Seeking advice on copyright infringement

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JW
Posts: 167
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:38 am
Location: New Haven, CT, USA

Seeking advice on copyright infringement

Post by JW »

I have recently found that 1000's of my images have been posted on the web, and likely also distributed on electronic media, without my authorization. Does any one else have experience with tracking down and getting a remedy for these types of infringements? Is it worth getting into a huff over?
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see - Henry David Thoreau

Planapo
Posts: 1533
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Post by Planapo »

JW,

I remember a friendly and appreciated member from Scotland who isn't active anymore, who found some of his pictures stolen and shown on a Chinese website, and thereafter deleted all the pictures he had posted.

I am sorry that I can't help you with your questions, but I find this an interesting topic worth discussing. Could you tell us more details, like who stole what and how you did find out about it?

--Betty

SONYNUT
Posts: 635
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:27 pm
Location: Minnesota USA

Post by SONYNUT »

depending on where you posted it..the host itself may be selling them..

example photobucket
..............................................................................
Just shoot it......

JW
Posts: 167
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:38 am
Location: New Haven, CT, USA

Post by JW »

Thanks for the interest. Short story, we are 'negotiating' with the 'altruistic' benefactor of humanity. I’ll leave off names for now.

Back story: In the late 90's I did a CD-ROM project of mineral photos, with over 8000+ images in two editions, mostly mine but also some contributions from friends and colleagues. Admittedly some of my images were of regretful quality; I have now become much better with macrophotography. So be it, this was in the days of AOL and dial-up, so there was a good demand from the mineral collector community for this and similar products as it supplemented textbooks and printed references; at the time there was no single resource that had nearly every known mineral imaged, we managed to get over 80% of the then known 4200 different mineral species. The competitors and I even released one update each, but now sites such as mindat.org and webmineral.com have mostly replaced CD-based references and have gone way beyond what we could do on a CD.

Considerable time, cost and effort went into making this project, nearly all of the images were shot on film (oh, bring back Kodachrome 25 :idea: ), scanned; converted to JPEG format; and all html coding was done by hand. The final product worked inside a web browser - Netscape 3.0 was preferred. Copying the images off of the CD is then relatively easy as I did not see the need at the time for encryption or coding tricks. Many users found it more convenient to copy the CD onto a hard drive and browse it from there, rather than use a relatively slow CD-ROM player.

Over the past decade I have given permission for selected uses of the images – journal publications, textbooks, and many are posted on webmineral and mindat. Since the images on the CD are somewhat lower quality, people need to see me to get publication quality versions prepared. What is particularly irksome is that this individual, in the guise of educating the world, would go and post the entire project on his website without the courtesy of notifying myself or my publishing partner. This particular website has done this with a large number of scanned documents and images, but I cannot comment on the validity of use of these other items.

This website has a self-stated mission to educate the world, and so is posting a wide range of educational material; additionally, they are distributing hard drives with mirrored images of the website to libraries. Certainly a laudable goal, but one in which the rights of authors and publishers still must be respected. Everyone who provides a service or a product deserves the right to just compensation for that service, whether monetary or just a simple acknowledgement. While the web provides a ready means for distribution of material, the web does not enable breaking of copyright restrictions. Authors and subject matter creators deserve to be in control of their creations, users and content distributers need to respect this. Otherwise, the internet will degrade into a morass of useless unverifiable information.


Sorry for the rant. True one cannot police the entire internet for their images. I only found out about this after stumbling on the site looking for some very old, out of copyright, mineral textbooks. So I then contacted the e-mail provided on the site with a polite but firm request, they came back first with a message ‘we are on vacation’ and then later with a plea to ‘help us educate the world’. I will continue to insist that all of my images be deleted and direct them to mindat and webmineral for suitable links to content.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see - Henry David Thoreau

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3579
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

JW, I would't call what you wrote a rant. More like a well-articulated report of an important problem of a sort that could effect many of us. Education is a tremendously important thing, but the seizure, without payment or attribution, of your hard work is tragic.

I hope you continue to brief us as things progress. Good luck.

--Chris

JW
Posts: 167
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:38 am
Location: New Haven, CT, USA

Post by JW »

Thanks Chris - hopefully this won't be a long drawn out affair, will give some updates as things progress

Jeff
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see - Henry David Thoreau

Harold Gough
Posts: 5786
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:17 am
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

Post by Harold Gough »

Planapo wrote:JW,

I remember a friendly and appreciated member from Scotland who isn't active anymore, who found some of his pictures stolen and shown on a Chinese website,
Apparently, only 3% of music sold in China is legitimate so copyright is not respected there.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

ChrisR
Site Admin
Posts: 8574
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:58 am
Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

Is this a US website? If so, I was (probably naively) under the impression that you could go to the relevant authority to arrange a "Cease and desist" instruction.
If the website has any advertisements whatseover, their claim to be simply educational shouldn't stand?

Danny
Posts: 725
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:07 pm
Location: New Zealand

Post by Danny »

When we first started this forum we had a ton of hot linking and using our images from photomacrography.net going on. Tom had also had a few of his images at one time being used and sold without permission. I've also had similar things going on.

Watching Tom at work was an eye opener to say the least.

What Tom did with one particular site was to warn them. Funny ha ha. So the next step he took was to go directly to the hosting service. The site was shut down the next day. If all else fails on the web, try Icann themselves if the hosting service ignores it. Pretty sure legally the host have to do something about it. A simple email to them might be all it takes. Then again maybe not. If its in China, could be a tough one.


Danny.
Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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