How to monitor copyright infringements?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by bcshort, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. bcshort

    bcshort TPF Noob!

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    Hi All,

    As we all know, a sad fact of photography online is that if you put something up, it can be used by other people without your permission, but if you put nothing up, then it's just that much harder to sell your product.

    I was just wondering how people monitor their copyright? Dod you go through google from time to time? do you wait for people to contact you to let you know? do you employ a service provider to do the hard work for you?

    Having recently had to investigate an infringement of my work, I'm thinking there has to be an easier way than googling and crossing your fingers...
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I only upload small, compressed versions of my images. So if someone did steal them, their use would be rather limited.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Mike hit the first thing to do - limit the sizes online. A smaller size limits the potential for the image to be used by a thief. Some people also watermark their images, personally I don't view a watermark which covers the whole image as a good move - it hides what you trying to show and a determined theif can remove the effect in most cases.

    Better (I think) is to have a smaller watermark with your name and/or website listed - that way if your image is stolen you get free advertising (provided of course they don't just remove that as well).

    As for checking online Tineye is a growing website which can earch through images on the net and compare your shot to the others it finds - giving you a list of responces when it finds your image.
    TinEye Reverse Image Search

    However it is not complete yet - the internet is a very big and ever growing thing, so its not got every image on the net - yet
     
  4. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can't. Copyright is not an "enforce everything" law. When copyright infringement is as simple as two clicks of a mouse and literally every citizen is guilty of it, it would be absurd to try and stop it all.

    General rules of thumb when you put a photo online:

    • Make it a small, but viewable resolution (I usually do 500 - 600 pixels for the long side)
    • Put your watermark on it. If someone is clever enough to know how to remove it without making the photo look tacky, they're probably not the kind of person who'd call you up and ask to buy a copy anyway.
    • Compress it enough that it's not a huge file, but not too much that it degrades the quality (this is more of a point of making it pleasant for people to view it)
    • Strip the EXIF info. You don't need to share your camera's serial number.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My take is that if you are overly concerned about it, don't post anything on the net. One could add watermarks and limit the size and resolution, but nothing can stop someone from taking it and removing the watermarks... the small resolution does make the prints of crap quality should they try to print it, but then again, people are seeing crap pictures and the quality ends up being blamed on you.

    However, I often check on TINEYE to look around for misuse of my images from time t time.
     
  6. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    Isn't there perhaps a script that could be wirtten to encrypt the code of the image when uploading to the website so the website can read the image but when it is saved to another hard disk, it scrambles the data?
    The other alternative is to use a flash gallery, but this doesn't stop ctrl+print screen.
     
  7. bcshort

    bcshort TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info so far guys,

    I'm not too stressed about copyright :) Most of my images go up to fit within 1000x1000 (yes I know its big compared to some of the numbers here), are watermarked on an edge, and usually are only 72dpi.

    As you say, those who are going to do it are going to do it anyway.

    I tend to listen to a couple of photography podcasts, and the guys on their talk about how they protect their copyright online but then do no elaborate on how that occurs which got me curious as to how they do it :)
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Prints screen would also defeat you complex code idea, as well as the simple fact that for a computer to show website content it first downloads and saves it to your harddrive - which is why sometimes you have to restart a webpage to get changes to appear (since it loads from its previous cache of the site). So even those flash videos are all downloaded - with the right tools one can open them up to edit - or if protected crack through that.
     
  9. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Any technical measure taken to prevent users from copying an image from an online source will only stop the stupid ones.

    Well, not entirely. Flash is a compiled format, so reverse engineering will never get you the original development files.

    Still, PRT SCR will get around any silly speedbumps you put in the way.
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Ppi is meaningless for online images. Pixel dimensions are all that matter. (Technically, the term dpi (dots per inch) is only valid in the pre-press printing industry)

    I notice you don't list your location in your profile.

    In the US you have to register your copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright is Federal law and to seek damages for infringement your attorney would have to file in Federal court. If you do not have a copyright certificate from the Copyright Office, or a pending application, the court will not accept the suit.

    Having registered your images, and discovering and infringement, plan on having at least $5000 to offer for payment before you walk into an attorney's office to discuss the possibility of filing suit.

    With the right circumstances, and assuming you win the suit, you can get your $5G's back.

    If, the defendant can prove they did not willfully infringe your image, the court can award as little as $250.00. If, your attorney can prove a willful infringement, and filed for statutory damages and not actual damages, the court can award up to $150,000 per infringed image plus your court and legal fees.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  11. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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  12. boogschd

    boogschd TPF Noob!

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