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Image theft

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Peter DeMott
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Re: Image theft

Postby Peter DeMott on Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:00 pm

Willful theft is rather disgusting and certainly reflects poorly on this person's character. You might post to their wall that you will be sending them an invoice at a special rate for stolen images and see what happens. (Failure to pay could lead to legal action based on the Copyright law of 1986 etc.)

Willful theft is considered by the courts under a much harsher light with stiffer penalties, however I would doubt that any real legal action would be worthwhile. The threat of action certainly gets the attention of individuals like this. If you have an attorney friend that will make a legal sounding letter for you to mail with the invoice that could be interesting and could scar the heck out of them. Mentioning federal law and potential damages and punitive actions up to whatever it is... 250,000 dollars ? per stolen image can be an eye opener.

Don't let someone's stupidity and lack of moral integrity control your life. If you are getting a knot in your stomach over this then that is not good. Rather, figure out how you can have some fun with this, maybe get some payment AND at the same time help get the information out there that is is not appropriate behavior. Make screen captures of your images and their comments and after posting to their wall, turn them in to Facebook and perhaps their account will be terminated as well. But, don't let others take control of your life.

I also don't think that making your customer experience crappy to prevent theft is a good plan. If you need to make a bolder copyright notice, go ahead. Personally I would not reduce the size of proofs too small so that the impact of the image is lost costing you sales. If you catch a shop lifter, do you then treat everyone who walks into your store as if they are shop lifters such that they no longer enjoy shopping at your store. No, you put appropriate protections in place and you keep an eye on things and when appropriate you take action. Do you get all knotted up inside? No, with a shop lifter, you just walk to the phone and call the police or security... you take appropriate action.
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Diane Horton
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Re: Image theft

Postby Diane Horton on Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:38 pm

Thanks Peter, you're right. But my shoot from the hip reaction is what I mentioned. I haven't sent the email yet because I still want to say something publically but want to calm down first. Though I will do something more with my proofs similar to Joan D and others.

Good advice, thanks again.

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Terri Miller
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Re: Image theft

Postby Terri Miller on Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:07 pm

You have a couple of courses of action:

1- report the photos to Facebook. Facebook will take them down. If you see photos belonging to other pro photographers, let them know that their photos have been stolen. If FB receives enough complaints about stolen photos, they will shut down the person's account.

2- Send the thief a SETTLEMENT OFFER. Not an invoice. If at any time in the future you chose to take the thief to court, your damages would be limited to whatever you originally invoiced her for.

I'm not a lawyer, but sometimes I dream about playing one on tv. :mrgreen:
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Diane Horton
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Re: Image theft

Postby Diane Horton on Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:52 pm

Thanks Terri, I especially like the settlement offer vs invoice. I think you'd be a wonderful tv lawyer too. :D

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Joan Davis
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Re: Image theft

Postby Joan Davis on Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:10 am

Sending you a PM Diane - or we can continue this on the general forum

Joan

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Sarah K Andrew
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Re: Image theft

Postby Sarah K Andrew on Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:24 pm

Terri Miller wrote:You have a couple of courses of action:

1- report the photos to Facebook. Facebook will take them down. If you see photos belonging to other pro photographers, let them know that their photos have been stolen. If FB receives enough complaints about stolen photos, they will shut down the person's account.

2- Send the thief a SETTLEMENT OFFER. Not an invoice. If at any time in the future you chose to take the thief to court, your damages would be limited to whatever you originally invoiced her for.

I'm not a lawyer, but sometimes I dream about playing one on tv. :mrgreen:


Great advice!
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Sharon Packer
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Re: Image theft

Postby Sharon Packer on Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:33 pm

I really like the idea of a settlement offer.
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Rebecca Bryan
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Re: Image theft

Postby Rebecca Bryan on Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:39 pm

I know this topic has been here for a few months

I'm on another photographer board and the issue of stolen images used to come up quite frequently as people were going digital with their work and personal pages, etc.

Most of those photographers don't put the majority their work online. They put enough to peak your interest and contact them, one can then go into the studio to view more samples. When it comes to a portrait shoot they have an in person viewing session in their studio or at the clients home. They only offer an online gallery or digital files after a specific purchase amount has been reached and even then the gallery only online for 2-4 weeks and is never put up before the viewing session.

With the digital age many have adapted their business model are now providing digital files sized correctly for use on personal sites as an add on purchase or with specific packages. They allow personal use which includes personal Facebook, twitter, personal blog pages, etc. These images are watermarked with the business logo in a way that doesn't distract from the photo. When clients know they have the license to use them they aren't as concerned about removing the watermark from the photo. When people see the photographer images on personal pages and tag themselves or friends it gives more exposure to their business, increases web ratings, and in the long run new clients.

Any commercial usage rights must be purchased and these guys do go after people who use the images commercially without paying for commercial rights and win.

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Re: Image theft

Postby Sharon Packer on Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:35 pm

Welcome, Rebecca and thank you for your input. Social Media is a valuable source for advertising one's work as you said. Some of us are able to close a gallery in a month, but others have work that benefits sales by remaining up far longer. I think the key factor in protecting one's work is having all work copyrighted.
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Re: Image theft

Postby McClure on Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:46 am

FaceBook WILL remove images that are copyrighted. I have had them do it before.

http://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php?howto_report

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Peter DeMott
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Re: Image theft

Postby Peter DeMott on Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:37 pm

If you have copyright information on the image in plain view and it is removed so that someone can claim it as their own or otherwise steal it, that is considered a knowing violation and has higher limits if the photo is registered. It is also very clear that they knew they were doing something wrong to remove it from plain view. Anything that I place on facebook has my copyright and web site listed and if it goes places that is fine with me, but if someone removed that information then I request that they add it back. On my smugmug, the copyright notice says "This message is not on purchased photos" or something of that nature along with my copyright and web site address. That seems very clear to me. If someone sees that on an image it is clearly stolen from my proofing web site. If something has PROOF written on it that is clearly stolen as well, but since there is frequently no identity on those, who do you tell. A big huge "©" watermark is equally useless in finding the creator.

I think any low resolution submissions should all be clearly identified on the image, not just in meta data. If it gets away from the person you sent it to they still know who to contact if they want to use the image. I remember some time back when EPN worked with a publisher to create an appointment calendar. There were dozens of submissions sent in that got separated from their emails and could not be identified. The result is that they had to be destroyed and were not used in the calendar. Seeing that they would have been paid for their participation in the calendar, it was clearly annoying and disappointing to the company and frustrating for everyone involved.
[size=120][i]Peter DeMott Photography[/i][/size]
[url]http://www.photosbypdemott.com[/url]
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[url]http://www.equinephotographerspodcast.com[/url]
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