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My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?
  
 
Liquidstone
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p.1 #1 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


(Although the photo was taken with Canon gear, I'm not sure if this is the right forum. Mr. FM, please feel free to transfer the thread if necessary.)

Thanks to a concerned stamp collector from the UK who emailed me the information. It seems somebody had stolen one of my photos of a Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach), then used it erroneously as a photo of a White-fronted Falconet in a stamp issued by Malaysia!

Here's my photo as appearing in my website.







Posted below are a poster of the Malaysian stamp as posted at Facebook as well as comparison crops from the poster and my photo.













Whoever did this has committed two grave wrongs:

1. Stealing my photo and using it without permission; and
2. Serious ignorance, as the White-fronted Falconet looks very different from a Long-tailed Shrike.

I’m sure the Malaysian Government wouldn’t knowingly sanction this despicable act (which should be very embarrassing to them), and I hope they will investigate who did this and rectify the error.

Link to the same post in my Pbase gallery that contains large versions of the photos.

Romy Ocon
Wild Bird Photographer
Manila, Philippines, October 30, 2013



Oct 30, 2013 at 05:55 AM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #2 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Hi Romy,

I really like your work.

The way I suggest approaching this is:
* Contact the Malaysian postal system via certified letter.
* State that you feel your photo has been used without your permission.
* State that you noticed they misidentified the bird in the photo, and
say to you wish to give them an opportunity pull the stamps from circulation before it becomes
a source of embarrassment to the postal system.
* Ask them how it happened that your photo was used without even contacting you to seek permission.

* You may need to get a lawyer involved later, but try to give them a chance to rectify
the problem before you escalate your demands.

Just my opinion,
Tim



Oct 30, 2013 at 06:05 AM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #3 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


If the stamp went into circulation, I really think it is reasonable to seek damages, but it would be nice to give them some time to look into it before you escalate.


Oct 30, 2013 at 06:10 AM
Daniel Smith
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p.1 #4 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Looks like a common photograph. Why do you think it it your specific image with a different perch for this bird?


Oct 30, 2013 at 06:28 AM
Liquidstone
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p.1 #5 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Daniel Smith wrote:
Looks like a common photograph. Why do you think it it your specific image with a different perch for this bird?


Of course, they changed the BG and the perch.

But look at the position of the claws, the blemishes in the beak, and the other identical details in the plumage. Noticeable too in the abdominal area is a brighter spot where they cloned out my watermark.




Oct 30, 2013 at 06:31 AM
Liquidstone
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p.1 #6 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


trumpet_guy wrote:
If the stamp went into circulation, I really think it is reasonable to seek damages, but it would be nice to give them some time to look into it before you escalate.


Thanks for your thoughts, Tim.

I have a theory how this happened - if one googles images of a "white-fronted falconet," my photo shows up. The clueless graphics artist must've grabbed my photo and reworked it to the final version of the stamp.

What stumps me is why there are no technical persons (bird experts) who reviewed the final stamp design. The error could have been easily spotted and the embarrassment (for the Malaysian Post Office) avoided.




Oct 30, 2013 at 06:39 AM
popinvasion
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p.1 #7 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Just promote it as a special distinction for your work.



Oct 30, 2013 at 06:41 AM
StillFingerz
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p.1 #8 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Hi Romy, I've looked over the images you've posted but I'm no photoshop wiz just a newbie so this question might seem silly...

I see much in common, everything you mentioned above, but there seems to be a slight tilt and angle change to the birds, the stamp image is tilted left and slightly down. Your shot is straight up at about 12 on a clock, the stamp is at 11. All else seems the same, is it possible to manage that position change in photoshop?

Once an architect and mason, angles are ingrained in my brain, and the angle shift is what caught my eye. The branch, background, your watermark, seem like easy changes, and there is a fuzziness in the stamp that looks like there could be image manipulation.

There also seems like a proportion issue with the main body and neck; mostly white feathered area, the stamp image looks slightly wider; the bird a bit fatter..could be more manipulation, re-sizing specific areas.

The feet look the same even with the angle change...some slick willy doing their best at possibly your expense...this kind of stuff makes me ill..

The images look so close, sure hope you find resolution, stay strong!
Jerry



Oct 30, 2013 at 07:00 AM
Liquidstone
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p.1 #9 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


StillFingerz wrote:
I see much in common, everything you mentioned above, but there seems to be a slight tilt and angle change to the birds, the stamp image is tilted left and slightly down. Your shot is straight up at about 12 on a clock, the stamp is at 11. All else seems the same, is it possible to manage that position change in photoshop?

Jerry


Hi Jerry, it's very easy to rotate the subject in PS.

As a confessed pixel peeper ( ), I can find numerous details and shadows that match in both subjects. In my experience, such matching detail are like fingerprints.



Oct 30, 2013 at 07:21 AM
RobDickinson
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p.1 #10 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Its really easy to cut the bird out and rotate a little Jerry. Doesnt even look like they took much time over it. That would take me about 2 min in photoshop


Oct 30, 2013 at 07:22 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



SKumar25
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p.1 #11 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Wow, what an epic fail.

To me it is clearly a copy of Romy's work. I'd get legal advice. They need to compensate you and heads need to roll.

You should feel flattered, how many peoples work makes it to a postage stamp?

BTW, love your work.



Oct 30, 2013 at 07:30 AM
Liquidstone
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p.1 #12 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


SKumar25 wrote:
Wow, what an epic fail.

To me it is clearly a copy of Romy's work. I'd get legal advice. They need to compensate you and heads need to roll.

You should feel flattered, how many peoples work makes it to a postage stamp?

BTW, love your work.


Thanks.

I actually admire the effective tourism campaign of our SEA neighbor, even the nice "Visit Malaysia" commercials at NatGeo. Too bad that this embarrassing oversight happened.



Oct 30, 2013 at 07:55 AM
Liquidstone
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p.1 #13 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Posting an enlarged comparison showing the matching details.








Oct 30, 2013 at 08:21 AM
thw2
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p.1 #14 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


Malaysia? Good luck to you.... whatever 'injustice' you hope to address will probably never happen.

I LOVE your work and this is very unfortunate.



Oct 30, 2013 at 08:45 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #15 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


StillFingerz wrote:
...I'm no photoshop wiz just a newbie so this question might seem silly... ...is it possible to manage that position change in photoshop?


Yep; takes about 2 seconds using the [Image:Rotate] tool, and other manipulations only take a few minutes more if one has experience.

With apologies to Romy, but this is for educational purposes:








Edited on Oct 30, 2013 at 08:57 AM · View previous versions



Oct 30, 2013 at 08:52 AM
John_T
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p.1 #16 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


The other shots on that stamp sheet may also be stolen, so you have got to do something, Romy, if only to let them know the world is watching.

The trick will be where to address your notification that it won't get lost in bureaucracy or ignored, perhaps deliberately. In any case I would notify the Malaysian ambassador to the Philippines, as this is certainly an international incident in a way, and he will be obliged to respond. And while you are at it, copy the Philippine ambassador to Malaysia, just to stir the pot in both directions. This might be fun.



Oct 30, 2013 at 08:56 AM
justruss
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p.1 #17 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


A government has deep pockets, and you can bet there's a serious budget for tourism departments-- those ads they run on CNN International aren't cheap to produce or buy space for.

They will also probably want to save face on this matter. I'd suggest not participating too heavily in this thread, which might block their face-saving chances.

Get a lawyer who knows the legal system in Malaysia, and knows how to work within the cultural and societal rules.

You may walk away with a happy Malaysia and a fat check if you handle this smoothly.



Oct 30, 2013 at 09:22 AM
SKumar25
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p.1 #18 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


justruss wrote:
A government has deep pockets, and you can bet there's a serious budget for tourism departments-- those ads they run on CNN International aren't cheap to produce or buy space for.

They will also probably want to save face on this matter. I'd suggest not participating too heavily in this thread, which might block their face-saving chances.

Get a lawyer who knows the legal system in Malaysia, and knows how to work within the cultural and societal rules.

You may walk away with a happy Malaysia and a fat check if you handle this smoothly.


+1

The more you publicise this, the less your bargaining power. You have potential for a large payout.



Oct 30, 2013 at 09:28 AM
SKumar25
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p.1 #19 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


BrianO wrote:
Yep; takes about 2 seconds using the [Image:Rotate] tool, and other manipulations only take a few minutes more if one has experience.

With apologies to Romy, but this is for educational purposes:



well illustrated...



Oct 30, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #20 · My photo was stolen and used in a Malaysian Stamp?


justruss wrote:
Get a lawyer who knows the legal system in Malaysia...


Legal system? Good luck, yankee with pretty bird picture.

Ok, ok. If you come here for a holiday we'll give you some durian and buah melaka.



Oct 30, 2013 at 09:32 AM
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