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Messages - Roxxstock

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1
Well this is an interesting thread, I've only just come across it. I'm not going to give my view as it differs from Roxxstocks' and I'm not really in the mood for the abuse he's thrown at other contributors here.

Suffice to say lets hope "I REST MY CASE" does actually mean he will rest his case, as he can't obviously see that at least 90% of the people on here do not agree with his opinions.

Druid
I have not thrown any abuse at anyone in this thread (apart from the Swede who miraculously disappeared and *** ***** who deserved it.

What you do not see (but I do) is a very significant number of people that relish this debate of plagiarism (by email). 120 (ish) people posting but over 2,700 reading the thread. You do the math. I am not alone. Not alone at all. And trust me, it is not 90%.

2

1. Keywords. Yes, everyone amends, adjusts and updates keywords to get a premium position in certain sites best match/Relevant matches etc. But these keywords were exactly the same, to the point they were in the same order and line breaks matched perfectly.

Setting aside the clear "coincidence" of exactly the same keywords for a moment, there is a reason they were in the same order - SS automatically resorts the keywords into alphabetical order.  Any group of keywords that just happened to be the same would be in the same order.  
Correct they do. But 'setting aside' dismisses the fact they are exactly the same. Come on. This is not a co-incidence.

Setting it aside because I wasn't debating the issue of the sameness.  They are.  But you are making an issue about them being in the same order too and I was pointing out that it's because it's alphabetized.  The order and the line breaks cannot be considered proof the words were cut and paste copies because any group of keywords that were the same would be in the same order.
.

I rest my case.

There are (apparently) 999,985 words in the English Language (we're just a few short of one million). The image keywords on the 'offending image' totalled 49. That's 49 exactly the same unique keywords out of 999,985. Yeah you do appear to be right, probably a coincidence. And they would appear in the same order, because as you rightly point out, they're alphabetized.

3

1. Keywords. Yes, everyone amends, adjusts and updates keywords to get a premium position in certain sites best match/Relevant matches etc. But these keywords were exactly the same, to the point they were in the same order and line breaks matched perfectly.

Setting aside the clear "coincidence" of exactly the same keywords for a moment, there is a reason they were in the same order - SS automatically resorts the keywords into alphabetical order.  Any group of keywords that just happened to be the same would be in the same order. 
Correct they do. But 'setting aside' dismisses the fact they are exactly the same. Come on. This is not a co-incidence.

4
The real issue though is that there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that an accusation is enough to condemn someone and that is just not right.  I wouldn't finger a pickpocket in Saudi even if he had robbed me because I know what would happen to him.

200% agree.
If the punishment (by SS) is worse than the crime, I would not finger the thief either.

This really sums up the whole thread nicely.  I don't think that the real issue is pointing out suspected copycats or not.  It's that the response seems to be so extreme.  

Members ought to be allowed to discuss possible instances of copying without fear of hasty and draconian measures being taken.

We should all be able to have confidence that our agents will do a thorough and fair investigation in response to accusations of copying.  Unless they do, we are all potentially in jeopardy.  
And why are you automatically assuming that SS did not do such due diligence in this case? You don't know, I don't know if they did or did not. How do any of us even know if in fact the photographer closed his own account in advance of any investigation? Most posters on this forum are 'assuming' SS closed his account. This is pure speculation. The only thing that is clear (for me) is that there is a very persistent view that SS admin have 'over-reacted' in this matter. That is unfair and completely unsubstantiated. SS is not the world's number one agency by some accident. They are where they are because they are the best at what they do, and I (for one) do not believe they 'automatically' disconnect their contributors on a mere whim. SS are better than that.

If this were a thread about an iStockphoto contributor being cut loose I would probably agree with the current sentiment but please, SS do not behave like iStockphoto and hopefully never will, that is why they are the number one agency.

I have tried to present information that I can substantiate in this particular matter, for all we know the 'culprit' (if he is) has cut himself loose and run-free before any action has been taken. You know as well as I do, you can close your account in a few moments, and bang, you're gone. And FTR - if this guy had been a istock contributor i probably would never have exposed him as a copycat - I always believed that within the SS environment he would have at least have had a chance of fair assessment, and for all we know, he has.

5
^^^ Your ignorance and arrogance is truly breathtaking. I'd think you were doing it for comedic effect but unfortunately it appears that you are just being yourself.
[/quote]
That's a little rich coming from an infamous contributor that is both derided (and blocked) as much as you are. The truth is, the 'resident' alpha males that think they own this site and all the content posted herein fall substantially short when it comes to debating serious issues that affect all stock photographers. You cannot substantiate your arguments, you fail miserably in getting your point across articulately and convince nobody. You do not have to look too deeply to see what I mean, even within this thread. And as for arrogance Joe, that really is calling the pot black!  :)

6
Thanks for your post - I think everyone here now knows one thing 100%  :)

Yep despite being shown by various people that not everything you see on the internet is fact, you're stubbornly sticking to the self belief that you're right about everything  ::)

And it appears you've decided to start insulting people based on the country they come from:

Finally, I find it just a little odd that a Swede can lecture anyone about wrongful accusations without any evidence, how do you know my real name isn't Julian Assange?

Which ironically is something people have been banned from this forum for, so on that note I'm done with this thread.
I'm sure your contributions to what is actually a serious issue won't be missed. But thanks for stopping by.

7
Actually it's neither and I know why it appears like that, but my point to you once again is this -  you do not know 100% of the facts about the two images in your OP.

OT FYI - I did a hard reset on my camera and didn't reset the date hence it shows the wrong date on that image, but as gostwyck points out above I could put in any date I wanted.
[/quote]

Of course. You're absolutely right. The copycat photographer deliberately set his camera to show the 3rd February 2012 to show he took his image one month after the 'original image' was uploaded. Just in case no one noticed the keyword, title, and oh, of course, the exact same image similarity did not give him away. Way to go RT. Great work!

Thanks for your post - I think everyone here now knows one thing 100%  :)

8
I did read your post carefully. Can I say if you had read my posts carefully you would have seen that "the German guy" took his picture on 3 February 2012. I even posted a screen grab off the DT page which listed this date from the EXIF data. Not even Houdini could have posted an image before it was even in his camera.

According to the 'EXIF data' on one of my latest images uploaded to DT the photo was taken in 2009, it was taken and uploaded last month.
There must be either something wrong with your camera then or DT are publishing inaccurate information on their site. Take the matter up with them. I am sure they'll be interested to know something is a miss.

9
As pointed out there are any number of reasons why the guy could be innocent despite the evidence and, even if guilty, I'm not aware that picture ideas are copyrighted or there would be a hell of a lot of people in big trouble.  The real issue though is that there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that an accusation is enough to condemn someone and that is just not right.  I wouldn't finger a pickpocket in Saudi even if he had robbed me because I know what would happen to him.

Who mentioned copyright, one time, ever in this thread?
It's plagiarism.

Completely different thing. That's what is not acceptable to most libraries, and artists too for that matter.

Case in point, if you don't think that in this case there is not very convincing even if it not 'overwhelming  evidence' I give up.

10
I did respond to your scenario:

The 'original' poster is a resident in the Russian Republic. The copycat poster is a German guy. I checked as I have stated a few times before posting the OP (aka Original Post)

I checked the people were not the same.

And regarding the link, it is the same actually. The person was named exactly the same.

So are you saying only the affected artist can identify a copycat on this forum site and no-one else can?

I read that but it doesn't respond to my scenario, all that shows is that it's two different artists and that one uploaded the image to SS before the other, it doesn't show who created the original image first, which, if you read my scenario carefully it may make sense - in short my scenario asks  - what if the Russian guy had copied the image from the German guy who used to be an exclusive on iStock.

As for your last line, it's not my forum but if you applied those rules at least it would lessen the chance of wrongly accusing someone.

FTR - I don't think what you've done is morally wrong and I'm sure you had good intent for something that the majority of us agree in, I just think it's risky to 'out' someone like this unless you are 100% certain of the facts, which, when it concerns images appearing on stock photography agencies is very hard to judge for sure.

And as I and others have noticed from this and other examples the agencies just appear to make snap, possibly income affecting decisions and then ban someone.

I did read your post carefully. Can I say if you had read my posts carefully you would have seen that "the German guy" took his picture on 3 February 2012. I even posted a screen grab off the DT page which listed this date from the EXIF data. Not even Houdini could have posted an image before it was even in his camera.

*. This is getting to a point where I wish someone would lock this thread.

11
Exactly, what is done is done, right or wrong.

@Roxxstock - for the sake of argument. I know you go on about the keywords and titles being identical. They are all editable...I often go over my keywords, titles, categories years after original upload...hypothetically the "original" could have done just that, searched for similars and copied the "copy-cat". Perhaps far-fetched, but weirder things have happened. Do I check other images for keywords I might have missed, yes...don't a lot of us? Could he have had a really lazy day and found an image that was very similar and just copied the keywords...sure...bad of him, yes, enough to have his account terminated, not in my opinion. And there are only so many ways to keyword images that are quite simple and quite similar.

Roxxstock, would you like to show off your port(s) and are you certain that your portfolio would stand the scrutiny of not having been copied/been inspired by anyone else's concepts/ideas/models/props/style of editing/composition etc.?

The images in question are similar, not identical - and both images are similar to a lot of images scattered around the internet - still you single out one as a copy-cat and one as the original.... There are not steadfast rules regarding this, just arbitrary opinions, your action of labelling someone as a copycat set the wheel in motion for someone to have a source of income lost - I hope they didn't really need it, I really hope they were a bad deliberate copy-cat.

Fact still remains that he got "named and shamed" by you without a chance to explain himself....he could be guilty as hell or innocent like an angel...no-one should be presumed guilty without haven been proven to be so. In my opinion you never managed to get him "proven guilty without a shadow of a doubt", but you did manage to assist in getting him convicted - had you done nothing, nothing would have happen.

Normally I would ignore such a response. But I'll indulge myself as your points are completely ridiculous.

1. Keywords. Yes, everyone amends, adjusts and updates keywords to get a premium position in certain sites best match/Relevant matches etc. But these keywords were exactly the same, to the point they were in the same order and line breaks matched perfectly. You are also (probably deliberately) ignoring the time-frames in this case, they are far too close to the 'original' posting and the copycat version. Are you really so naive?

2. I have already stated (and will yet again) I do not agree that his portfolio should not have been closed completely, only the 'alleged image infringement' images until SS could have investigated.

3. There is no question that my portfolio contains images that others have created before. I do not need to give specific reasons as I know what type of images my portfolio contains - and they are completely unique, one-off's you might say.

Finally, I find it just a little odd that a Swede can lecture anyone about wrongful accusations without any evidence, how do you know my real name isn't Julian Assange?

12
What evil SS conspiracy ? Are you being serious ?

To give you an example - just today I've read on Microstock.ru about a guy who is suspended on SS basically for copying from himself - he created a vector version of one of his old drawings used as an article illustration years ago . I think he'll be reinstated eventually but the problem remains that shutterstock's procedure at the moment is shoot first then ask
[/quote]

Not my quote

Really do you know that for a fact that all it took was "one complaint" or are you making some leap of negativity into the evil SS conspiracy and ring of fear?

That was a comment from Race Photo.

It might be my fault for the confusion. I delete some of the previous (non-relevant) text when I quote reply otherwise the messages are just too big.

13



I did respond to your scenario:

The 'original' poster is a resident in the Russian Republic. The copycat poster is a German guy. I checked as I have stated a few times before posting the OP (aka Original Post)

I checked the people were not the same.

And regarding the link, it is the same actually. The person was named exactly the same.

So are you saying only the affected artist can identify a copycat on this forum site and no-one else can?

14
I beginning to be convinced that many of the people commenting here just don't get it.


I get it, and I think a lot of others get it to, I just think you went about it wrong, there's no denying that the two images are very very similar (they're not identical) and I take your word that the description and keywords were identical, but as has been pointed out to you they 'may' have been copies of copies of the original - that doesn't justify anything IMO, here's something that I don't know if you've considered, what about this hypothetical scenario:

It's no secret that iStock have upset some of it's exclusive contributors over the past year and many have 'jumped ship' and gone independent, what if the guy who's portfolio you've just announced to the world contained the "blatant copy" was in fact the original creator of the image but has only recently uploaded it to SS, what you've inadvertently done would have in actual fact had the original artists account closed and allowed the copier to continue. Feel good about yourself now?

Blatant copying is wrong no doubt about it, but this is not the place to make judgement and we're not the people to do it - contact the artists direct and let them deal with it.

The 'original' poster is a resident in the Russian Republic. The copycat poster is a German guy. I checked as I have stated a few times before posting the OP.

It's amazing how the general attitude of poster s on the MSG site has changed in only 13 months, there was a time......

http://www.microstockgroup.com/image-sleuth/happy-so-far-about-the-way-this-copycat-has-been-handled-by-the-agents/


Funny that.

15

ps people who are anonymous here claiming it's so others won't steal their best selling ideas, shouldn't be throwing glass bricks at the OP! All he pointed out was an reproduction with identical keywords.
[/quote]

It was rather more than that. It was an IDENTICAL image with the same title and identical keywords posted a month after the first 'original' image was posted.

I beginning to be convinced that many of the people commenting here just don't get it.

16
Have you considered the possibility that the two photographers know each other and were present at the same photoshoot?  I was at a shoot in December that was organized by a photographer with a studio - one of the attendants is an iStock exclusive and another (among the 7 of us that were there) is a contributor to Dreamstime.  it's very possible that we got similar images during the shoot - we each took 5 minutes with each of the three models.  If those images were found at other agencies it would be irrational to, withouth knowing the circumstances, accuse either of us of copying or stealing images.

This issue has come up multiple times over the years - whether it was husband and wife shooting or friends shooting together.

...and I am one of those that feels this issue isn't one to be addressed in a public forum while distinctly making accusations.

Please.

Rather than dignifying your ridiculous first point with an answer can I refer you to my earlier post about gnats?

Thanks.

17
Well here's your 'original' image on FT;

http://en.fotolia.com/id/38938520

... and here's another very similar image that was uploaded a little while earlier by another contributor;

http://en.fotolia.com/id/38775456

Funnily enough they both appear to have almost identical keywords too! Could it be that the 'original' contributor, whose work you were defending, is just as guilty as the contributor who your actions caused to be banned from SS?

Firstly, I never defended the 'original contributor' work - I reported the blatant copying of the 'original' contributors work by the copycat.
Secondly, My actions did not get the other photographer banned from SS, his actions did - by blatantly copying another photographers image and image details and posting on the same site.

Maybe you should take a little more time in carefully reading the posts before sounding off.

18

Wow...sorry guys but this kind of witch hunt is outrageous.  The first example was an issue but it should have been brought up in a different manner.


This thread did not start out as a 'witch hunt' and it has not developed into one either. I am also getting just a little exasperated at the 'moving goal posts' on this thread.

Just for a moment, just park to one side the processes of putting the information 'out-there', and look at the specific nature of the points I made in the OP. Please, one more time.

1. There is a successful image on SS uploaded in early January 2012. It may or may not be a unique image but it is the only stock library image at that time that looked like it did. (I know this because I checked before posting the OP)
2. Three-four weeks later an identical image is posted on SS by another photographer. When I mean identical, I mean identical.
3. The title of the image is identical. The type setting is exactly the same.
4. The keyword associated with this file are identical. When I say identical, I mean identical - even in the same order and line breaks in the keyword description.
5. The matter was not (by me) reported to SS.
6. SS decided to suspend the photographers account - all the images were affected not just the 'copycat' ones (of which there were four).
7. I posted this development on MSG.
8. Yesterday SS closed the photographers account. I posted this development on MSG as well.

Apart from a few posters here, every other person seems to willingly ignore the points 1 - 4. They are far more concerned about the processes which resulted in point 6 and 8.

FTR - I am not in agreement (at all) that the photographers entire account has been closed. One poster here implied implicitly that I should have been aware that the SS policy was to close accounts as soon as an accusation of copycat practice is reported. I was not aware this was SS policy, why would I have been?

Another poster suggested that "I rushed on this site" to post the alleged offence. Complete rubbish! I checked all the other sites this photographer and the 'original' photographers portfolios where posted to check the details of when the images were created and uploaded. I then posted the OP, quite a few hours later that same day.

The major complaint here (apart from a few) is indeed turning into a 'witch hunt' against the OP, me. They appear (at least) to feel sorry for the photographer that has been banned. I don't - the fact he showed complete contempt for the process of posting a copy image is obvious, he could not even be bothered to even change the title or keywords! However, I don't think his entire account should have been shut down but instead the copy images should have been removed. Moreover, I do not accept that SS would simply take such action unless they were confident that a breach had taken place. After all they hold all the 'facts' regarding upload dates etc. To suggest that they would take such a drastic measure on the basis of a poster on the MSG forum is absurd, and frankly is an insult to the integrity of the SS admin staff.

I accept that many people believe the process of posting the issue on an open forum was, in their opinion, wrong. They are entitled to their opinion. I don't necessarily have to agree with that view. I regret that the guy's port is down. He should not have posted a copycat image so obviously (keywords etc) and he appears to have been sanctioned for this as a result. That was not the intention of the OP, despite what many of you appear to think.

Like many, I take copyrights and related issues very seriously. I have been a member of FACT (Fed. Against Copyright Theft) for years and always check images I purchase are (as far as I can tell) legal and original. If I see a violation I have the right to report it, how and where this is done perhaps is a matter of conjecture but the principle of reporting plagiarism (when this blatant) has to be the right thing to do.

19

[/quote]

You took it upon yourself to accuse someone of being a copy-cat without contacting to give them the slightest chance to defend/explain themselves. You rushed straight to an online forum to post instead of contacting them. You assisted and succeeded in them having their account terminated.

I fail to understand why you didn't contact the contributor of the "original" and notifiy them of a potential copy-cat and let them deal with it how they saw fit?
[/quote]

Let me paste here (one of your contradictory pieces of advice):

"I would have gone about this in a slightly different way and think it would have been far classier, safer and a better thing to contact SS directly with concerns instead of straight away shame him in public."

Make your mind up.

20
I was just talking about ideas in general but if it was an exact copy right down to the keywords you're justified in raising a stink.
[/quote]

it was about a single case of an ABSOLUTE COPY of an existing image in every single detail which included, and I quote, "exactly the same keywords and image title'


It was.

21

Hopefully the instigator and the mob are happy with the outcome, fingers crossed that they are never on the receiving end of an angry mob with their minds made up before the accused one even had an honest chance to defend themselves.

Good point.
There is always someone around claiming to have invented the wheel and faces drawn on fingers have been around for decades.
There's a number of people posting on this page with IQ's that would seriously compete with that of a gnat. They don't even appear to be able to even read. The OP was not about 'faces on fingers' it was not about 'copying an idea' - it was about a single case of an ABSOLUTE COPY of an existing image in every single detail which included, and I quote, "exactly the same keywords and image title', taken 3-4 weeks after the original was uploaded (3 February) and posted on the same site! But, typically, these posters simply want to blame someone else for the events that have taken place since the OP.

They might think differently if it was their image that was copied.

FWIW - I don't think it was fair to take down the guys entire port, just the images that were copied would have been sufficient IMO.

And another thing - there was no 'mob' or 'angry villagers with pitch forks' - only a post about a flagrant and blatant copying of an existing (good selling) image.

For all the ranters berating me for posting the OP - do everyone here a favour - read the B-L-O-O-D-Y OP again before jumping, lemming like, into the mire of accusing the messenger!

If you think that SS acted inappropriately why don't you contact them yourself and make your point directly to them?

*.

22
To give some closure to this particular instance of plagiarism (and this thread), Marcel Schauer's portfolio on SS has been terminated as of this morning, 12 March. Cap attached. Even though I (really) do regret that another photographer has now lost (some) ability to earn an income, this should be a lesson to us all, that blatant copycat posting of images is not acceptable.

23
"at the bare minimum the EXIF info to see the dates when the images were taken, not just when they were uploaded."

DT used the EXIF data for their entry line stating when a picture was take. 3 February 2012. (As mentioned before in this very thread yesterday). Original image uploaded week of 7 January 2012 to SS.

Please, try and keep up.

24
"at the bare minimum the EXIF info to see the dates when the images were taken, not just when they were uploaded."

DT used the EXIF data for their entry line stating when a picture was take. 3 February 2012. (As mentioned before in this very thread yesterday). Original image uploaded week of 7 January 2012 to SS.

Please, try and keep up.

25
I would have gone about this in a slightly different way and think it would have been far classier, safer and a better thing to contact SS directly with concerns instead of straight away shame him in public. No matter how evident something looks there is still a huge scope for mistakes and someone could quite easily have their reputation tarnished permanently.

I presume I'm not the only one that from time to time upload old images (several years old), therefore something of mine could quite easily look like it was inspired by something newer when in fact I did first. I don't really check for similars before uploading, I also don't look actively at other images for inspiration nor to better someone's existing work or to copy.
It was noted how quick out of the blocks you came rebuking. I am afraid you mis-judged any motive in this particular case. And, just because you would do something different is frankly, irrelevant. The circumstances regarding this blatant copycat were looked into as thoroughly as possible before the message here was posted. If you read the entire thread you will see that. This is not a case of 'creative or inspired' interpretation. Only a completely blind person would not see the complete copycat style of the image, the titles and the keywords. All identical. Add to that the copy image was taken, uploaded and accepted into the SS library three to four weeks after the original was posted is more than compelling information. You can be in denial all you like, you're in a minority, but you're probably used to that. You are missing the point completely.

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