Forums > General Industry > Website full of stolen images? They stole mine!

Photographer

John Wishard

Posts: 1896

Fallbrook, California, US

http://health.allwomenstalk.com/easy-ti … thier-eyes

The above site was kind enough to use my image...without permission!

Here is "My version" that has my logo...Folks, you may want to take a look for your own images!

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/111107/07/4eb7f585831a6.jpg

May 09 13 04:49 am Link

Photographer

FlirtynFun Photography

Posts: 13157

Houston, Texas, US

Looks like a "Pinterest" style site. I'm sure the site owners will absolve themselves of any sort of responsibility.

May 09 13 05:00 am Link

Photographer

Michael Bots

Posts: 5980

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Commercial site. They are soliciting advertisers.   


Is your image copyright registered?

May 09 13 06:32 am Link

Photographer

John Wishard

Posts: 1896

Fallbrook, California, US

It is not... sad

May 09 13 06:33 am Link

Photographer

Tell Me A Tale

Posts: 5

Hilliard, Ohio, US

You can still send them a cease and desist request.  Even Pinterest has a disclaimer that all posters run the risk of litigation from posting images without photographers permission.  You can site Title 17,section 107 to 118 of the US Copyright Act. I believe this covers all artistic work that has not been copyrighted. I hope this helps.

May 09 13 06:43 am Link

Photographer

BLKline Photography

Posts: 8

Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, US

I'm curious...  How did you happen to catch it?

May 09 13 06:48 am Link

Photographer

John Wishard

Posts: 1896

Fallbrook, California, US

I was notified by the model...

May 09 13 07:01 am Link

Photographer

John Wishard

Posts: 1896

Fallbrook, California, US

KPeterson Photography wrote:
You can still send them a cease and desist request.  Even Pinterest has a disclaimer that all posters run the risk of litigation from posting images without photographers permission.  You can site Title 17,section 107 to 118 of the US Copyright Act. I believe this covers all artistic work that has not been copyrighted. I hope this helps.

Thanks!

May 09 13 07:02 am Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36352

San Francisco, California, US

Michael Bots wrote:
Is your image copyright registered?

John Wishard wrote:
It is not... sad

When an image is unregistered that dramatically reduces your options.  Absent timely registration, you generally are not eligible for either statutory damages or attorneys fees.  So, while in some cases it would be worth litigating for a registered image, it is often not worthwhile for an unregistered one.

The first thing to determine is if you still have time to register the image.  How did they get it?  If they stole it from a website, for example, how long was the image online?  If it has been online for less than three months, you may still be able to register it and get the full protection of the statute.  If it is longer than three months, then you have a problem.

Since these people posted the image on their own site, sending them a DMCA takedown notice is not appropriate and probably won't help you.  However, you should look to see if they use a web hosting service (an ISP).  If they do, you can send the DMCA takedown notice to the ISP.  They will probably remove the image for you.  I do want to repeat though, you should not send a takedown notice to the site.  That is not what it is intended for.

You can, however, send them a letter and advise them that they are using copyrighted material and demand that they remove it.  That is legally different than a DMCA takedown notice, but it does day what is important.

Above all, remember, I am not a lawyer.   I am a lay person.  This is not legal advice.  This is just my view as an experienced photographer.  The best thing to do, always is to speak with an experienced attorney in your area.   They are the ones to give you the best advice.

Good luck to you.

May 09 13 07:34 am Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7249

New York, New York, US

The person using the image doesn't know it isn't registered. You can write a letter saying it is and threaten legal action anyway.

May 09 13 07:43 am Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36352

San Francisco, California, US

KPeterson Photography wrote:
You can still send them a cease and desist request.  Even Pinterest has a disclaimer that all posters run the risk of litigation from posting images without photographers permission.  You can site Title 17,section 107 to 118 of the US Copyright Act. I believe this covers all artistic work that has not been copyrighted. I hope this helps.

I don't understand what you mean by "I believe this covers all artistic work that has not been copyrighted?"  All photo are copyrighted automatically from the moment the photographer presses the shutter.  There is a difference between copyright and registration.  A work is copyrighted whether it is registered or not.  The difference, in the US, is whether or not you can collect statutory damages and attorneys' fees.  Absent timely registration, you are limited to actual damages (not statutory damages) and cannot collect attorneys' fees if you win.

May 09 13 07:52 am Link

Photographer

OTSOG

Posts: 141

Benicia, California, US

A quickie Whois seems to indicate the site is hosted in the Ukraine.

"Moscow, May 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti): Ukraine has been designated the world's top violator of intellectual property rights in a new report by US Trade Representative (USTR). India and Pakistan are also in the list."

Ukraine was labelled a "priority foreign country", the top category for offenders on USTR's watch list. "

The country has no clear system for collecting royalties, its governmental agencies use pirated software, and no effective system to combat rampant online piracy is in place, the report said."
-- http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_dis … _id=172482

May 09 13 10:48 am Link

Model

Big A-Larger Than Life

Posts: 33411

The Woodlands, Texas, US

Michael Bots wrote:
Commercial site. They are soliciting advertisers.   


Is your image copyright registered?

Hey just wondering how do you register an image?  And does an image have to be registered to be able to take action if someone violates your copyright?  I ask bc I do photography too and some guy stole one of my hi res animal portraits off Flickr and sold it.   I want to punch his baws!  mad

May 09 13 10:54 am Link

Model

Big A-Larger Than Life

Posts: 33411

The Woodlands, Texas, US

GPS Studio Services wrote:

I don't understand what you mean by "I believe this covers all artistic work that has not been copyrighted?"  All photo are copyrighted automatically from the moment the photographer presses the shutter.  There is a difference between copyright and registration.  A work is copyrighted whether it is registered or not.  The difference, in the US, is whether or not you can collect statutory damages and attorneys' fees.  Absent timely registration, you are limited to actual damages (not statutory damages) and cannot collect attorneys' fees if you win.

Ohhhhh okay.  So if we pushed the camera button, we automatically have copyright protection and rights on the pic, but in order to actually punch an offender in the baws, the pic has to be actually registered.

May 09 13 10:57 am Link

Photographer

I M N Photography

Posts: 2342

New York, New York, US

No. You only need to be angry enough to do that.

May 09 13 11:09 am Link

Photographer

Patrick Walberg

Posts: 42746

Salinas, California, US

John Wishard wrote:
http://health.allwomenstalk.com/easy-ti … thier-eyes

The above site was kind enough to use my image...without permission!

Here is "My version" that has my logo...Folks, you may want to take a look for your own images!

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/111107/07/4eb7f585831a6.jpg

That's a great shot!  I can see why you are angry that they used it without your permission.  However, I don't see a lot of money being made simply from your one image being used for an article (as what seems to be editorial use?) and I don't notice if any other images are being used without permission. 

Personally, it would make a difference to me as to how the image was being used.  If they were selling it or using it on a paysite, or an advertisement ... or in this case, an article about eye care.   I'd make contact first with the owners of the site.  Then proceed from there.

May 09 13 11:48 am Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36352

San Francisco, California, US

GPS Studio Services wrote:
I don't understand what you mean by "I believe this covers all artistic work that has not been copyrighted?"  All photo are copyrighted automatically from the moment the photographer presses the shutter.  There is a difference between copyright and registration.  A work is copyrighted whether it is registered or not.  The difference, in the US, is whether or not you can collect statutory damages and attorneys' fees.  Absent timely registration, you are limited to actual damages (not statutory damages) and cannot collect attorneys' fees if you win.

Big A-Larger Than Life wrote:
Ohhhhh okay.  So if we pushed the camera button, we automatically have copyright protection and rights on the pic, but in order to actually punch an offender in the baws, the pic has to be actually registered.

"Punch them in the baws?"  Haha, yeah, well, you do need to register the image to really sock it to them.

May 09 13 12:54 pm Link

Photographer

Rick OBanion Photo

Posts: 1351

Saint Catharines-Niagara, Ontario, Canada

So who has jurisdiction? Copyright registration is an American thing. The site is hosted in the Ukraine, the violation took place in the Ukraine , didn't it?
We don't register our images here (seems silly to me anyway...you either have copyright and all its protection or you don't).

May 09 13 01:09 pm Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36352

San Francisco, California, US

Rick OBanion Photo wrote:
So who has jurisdiction? Copyright registration is an American thing. The site is hosted in the Ukraine, the violation took place in the Ukraine , didn't it?
We don't register our images here (seems silly to me anyway...you either have copyright and all its protection or you don't).

Ahh yes, but it appears to be hosted with "Go Daddy" which means that it may well live in the U.S.

May 09 13 01:51 pm Link

Photographer

Keeys

Posts: 15

Bradley, Illinois, US

Since they already have and are using it, my first letter would be say I know your using my image, I would like a photo credit and compensation Then if nothing happens with this, then get mean…

May 09 13 02:01 pm Link

Photographer

Jerry Nemeth

Posts: 28001

Dearborn, Michigan, US

Big A-Larger Than Life wrote:

Hey just wondering how do you register an image?  And does an image have to be registered to be able to take action if someone violates your copyright?  I ask bc I do photography too and some guy stole one of my hi res animal portraits off Flickr and sold it.   I want to punch his baws!  mad

Get him!!

May 09 13 02:08 pm Link

Photographer

Camerosity

Posts: 5317

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

Rick OBanion Photo wrote:
So who has jurisdiction? Copyright registration is an American thing. The site is hosted in the Ukraine, the violation took place in the Ukraine , didn't it?
We don't register our images here (seems silly to me anyway...you either have copyright and all its protection or you don't).

Ukraine is a signatory to the Berne Convention, for what it's worth.

In theory that means (simplifying a bit) that a citizen of one signatory country is entitled to pretty much the same copyright protection in another country as that country's own citizens would receive.

On the other hand, I think there's still a lot of pirated software, music and DVD's coming out of Ukraine.

May 09 13 02:16 pm Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36352

San Francisco, California, US

Rick OBanion Photo wrote:
So who has jurisdiction? Copyright registration is an American thing. The site is hosted in the Ukraine, the violation took place in the Ukraine , didn't it?
We don't register our images here (seems silly to me anyway...you either have copyright and all its protection or you don't).

Camerosity wrote:
Ukraine is a signatory to the Berne Convention, for what it's worth.

In theory that means (simplifying a bit) that a citizen of one signatory country is entitled to pretty much the same copyright protection in another country as that country's own citizens would receive.

On the other hand, I think there's still a lot of pirated software, music and DVD's coming out of Ukraine.

Let's be realistic.   If the site is hosted by Go Daddy, he could probably sue in the US, but the images aren't registered.  Then, for that matter, if he got a judgment, he would still have to go to the Ukraine to collect.

He could sue in the Ukraine, but ... well I think you can see the problems there.  This is a difficult situation.  His best bet is probably to send a DMCA takedown notice to Go Daddy, but there is no guarantee that would work.

May 09 13 02:43 pm Link

Photographer

Ruben Sanchez

Posts: 3505

San Antonio, Texas, US

Whenever I've found one of my images being used without my permission, I email them first, saying that they now owe me $xxxx.xx for the use of my photo.  Next thing I know, it's off their site.

My next step, if they had not removed my photo, would have been to send the hosting company an email saying they owe me $xxxxxxxxx, for letting one of their clients use my copyrighted photos without my permission. Now we're talking big money, and lawyers would be happy to take up your case against someone like GoDaddy.  I'd rather let GoDaddy enforce the copyright issue with their clients, then for me to try and get legal recourse on my own.

Even here on MM.  If you find someone using your photos, I'm pretty sure MM would shut them down, once you complained.

May 09 13 03:00 pm Link

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Photographer

GPS Studio Services

Posts: 36352

San Francisco, California, US

Ruben Sanchez wrote:
Whenever I've found one of my images being used without my permission, I email them first, saying that they now owe me $xxxx.xx for the use of my photo.  Next thing I know, it's off their site.

My next step, if they had not removed my photo, would have been to send the hosting company an email saying they owe me $xxxxxxxxx, for letting one of their clients use my copyrighted photos without my permission. Now we're talking big money, and lawyers would be happy to take up your case against someone like GoDaddy.  I'd rather let GoDaddy enforce the copyright issue with their clients, then for me to try and get legal recourse on my own.

Even here on MM.  If you find someone using your photos, I'm pretty sure MM would shut them down, once you complained.

Except the ISP can't be sued until after they have been sent a properly formatted DMCA takedown notice. That is the point of the notice.  An ISP is protected from suit so long as they comply with the notice and you can't sue them until the notice has been provided.

May 09 13 03:26 pm Link

Photographer

PhoenixRob

Posts: 2

Chandler, Arizona, US

Welcome to the Internet.

Send the hosting provider at DMCA take down notice.

May 09 13 04:13 pm Link

Photographer

John Wishard

Posts: 1896

Fallbrook, California, US

Thanks for all the replies...I just got home from work. You people have been busy! I really appreciate the insights.

May 09 13 04:56 pm Link

Photographer

Patrick Walberg

Posts: 42746

Salinas, California, US

John Wishard wrote:
Thanks for all the replies...I just got home from work. You people have been busy! I really appreciate the insights.

Follow up and let us know how it goes.  I still say to contact the website owner first ... you can send a Cease and desist letter.   What would resolve this for you?

May 10 13 01:27 am Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8868

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Take a look at the other images.
All taken from websites or copied from magazines.

This one is interesting as the images border editorial illustration.

Wonder how those who know more would define it?

May 10 13 02:11 pm Link

Photographer

MFS Modelphilia

Posts: 402

Hilo, Hawaii, US

John Wishard wrote:
http://health.allwomenstalk.com/easy-ti … thier-eyes

The above site was kind enough to use my image...without permission!

Here is "My version" that has my logo...Folks, you may want to take a look for your own images!

Meanwhile *this thread* languishes on the photography forum without any responses:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?thread_id=891745

Let's stop whining, put our heads together, and SOLVE the problem!

May 16 13 09:02 pm Link