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Author Topic: Image theft  (Read 9692 times)
jjj
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« on: March 06, 2009, 05:52:26 AM »
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I just discovered that one of the big European newpapers has had a gallery of my images online for the last 18months or so.
I only found out as they were all credited accurately, ironically with copyright clearly ascribed to me. Yet I knew nothing about them being used.


Has anyone here had this happen and what steps did they take?


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francois
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 06:06:18 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
I just discovered that one of the big European newpapers has had a gallery of my images online for the last 18months or so.
I only found out as they were all credited accurately, ironically with copyright clearly ascribed to me. Yet I knew nothing about them being used.


Has anyone here had this happen and what steps did they take?
It all depends on your country's laws. I would consult a lawyer and file a legal complaint against them. Here in Switzerland I would probably be screwed…
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Francois
Petrjay
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 07:46:06 AM »
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If the pictures are properly credited and they're not being sold, I don't see how it falls under the category of theft; they're just displaying them without permission. Call the paper and tell them you want the pictures taken down. If you enjoy the company of lawyers, you should probably consult one. Here in the U.S., it's highly likely that all you'd wind up with is a legal bill and a bad taste in your mouth. Unless the copyright is registered with the U.S. Patent Office, all you're entitled to are actual damages, (no legal fees or punitive damages) and if the offending publication doesn't ordinarily pay a fee for such displays, it's a lousy bet that there will be any damages to collect that are worth the hassle. If this is the worst thing that happens to you, consider yourself lucky. Anything you post online is going to be copied and used by somebody, somewhere. If you're putting high-quality images on the internet, it's like leaving your wallet on a park bench and expecting it to be there when you get back.

Peter J
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alainbriot
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2009, 11:33:46 AM »
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Ask for a link back to your site and another to your email address.  That way you get traffic and sales (if you have a commercial site).  It's a win win situation.  If they refuse, then ask that your photographs be removed from their site.
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Alain Briot
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jjj
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2009, 12:21:30 PM »
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Quote from: Petrjay
If the pictures are properly credited and they're not being sold, I don't see how it falls under the category of theft; they're just displaying them without permission.
Duh! Theft is taking things without permission. If they had asked me to use them, I would have sold them a licence to use it.  So they have stole them. Would you describe shoplifting as simply borrowing things without permission?

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jjj
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2009, 12:24:41 PM »
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Quote from: alainbriot
Ask for a link back to your site and another to your email address.  That way you get traffic and sales (if you have a commercial site).  It's a win win situation.  If they refuse, then ask that your photographs be removed from their site.
As I charge from reproduction, all that may do is increase the amount of image theft from my sites.
I am about to put some new sites online and was debating about watermarking. I think this has simply decided for me.
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feppe
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Oh this shows up in here!


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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 12:58:39 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
Duh! Theft is taking things without permission. If they had asked me to use them, I would have sold them a licence to use it.  So they have stole them. Would you describe shoplifting as simply borrowing things without permission?

I know we're talking about legal semantics, but what you are describing is copyright infringement. Theft would imply you have been deprived of the goods - which is impossible with digital data unless they pilfer your RAWs along with your hard disk.

Funny (?) aside: in Finland the legal term for stealing a car translates roughly to "unauthorized commandeering." No, I'm not kidding. I don't know exactly at what point it becomes theft, though. I guess stealing cars for drunken joyrides are so widespread they had to make a distinction to avoid putting too many people behind bards...

But I agree with Alain: just request politely for linkback while reminding you hold the copyright. Anything you put online will be copied, infringed upon, and used. But that only happens if the work is good enough - so there's your silver lining
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 12:59:00 PM by feppe » Logged

jjj
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 01:02:32 PM »
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Quote from: feppe
Funny (?) aside: in Finland the legal term for stealing a car translates roughly to "unauthorized commandeering." No, I'm not kidding. I don't know exactly at what point it becomes theft, though. I guess stealing cars for drunken joyrides are so widespread they had to make a distinction to avoid putting too many people behind bards...
In the UK there's the term twocking.  TWOC - Taking with out consent - otherwise known as joyriding. Not sure if the police still persist with the term as it was much derided when first used.
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Petrjay
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2009, 01:21:29 PM »
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Duh! Nobody stole anything. Go buy yourself a dictionary.
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gadget
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2009, 01:47:29 PM »
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Definitions and dictionaries may need updating in light of web commerce.



Quote from: Petrjay
Duh! Nobody stole anything. Go buy yourself a dictionary.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2009, 03:25:59 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
Duh! Theft is taking things without permission. If they had asked me to use them, I would have sold them a licence to use it.  So they have stole them. Would you describe shoplifting as simply borrowing things without permission?

I suggest being pragmatic. Yes, they "stole" your images by using them without your permission, but what harm has this done you? None - and in fact you may have benefited from the exposure. Do as someone else has suggested - call or email them, explain the situation, and agree for them to use the images if they link to your site.

Peter
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Peter
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jjj
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2009, 03:56:02 PM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
I suggest being pragmatic. Yes, they "stole" your images by using them without your permission, but what harm has this done you? None - and in fact you may have benefited from the exposure. Do as someone else has suggested - call or email them, explain the situation, and agree for them to use the images if they link to your site.
Why should they be allowed to use my work without paying? This is a major national newpaper, with deep pockets who would be very annoyed and broke if people took copies off newstand without paying. I could argue that I could shoplift to make up for lack of earnings, as no-one actually is harmed by my actions.
I find it odd that some photographers seem to think it OK for big businesses to simply help themselves to photographer's work.
And no I haven't benefitted. Two reasons - I would have discovered the images earlier if they had gained me work, the only work I been asked to do from that country was from someone who saw my work in another country altogether.

Being pragmatic to my mind is charging them for the usage.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2009, 04:35:46 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
Why should they be allowed to use my work without paying? This is a major national newpaper, with deep pockets who would be very annoyed and broke if people took copies off newstand without paying. I could argue that I could shoplift to make up for lack of earnings, as no-one actually is harmed by my actions.
I find it odd that some photographers seem to think it OK for big businesses to simply help themselves to photographer's work.
And no I haven't benefitted. Two reasons - I would have discovered the images earlier if they had gained me work, the only work I been asked to do from that country was from someone who saw my work in another country altogether.

Being pragmatic to my mind is charging them for the usage.

Fine, if you want to get on your high horse and be all indignant about it, be my guest. I was not saying that what they did was right - clearly it was not - but I was suggesting that you do what's best for YOU, given the situation.

Also, if you really think that no one is harmed by shoplifting, I suggest you think again.

Peter
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Peter
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jjj
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2009, 04:42:00 PM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
Also, if you really think that no one is harmed by shoplifting, I suggest you think again.
I don't think shoplifting is without effect - that was my point.

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Fine, if you want to get on your high horse and be all indignant about it, be my guest..
And if you to be a patronising jerk.... oh you already are.

Quote
...but I was suggesting that you do what's best for YOU, given the situation.
What, let them get away with it? Fantastic advice. Not.

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PeterAit
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2009, 05:17:52 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
I don't think shoplifting is without effect - that was my point.

And if you to be a patronising jerk.... oh you already are.

What, let them get away with it? Fantastic advice. Not.

Sorry, I thought I was talking to an adult. My mistake.

Peter
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Peter
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alainbriot
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2009, 05:23:33 PM »
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On the internet image misappropriation is common.  The challenge is finding if your images were used by someone without permission.

This site can help you find that out:

tineye.com/

Upload or enter the link to one of your photographs and see what you find.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 05:25:57 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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Petrjay
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2009, 07:28:43 PM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
Sorry, I thought I was talking to an adult. My mistake.

Peter

Don't let it throw you Peter. He/she/it is one of those creatures that it just doesn't pay to be nice to. Count your blessings. How'd you like to live with someone like that?

Peter J
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kikashi
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2009, 04:03:19 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
In the UK there's the term twocking.  TWOC - Taking with out consent - otherwise known as joyriding. Not sure if the police still persist with the term as it was much derided when first used.
Theft is the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property. You were not deprived of property, permanently or transiently, and there was therefore no theft.

The offence of taking without owner's consent was developed because it was hard, if not impossible, to prove the necessary intent to prosecute joyriders for theft. They had no interest in whether the owner of the car recovered it.

You are the victim of copyright infringement, not theft. I'm not suggesting it hurts any less, but it usually pays to get the terminology right before considering what action to take.

Jeremy
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jjj
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2009, 04:39:07 AM »
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Quote from: alainbriot
On the internet image misappropriation is common.  The challenge is finding if your images were used by someone without permission.

This site can help you find that out:

tineye.com/
Ta, Alain, TinEye is a very clever tool, but has not yet managed to index enough of the web yet to be definitive. Plus, I think flash imagery may be invisible to it.
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jjj
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 04:43:49 AM »
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Quote from: PeterAit
Sorry, I thought I was talking to an adult. My mistake.
Well, why were you talking to me like a naughty child then?
Hence the patronising comment.
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