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Author Topic: what SS says about protection against fraud (May newsletter)  (Read 7537 times)

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puravida

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lisafx

« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 14:27 »
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Very very useful information. 

I just had to send DMCA letters this week to two sites that had my images posted without permission.  One of them was on Flikr where a member had posted the image as their own and it was being given away free in multiple sizes including original. 

Flikr won't be satisfied with a simple e-mail.  You have to send a properly executed DMCA notice.  They did remove the image once they received the notice. 

Unfortunately I am still waiting on the other site to take down my image.

« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 16:19 »
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One thing that bothers me is that all we can do is to stop the image from being used.  There is no chance we will receive any compensation for someone having committed a crime. 

« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 16:23 »
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It is a huge nuisance. I'm also seeing my images pop up here and there where they don't belong. Most often Flikr

puravida

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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2009, 16:29 »
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One thing that bothers me is that all we can do is to stop the image from being used.  There is no chance we will receive any compensation for someone having committed a crime. 

That's true too. It's little consolation. I wonder why the stock sites don't do anything other than this  ???

lisafx

« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 16:39 »
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One thing that bothers me is that all we can do is to stop the image from being used.  There is no chance we will receive any compensation for someone having committed a crime. 

Actually, it isn't all we can do.  Recently I had an image of a sweet older lady used on one of those "most outrageous" tv shows in a way that upset her and was definitely over the line of sensitive use.  She was really upset and I was afraid she would never model for me again.

I researched who the production company was that made it and had a lawyer write them a letter to cease and desist.   They agreed to edit the photo out of the show and also to reimburse my lawyers fees.  Most of these people don't want to face a lawsuit and damages over a picture they paid a couple of bucks for.

While nobody got damages in this instance, I am happy to be recovering the attorney's costs (wow, attorneys are expensive!!), and the model is just relieved that something was done about it. 

She is modeling again this coming week because now she knows I am willing to protect her if I find misuse. 

« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 16:41 »
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That's true too. It's little consolation. I wonder why the stock sites don't do anything other than this  ???

The market's too big. Too many resources would have to be invested to get all claims sorted out.

It would end up that our commissions would be lowered so the agencies can pursue OUR copyright. The agencies just want to eliminate the big boys sharing stuff on rapidshare etc.

If an individual web site uses one of your images illegally, what's gonna happen? Been there done that. The web site owner claims: "I didn't know - sorry" and the case is closed. Unless you have a $1.000 loose change in your pocket to hire an IP attorney to make a claim for damages and lost license fees (lol).

One idiot got a hold of my image in full res and used it on his web site (in a smaller size). Unfortunately Google and Yahoo were indexing the file so the entire www community had free access to the high-res image. People started using it as backgrounds for their ebay auctions etc. I almost had a heart attack.

Eventually the agencies make far more money focusing on selling and marketing our images rather than  claiming damages. Usually those claims are settled in court and that takes a long time until you will see some money.

@ Lisa when you send the DMCA to the web host, just throw in a sentence mentioning that a cease and desist order is also on its way. That should get them going. I've dealt with web hosts that shut down the site within minutes.

I'm sick of it. Once you hit the point of producing material that's being ripped off in any way possible you don't want to contribute to the micros anymore. My stuff is becoming too valuable for me.

« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2009, 16:43 »
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One thing that bothers me is that all we can do is to stop the image from being used.  There is no chance we will receive any compensation for someone having committed a crime. 

Actually, it isn't all we can do.  Recently I had an image of a sweet older lady used on one of those "most outrageous" tv shows in a way that upset her and was definitely over the line of sensitive use.  She was really upset and I was afraid she would never model for me again.

I researched who the production company was that made it and had a lawyer write them a letter to cease and desist.   They agreed to edit the photo out of the show and also to reimburse my lawyers fees.  Most of these people don't want to face a lawsuit and damages over a picture they paid a couple of bucks for.

While nobody got damages in this instance, I am happy to be recovering the attorney's costs (wow, attorneys are expensive!!), and the model is just relieved that something was done about it. 

She is modeling again this coming week because now she knows I am willing to protect her if I find misuse. 


I'm really glad it worked this way for you. Putting a person into a bad light is really upsetting but happening a lot with Micro images. It's been said before that a lot of models do not know what their images could be used for. Tough times. At least with the trads you can put restrictions on the images.

« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2009, 16:45 »
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Recently I had an image of a sweet older lady used on one of those "most outrageous" tv shows in a way that upset her and was definitely over the line of sensitive use.  (...)

Lisa, on a few occasions it is possible to receive a compensation, what if this image was used in Toronto or London or Tokyo?  How far and how much would you spend to straighten things?

And what about people who redistribute images?  That is a real crime, right?  Who chases them and puts them in jail?

puravida

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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2009, 16:46 »
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.............One idiot got a hold of my image in full res and used it on his web site (in a smaller size). Unfortunately Google and Yahoo were indexing the file so the entire www community had free access to the high-res image. People started using it as backgrounds for their ebay auctions etc. I almost had a heart attack.
 

So that means that person actually bought your image , for what? 25 cents, a sub, a buck, then turned around to use it illegal?  How nice, and you probably thought you had a sale.
Hmm ! ::)

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2009, 16:56 »
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@ Lisa when you send the DMCA to the web host, just throw in a sentence mentioning that a cease and desist order is also on its way. That should get them going. I've dealt with web hosts that shut down the site within minutes.
 

Very good advice.  I will definitely do that if it happens again (and of course it's going to happen again :( )

« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2009, 16:58 »
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...So that means that person actually bought your image , for what? 25 cents, a sub, a buck, then turned around to use it illegal?  How nice, and you probably thought you had a sale.
Hmm ! ::)

Something along those lines. Someone did buy it to get the full res version, yes. But out of stupidity the web designer (probably the same person who purchased the image) used Frontpage or something like that, which resizes the images if they are too big.

The file was actually used as a small image in a web blog on a university web server. However, like I said before, Google and Yahoo indexed it and it was available for almost 2 years. No wonder my sales dropped for that image...

I'm sure I lost some money. No one to sue because the blogger "Didn't know"...  :-X

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2009, 17:11 »
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Lisa, on a few occasions it is possible to receive a compensation, what if this image was used in Toronto or London or Tokyo?  How far and how much would you spend to straighten things?


Honestly, this is a risk we all take in microstock, isn't it?  

And it's a risk we have to be honest with our models about.  After the amount of time I spend explaining possible (mis)uses of their photos to models I was honestly surprised that this lady was as upset as she was.  But she's a sweet lady and a great model so it was worth it to me to spend some money having a lawyer draft a letter.

If one of my images is misused in London, Tokyo or wherever then not much I can do about it, but also I am not likely to find out, nor are the models.  

Guess I will have to take each on a case by case basis.  I think the vast majority of them can be resolved pretty cheaply with a letter though.  

The company I wrote to that agreed to take the image off the show was owned by Turner Broadcasting.  I assume they have deep pockets if they wanted to pursue it but clearly it wasn't worth it to them.  Especially since my demands were modest and reasonable.  

« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2009, 17:15 »
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Honestly, this is a risk we all take in microstock, isn't it?  

Yes, but the stock sites could do something about this. 

zymmetricaldotcom

« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2009, 17:15 »
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1. Don't give away images for next to nothing on subscription and desperate people can't pirate them effectively, it's very simple economics
2. Use a different password on every site on the internet (nice firefox plugin here: https://lastpass.com/ )  and you will avoid people stealing your info to commit fraudulent purchases and/or downloading your files directly from photog backup archive features
3. File your images with your official governmental copyright office and make the decision really simple for the honorable Joe Q busy judge who really has better things to do (and more morally offensive crimes to contemplate) than read up on the current laws regarding the internets
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 17:21 by zymmetrical »

puravida

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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2009, 17:53 »
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Another thing I wonder. Do these crooks find only little people or not so big sellers ?
lisafx is a big seller too, relatively speaking, but why do we not hear about Yuri ,etc..
having this problem. There has to be a problem or else SS would not make this topic known.
I wonder if this is like the same with credit card companies not admitting there is a problem, that people like Yuri do have that problem but don't say it. Or is it that the thieves feel they could get away if they don't try it on people like Yuri. Simply because they know he has the clout and connections to stop them.

« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2009, 17:59 »
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1. Don't give away images for next to nothing on subscription and desperate people can't pirate them effectively, it's very simple economics
That would exclude Shutterstock. They are still my #1 microstock earner... and for a few others. Their reputation is outstanding. Whatever next to nothing means - if you start with SS you get 25 cents no matter how good or bad you are...
Quote
2. Use a different password on every site on the internet (nice firefox plugin here: https://lastpass.com/ )  and you will avoid people stealing your info to commit fraudulent purchases and/or downloading your files directly from photog backup archive features
True. 101 of being safe on the internet.
Quote
3. File your images with your official governmental copyright office and make the decision really simple for the honorable Joe Q busy judge who really has better things to do (and more morally offensive crimes to contemplate) than read up on the current laws regarding the internets
Technically absolutely correct.

Realistically I couldn't find a lawyer on contingency basis in 2 US states although having registered copyright. Lawyers want to see money upfront or deal with a case the delivers a significant sum in order to obtain their share. It's near impossible to prove actual damages and when they see what you should have received as a licensing fee they'll just laugh at you. They don't work for a $5 image if they usually charge $300-$500 per hour.


« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2009, 18:11 »
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Another thing I wonder. Do these crooks find only little people or not so big sellers ?
lisafx is a big seller too, relatively speaking, but why do we not hear about Yuri ,etc..
having this problem. There has to be a problem or else SS would not make this topic known.
I wonder if this is like the same with credit card companies not admitting there is a problem, that people like Yuri do have that problem but don't say it. Or is it that the thieves feel they could get away if they don't try it on people like Yuri. Simply because they know he has the clout and connections to stop them.

Maybe Yuri will tell us what his experience is...

My guess: His images are great. No doubt that he is a victim of copyright infringement. Now, having established that Microstock is distributing images all over the planet and considering his sales figures (up to 1.000 images a day just on SS) I believe it is somewhat impossible for him to trace any particular image down for infringement.

He would have to answer that. Technically he needs an army of people screening the internet verifying licenses. His stats says he is selling 1.1 mill. licenses per year. That breaks down to over 3000 images a day. Who . can keep track of each and every one of his images?

I'd assume he focuses on producing more great content rather than meeting with lawyers all day long.

I'm sure though that some special cases do deserve his attention when his material shows on national TV or something like that. Stuff that is actually traceable even for him.

But that's exactly the point, you have to focus on your work. Don't let your work flow get interrupted by this copyright stuff. It'll drive you mad if you let it get to you. The days that I spent all day writing DMCA letters are over. I accepted the issue and focus on my work.

That's why I posted a few weeks ago, that everyone of us should post web sites here on the forum that distribute our work for free. This way we can look out for each other. It's impossible for every one of us to do it on our own.

« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2009, 21:33 »
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Who did that awesome burglar illustration in the article?

Oh yeah, it was me.  :D

« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2009, 21:56 »
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Who did that awesome burglar illustration in the article?

Oh yeah, it was me.  :D

It is awesome.  Wish I could draw like you :)

« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2009, 16:06 »
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Thanks.

lisafx

« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2009, 17:58 »
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Another thing I wonder. Do these crooks find only little people or not so big sellers ?


I think the crooks who resell micro images are mostly targeting vectors.  That is why you don't see a lot of photographers complaining of the problem IMO.

Milinz

« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2009, 18:05 »
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It is so blatant that some people just buy images from SS and then upload not even changed back...

Interesting to see...

Also, there are copies and copy-cats which are quite OK if you ask me... I've found some great variants of my ideas...

But, somewhere must be drawn some red line...


 

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