken by my camera in the same session.

But a non-generic landscape photo????   That can't even be an honest mistake.

« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 19:59 »
So, Zazzle finally got back to me. It wasn't a problem with my image, but the Game of Thrones people were on my tail because of the keyword "winter is coming". That keyword isn't on the image in my lightroom but I suspect I added it in a keyword-brain-storming session just for zazzle, as they've started dropping products from the marketplace that aren't updated once every six months (so once in a while I go around and update everything). I haven't watched GoT so I don't think I even consciously linked the phrase with the tv show! Goes to show how insidious marketing is. Anyway, zazzle kindly deleted all my products rather than just the keyword or warning me first. And the lesson is - beware where you might subconsciously be getting your keyword inspiration from.

« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2016, 20:52 »
It just boggles the mind.  Some entertainment company produces a show called Game of Thrones (which I've never seen) and now claims they own a phrase in the English language because they used it in the show?   And now I can't sell a photo of early ice on a pond if it's titled "Winter Is Coming"?

« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2016, 20:59 »
Basically, yup. I do find trademarking of really simple phrases mind-boggling, and I wonder if it would actually stand in a court of law, but the companies have the weight of lots of money and influence behind them and it's not worth my while to stand up to them. I did sell a few prints of that image and I've lost that placement for that product, but I suspect if I upload the again without that keyword it'll be fine.

Although whether even that's worth it or not is another argument. Zazzle isn't doing so well for me these days.


« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2016, 00:12 »
I think the keyword thing with with zazzle is different than the other agencies. The agencies are worried about being sued. Zazzle has deals with companies to sell their branded products so they don't want the likes if us getting in the way. Try selling anything with a generic superhero theme there.


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