Image was appropriated , but credited, what to do?
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GC5
Registered: Jun 05, 2008
Total Posts: 2279
Country: United States


I'm not a professional photographer, but have had several shots published in local papers, magazines, etc. I live outside of DC and take lots of DC photos. I recently came across a relatively prominent local blog that featured one of my photos in its post. They didn't quite steal it, as they credited me for having taken the picture and linked my smugmug (i.e., this was a photo I had made public, but not licensed for commercial use). What would you do in this situation? For the record, I would have let them use it if they asked. I am just pissed they used it without asking...



Volks1470
Registered: Jul 02, 2012
Total Posts: 149
Country: Germany

I've since changed my opinion...



cgardner
Registered: Nov 18, 2002
Total Posts: 9376
Country: United States

Most people not involved with commercial publishing are clueless with regard to intellectual property and think they have free license to use anything they see on-line simply by offering a credit line. You are lucky you got that.

I've had my tutorials, orginal illustrations and photos used without permission. Back in the 90s (before search engines) I ran an index of Filipino web sites and created an illustration of a purple Filipino Jeepney as a logo which I found other sites dozens of other sites. My tutorials get copy / pasted into people's blogs despite the copyright notice and terms of use on the bottom.

I've always only posted content under a domain name I own, not third party sites, and put a statement on my sites and pages that clearly state the restrictions and license for use. For example I allow and encourage people to copy my tutorials for personal use, but I don't want them duplicated on other sites or used by in for profit classes others teach. I provide the information freely, so as a matter of principle I don't think others should profit from it either.

If I were a working pro and paying the mortgage with my camera I'd put a price list for Internet usage on my web site on my copyright page and send unauthorized users a commerical invoice as a "wake-up" call. But since it's a hobby for me geared towards helping and educating others rather than entertaining them, when I find someone using my stuff in a way not permitted I'll send them a polite e-mail telling them I came across my material on their site, appreciate them valuing it enough to use it, but prefer to control usage on my terms. I'll ask them to remove the copied material and in the case of tutorial link to the orginal on my site instead.

It's as much an effort to educate that Internet ≠ free license for use as to it is a desire to control how my IP is used. Most comply, others ignore the request. Not much you can do about the latter types of people except shrug and be glad you only interact with them on the Internet



jforkner
Registered: Dec 02, 2008
Total Posts: 476
Country: United States

What you have done if they'd asked to use the image? Whatever the answer, send them an email telling them you saw the post, don't like that they used the image without permission, and would like whatever you would have told them had they asked.

I've had this happen to me and this is how I handled it.


Jack




BluesWest
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 782
Country: United States

What would you do in this situation?

First of all, you have the right to send the ISP hosting the blog site a DMCA Takedown Notice. The ISP host is required by law to respond to this notice. Furthermore, information about to whom and where to send the notice should be displayed somewhere on the ISP host's website.

Secondly, you have to decide whether to go after the infringer. Just because you posted the image publically doesn't mean it's fair game for anyone to use it. You own the copyright and you have the legal right to determine how the image is used. On the other hand, taking legal action against a blog site is probably not worth the cost.

If I were in this situation, I would send the DMCA Takedown Notice to the hosting site and then directly contact the infringer informing them of the infringement and include an invoice with a reasonable fee for use of the photo.

John



drofnad
Registered: Nov 18, 2008
Total Posts: 136
Country: United States

GC5 wrote: ... a relatively prominent local blog that featured one of my photos in its post. They... credited me for having taken the picture and linked my smugmug (i.e., this was a photo I had made public, but not licensed for commercial use).

For the record, I would have let them use it if they asked.

I am just pissed they used it without asking...


Should your being P.O.'d amount to more than having your (non-professional) good work recognized & credited?

At most, I think that you could send them a note thanking them for the recognition/compliment but requesting that they ask first, for any further photos.

The harsher actions suggested above strike me as making a gratuitous hostile action against folks who (a) liked your work AND recognized YOUR site, and (b) had no better grasp of legalities of this "not quite stealing" than you do. Why focus on that vs. their praise of your pics (esp. given your note about preferring that lawyering & phot'ing would be reversed in your life in degree!) ?

-drofnad



Micky Bill
Registered: Nov 25, 2006
Total Posts: 2645
Country: N/A

drofnad wrote:
GC5 wrote: ... a relatively prominent local blog that featured one of my photos in its post. They... credited me for having taken the picture and linked my smugmug (i.e., this was a photo I had made public, but not licensed for commercial use).

For the record, I would have let them use it if they asked.

I am just pissed they used it without asking...


Should your being P.O.'d amount to more than having your (non-professional) good work recognized & credited?

At most, I think that you could send them a note thanking them for the recognition/compliment but requesting that they ask first, for any further photos.

The harsher actions suggested above strike me as making a gratuitous hostile action against folks who (a) liked your work AND recognized YOUR site, and (b) had no better grasp of legalities of this "not quite stealing" than you do. Why focus on that vs. their praise of your pics (esp. given your note about preferring that lawyering & phot'ing would be reversed in your life in degree!) ?

-drofnad



So if I steal your bike because i like it, you'd send me a note thanking me for my good taste in using your bike without asking you or anyone for permission, and request that the next time I want to "not quite steal" your bike I ask?

It just ain't right....



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12983
Country: United States

Send them an invoice for payment? While not your first "publication", it still warrants payment for services rendered (you did the work) and usage of your works.


A few questions @ the pic.
When did you first post it?
When did they steal/lift/borrow/inappropriate/use?


They obviously took it and will try to use a "loophole" or two to justify it. Don't buy into the loophole ... they stole it. This is a copyright legal matter ... they likely know where the "loopholes" are and more importantly they know that most people are totally ignorant on the legal aspects of the matter. Take some time to inform yourself on the legal aspects of the matter, so that they can't so readily buffalo you like taking candy from a baby. They will try ... and if you remain uniformed, they'll succeed.

Have you registered the image yet? (I already know the answer to that one ... more on that to follow). Even unregistered works are still copyrighted ... it just changes how much $$$ can be awarded in a suit and whether attorney fees are recompensable.

It is still a copyright violation, pure & simple. Whether your recourse is for a few hundred/thousand $$$ (unregistered) or the maximum limits of the law $150,000 (registered) for punitive damages (iirc) will depend on several factors, including timely registration vs. unregistered works. damages, attorney fees, etc.

It sounds like you aren't up for a legal battle over copyright ... so send them an invoice for payment. Then it becomes a more of a small claims issue. where they simply owe you for your work rendered.

If I'm a woodworker and I make park bench and set it out in my yard for everyone to admire ... then someone comes along and takes it because I had put it on public display in my own yard (i.e. domain/account). I had set it on public display for their enjoyment of VIEWING, not for the gain of USING. Just because I allowed others to view it, doesn't give them the right to take it and use it. You take my workmanship (bench) you owe me for its value ... the wood, the tools, my experience, my time, my expenses and at a reasonable profit. While I didn't originally do it for profit ... the fact that you took it from me (stolen) is either criminal ... or if you prefer ... a business transaction (non-criminal) in which I would only engage in for profit (certainly not loss).

AND ... just because they only put it in their yard or business, but never "sold it" for monetary profit ... they still benefited / gained / profited from using it.

Without your permission ... THEY STOLE IT. PERIOD.

What your recourse action possibilities are and the law behind your actions are something that you'll need to learn more of.

Here's link that will have a bevy of discussion regarding a similar situation with a "non-profit" entity. Don't let the whole "blog" thing make you think they aren't gaining from usage of your works.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/905375/0?keyword=copyright#8533496

You need to understand IN YOUR MIND ... they either STOLE IT (criminal) or they have entered into an INCOMPLETE BUSINESS TRANSACTION (non-criminal) that you need to complete. My experience is that you'll get farther / easier via the non-criminal route ... but only if armed in the fact that they did in fact steal it as a copyright violation.

That will give you some teeth to complete the transaction that they would otherwise try to get you to believe you have ZERO entitlement to. That is simply NOT TRUE. It sucks that we have to "fight" to get what we are due ... but that's the way it is. Your choice at roll over and die, or proceed to claim/reclaim what is rightfully yours from those who misappropriated it from you. Even if they decide to "Oh well, we just won't use it then." ... excuse me, you already have.

If I were to go past a rental house that has a lawnmower on display, take it, then cut my grass with it. me simply ceasing to use it anymore doesn't change the fact that I did take it and I did use it for my own gain (even if money didn't exchange hands because I did if for myself) ... the rental company is still due payment (not simply give back the mower) for the usage period for which I had the mower. I either STOLE IT ... or I entered into an incomplete business transaction, for which they are due their rental (i.e. usage) fees. I could tell the whole world that I cut my grass with their mower (i.e. giving credit) ... but they are still due the rental (usage) fee.

Credit does not negate payment ... as far too many would like us to believe.

GL & HTH

NOTE: Before you go bashing on why/how the analogies are technically errant ... the point is to get the concept across to the OP ... his images were either taken without permission (i.e. stolen) or they were taken in advance of his permission. The terms of his granting permission have remained undefined to this point. He now needs to define the terms of his permission granting usage. His choice @ permission for free vs. permission for credit vs. permission for $$$ vs. no permission (i.e. take down). I just want to get into his head that in NO WAY, NO SHAPE, NO FORM did they have rights to do so ... despite the OP sounding like a "nice guy" that would have done so for credit alone, had they originally just asked for his permission.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12983
Country: United States

Volks1470 wrote:
Not quite sure why you would be pissed about it. They took a photo, which you made public, and put it in their blog. They even were kind enough to give the source of the photo. As far as "not licensed for commercial use". They did not use your photo in a commercial scenario. They are not a business profiting from your photo being on their blog (as far as i know).

I'm no expert, but that's my take on your scenario. I'd be happy to see my work getting posted elsewhere with credit given.


This is folly & dangerous to the community at large ... it is perpetuating a fallacy regarding public display vs. authorized usage being okay just because no direct money changed hands.

The blog benefits from the usage of the image. Whether or not a dollar changed directly changed hands while they were using it, they still benefited from it.

The blog benefited from it:

They did not spend the time going to the site of the shoot.
They did not spend the time performing the shoot.
They did not spend the gas money to get to and from the shoot.
They did not spend the time on post production from the shoot.

Time is money ... they benefited from the OP's efforts ... and that has commercial value. It allows the blog to advance itself further than had it been required to expense the time & money to obtain the same image. The blog benefits from the usage of the image as it entices to retain and grow readership ... even if it is investment commercial value where the "money" comes later. It is allows the blogger to not spend that allotment of time on the blog and spend that time on some other "commercial" value entity. Time has commercial value.

It is not okay to take someone else's work for your usage without permission ... terms of permission are up to the OP. It is up to him to decide IF credit is agreeable to him or IF $$$ is agreeable to him or IF none is agreeable to him.

This attitude of "consider yourself lucky" if you get credit is absolute total BS. Yeah, I'm gonna feel really lucky if a thief comes into my house and steals one of my "wall hangers", puts it up in his business ... then tells everyone, "Hey, come over to my place and see this really cool pic I got from RustyBug. You like it, that's cool. Glad you came over and checked it out, my place is getting really popular (commercial gain @ traffic value) isn't it. No, I can't sell it to you, it's not mine to sell. That would be wrong."

You say, "But that's different. The blogger didn't ACTUALLY steal it off the wall. He just made a copy of it for his own use."
What do you think "copyright" laws are. You don't have the RIGHT to COPY someone else's work for your intended use WITHOUT their PERMISSION. Doing so deprives them of receiving compensation for the value of their work.

BUT ... AND THIS IS HUGE ... it not only devalues their work, but it DEVALUES ALL WORK. I mean why would anyone, anywhere, ever want to pay anything as long as there is always someone else's work that can be "not quite stolen" for FREE. It totally undermines the valuation of works by virtue of the simple laws of supply & demand. If people are allowed to access an extensive supply of free "not quite stolen" ... there is ZERO opportunity for the DEMAND side of the equation to even EXIST.

Fair market value is dependent upon BOTH sides (seller and buyer) coming to an agreed upon price. NOT QUITE STEALING never afforded the owner an opportunity to agree upon a price with the buyer (which the buyer may have rejected and been forced to look elsewhere) ... hence it totally denies the opportunity for an "agreed upon price", thus totally undermining the concept of free enterprise, predicated upon fair market value.

What part of FAIR is "NOT QUITE STEALING" ... to the owner or the original works or to the marketplace at large. It isn't in any way, shape or form "fair". It is simply a bunch of techno-thugs raping, pillaging and plundering at their will the uneducated and uninformed and "good-natured" individuals who were not prepared for either the marketplace or their own defense. Even though the OP states that he would have likely agreed to credit as agreeable to him, the fact of the matter is that not only did the blogger steal the works from the OP ... the blogger also stole the OP's rightful opportunity to engage in a fair market exchange, irrespective of what the agreed upon price may have been, or even if they had not come to an agreed upon price.

Nope, you still owe me. Okay, so you're a poor, struggling business (blog) trying to make it (future growth). I get that, but you still owe me. I'm flexible @ money vs. barter @ products or services ... but my work still has value ... you don't get it for free (next to free, maybe ) ... but not for free, unless I choose to do so. Give me the due respect @ value of my work. I mean, after all ... it had enough value to you to warrant you stealing it from all the others you could have stolen from or produced yourself. You didn't steal it because it was worthless ... you took it (stole) without permission, and you used it without permission ... because it was worth something to you. You took something that wasn't yours to take and you used it in a way that wasn't yours to decide how it could be used ... you stole it because it had value to you ... now, you owe me.

Think about it.



BTW, he's "pissed" because someone stole (two) something(s) from him ... his work & his right to engage in a fair market value transaction as the seller.

The blogger/thief/buyer "determined" the "fair market value" by himself without any input from the OP/seller ... as being "credit" only. This constitutes totally averting the marketplace and totally averting fair market value, since fair market value is defined as an "agreed upon price" between the buyer and seller ... no agreement was ever reached because the thief (buyer) never afforded such an opportunity to the owner (seller).

You can try and say that because the blogger didn't resell the image or derive "commercial gain" from it, it isn't stealing ... but if I come take your camera away from you and put in on a shelf in my den along with my massive collection of other "not quite stolen" cameras you'd be pissed that I did so ... even if I didn't derive any "commercial gain" and gave credit to you as the rightful owner.

The fact that the blogger "gave credit" to the rightful owner establishes the fact that the blogger knowingly is not the rightful owner. As such, he can only use the image IF it has been agreed upon by the rightful owner. The rightful owner never agreed to such usage and was never even afforded the opportunity to do so ... irregardless of what form & amount of "fair market value" he may have agreed upon, had he been afforded his rightful opportunity to do so.

I can steal your car and take it out for a "joy ride" ... pick up my friends, cruise around town, look really cool & popular and tell everyone "Yeah, its Joe's ride ... ain't it cool." Then when you notice it's missing, I can just "give it back". No matter how you slice it, giving credit WITHOUT AGREED UPON PERMISSION does NOT excuse stealing that which is not yours ... even if you "give it back" when you are done using it, or if it's "only a copy".

STEALING IS STEALING ... PERIOD.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stealing

While it is true that one definition of stealing is trying to pass off workmanship of others as your own and the practice of "giving credit" satisfies that aspect of the definition. However, there is the FIRST definition of stealing, which is simply taking that which is not yours and for which PERMISSION has not been granted. Just because you satisfy a secondary definition of stealing, it does NOT exonerate you from the primary definition of stealing ... taking another's property without right or permission. And if you say, he only made a copy ... he still took it in order to make the copy (albeit electronic), which he had no right to do ... be that physical property, creative works or intellectual property (including such as posted herein, et al).

CLEARLY the blogger has taken the the OP's property & right without permission. CLEARLY the blogger has stolen from the OP. Giving "credit" in lieu of obtaining permission from the rightful owner does NOT make it okay ... it is a fallacy and a detriment to the marketplace to suggest such a naive and self-serving perspective.



mdude85
Registered: Apr 12, 2004
Total Posts: 4398
Country: United States

I think some of the posts on this thread are thus far a bit misguided. In my opinion drofnad is closest to the answer I would offer. As a DC resident and thus reader of several neighborhood blogs (but I know the scenario to be similar for blogs in other cities), I see how many times images are lifted from the Internet without permission and I know how it might irk those people who want to maintain control of their images. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

1 -- blogs the kind of which you speak are typically considered to be news/editorial publications. They are not typically considered to be commercial publications. These blogs' first line of defense is a claim to fair use of your image for editorial purposes. In addition, your photos might have a Creative Commons license automatically applied to them when they are uploaded to Smugmug. You can change the license in your account settings if you want.

2 -- these blogs do not mean you any harm. They are not out to "steal" images (the analogies to stealing a bicycle, car, lawnmower, etc are inapt for several reasons, the most basic of which is that your image is not tangible property... the image was merely copied, not "stolen"; that is to say, the image is and always was in your possession. The law makes a clear distinction between material theft and copyright infringement). They are not out to make money from your photos -- many of them don't even pay their own writers.

3 -- these blogs are not trying to claim your work for their own. The way they distinguish their content is with their writing and reporting on local issues, not with the accompanying photos. Every blog I know of appropriates images from the Internet, most of them from Flickr. The photos are just there for context and flair. All the reputable blogs I follow credit images to the photographer; if they forget and are alerted to the issue, they usually find the credit and correct the post.

4 -- these blogs are not out to diminish the value of your images or the craft of photography. In fact, several photographers have gained significant notoriety, even paying gigs, from blogs showing their work. Instead of ostracizing the blogs that clearly think your work is good enough to publish, maybe you could reach out to them and maybe get something out of this. Bloggers are friendly people, not shadowy criminal figures -- and they are, by the way, people who live and work in your own community. If my photo were used by one of the reputable blogs I follow, I would take it as an opportunity to market my brand in whatever way I could.

If it bothers you, then you can contact the blog and ask that next time they contact you for permission before using your photo. This is not an unfair request. Maybe they'll contact you next time, or maybe they'll just use someone else's photo. You should thank them kindly for admiring and crediting your photo, and then drop the issue. Cheers!



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12983
Country: United States

mdude85 wrote:

These blogs' first line of defense is a claim to fair use of your image for editorial purposes.


+1

Yup ... legalized theft of a commodity without affording the owner an opportunity to engage in free enterprise or market valuation ... kinda sounds like the KGB or Gestapo that could just come in and take over a persons "anything they wanted" in the name of the "higher purpose".

Yeah, that's a stretch, but how is it really any different in principle. You're still taking something that isn't yours, using it at your will for your agenda and not compensating the owner for it. Oh sure, it is "legal" to do in the name of "fair usage" if you want to call it that (nothing fair about it to the owner), but it was legal for the KGB and Gestapo to do so as well.

And people wonder why things like this happen.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1136991



mdude85
Registered: Apr 12, 2004
Total Posts: 4398
Country: United States

There is no such thing as "legalized theft" because theft means taking unlawfully. If the taking is lawful -- what we would probably call "sharing" or "giving" -- then it's not theft. I want the laws to take into account the changing landscape of the craft as much as the next photographer, but they are not written or applied maliciously.

Laypersons are entitled to their opinions about the marginalization of photographers, but this logic equating material theft to copyright infringement neither holds up in a court of law nor is particularly beneficial to photographers trying to protect their work. Instead of bastardizing the meaning of words to fit our preconceptions, or equating harmless copyright infringement to entities (like the gestapo) who committed actual atrocities against humanity, we should become educated about the real issues that affect the craft and behave in a manner that is mutually beneficial to us and the consumers of our work. Just my 2 cents.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12983
Country: United States

The point was targeted at the concept of we should be "happy" when someone takes something of ours without permission, but gives us credit ... legal or not, people weren't happy when the KGB or Gestapo "legally" took things that weren't theirs.

If people want to be happy because someone "legally" takes something without permission from the owner (freaking BS oxymoronic law) ... sure, go for it & be happy. I find it appalling and hope that "fair use" gets overturned sooner than later. Slavery was once legal ... were the slaves supposed to be happy about it just because it was "legal" at the time. If everyone is going to simply "be happy" about it ... no, it never will change.



mdude85
Registered: Apr 12, 2004
Total Posts: 4398
Country: United States

RustyBug wrote:
The point was targeted at the concept of we should be "happy" when someone takes something of ours without permission, but gives us credit ...


Perhaps my original post was not clear, but I never said the photographer should be happy for the perceived impermissible appropriation. The photographer is certainly entitled to be upset if he so chooses. But there are ways to turn a sour situation into an opportunity instead of a battle. I'm not dispensing legal advice, but I would not pursue a claim for copyright infringement. I would let it go because I would understand that these types of protracted battles usually do not have a happy ending for the involved parties.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12983
Country: United States

+1 @ win battle vs. lose the war ... and making lemonade out of lemons.

My point was that if we all just "lay down" and "be happy" because credit was given ... what can we expect the future to hold. I totally get "picking your battles" and "choosing your weapon". That's why I suggested an invoice rather than a legal suit. With an invoice, you are assigning value ... even though it might be balked at citing "fair use", it opens the door for dialogue at sharing (which does incorporate reciprocal value) / alternative compensation. I find this preferable to "be happy" you got credit ... and as others mentioned, yes you can go the "take down" route.

My point is simply that unless we seek recompense ... in whatever (monetary / creative / alternative) form we are willing to agree to ... for someone taking what we didn't give them permission to take (under the legal guise of "fair use") ... the "fair use" plundering is only going to worsen.

IMO, it is still "theft" even if only philosophically due to the contradictory "legalities" that currently exist. I find it hard to swallow that Time Magazine or USA Today would "be happy" if they found out I was "fair use" lifting their works for my "editorial" usage ... as long as I was "giving them credit". Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think I want to test that theory and their huge legal budget.




Micky Bill
Registered: Nov 25, 2006
Total Posts: 2645
Country: N/A

mdude85 wrote:
I think some of the posts on this thread are thus far a bit misguided. In my opinion drofnad is closest to the answer I would offer. As a DC resident and thus reader of several neighborhood blogs (but I know the scenario to be similar for blogs in other cities), I see how many times images are lifted from the Internet without permission and I know how it might irk those people who want to maintain control of their images. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

1 -- blogs the kind of which you speak are typically considered to be news/editorial publications. They are not typically considered to be commercial publications. These blogs' first line of defense is a claim to fair use of your image for editorial purposes. In addition, your photos might have a Creative Commons license automatically applied to them when they are uploaded to Smugmug. You can change the license in your account settings if you want.

2 -- these blogs do not mean you any harm. They are not out to "steal" images (the analogies to stealing a bicycle, car, lawnmower, etc are inapt for several reasons, the most basic of which is that your image is not tangible property... the image was merely copied, not "stolen"; that is to say, the image is and always was in your possession. The law makes a clear distinction between material theft and copyright infringement). They are not out to make money from your photos -- many of them don't even pay their own writers.


3 -- these blogs are not trying to claim your work for their own. The way they distinguish their content is with their writing and reporting on local issues, not with the accompanying photos. Every blog I know of appropriates images from the Internet, most of them from Flickr. The photos are just there for context and flair. All the reputable blogs I follow credit images to the photographer; if they forget and are alerted to the issue, they usually find the credit and correct the post.
.
4 -- these blogs are not out to diminish the value of your images or the craft of photography. In fact, several photographers have gained significant notoriety, even paying gigs, from blogs showing their work. Instead of ostracizing the blogs that clearly think your work is good enough to publish, maybe you could reach out to them and maybe get something out of this. Bloggers are friendly people, not shadowy criminal figures -- and they are, by the way, people who live and work in your own community. If my photo were used by one of the reputable blogs I follow, I would take it as an opportunity to market my brand in whatever way I could.

If it bothers you, then you can contact the blog and ask that next time they contact you for permission before using your photo. This is not an unfair request. Maybe they'll contact you next time, or maybe they'll just use someone else's photo. You should thank them kindly for admiring and crediting your photo, and then drop the issue. Cheers!


1.>>>Considered by whom, the blogger? The courts? The photographer? While many blogs may be editorial most are not news, and that is where the tenuous fair use claim would be brought up. Also a lot of the blogs I see are connected somehow to a commercial website so maybe they are a commercial/editorial hybrid.
Editorial use still has to be paid for in most cases. Otherwise why would any magazine pay for photography?

2.>>> Shouldn;t the "harm" be determined by the "victim"? No there isnt a tangible item but determining the use of that item is still the right of the creator, I think that's why it's called holding the copyright...right to copy?
It isn;t my concern if a blogger, a magazine or a non profit pays it's employees or writers, once again it's up to BOTH parties to come to agreement, not the publisher of the blog to determine who works for free, and by appropriating my work without any consideration they are telling me that I am working for them for free. I may or may not want to do that.
Doesn't the law consider both material theft and copyright infringement to be illegal? In fact isnt copyright infringement is considered an important enough transgression that cases are heard in federal court?

3>>>They are just using other people's creative output for their own purposes. You say that they distinguish themselves with their words and reporting and not the photos...sorry you can't have it both ways, the photos either are or are not important to the bloggers.
Some say that picture is worth 1000 words, let the bloggers use 1000 words or pay for the use (or ask before using) Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. And the "I forgot" excuse only works up until about 4th grade.

4>>>Great! but that is up to you, others may feel differently. What about if the NYT or FOX news blog or the Chevrolet blog or the GOP/Democrat blog, or Clean Coal or Occupy Wall street blogs want to show off your work without asking...I like to have control over who uses my stuff (photos, bikes, lawnmowers, etc). Don;t kid yourself, they are not showing your work off to benefit YOU, they are benefitting themselves by showing your work and any halo effect is incidental. Wow out of the thousands and thousands of blogs, "several photographers have gained significant notoriety, even paying gigs, from blogs". Golly, thanks Mr Blogger!

...thank them kindly

Let me start cutting and pasting bloggers work for my blog and see how they interpret fair use.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12983
Country: United States

Micky Bill wrote:
Don;t kid yourself, they are not showing your work off to benefit YOU, they are benefitting themselves by showing your work and any halo effect is incidental.


BINGO ... you put forth the effort, creativity & expense to produce the work ... they put forth the effort to find it & steal it.

The incidental halo effect (even if intentionally applied) is much like painting over rust. Yeah, if you just focus on the shiny superfluous presentation, you can gloss over the fact that the integrity underneath is lacking in quality ... and the paint job (credit given) is simply a cover up so you won't see how much is really wrong with what's underneath ... it's a diversion tactic.

Plain & simple ... finding your work posted elsewhere with credit is just like someone saying, "Hey bud ... I took your work without asking." Claiming "fair use" is just a way of saying "screw you, it's all about me (pretending to be about others)" and there's a BS law that I can cite that people will "fall for"... and unless you've got the gumption to do anything about it, "too bad, so sad ... next victim, please".

Of course, they might be socially more polite to further diffuse the fact that they stole it. Yup, I just get all gooey inside when a "polite thief" that got caught with his hand in the cookie jar apologizes ... and that suddenly makes it all okay ... rip me off, then try to patronize me so I'll forget you ripped me off.

Man up and call it like it is, you took it without my permission. THEN, we can proceed to figure out how we can "play nice" and reach an agreement that you originally subverted. I'll respect you a whole lot more the sooner you decide to acknowledge the fact that you took it without my permission ... and then we can move toward a mutual agreement (in whatever form that may be). If you are doing something that I'd like to assist with ... great, maybe I do let you use it for "credit only". BUT, that should be MY decision to say "Yeah or Neah" on how my works are utilized. That is MY right as the creator, not yours.


Micky Bill wrote:
It just ain't right....



Yup.




mdude85
Registered: Apr 12, 2004
Total Posts: 4398
Country: United States

@ Micky Bill

Fair use is debatable. It is a matter of law (i.e. interpretation), rather than of fact, that neighborhood blogs are editorial/news publications. I'm just shedding some light on how these types of issues are typically interpreted by entities to whom such issues are germane, so that the OP is armed with some small amount of knowledge of how things like this are likely to play out in the real world. His choice to take it or leave it is his own.

As for the matter of "harm" -- the owner of the work has the right to feel harmed, to seek damages for such harm, and to require that the user of the work obtain permission first. I'm not challenging any of that. I never stated or even suggested that the blog's actions were unequivocally lawful or ethical, though it's possible or even likely that they could be.

I am not going to dispense legal advice, but as someone someone who works in the field of intellectual property on a daily basis, is a regular consumer of blog content, knows several neighborhood bloggers personally, and has had my photos appropriated without my permission before, I would say that equating neighborhood blogs (quite literally) to Nazis is not the way to go. As I understand it, the OP was troubled by the blog failing to ask permission before using the photo. Quite understandable. There is nothing wrong with allowing the blog to use those photos so long as they seek permission first. Pretty simple solution to a pretty simple problem. Maybe, with any luck, this can be a unique opportunity for promotion of the photographer's work.

It's interesting that you say "ignorance of the law is not an excuse" -- yet, ignorance of the law is quite common in the photographic community. This here thread is evidence of that. Perhaps a baseline of understanding of copyrights is as fundamental to the craft of photography as knowing how to adjust aperture and shutter speed.

A couple smaller points:

- Bloggers do regularly lift content from other sources, often other blogs, and republish it with credit. So do traditional media publications including the NYT, Fox News and so forth.

- Copyright is in the jurisdiction of federal courts because it is federal law, not necessarily because every act of infringement is "important enough" to be decided in federal court. If each state had controlling copyright law then those cases would be heard in state courts instead.

Cheers!



Micky Bill
Registered: Nov 25, 2006
Total Posts: 2645
Country: N/A

I'm certainly not going to argue points of law with a lawyer. I'd lose and probably get billed for it
Of course Fair Use law is debatable, if you ask 3 different lawyers you might get three different answers and all three think they are correct. A photo forum has enough misinformation about photography let alone law.
I didn;t mention Nazis but if someone did then Godwin's law takes effect.
A basic knowledge of the the law is usually a good thing no matter what business you're doing , for publishers of blogs or actual publications you should have an idea bout libel and slander, plagiarism, using other peoples creations. I agree that many photographers (content creators) as well as bloggers (content users / publishers )would benefit from a bit more knowledge in copyright.

We can put all kinds of spin on it about how nice the bloggers are and they mean no harm and they just want to promote their community but it comes down rule #6 from a book called "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten"

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Unfortunately that may contradict rule #1

Share everything.

...but that's what the courts are for



BluesWest
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 782
Country: United States

This entire thread would have been unnecessary if you all had read Carolyn Wright's recent blog "Excuses, Excuses (Part 2)". She addresses all of these points, including the issue of "fair use".

John



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