Copyright infringement - the idiot guide

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by photographyprogess, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. photographyprogess

    photographyprogess TPF Noob!

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    I've been reading a blog (which we're gonna keep unknown for obvious reasons) for a few months mainly because of the bloggers tendency to present himself as not exacly the brightest person in the world. (Yes, they can be fun to read.)

    A couple of weeks ago he published a picture that seemed to be a bit different from what he usually would publish, as the exposure was on the spot and it seemed to be a pretty good photo of two children on the beach. What made me react on the picture were the children. These were the children of a close friend of mine, and the picture seemed to be an exact copy of a picture I took in the beginning of July when I visited my friend. As you've guessed the photo was shot by yours truly. This picture was published on my friends blog, so it's pretty clear where the blogger downloaded it.

    So I made a comment on his post where I mentioned the similarity of my friends kids and asked where he had taken the picture which upon he answered he had taken it on a beach outside of the town he lives in. The problem would be that my friend lives approx. 850 km from him.

    And then I wrote him an email where I told him to unpublish the picture and write a public apology for the publishing of the photo and the claim of him being the photographer, or if he would continue to use the photo to pay me approx. 400$. He answered me that he would neither apologise nor pay me as he took the picture himself. (I still would like to know how as he claims the kids were at a beach they never have been at.)

    He claims to be making 500$ a month on his blog, so the price I'm asking for would in my opinion be reasonable as it is the going rate where I live for these kinds of violations.

    We are still discussing this matter over email. I have also sent a DMCA to the datacenter (in the US) where the blog is hosted with the appropriate documentation proving my ownership of the photo.

    So do have anybody else have a similar story to share of a copyright infringement done like a real idiot would do it?
     
  2. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Do you shoot RAW and do you have that file?

    That would prove right there, mainly, that you own the picture and YOU took it

    ~Michael~
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Indeed. As long as you can produce that RAW image, and no one else can, it's pretty strong evidence that you're the copyright holder (barring any contracts or agreements that transfer copyright to anyone else).
     
  4. photographyprogess

    photographyprogess TPF Noob!

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    And that's what I did in the DMCA. But I didn't just send in the original RAW to the DC, I also sent in a few other pics from the same series ... just to make it extra obvious.

    I didn't send the original to the blog owner as that would be a pretty stupid thing to do. (Giving him the original file for the picture so he could use it to prove the "authenticity".)

    I also found at least 3 other pictures that I know he didnt' shoot, so I contacted the photographers the copyright belong to. This was done before I did the DMCA, and I know one of the others also sent in a DMCA to the DC . (As I recommended her to do.)

    What makes the blogger stupid is the fact that he used a photo of some children he didn't know, and claims to have taken it on a place where the children has never been. I could also add to the story that there are no sandbeaches like the one on the photo where he lives. I live in a neighboring town to his, and have been in the area several times.

    If your gonna lie, than you should at least make an effort to try to hide the truth.
     
  5. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I'm anxious to see how this turns out!

    ~Michael~
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  7. photographyprogess

    photographyprogess TPF Noob!

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    @Kmh:

    This is definately not fair use as he presented the photo as a photo he had shot himself. This is what made me pi**ed off. He is using my picture, and tell people he shot it. He even removed the copyright marker on the bottom of the picture.
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Indeed. Claiming that the image is your own falls outside of fair use pretty clearly. Removing the watermark is also a pretty darn clear sign of intentional, willing copyright infringement.

    You could always call a lawyer too and sue their butt off. Not that that's terribly friendly, but you've been pretty nice by merely asking to have it taken down or that they pay for the image.
     
  9. photographyprogess

    photographyprogess TPF Noob!

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    That's probably what's gonna happen too. But as this is in Norway, it's not as easy to sue people. But at least I am in the position where I can afford to sue him.

    The DC has suspended the site now, so it looks like they believe me and take this matter serious (as they should do.)
     
  10. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Of course they do. If they didn't you could sue them.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    So much for making $500 a month.

    Did you get screen shots of the infringement?
     
  12. photographyprogess

    photographyprogess TPF Noob!

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    I got both screenshots, print outs, and the testification of the childrens father (my friend), and I have screenshots and print outs of all communication we've had through e-mail. I've stopped talking to him over the phone, and has referred him to contact me either by email or letters.

    I am going to contact my lawyer and let him write an official letter to scare the guy, and then we'll see what happens the next days.

    PS: I'm not the guy to step down when it has gone this far, so I guess he'll learn to not infringe ona copyright the hard way. ;)
     

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