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Leonie
07-11-2007, 11:24 AM
I stumbled across this the other day:

http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2007/09/my-asshole-footprint.html

http://babblesteals.blogspot.com/

A new parenting website, founded by a company that earned its money with porn websites, has been stealing photos off Flickr and using them to make headers for articles. This has gone beyond using photos for fansites - this company is making money using stolen photos.

They've tried to buy people off with the almost offensive sum of 100 dollars before. However, they finally fucked up in spectacular fashion when they used the photo of a well-known blogger's child. This blogger used to be quite the lawyer. Oops.

Babble, the parenting website, blames an intern. Sadly, this excuse doesn't seem too plausible, mostly cause they've used it too often. Former employees of Babble's parent company are now coming forward, outing their CEO, who explicitly told photo editors to steal photos of Flickr. FOR A PORN WEBSITE.

Where does this lead Flickr and sharing photos online in general? Is it still moderately safe? Would you still put up photos of the people you know, knowing they could end up on Aussie Virgin billboards, with a snide remark (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2007/09/24/intv.virgin.flickr.lawsuit.cnn)? Would you still put up your children's photos knowing they could end up on a paedophile forum (http://mihow.com/articles/2007/10/14/naked-rape-beef)? What can (non-professional) users of services like Flickr do to protect themselves?

And, taking a slightly wider angle, where is the Internet headed now that non-professionals need to start worrying about copyright infringement?

Digital_Ice
07-11-2007, 01:28 PM
This is why I love meta tags. I include invisible copyright on all my photos... well, if I remeber to.

Pygmalion
07-11-2007, 03:09 PM
Haha trust the Australian branch of Virgin Mobile to do that.
Something similar happened a few weeks ago: an Australian soldier was killed in Afghanistan recently, and all the television stations ran personal photos of him and his family-lifted straight from his Facebook-for their updates. Its pretty shameless to me.

barrington
07-11-2007, 03:15 PM
This is why I love meta tags. I include invisible copyright on all my photos... well, if I remeber to.Unfortunately a simple print-screen and paste will defeat even the most determined meta-tagger!

Digital_Ice
07-11-2007, 03:51 PM
yes... but 90% of people use right-click - save image as.
having said that, just having the original documents is enough to prove copyright ownership. lol

Leonie
07-11-2007, 04:59 PM
That's the worrying thing: Flickr Pro has the option to disable right click saving - most of these photos had actually been screencapped. If you right click and save the image, you'll not actually save the photo you were looking at, but a small image of nothing.

This is partly why Babble's silly intern story doesn't work: the intern doesn't understand copyright laws, but knows how to get around this kind of protection. Admittedly, screencaps aren't rocket science, but neither is (c) All rights reserved.

It's fairly simple to prove you are the copyright holder, but most people don't have the money to take this firm to court, and they've made it plenty clear that they're not the least bit impressed unless you do.

That's the scary thing: if you want to show your photos watermark-free, there's no way you can prevent this kind of stuff. Companies are trusting that your average Joe won't actually take them to court, which is why they target you and me to rip off.

Haha trust the Australian branch of Virgin Mobile to do that.
Something similar happened a few weeks ago: an Australian soldier was killed in Afghanistan recently, and all the television stations ran personal photos of him and his family-lifted straight from his Facebook-for their updates. Its pretty shameless to me.

That begs the question, which of his Facebook "friends" passed the images on? Unless you're friends with someone, they shouldn't be able to see more than a tiny resized version of your picture of choice.

The Virgin Mobile girl should have a chat to the guy who took her picture - he uploaded it under a Creative Commons license that allowed fair use. However, since it's a picture of a minor, Virgin have still violated a law of some sort, apparently.

I'd be more upset with the photographer than Virgin in this case - if you upload photos of people you know from church with a license that falls under the fair use policy, you are potentially setting them up big time. If this girl hadn't been a minor, her family wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell in court.

Hazzle
07-11-2007, 06:34 PM
That begs the question, which of his Facebook "friends" passed the images on? Unless you're friends with someone, they shouldn't be able to see more than a tiny resized version of your picture of choice.

Technically not true. Firstly you could just happen to know someone who works for Facebook. They not only have access to viewing every profile on the network but if they use a developer's account there's a feature whereby they can actively edit the content on anyone's profile, or even perform actions (like use your profile to post on someone's wall).

Secondly, and far more likely, the profile could be set to be visible to the public. Some people don't restrict it to their friends/networks. I've seen plenty of friends' friends profiles that way, and yet other friends' friends who have set their privacy up right I just see the usual tiny picture with the options down the side. Even if not fully "public" if it were set so it could be seen by anyone in his network all you'd have to do is join a network he was part of.

The Virgin Mobile girl should have a chat to the guy who took her picture - he uploaded it under a Creative Commons license that allowed fair use. However, since it's a picture of a minor, Virgin have still violated a law of some sort, apparently.

Idiot. My Creative Commons bans commercial uses so covers that sort of eventuality.

Leonie
07-11-2007, 07:42 PM
Idiot. My Creative Commons bans commercial uses so covers that sort of eventuality.

Therein lies the problem though - a lot of these photos had a similar license, but there are more and more companies using Flickr like a free stock photo service, ignoring the copyright claims and licenses. And what can anyone without a budget to sue do about it?

Digital_Ice
07-11-2007, 10:42 PM
And what can anyone without a budget to sue do about it?

And therein lies the reason the companies know they'll get away with it.

Hazzle
08-11-2007, 12:36 PM
And what can anyone without a budget to sue do about it?

Not put their pictures up on the internet. People are stupid if they think things they put up on the internet remain "theirs". Unless you have a budget to defend copyright claims the second you put your work up on the internet you pretty much allow these companies to do what they're doing.

I don't blame the companies either, it's clever, they know they can get away with it so they do. I blame the idiots who put stuff up without considering what happens if their copyright is infringed.

hasselbrad
08-11-2007, 12:58 PM
Companies are trusting that your average Joe won't actually take them to court, which is why they target you and me to rip off.


Don't worry, at some point an enterprising group of attorneys will file a class action lawsuit. Or, stock photo agencies and photographer's associations will sue. This sort of thing is definitely cutting into their sales figures.
New technologies will always open a can of worms, and the lawyers and other invested parties are not far behind to close the cans back up.

Digital_Ice
08-11-2007, 01:15 PM
What i find ammusing... is I'm sure 90% of the users who's photos are being used without their permission, have used Limerwire or Kazza at some point to subvery copyright law and download music illegally.

Karmas a bitch.

Leonie
08-11-2007, 03:02 PM
What i find ammusing... is I'm sure 90% of the users who's photos are being used without their permission, have used Limerwire or Kazza at some point to subvery copyright law and download music illegally.

Karmas a bitch.
I think there's a difference though - downloading doesn't significantly alter the artist's income, though I'm sure the record companies don't love it. And even then, you are ripping a multimillion company off, without harming the artist's image in any way.

Illegal downloading seems quite a separate issue to putting someone's photo up and using it as an illustration for a mum on weed. That's just not cool.

Haz, I agree that it is naive to a certain point. Obviously, if a full-time artist puts his work up full-size, he's asking for trouble. A lot of "prosumer" photographers wouldn't dream of being noticed enough to be stolen from, though. In addition, as naive as it is to put your photographs up on the web, the web would be a much poorer place if people stopped altogether. That's the sad outcome of this kind of thievery.

Brad, I think something along those lines is happening now, since they used the image of the daughter of a well-known blogger, who, and this was a lesser-known fact, turns out to be an ace attorney as well. He's not happy with them, and he's now receiving more and more information from ex-employees and other victims. It seems there's a case that could be won right there. Now that *is* karma being a bitch.

hasselbrad
08-11-2007, 03:23 PM
There's an old saying that goes; "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission". Lawyers working on a class action lawsuit don't make money by being "forgiving".

Hazzle
08-11-2007, 10:56 PM
I think there's a difference though - downloading doesn't significantly alter the artist's income, though I'm sure the record companies don't love it. And even then, you are ripping a multimillion company off, without harming the artist's image in any way.

Oh not this again. Downloading doesn't significantly alter the artist's income because the artists get fucked over the record companies. However this idea that it's a "faceless" multimillion dollar company is a load of bull. Sorry Elle, you know I love you, but it's plain wrong. The executives don't suffer. If these companies don't make as much money as they project the shareholders want blood.

What happens? Job cuts. Often from the lowest-paid workers at the company. So yeah, the artists aren't starving, and any suggestion they are is bull. However a lot of lower middle-class/upper working-class employees with families to support are suffering. Doesn't stop me because I'm a heartless bastard who could care less but I don't try and justify it as it can't be justified.

I'm sorry but Ice's right. You can't bitch about your Copyright being infringed and then infringe Copyright. Either Copyright exists for all artists, regardless of their socio-economic status or it exists for nobody. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Rip off multimillion dollar companies (like record companies) and other multimillion dollar companies will rip you off. Circle of life.

Leonie
09-02-2008, 01:42 PM
Sorry, just reading back through this thread, and something occurred to me, so here we go: bump.

I think there is a significant difference between downloading music illegally and using Flickr photos to accompany articles on a parenting website. One very simple difference: downloaded music isn't generally used to make money, these photos are.

In addition, I'd like to add that I wouldn't buy the music I download. It's more curiosity, giving it a test run. If it turns out I like it, I go out and buy the album. If I hate it, I wouldn't spend money on it anyway.

Digital_Ice
09-02-2008, 03:47 PM
Well DRM is offically dead now anyway. More and more companies are selling DRM free music, and with amazon due to start it later in the year DRM should be soon gone...

however...

an article i found while browsing the register at work yester day (i was on my lunch break, so shh) lends to the idea that orwell was only about 20-30 years off.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/08/riaa_wants_filters_for_end_users/