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Thread: Advice on response to copyright infringement

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    Advice on response to copyright infringement

    Hey everyone, I was wondering if you might be able to offer me some advice. Recently I was searching one of my images on the web (I do this occasionally, because I have found my photos in places they don't belong before), and I found that one of my images was being used without my permission on about.com. This is the first time I have had my image being used by a large, corporate site. I was particularly incensed that the image was cropped and then copyrighted with someone else's name!

    This is the photo (it is the one of vik beach). The author, Terri Mapes, has put a copyright notice with her name on it.
    http://goscandinavia.about.com/od/ic...andbeaches.htm
    It is also used here, without credit to me, but not under her copyright.
    http://goscandinavia.about.com/b/200...sand-beach.htm

    For comparison, here is my photo, which is uncropped:



    You can tell it is the same photo by the colors and the fact that the waves are identical. It is just a crop from the upper right.

    So normally I would not care so much if this was just someone's myspace page or blog etc, but this is a site where the author is making money from my work AND passing it off as her own. What do you think I should do? I can of course write to about.com and ask for either compensation or for them to take it down, but I am wondering if there are any other options. Obviously this image is not being used in a huge money-maker way, but it does not take away from the fact that it is blatant theft.

    I am sure some here have been in the same situation, so I am curious what you have done...

    Thanks,

    Stuart.

    P.S. It is not even that nice of an image! I took it ages ago on a crappy day...
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    I would be angry too. I'm guessing there are some legal avenues one can pursue, and I'm also guessing there are some legal professionals here in the forum who might be able to advise you.

    But if it were me, I'd track down her contact info and call her directly. Explain your surprise and anger and ask her to resolve the issue immediately. Either give you credit, credit and compensation, or have it removed from her material. If it's been printed anywhere, you at least deserve the fee associated with a standard stock photo.

    Good luck!

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    Bummer! I'd definitely pursue it Stuart!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    Thanks Tim,

    I don't really want to go the legal route if I don't have to -- I am sure there would be no money in it, and it would just be a matter of spite. Basically, I just want to shame her into not stealing other people's photos.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    ....So normally I would not care so much if this was just someone's myspace page or blog etc, but this is a site where the author is making money from my work .... Obviously this image is not being used in a huge money-maker way, but it does not take away from the fact that it is blatant theft.....
    I don't think a distinction should be made with unlicensed use of images for myspace/blogs/etc. Unlicensed use is unlicensed use.

    Otherwise, the big picture is that we foster a relaxed attitude towards intellectual property rights and dilute our possible legal remedies as a whole

    Doesn't matter to me if no money is being made---it's a matter of respect. They could have simply asked you...

    Go get'em.....

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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    I would suggest a letter to her cc their legal dept that simply states that you believe the photo is being used outside that permitted by the fair use doctrine and that you are willing to allow its use provided that they [give you credit, pay you money, or whatever].
    Ask that she respond in 30 days.
    that usually does it for me.
    -bob

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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    oh, and adjust the size of their crop to your image (actually the other way around, overlay them, and show differences in PS for their edification.

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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    Thanks guys. Very sensible advice. I will try to find their legal department and just contact them that way. I think that is the most professional and serious way to go about things. Not getting into it with the person or anything, just approaching it in a businesslike manner.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  9. #9
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Advice on response to copyright infringement

    Rule No.1 - Never send email to anyone that you do not want the entire world to see.

    Other Rule No. 1 - Never upload any image onto the internet you do not want used by others without compensating you.

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