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1234last
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


I'm curious to know the most ridiculous ways your photos have been stolen.  This question is for anyone involved in making photos, not just photographers.  There are the standard Tumblr reblogs or claims to authorship, but what are the instances that really made you blink in disbelief? 

This thread is inspired by Star's thread, but I didn't want to hijack hers, which is serious.  Mine is a little less so, if only because people can be so incredibly brazen.

My most ridiculous image theft was committed by a fairly high profile artist who took one of my photos and posted it on his website, claiming it was of him.  lol  Really dude?  Really?  At the time I was enraged.  Now I mostly think it's funny.

What outrageous ways have you found people using your photos?
Jun 19 12 04:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeff Fiore
Posts: 9,220
Pelham, New York, US


A fake model agency stole a bunch of my photos of a particular model. One of my images was their main image on their home page. They posted the photos saying this is what they can do for models - yea they planned on ripping off models by charging them for shoots.

A DMCA take down notice to the ISP took care of it. They actually took down the website.

In another instance, someone told me people were stealing my work and posting it on deviant art as their own work. The person didn't remember who but when he saw my work, he realized the deviant art ones were stolen.
Jun 19 12 04:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Johnny Cowart Photo
Posts: 17
Savannah, Georgia, US


Some People..... I just Bust them out and Laugh
Jun 19 12 04:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Jeff Fiore wrote:
A fake model agency stole a bunch of my photos of a particular model. One of my images was their main image on their home page. They posted the photos saying this is what they can do for models - yea they planned on ripping off models by charging them for shoots.

Wow.  That's pretty brazen!

Jun 19 12 06:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,135
Portland, Oregon, US


Some fellow stole one of my images & placed it on his profile on DeviantArt.  A "patron" of my work told me about it.  I checked it out & posted a note on his profile saying that the image was mine & not his and asked him to remove it forthwith.  He deleted my posting & posted a rant of his own, claiming the photograph as "his best work".

So, I contacted DeviantArt itself & asked them to intervene.  They asked for proof of my ownership, so I provided them the page on my web site that contained many more images from that session, a link to the image on the model's MM profile (where she credited me), and a link to the other model's MM profile (where she had other images from the same session).  I offered to send them unpublished images from that session & copies of the model releases I have.  With the model's permission, I suggested that DeviantArt could contact the models to ask them who made the photographs.

Within 24 hours, the image were removed.  The sicko posted a rant on his profile, claiming to have a brain tumor, reiterating how "jealous people" (me) made him take "his" photograph down, and other similarly comments of questionable sanity.  I check back to his profile on occasion (just in case) -- you'll be happy to know that his brain tumor has miraculously disappeared due prayer.
Jun 19 12 08:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan K Photography
Posts: 5,409
STATEN ISLAND, New York, US


Most outrageous thing is that it seems no one has stolen my images. I am a bit peeved about it to.
Jun 19 12 08:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Barry Kidd Photography
Posts: 2,410
Red Lion, Pennsylvania, US


In my case it was nothing more than someone who ripped a bunch of photos of a model I shot, placed them on MySpace and calmed to be the girl in question.  More of a personality flaw than serious infringement. 

Other than that in most cases it's kids taking photos and editing them for their own photo collages and manipulations.  Not the same as using an image for publication or profit and not to be condoned but there are worse things out there.

I should point out that I do list some photos under Creative Commons Non Profit just for this purpose.
Jun 19 12 08:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeff Fiore
Posts: 9,220
Pelham, New York, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
Some fellow stole one of my images & placed it on his profile on DeviantArt.  A "patron" of my work told me about it.  I checked it out & posted a note on his profile saying that the image was mine & not his and asked him to remove it forthwith.  He deleted my posting & posted a rant of his own, claiming the photograph as "his best work".

So, I contacted DeviantArt itself & asked them to intervene.  They asked for proof of my ownership, so I provided them the page on my web site that contained many more images from that session, a link to the image on the model's MM profile (where she credited me), and a link to the other model's MM profile (where she had other images from the same session).  I offered to send them unpublished images from that session & copies of the model releases I have.  With the model's permission, I suggested that DeviantArt could contact the models to ask them who made the photographs.

Within 24 hours, the image were removed.  The sicko posted a rant on his profile, claiming to have a brain tumor, reiterating how "jealous people" (me) made him take "his" photograph down, and other similarly comments of questionable sanity.  I check back to his profile on occasion (just in case) -- you'll be happy to know that his brain tumor has miraculously disappeared due prayer.

Deviant art photo thieves seem to be rampant. I have not been able to find the guy that stole mine...... yet.

Jun 19 12 08:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
Some fellow stole one of my images
Jun 19 12 08:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Dan K Photography wrote:
Most outrageous thing is that it seems no one has stolen my images. I am a bit peeved about it to.

I bet they have and you just don't know it yet!

Jun 19 12 08:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JBerman Photography
Posts: 1,113
New York, New York, US


i uploaded an image of my toddler son to a website that frames photos...I didn't end up framing that photo.
Approx 1 yr later, while searching the web for custon frames...that website came up and they were using the image of my son for all of their frame examples.
Jun 19 12 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J Welborn
Posts: 2,552
Clarksville, Tennessee, US


Barry Kidd Photography wrote:
In my case it was nothing more than someone who ripped a bunch of photos of a model I shot, placed them on MySpace and calmed to be the girl in question.  More of a personality flaw than serious infringement. 

Other than that in most cases it's kids taking photos and editing them for their own photo collages and manipulations.  Not the same as using an image for publication or profit and not to be condoned but there are worse things out there.

I should point out that I do list some photos under Creative Commons Non Profit just for this purpose.

I had something like this happen .
A Nashville photographer stole images of a model off my site and set up an MM account using her real name and searched for other models to be in a porn video with him as  the male "actor" .
He did other things on other sites and last year he was arrested for shooting under age females .

Jun 19 12 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Jeff Fiore wrote:

Deviant art photo thieves seem to be rampant. I have not been able to find the guy that stole mine...... yet.

I recently gave up on dA and closed my account after many years because it seems to be the primary conduit for my image theft, and I got tired of it.

Jun 19 12 09:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Barry Kidd Photography wrote:
In my case it was nothing more than someone who ripped a bunch of photos of a model I shot, placed them on MySpace and calmed to be the girl in question.  More of a personality flaw than serious infringement. 

Other than that in most cases it's kids taking photos and editing them for their own photo collages and manipulations.  Not the same as using an image for publication or profit and not to be condoned but there are worse things out there.

I should point out that I do list some photos under Creative Commons Non Profit just for this purpose.

The whole pretending to be someone else thing kind of blows my mind.

Jun 19 12 09:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


JBerman Photography wrote:
i uploaded an image of my toddler son to a website that frames photos...I didn't end up framing that photo.
Approx 1 yr later, while searching the web for custon frames...that website came up and they were using the image of my son for all of their frame examples.

Wow.  Was that something buried in their TOS that you just didn't realize was a possibility?  What did you do about it?  (If that's something you care to address in public.)

Jun 19 12 09:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


J  Welborn wrote:

I had something like this happen .
A Nashville photographer stole images of a model off my site and set up an MM account using her real name and searched for other models to be in a porn video with him as  the male "actor" .
He did other things on other sites and last year he was arrested for shooting under age females .

That is terrible.  I hope the model whose images he used hasn't had her life ruined, and that the girls he photographed weren't harmed in any way.

Jun 19 12 09:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Barry Kidd Photography
Posts: 2,410
Red Lion, Pennsylvania, US


Happens all the time.
Jun 19 12 09:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JBerman Photography
Posts: 1,113
New York, New York, US


Sita Mae wrote:

Wow.  Was that something buried in their TOS that you just didn't realize was a possibility?  What did you do about it?  (If that's something you care to address in public.)

I have used them several times in the past and have been happy.
I contacted the company and made my way to the owner.  He explained that it was in their TOS, however he was happy to remove the image (although thought I'd be flattered that he was using it!) and provided me with a decent credit for future framing.

I agreed on the terms that regardless of his TOS, my images are never to be used for his promotional material.

Jun 19 12 09:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael McGowan
Posts: 3,597
Tucson, Arizona, US


My earliest wasn't exactly theft. A Street & Smith basketball preview magazine used several of my shots. They got them from the university to whom I had sold photos for use in a program. Oops. I learned in 1970 about usage agreements.

When I started my site, http://www.femmefete.com/, several Chinese sites hijacked all the images, and I do mean all of them. One even snagged them onto their own page ... but served them off my server. This is back when bandwidth was expensive, so my techy folks had to figure out workarounds. Other "search" sites showed my site inside their windows. Again, techy fixes ensued.

One guy was advertising posters of Elkie Cooper, but the image was stolen from me. It took awhile to put an end to that, but when Elkie went to bat for me, the whole thing ended.

Later on, a Dutch blogging site lifted a bunch of photos to use in discussions. More tricking out of the .asp code blocked that.

Another Dutch site was using an edited version of one of my photos as a cover for its TGP pages, even though my photo had nothing to do with that. Luckily, the TGP service dropped them when I complained.

I've found things on tumblr, flickr and several other "picture posting" sites. The most recent was only a couple of weeks ago.

The irony is that I'm not one of the people whose work is lifted on a regular basis. I can't imagine how much of a problem this is for really popular folks.
Jun 19 12 09:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


JBerman Photography wrote:

I have used them several times in the past and have been happy.
I contacted the company and made my way to the owner.  He explained that it was in their TOS, however he was happy to remove the image (although thought I'd be flattered that he was using it!) and provided me with a decent credit for future framing.

I agreed on the terms that regardless of his TOS, my images are never to be used for his promotional material.

It sounds like you handled that perfectly!

Jun 19 12 09:12 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Michael Scot
Posts: 860
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US


Shoot naked dudes, then your work is safe, nobody wants to see that, except maybe Sita wink

Are there other services like Tineye?
I'd be interested in seeing more responses about how people handled these offenses.
Jun 19 12 09:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Michael Scot wrote:
Shoot naked dudes, then your work is safe, nobody wants to see that, except maybe Sita wink

Are there other services like Tineye?
I'd be interested in seeing more responses about how people handled these offenses.

lol

Google's image search is pretty good.  In my experience it catches more infringements than TinEye, but it's never a bad idea to check both.

Jun 19 12 09:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JBerman Photography
Posts: 1,113
New York, New York, US


I have used TinEye and the searches yield 0 results.
I search the same image using Google and I get 3-4 hits.

Does anyone have any other options?
Jun 19 12 09:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,057
Buena Park, California, US


Sita Mae wrote:
I'm curious to know the most ridiculous ways your photos have been stolen.  This question is for anyone involved in making photos, not just photographers.  There are the standard Tumblr reblogs or claims to authorship, but what are the instances that really made you blink in disbelief? 

This thread is inspired by Star's thread, but I didn't want to hijack hers, which is serious.  Mine is a little less so, if only because people can be so incredibly brazen.

My most ridiculous image theft was committed by a fairly high profile artist who took one of my photos and posted it on his website, claiming it was of him.  lol  Really dude?  Really?  At the time I was enraged.  Now I mostly think it's funny.

What outrageous ways have you found people using your photos?

Someone back East made a Facebook page using my name and my photos.  if I recall correctly, linked to my MM or Pbase page.  But contact info, email address etc, belonged to someone else.

Jun 19 12 09:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Michael McGowan wrote:
My earliest wasn't exactly theft. A Street & Smith basketball preview magazine used several of my shots. They got them from the university to whom I had sold photos for use in a program. Oops. I learned in 1970 about usage agreements.

When I started my site, http://www.femmefete.com/, several Chinese sites hijacked all the images, and I do mean all of them. One even snagged them onto their own page ... but served them off my server. This is back when bandwidth was expensive, so my techy folks had to figure out workarounds. Other "search" sites showed my site inside their windows. Again, techy fixes ensued.

One guy was advertising posters of Elkie Cooper, but the image was stolen from me. It took awhile to put an end to that, but when Elkie went to bat for me, the whole thing ended.

Later on, a Dutch blogging site lifted a bunch of photos to use in discussions. More tricking out of the .asp code blocked that.

Another Dutch site was using an edited version of one of my photos as a cover for its TGP pages, even though my photo had nothing to do with that. Luckily, the TGP service dropped them when I complained.

I've found things on tumblr, flickr and several other "picture posting" sites. The most recent was only a couple of weeks ago.

The irony is that I'm not one of the people whose work is lifted on a regular basis. I can't imagine how much of a problem this is for really popular folks.

What's a TGP page?  I have a recurring problem with Russian businesses stealing my work, but I haven't found an effective way of dealing with infringements overseas.  I'm intrigued that you were successful.

Jun 19 12 09:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,057
Buena Park, California, US


about a week ago, I posted a photo of a Mustang (drift race car, not the horse) on Instagram.  Within an hour my photo, lower quality and with no credit to me, was reposted by someone that is a fan of Mustangs.  I thanked him for not giving me any credit.  He said he didn't know it was mine and found it somewhere else.  not sure if I can believe that...I mean...within an hour of me posting on Instagram he finds it somewhere else (that he's not sure of) and reposts on Instagram himself?  come on!!
Jun 19 12 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:

Someone back East made a Facebook page using my name and my photos.  if I recall correctly, linked to my MM or Pbase page.  But contact info, email address etc, belonged to someone else.

That definitely qualifies as outrageous.  On the up side, FB is usually crazy fast in responding to DMCA notices.  Did they get the page closed down promptly for you?

Jun 19 12 09:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
toesup
Posts: 1,033
Templeton, California, US


I've found one of my images (currently my avtar) being used by a Brazilian internet card company complete with an added verse.. A 'stiff' email followed by a take down notice soon saw to that..

I'd also found that the card site had had my image stolen from them.. and was being used on an 'artists' site as their work... I left a very 'terse' comment on their blog to the effect that each day I would check their site.. and if the shot was still there, they would be billed $2500 per day for copyright infringement..

The shot had gone within hours..
Jun 19 12 09:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,057
Buena Park, California, US


Sita Mae wrote:

That definitely qualifies as outrageous.  On the up side, FB is usually crazy fast in responding to DMCA notices.  Did they get the page closed down promptly for you?

i didn't even DMCA them. I just reported the profile.  I forgot all the options they you're allowed to check.  I think it even has spots for URLs you can use to try to prove that the images and content are yours, etc.

It was shut down in less than 2 hours after notification.

Jun 19 12 09:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MKPhoto
Posts: 5,665
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Sita Mae wrote:
lol

Google's image search is pretty good.  In my experience it catches more infringements than TinEye, but it's never a bad idea to check both.

I tried to use Google's search image, but it was unable to even match the images that I actually uploaded to another place myself; and its "visual match" was so laughable that I don't even bother using it (and I do not expect much theft anyway).  A bondage shot was matched to a religious figure and dancer to a galaxy.

Jun 19 12 09:41 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


toesup wrote:
I've found one of my images (currently my avtar) being used by a Brazilian internet card company complete with an added verse.. A 'stiff' email followed by a take down notice soon saw to that..

I'd also found that the card site had had my image stolen from them.. and was being used on an 'artists' site as their work... I left a very 'terse' comment on their blog to the effect that each day I would check their site.. and if the shot was still there, they would be billed $2500 per day for copyright infringement..

The shot had gone within hours..

It's an excellent photo.  I like it a lot, and predict many more such thefts of it in your future.

And I am naively always extra surprised when artists infringe on other artists.  I get it when random internet users don't know any better.  But c'mon, you're an artist and you're going to do that?  It bothers me on a personal level in a way the rest of the infringers don't.

Jun 19 12 09:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


MKPhoto wrote:
A bondage shot was matched to a religious figure and dancer to a galaxy. LOL.

I feel like there's some kind of philosophical truth buried in there!

Jun 19 12 09:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:

i didn't even DMCA them. I just reported the profile.  I forgot all the options they you're allowed to check.  I think it even has spots for URLs you can use to try to prove that the images and content are yours, etc.

It was shut down in less than 2 hours after notification.

That's awesome.  I haven't yet discovered that kind of wholesale identity theft, so I didn't realize they had an option like that.  I really appreciate how fast FB is in responding to those kind of infringement notices.  Even in the middle of the night!

Jun 19 12 09:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,057
Buena Park, California, US


Sita Mae wrote:

It's an excellent photo.  I like it a lot, and predict many more such thefts of it in your future.

And I am naively always extra surprised when artists infringe on other artists.  I get it when random internet users don't know any better.  But c'mon, you're an artist and you're going to do that?  It bothers me on a personal level in a way the rest of the infringers don't.

It's like when the police or gov't officials are caught breaking the law.  They SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

Artists lifting the work of other artists...same thing.  They should know better.

Jun 19 12 09:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,908
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:

It's like when the police or gov't officials are caught breaking the law.  They SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

Artists lifting the work of other artists...same thing.  They should know better.

Exactly!  Good analogy, Chris.

Jun 19 12 09:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MKPhoto
Posts: 5,665
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Sita Mae wrote:
I feel like there's some kind of philosophical truth buried in there!

Yeah, oppressive crossed ropes matched cross on an Orthodox head piece (whatever the name is).  Galaxy was actually visually really similar - but there were no matches to any dance photos.

Jun 19 12 09:46 am  Link  Quote 
Model
CPS
Posts: 32
Winchester, Virginia, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
Some fellow stole one of my images & placed it on his profile on DeviantArt.  A "patron" of my work told me about it.  I checked it out & posted a note on his profile saying that the image was mine & not his and asked him to remove it forthwith.  He deleted my posting & posted a rant of his own, claiming the photograph as "his best work".

So, I contacted DeviantArt itself & asked them to intervene.  They asked for proof of my ownership, so I provided them the page on my web site that contained many more images from that session, a link to the image on the model's MM profile (where she credited me), and a link to the other model's MM profile (where she had other images from the same session).  I offered to send them unpublished images from that session & copies of the model releases I have.  With the model's permission, I suggested that DeviantArt could contact the models to ask them who made the photographs.

Within 24 hours, the image were removed.  The sicko posted a rant on his profile, claiming to have a brain tumor, reiterating how "jealous people" (me) made him take "his" photograph down, and other similarly comments of questionable sanity.  I check back to his profile on occasion (just in case) -- you'll be happy to know that his brain tumor has miraculously disappeared due prayer.

Jun 19 12 09:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-The Dave-
Posts: 8,625
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


My Avi was stolen for some sort of BSDM thing, When I found out, I sent them a bill. I was surprised when I got a check in the mail for it about a month later.

http://www.daplv.com/Web/mm/the_jungle___21_5_2009_by_FetishQ.jpg
Jun 19 12 09:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Horwitz
Posts: 2,605
Raleigh, North Carolina, US


Person or persons unknown took one of my framed photographs from the wall of a gallery in Indianapolis another photograph was physically stolen and used for a porn film poster. I'm flattered by both...
Jun 19 12 09:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Horwitz
Posts: 2,605
Raleigh, North Carolina, US


Person or persons unknown took one of my framed photographs from the wall of a gallery in Indianapolis another photograph was physically stolen and used for a porn film poster. I'm flattered by both...

fucking MM double post!
Jun 19 12 09:57 am  Link  Quote 
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