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These guys have been really busy stealing photos from SP

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Postby moonspots » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:27 pm

nattfodd wrote:It's pretty much impossible to keep people from copying images. You can make it slightly more difficult...


Well, they can be digitaly watermarked, but unless the watermark is visible, you're back to only being able to doing something about it "after the fact".
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Postby MarthaP » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:35 pm

Hey, Alpinist,

I'm honestly not certain that because a nonprofit says it's illegal that it is. I contacted the FCC not so long ago about this very same issue and there are no concrete Federal regulations regarding intellectual property and stuff that can be considered "purposefully pirated," meaning photographs that could obviously be taken by one person.

So it's still a slippery slope. Unless you can absolutely prove that a photograph is yours, by whatever means, you really don't have a leg to stand on. And the problem is so unbelievably rampant how many folks are actually going to bother to pursue litigation? I don't think there's a lawyer in town who'd think this was worth their while even on a class action basis.

Sad but true.
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Postby peladoboton » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:44 pm

so in the way of my own use of photos off of SP, am i correct to understand that the correct way to obtain use of phots from SP is to contact the owner and send $/flowers/beer/Wild Oats gift cards?

i only ask because i saw some pics i really want to have as posters one day when i have a job and can affors to send the pics to Costco and have them printed up all purty-like
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Postby MarthaP » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:47 pm

peladoboton wrote:so in the way of my own use of photos off of SP, am i correct to understand that the correct way to obtain use of phots from SP is to contact the owner and send $/flowers/beer/Wild Oats gift cards?

i only ask because i saw some pics i really want to have as posters one day when i have a job and can affors to send the pics to Costco and have them printed up all purty-like


Uhhhh, does Wild Oats even exist anymore? I though Whole Paycheck bought them out. :wink:
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Postby Big Benn » Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:59 pm

I always post low res versions of my photos on my web sites and on forums.

And I have to accept that people may just download and use them in the way highlighted above: which I consider to be wrong, even if it is not illegal, (which it may be!).

All anyone has to do with me is ask if they can use one of my photos! I don't consider they are of much value, all I want is to be credited with taking the photo.

It is surprising how many people have asked me if they can use my photos, (none that are only on SP so far). And to a number who wanted to print them in brochures etc I've always sent a high res copy.

Just how I deal with the matter.

Doesn't mean I won't be annoyed if I find people have used my photos without asking and crediting me, and then pretending they took them!
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Postby peladoboton » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:19 pm

MarthaP wrote:
peladoboton wrote:so in the way of my own use of photos off of SP, am i correct to understand that the correct way to obtain use of phots from SP is to contact the owner and send $/flowers/beer/Wild Oats gift cards?

i only ask because i saw some pics i really want to have as posters one day when i have a job and can affors to send the pics to Costco and have them printed up all purty-like


Uhhhh, does Wild Oats even exist anymore? I though Whole Paycheck bought them out. :wink:


dunno, i just gave up on those places because they are WAY expensive and being a hayseed myself i can either buy it from a good grower or grow it myself a lot easier than wading through aisles of junk i have never heard of in search of some dang whole wheat bread (which i now make myself, and its pretty dang good, IMOHO). something about run-on sentances and having a point and even staying on topic comes to mind, but really, this head-cold is kicking me in the arse such that i'm having a hard time giving a flying who-ha-ha. so thanks and happy Hauneka to anyone still reading this, and buy local and don't steal pictures and stuff...uh...yeah
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Postby mconnell » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:46 pm

MarthaP wrote:
peladoboton wrote:so in the way of my own use of photos off of SP, am i correct to understand that the correct way to obtain use of phots from SP is to contact the owner and send $/flowers/beer/Wild Oats gift cards?

i only ask because i saw some pics i really want to have as posters one day when i have a job and can affors to send the pics to Costco and have them printed up all purty-like


Uhhhh, does Wild Oats even exist anymore? I though Whole Paycheck bought them out. :wink:


Yup. Cost my brother-in-law his job.
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Postby Dave K » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:16 pm

MarthaP wrote:Hey, Alpinist,

I'm honestly not certain that because a nonprofit says it's illegal that it is. I contacted the FCC not so long ago about this very same issue and there are no concrete Federal regulations regarding intellectual property and stuff that can be considered "purposefully pirated," meaning photographs that could obviously be taken by one person.

So it's still a slippery slope. Unless you can absolutely prove that a photograph is yours, by whatever means, you really don't have a leg to stand on. And the problem is so unbelievably rampant how many folks are actually going to bother to pursue litigation? I don't think there's a lawyer in town who'd think this was worth their while even on a class action basis.

Sad but true.


I have caught someone red-handed who undeniably stole my photo and used it in an ad. The hypocritical bastards have even posted elsewhere on their website some words of warning on the evils of breaking copyright laws. I considered going after them, wrote a letter asking them to remove the photo, but as a practical matter suing them would be a PITA for relatively little in return b/c I'd have to go to a neighboring state to go to court--though I'm confident I could win. So, there it is, still posted illegally. If you registered your photo with the copyright office, you could get additional damages, but who here has ever bothered to do that?

With digital, one additional thing you can do is go to your camera's menu and as a default, enter your name into the EXIF data. Consult the manual on how exactly to do this. At least your name will be attached to the photo in some form.
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Postby Dave K » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:20 pm

Curious if a photo is being used elsewhere on the interweb?

http://www.tineye.com/
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:42 pm

The search failed on the first image I tried, which I know to be on SP. Have you tried it?
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:48 pm

I know this is a pita, but I have subtly worked my initials into the background (not on photos, but on other images that I drafted). I've also encoded my initials in binary (ascii equivalent) as a pattern of light and dark. It's not obvious from the photo, but if you can reconstruct the initials and compare against your prestatement, it is hard to deny. This requires some discipline in recording where the initials are.

Anya Jingle's approach is simple and effective.
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Postby johnm » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:54 pm

I tried the engine as well.

Using the URL search I tried an SP Photo that I know has been used improperly in the past. In that case I pm'ed the owner and he contacted the news agency and they took it down.

I tried a second search on a photo that I know to be all over the net, David Hockney's Pearblossum Highway and it had 30 results. Here are the results:

http://www.tineye.com/search/198af7081ffbd725f03146cfab6824e8dadeb93e

Thanks Dave. A great tool indeed.

P.S. I'm not talking about you Dave. Don't Ban me!! :D
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Postby Dave K » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:30 am

MoapaPk wrote:The search failed on the first image I tried, which I know to be on SP. Have you tried it?


I have. The site admits it does an incomplete job, but I had some hits for a few photos, none of which bothered me.
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Postby coldfoot » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:40 am

MarthaP wrote:Hey, Alpinist,

I'm honestly not certain that because a nonprofit says it's illegal that it is. I contacted the FCC not so long ago about this very same issue and there are no concrete Federal regulations regarding intellectual property and stuff that can be considered "purposefully pirated," meaning photographs that could obviously be taken by one person.

So it's still a slippery slope. Unless you can absolutely prove that a photograph is yours, by whatever means, you really don't have a leg to stand on. And the problem is so unbelievably rampant how many folks are actually going to bother to pursue litigation? I don't think there's a lawyer in town who'd think this was worth their while even on a class action basis.

Sad but true.


Using someone's photo without permission does violate copyright and is illegal. However, getting any satisfaction from them may be expensive and not worth your time. I think that's what you're referring to. But copyright law is pretty unambiguous. If you take a photo, you own the copyright, and if someone uses it w/o permission, that is a violation.

If you are dealing with a reputable business that doesn't want to get in trouble (this includes businesses like Google that host blogger websites) than an email or a letter from a lawyer can typically get the violation corrected. You generally wouldn't have to pursue litigation. However, if they are in some far off country there is not a lot you could do.

"Intellectual property" law is a different and more complicated set of issues than copyright law - it has to do with things like patents, trade secrets, designs, and so on. The issues there are often less clear cut than copyright.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.
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Postby Alpinist » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:47 am

I doubt that I would ever bother to sue someone over this; however I would definitely draw attention to the fact that they are using a stolen photo (to the extent possible). If they are using a stolen photo to promote themselves or their business, it would not help their credibility any if the public became aware that they did not take the photo...
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