That copyright issue again!

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Well,

I recently shot a bodybuilding contest and put the pictures on my website for competitors to purchase. I have copyright on all of my pictures. I plaster my logo all over the pictures to deter people from stealing them... Well, I have run across one person so far who screenshotted them and put them on her FB page. I politely asked her to remove them and she laughed at me, told me I was overreacting, and then told me she will not be removing them. I filed a report with FB but was wondering what else I should do.

I have emailed the show promoter to ask for a copy of the contract all competitors sign. I'm irritated right now that it's a big joke to this person.

Thoughts?
 
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JMO - If they have your logo on them, and if you posted them in low resolution and size (as you should have), then let her share - even encourage it. If your photos are good, people will seek you out to have you shoot them, and to buy your high resolution photos.
 
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If you haven't already done so, register your copyrights IMMEDIATELY!

If you really want the images pulled down, you can send FB a DMCA takedown notice. FB has a copyright policy that roughly mirrors the safe harbor requirements of the DMCA (although their policy does deviate somewhat from the requiremens under the DMCA--if in doubt, follow the statute), and you can send them a notice and they will act on it. I've had them remove images using this approach.

You can read more about DMCA takedown notices here: http://www.digitalphotopro.com/business/take-down-that-image.html

Hope this helps.
 
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JMO - If they have your logo on them, and if you posted them in low resolution and size (as you should have), then let her share - even encourage it. If your photos are good, people will seek you out to have you shoot them, and to buy your high resolution photos.
+1

Also, one should live by the rule of never posting anything on the internet they don't want stolen or used without their permission. There's always too much overreaction on this whole issue. But if you feel the need to pursue this, follow ImageReflex's advice as this is the best way for resolution. Just keep in mind, you will be like that proverbial salmon swimming upstream banging your head of the rocks all the way up as for every one you shut down there are two more waiting in the wings. Best to watermark and make the images low res so you can get the free exposure.:biggrin:

The alternative, take a lesson from the Greatful Dead. Many photographers should read the book Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead and learn before they whine.

http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/books/marketing-lessons-from-the-grateful-dead/
 
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Just to expand on this - I recently had this happen to me, where I did not have a watermark on the photos. The guy even claimed them as his own. I didn't worry about it - I just started putting watermarks on those type of photos. Since then, I've gotten a lot more people contacting me.
 
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Everything Kingfisher said. On top of that:

[1] If you're doing these events for fun, then enjoy it. People like your pictures. Yay!

[2] If you're trying to make a buck out of these events, run it like a business. At work we refer to the McLaren Rule: every decision this Formula One team makes, is governed by the question "does it make the car go faster." The same applies to your business: does it help you to make money? Anger doesn't make you money. Offering value to potential customers does.

Obviously you won't be making a fortune of these people. But why not set up a template in Photoshop that allows you to make a profile pick + fb page banner in no time? Somebody's interested? "Thank you that you like my picture. For $10 you can get this picture AND a matching banner" (and show the example on your OWN fb page of course)

The question is not "how do I stop people from putting pictures I took of them on their Facebook page;" the question is "how do you monetize that."
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Thank you gentlemen for your responses thus far.

I am the "Official Photographer" for the bodybuilding shows with this particular organization. I pay them for this right, and in return am the only photographer there who can take pictures. I have to upload the pictures to my website so the competitors can decide if they want to buy the pictures. I have the pictures marked from top to bottom with my logo - so yes, it is definitely good advertising. It also irks me that most people have the common decency to pay for the pictures, while a couple feel like it's ok to steal them. What really irks me is that she laughed and said she wouldn't take them down.

I have contact FB and hope they will remove them. If I let it go, then it's open house on anyone who would rather just steal them instead of buy them. I am going to set a precedent so people know this is not ok.

Picture in question (hope it's ok to post here.)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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Thank you gentlemen for your responses thus far.

I am the "Official Photographer" for the bodybuilding shows with this particular organization. I pay them for this right, and in return am the only photographer there who can take pictures. I have to upload the pictures to my website so the competitors can decide if they want to buy the pictures. I have the pictures marked from top to bottom with my logo - so yes, it is definitely good advertising. It also irks me that most people have the common decency to pay for the pictures, while a couple feel like it's ok to steal them. What really irks me is that she laughed and said she wouldn't take them down.

I have contact FB and hope they will remove them. If I let it go, then it's open house on anyone who would rather just steal them instead of buy them. I am going to set a precedent so people know this is not ok.

Picture in question (hope it's ok to post here.)

http://i131.photobucket.com/albums/p309/drinkdontdrive/Ihatethiefs_zpsef18a911.jpg
First off, my opinion, the picture is unusable for casual viewing with all the watermarking, Secondly, if she is giving you free advertizing, take it. I don't see a problem here.
 

Growltiger

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I have a suggestion. Change the hue so the skin is green. And block out the eyes. They will still be able to view them but won't want to steal them while they look like that. No one would want that sort of image on their Facebook.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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I have contact FB and hope they will remove them. If I let it go, then it's open house on anyone who would rather just steal them instead of buy them. I am going to set a precedent so people know this is not ok.
Jonny, Jonny...:m22:

Ok I am going to go on a mini rant that is not totally directed at you in particular...but this topic..this attitude. :smile:
The only people in the world that think this is stealing are pros, simi pros, and wantabe pros.
Back in the old days..a pro would do what you are doing and then possibly print out pictures from that event and possibly hang them in their studio, send out postcards to prospective buyers.
What you did is post a picture of that person in a medium that can be seen by every person in the world with a computer. Big difference.

Do you have a law written down in some book somewhere that says you are right? Probably..But consider this.. next competition walk up to this gal and call her a thief in a loud and clear voice. You might find that emergency dental surgery is not as fun as it sounds :eek:

Ok rant off. Lets talk about making money.Those of us that are self employed have to remain flexible to market conditions and all times. We have to be able to grow, shrink, adapt, in a blink of the eye.

You are going to "make a example of her for others to see"..Yea that wont work. You will just make a bunch of enemy's in their click.
You have went to some trouble to be the only Photog there, you paid money for the privilege..so how best to make money?
By being a tough guy..or by being the competitors best friend..the go to guy for photos of..anything?

If I was trying to do this for money I would offer some sort of Facebook special that included your contact info prominently displayed..maybe a link to your site.
Something..anything that gets you on the customers side, instead of the enemy...the bad guy.

It should be noted that I have never spoken on a cell phone, sent or received a text, tweet, and never ever seen Facebook. :eek:
So its possible that my advice will need a dust off. :smile:
Gary
 
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Do you have a law written down in some book somewhere that says you are right? Probably..But consider this.. next competition walk up to this gal and call her a thief in a loud and clear voice. You might find that emergency dental surgery is not as fun as it sounds :eek
That's the beauty of using a DMCA takedown notice: there's no need for a confrontation of the nature you suggest. The online provider has a tremendous incentive to take the image down--it preserves the immunity they enjoy under the DMCA's safe harbor--and forces the infringer to decide whether they want to fight the issue in court or let it go. There's never a reason to call anyone a thief, even if that's what you believe.

And, yes, there's a law written down in some book. It's called the United States Code, and specifIcally, the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended, 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq.
 
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This made me laugh! :biggrin:
Me too! Actually it is a cool picture, has that old Soviet Union cold war spy feel to it.:biggrin:

He better watermark the hell out of this one before it gets out in the wild and ends up on someone's FB page.:smile:
 
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And, yes, there's a law written down in some book. It's called the United States Code, and specifIcally, the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended, 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq.
You can come up with all kind of fancy words, but I think that Gear Head's point is that it's fairly meaningless in this case.

You can rant and rave about copyright laws whatever you want, reality is that:
  • Despite everyone here calling it theft, copyright infringement is not theft. You can actually look in a book for that ( It's called the United States Code, and specifIcally, the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended, 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq) and it does not call it "theft". Theft is when something you have disappears. Unless someone no longer has the pictures that are "stolen," don't call it theft.
  • Average Joe will as such laugh when you call it theft. Why? Because it's not theft. They didn't take something away from you. Starting by calling it theft puts you in a disadvantage: the infringing party will not take you very seriously. "They'll take me seriously when I have my lawyer write a letter." Yes. And guess what? The lawyer will refer to it as "infringement," not "theft."
  • As taking these cases to court will cost you more than it will bring you in, the trick is in finding out how to monetize it. Hint: image quality on FB is non-existent. You can save a lot of money, time and effort by not worrying too much over it, both when taking the pictures and when processing.
 
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You can come up with all kind of fancy words, but I think that Gear Head's point is that it's fairly meaningless in this case.

You can rant and rave about copyright laws whatever you want, reality is that:
  • Despite everyone here calling it theft, copyright infringement is not theft. You can actually look in a book for that ( It's called the United States Code, and specifIcally, the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended, 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq) and it does not call it "theft". Theft is when something you have disappears. Unless someone no longer has the pictures that are "stolen," don't call it theft.
  • Average Joe will as such laugh when you call it theft. Why? Because it's not theft. They didn't take something away from you. Starting by calling it theft puts you in a disadvantage: the infringing party will not take you very seriously. "They'll take me seriously when I have my lawyer write a letter." Yes. And guess what? The lawyer will refer to it as "infringement," not "theft."
  • As taking these cases to court will cost you more than it will bring you in, the trick is in finding out how to monetize it. Hint: image quality on FB is non-existent. You can save a lot of money, time and effort by not worrying too much over it, both when taking the pictures and when processing.
Well said!!!!

This is a simple problem with simple solutions, though I know some will want to overcomplicate it.

Two paths to follow, as ImageReflex recommends, excercise your DMCA "rights" and shoot your complaint to the hosting site, which will get the job done without any contact between you and the offender. Or, just embrace the situation and make it work to your advantage. I'm sure this person has many FB "freinds" that will see the image and possibly want a high res copy. The digital age has to be embraced and one has to adapt to it or go extinct. It is the same old sorry rant we here from the brick & mortar camera shops that cried about internet sellers, or the "pro" photog whining about Uncle Josh giving his images away for free. I like natural selection, it weeds out the crybabies and makes room for people that know how to get the job done.
 

Growltiger

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Me too! Actually it is a cool picture, has that old Soviet Union cold war spy feel to it.:biggrin:

He better watermark the hell out of this one before it gets out in the wild and ends up on someone's FB page.:smile:
Kingfisher - you are spot on. It is a Soviet hat. I bought it in a foreign currency shop in Moscow in September 1975. Muskrat (Americans call it Musquash).

I had not been able to wear it much until last year, when the photo was taken, because my head is too large despite it being the biggest hat they had. Do Russians have smaller heads? (I know Italians have smaller feet.)

I bought a hat stretcher and after three months it fit perfectly. It is more impressive with the top down, when the fur completely covers the ears and the back of the head. With dark glasses as well, it is a good disguise.

If you want one, the best Russian hats now come from Canada.
 
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I see we have a nice group of "Pros" that have the copyright link at quick disposal. Do you also carry a copy around to show all of those ignorant customers?
I used to know a lot of people that carried the 2nd amendment around to show any cop that they thought was wrong...:rolleyes:
I guaranty the 2nd amendment is a LOT higher on the pole than this is. But it proves you can be right and a idiot at the same time.

But some of you are missing the point completely. I noticed no one quoted me on this.
Ok rant off. Lets talk about making money.
Gary
Now if you are a pro..and making money is what separates Pros from wantabe's..Then you see this as a problem to over come. Rating someone out to big brother is not a solution. And if they take her photo down who do you think she will blame?

Bodybuilding is no different than any hobby. When its your hobby its serious business. And its a relatively small group of people. You have to be on their side..not on the other side. IF you want to make money that is. :smile:

Digital photography and the internet sucks because its so easy to get stuff copied. Not sure what the answer is, as I make money from it completely differently.
I very rarely post any pictures of anything, anywhere because of this :frown:
Gary
 
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