Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Long Arm of the Law


I'm regret that I'm having to make this post today, but I think this topic affects a lot of photographers, and writers around the globe. Yesterday, Kim from Seattle DP, alerted me and a host of other bloggers that our photographs were being lifted by the unscrupulous crowd at*Photos World News. I can only speak for myself, but I've invested a lot of time and money in my photography career. It is difficult for photographers to actually sell their work, and perhaps it's because people find it far too easy to simply download our work and print them off, or publish them on their websites without our permission. I'm fascinated when people actually say to me, "I'm going to print off some of your photographs and hang them in my home!" On one hand, I'm flattered that someone would like my work enough to frame it and hang it. On the other hand, why would they assume they could take my work without asking or paying for it? Would they walk in an art gallery, take a painting off the wall and walk out with it? Of course I can put a watermark on every photo. And to be honest, most anyone could remove it in Photoshop faster than I could add it. I've read the sneers on some photography sites that claim photographers who watermark their work are assuming their work is " so good that someone might want to copy it." Well that's not really the point is it. The point is that photographs and text are owned by the photographer and the author, period!

And for the record, it is my pleasure to donate photographs and/or photography time for any charitable organization that asks. To be able to give back to my community is a privilege.

(* If you are unable to open their site, HOORAY, they've been shut down but sadly there will be more where they came from.)

This blog is open for business. Feel free to have your say but please keep it civil and respectful.

33 comments:

Dina said...

So they've been shut down? Well, at least THAT is good news.

Mister Earl said...

"My images CANNOT be used in any way without my express written permission." So, V, if I want to use an image in the privacy of my own home, you know, while it's on the screen, do I really have to write to you? What if there's no time?

WV: carpe. Grab it!

altadenahiker said...

I don't know how or if this can be solved. It's a problem for everyone who shares their work online. I'll be interested to read what your other friends have to say.

cieldequimper said...

Can't open the site. Am I supposed to say hooray?!

Excellent shot btw!

Thérèse said...

There are a few topics which should be added to schools' curriculum...
On the other hand I don't understand what people can really do with pictures at such a resolution.

TheChieftess said...

A photography instructor told her class that she once had a photo stolen off her website that was poor resolution, but they had refrigerator magnets made and were selling them...

Another concern is the use of music for digital slide shows...if used in the privacy of your home on your own slide show, for your own use, not so bad...use it to sell or promote your work, or in your work for sale...copyright infringement...

As Laurie says on her blog, Glimpses of So Pasadena, "it's really uncool"!

TheChieftess said...

PS...Love the pic!!!

Bergson said...

merci Virginia de nous alerter ; je suis d'accord avec toi.

Bibi said...

That is sooo low. I just wrote you a minute ago to say someone here in Belgrade 'borrowed' a photo of mine, and when I wrote to her, she said she'd found it on Google Images, so.... Imagine. She removed it, when she could have just asked me and credited me with the photo, for heaven's sake.

Anyway, your photo today, and I hope it remains yours, is very a propos; sorry no accent grave on the 'a'.

FireLight said...

Well said, V!

brattcat said...

Excellent shot and important topic. People have been stealing the creative work of others for a very long time, long before the arrival of the internet.

Virginia said...

Earl, for you darlin' I'll send my cell number so you can call me on a moment's notice! :)

It looks like this website is a goner, but who knows who will take their place? BTW, one photo I spotted yesterday had a big watermark across the bottom!
V

B SQUARED said...

Well said!

Mister Earl said...

V: How many of your photos have been misappropriated? And what have they done with them? Boy, don't these people have their own cameras?

Daryl said...

they are not shut down but your photo is no longer there .. there is however a link which I didnt click because well who knows what/where it actually leads to .... and I am at the office so I darent get this hard drive infected...

WV: railin .. yes, indeed we are rail'in against theft!

Mister Earl said...

Caption for your photo: "Ma'am, do you know why we pulled you over?"

Virginia said...

Earl,
I don't know how many they got, I looked quickly and saw several. Now Daryl says they are still up. And yes they need to get their own camera, 3 lenses, extra battery, battery charger, memory cards x5, filters, lens caps, camera bags, long and short tripods, monopods, card reader..............

Halcyon said...

I just clicked on the link and it's still there. Your doggie photo from yesterday is on there.

How do you find out if your photos are being pilfered?

Halcyon said...

PS: I am looking through this site and there are ALOT of CDP photo bloggers on there. I recognize at least 80% of the entries!

JM said...

I have just clicked on the link, the page opened and I realized 'they' are using everyone's photos! I recognized a lot of them taken from blogs I visited in the last couple of days, including you, just in the first ten pages of the site!

Great post and great photo too!
By the way, glad you enjoyed the red building shot! Keep it if you like, V.! :-)))

Halcyon said...

Last comment - I found another of your photos on there.

http://photos.worldnw.com/reflections-mobilgas/

Virginia said...

Thanks JM, Don't bother sending me one. i"ll just print it right off ! HA

Yes, they are up and running and everyone's photos are on there. Bob says they are a crowd from South America I think. EVeryone needs to click on the Google Ads button at the top of their homepage and report them.

Bob Crowe said...

These cops may be hot on the case but unfortunately their reach isn't long enough. Although Photo World News was down last night (and I'm sure my legal demand had nothing to do with it) it is up again this morning as you noted. Since the domain is registered in Brazil, putting a cease and desist notice in a comment to your stolen post is unlikely to do any good.

I urge our colleagues whose work has been swiped to click the Google AdSense logo on Photo World News and follow the links to file a copyright violation notice with Google. This could lead to AdSense dropping this site, cutting their revenue stream. The greater the number of us who do this, the greater the chance it will get Google's attention so please file an infringement notice. Fill out the form carefully and let me know if you have questions. They've taken dozens of my posts and I'm pretty pissed off.

Bob

with his lawyer hat on

Bibi said...

Hello again, Virgina. I'm one of those whose work has been stolen; there are A LOT of my photos on their site. I left comments to the effect of 'it is thievery, plagiarism, and if nothing else, dishonest,' not that I expect them to care. I also suggested they get their own camera.... and at least ask and credit us directly (not through the 'original source' link they put) and most likely, we would have agreed to letting them use a photo or two....but not dozens....I too, Bob and Virginia, am pissed.

And by the way, I checked the site before I started to write this, and your photo (probably photos) is/are still there....

Bob, where are your boys in Brazil? :)

Ken Mac said...

wow V, I had no idea. Bastards! Thanks for sounding the alarm. Unfortunately, I don't know how we can stop it, though there is a program that will search the web for any site that has stolen one's photos.

bfarr said...

You said it pretty well. Not much more that I can addd. The site is still up and I saw a number of familiar photos.

Petrea said...

Virginia, not only is the site still up but now they have this photo, including your copy! They obviously didn't read it...

Petrea said...

Where is this Adsense thing I'm supposed to click on to make my complaint?

Virginia said...

Petrea, well that makes me so &^%$ mad I am seeing stars. Can you believe they included my rant right here? Well obviously they aren't the brightest but apparently Google is letting them get away with it. I have the card of someone at Google that I met. I might just have to give her an email.
V

Petrea said...

Here's the comment I just left on Paris Daily Photo (they can take my shots but the NERVE of them using Eric's photos!)
"I've reported them to Google, Virginia. I think what I'll do is keep reporting them at least once a day until that site is taken down. We all should. The url is http://photos.worldnw.com/
Click on "ads by google" at the top, then scroll down and you'll see "Report a policy violation regarding the site or ads you just saw." It's relatively clear from there."

Nathalie said...

Virginia the site hasn't been shut down, it's still there and my photos are on it. Doing a search with the word Avignon, I can see all my latest posts are there so it must be an automatic feed. It ain't over yet!

Jilly said...

This is ongoing all the time. One time I had a site reprinting all my Monte Carlo photos and copy but without the name of the blog. they'd been doing it for over one year. Eventually they removed every photo and before Google Adsense got around to reponding to my faxes. There are a couple of others still doing the same thing. It's so easy to swipe photos and yes, pretty uncool as I believe Laurie said.

Everton said...

The site http://photos.worldnw.com/ not exist! I searched on Google and also not found. I think I've disappeared from the map this site, or if Google is more right?