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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 11 Jan 2014 (Saturday) 09:06
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Stolen Photo

 
IFLY2
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Jan 11, 2014 09:06 |  #1

I have a photo being used so wide spread I can not even begin to describe how far the trail is leading. The watermark was removed . Am I just at a Loss ?


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HappySnapper90
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Jan 11, 2014 09:08 |  #2

Well the watermark is in just a place that it can easily be cropped out and the beef of the image (subject) is still there. Something like this you would watermark over the center of the image not in the corner. Corner watermarks do very little to "protect" the image - they are branding only.




  
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monkey44
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Jan 11, 2014 09:50 |  #3

Nice shot -- If that was mine, I'd track it as far as I could and make every single website take it down or pay.

OR, in this case - maybe leave it up and charge a fee to each one that has posted it. It's giving your name exposure, but at a cost.

There's another thread going here about a blog that knowingly 'stole' an image - cost the host $3000. Not enough fine IMO ...




  
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PhotosGuy
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Jan 11, 2014 10:00 |  #4

"Wide spread?" Were any of them taken by someone with deep pockets? Step by step advice: Help! I’ve Been Infringed! (external link)

Did any of those remove the watermark, & did they have "© 201X Your Name" on them? If an image that was taken originally had a watermark that was removed, then you have a case for damages separate from the ones that require registration.
From Carolyn E Wright's blog: (external link) Section 1202 of the U.S. Copyright Act makes it illegal for someone to remove the watermark from your photo so that it can disguise the infringement when used. The fines start at $2500 and go to $25,000 in addition to attorneys' fees and any damages for the infringement.


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Qlayer2
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Jan 11, 2014 10:02 |  #5

Did you copyright register the photo? If so, removing the watermark is a minimum $2500 fine. Get screenshots of the offenders. If the photo was published in the last 90 days, you can still register it if you haven't already. Then call an attorney to start sending out letters. Do NOT contact the people using it until you 1- have screenshots showing the use and 2- have a copyright on the photo. Let your attorney handle that.




  
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monkey44
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Jan 11, 2014 10:55 |  #6

Qlayer2 wrote in post #16596548 (external link)
Did you copyright register the photo? If so, removing the watermark is a minimum $2500 fine. Get screenshots of the offenders. If the photo was published in the last 90 days, you can still register it if you haven't already. Then call an attorney to start sending out letters. Do NOT contact the people using it until you 1- have screenshots showing the use and 2- have a copyright on the photo. Let your attorney handle that.


I agree with most of this -

Contrary to what many believe, we DO NOT have to register a photo to make it our copyright. Copyright - images - words - art - copyright to the original photographer, writer, artist at the moment of creation independent of any "registration" ...

You can register anything - but are not required. Just make sure you have a way to prove you shot the original. Writers once mailed a copy to themselves and did not open it. The mailed date proved the words belonged to that writer (less expensive than registering every written word)

You can see the digital rights on the original image, and if you can't, then set your camera properties to label it with your name, AND archive that original. Generate copies for professional or personal use. Watermarks work as well, but requires some digital proof, where the 'digital rights named original' makes it easier too.




  
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Aki78
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Jan 11, 2014 11:20 |  #7

For lawsuits you want them to be registered otherwise it would only be the actual damage which may be a waste of time. I learned mine the hard way; not a huge case but still bugs me to this day.

It's an awesome shot by the way; get the image registered if you haven't and go from there.




  
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MattPharmD
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Jan 11, 2014 11:27 |  #8

If they removed the watermark, it doesn't matter if it was registered. The $2,500 to $25,000 penalty is IN ADDITION it the infringement settlement, and can be obtained on an unregistered photo. It is considered evidence of "willful and knowing" copyright infringement. It also doesn't have to say anything about copyright, have the symbol, or the year. Just the fact it is reasonably unique and identifiable is all that matters.


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Aki78
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Jan 11, 2014 11:43 |  #9

Oh yes I forget about the copyright removal part!




  
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monkey44
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Jan 11, 2014 11:51 |  #10

MattPharmD wrote in post #16596723 (external link)
If they removed the watermark, it doesn't matter if it was registered. The $2,500 to $25,000 penalty is IN ADDITION it the infringement settlement, and can be obtained on an unregistered photo. It is considered evidence of "willful and knowing" copyright infringement. It also doesn't have to say anything about copyright, have the symbol, or the year. Just the fact it is reasonably unique and identifiable is all that matters.

Right - exactly. Identifiable as YOUR image ...that is the requirement.

All you have to do is prove you shot the original image. If you can't prove that, you have no claim that will mature.

We should be happy the fines are as much as they are - makes someone think twice about it - but only if they KNOW it before hand. Too many folks out there now actually BELIEVE anything on the web is public. So, beyond protecting out rights, we need to spread that word - "If you steal our images, you will pay for it."

Matter of fact, that gives me a pitch idea for a national consumer story - revealing that fact in public venues will help. I believe most of the images that 'sneak' and 'get posted' around the web are sent in ignorance of that fact. So, we need to make it as public as these photos that spin all over the place.

Maybe we can get enough of these $2500 fines into the Feds and clear our national debt. :rolleyes::):lol:




  
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OhLook
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Jan 11, 2014 12:25 |  #11

monkey44 wrote in post #16596677 (external link)
Writers once mailed a copy to themselves and did not open it. The mailed date proved the words belonged to that writer

This practice didn't provide the intended protection. Think how easy it is to mail yourself an empty envelope.


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FarmerTed1971
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Jan 11, 2014 12:29 |  #12

Love the image, very unique. Go get them!


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monkey44
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Jan 11, 2014 14:48 |  #13

OhLook wrote in post #16596848 (external link)
This practice didn't provide the intended protection. Think how easy it is to mail yourself an empty envelope.

It works if you don't open it ... and will always be a part of 'other evidence' ... no lawsuit depends on one item. Nowadays you can simply email a copy to yourself, to prove when you have it, and show you have it prior to anyone else ... email is all date-stamped.

Plus, what bothers me more is in this day and age, we need to protect ourselves at all. Too many crooks and cheats out there that would probably make even more money if they put those efforts into 'legitimate work' ...

Think of the tech knowledge it takes to break a security system -- then put that knowledge to work ... go figure.




  
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Firemike
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Jan 11, 2014 15:50 |  #14

An attorney advised me years ago that mailing yourself a copy offers extremely little if any protection whatsoever. Generally called a 'Poor Mans Copyright' it is one of those copyright myths that refuses to die.

http://www.plagiarismt​oday.com …h-of-poor-mans-copyright/ (external link)


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Kronie
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Jan 11, 2014 16:01 |  #15

Wow your right, that image is all over. This site even replaced the watermark with their own copyright.

http://i1167.photobuck​et.com …59125434_147886​9545_n.jpg (external link)

You can do much about the overseas users but I would definitely lawyer up and register the image if you haven't already. You could keep a lawyer busy all year....Hire a lawyer that specializes in copyright.




  
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