Lara Jade Coton is an 18 year old photographer and college student who resides in England. Her work has been featured in a range of magazines and e-zines. She took up photography at the age of 14 and also works
in photo manipulation and digital art. She discovered that an innocent self-portrait, taken when she was 14 years old, was obtained off the Internet and used without permission as the DVD cover and face art for the sexually explicit movie "Body Magic", produced by TVX Films.[...]
Citizen Journalism - one trend which would appear to suggest more "democracy" in the media - but actually doesn't - is a "smokescreen for grabbing content" (Sion´s blog) and "should be more accurately termed Audience Stolen Content"
"Copyright is already dead"
"Weakening investigative journalism has far more profound implications for democracy" (quoting the NY Review of Books)
The LA Times (Robin Abcarian/Jessica Garrison) is out with a long two-page report on "Perez Hilton takes their best shots: The gossip blogger's use of an agency's paparazzi photos puts the legal spotlight on copyright infringement".
For people in the stock photo industry, the article starts with the surprising sentence: "It's hard to know whom to sympathize with in this fight".
Fred Voetsch of Acclaim Images recently gained very questionable immortality with the unforgettable phrase "Getting into Alamy is like getting into Paris Hilton, it's just not
that difficult, though it can be fun and even quite profitable" (Fred added yesterday "I stand behind everything I wrote").
It is unknown so far if Paris Hilton has already contacted her lawyer. In a related matter, the "popular" celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, with "2.5 million unique visitors each day on his website, listed by the UK issue of GQ in their Man of the Year issue, called by the New York Post one of the 25 most powerful Latinos" and whose real name is Mario Armando Lavandeira, needs to talk to his attorney very soon.
Splash News is the latest celebrity photo agency to go after blogger Perez Hilton [Wikipedia entry] for posting photos without permission.
Hilton, whose real name is Mario Armando Lavandeira, was served with
a cease and desist order on Tuesday while sitting in The Coffee Bean
& Tea Leaf café, where he regularly works on his popular blog.
In a letter drafted by L.A. law firm Makarem & Associates,
Hilton was ordered to remove exclusive photos of Britney Spears holding
her baby Jayden James, taken in Louisiana by Splash snappers Aaron
St-Clair and Steve Dennett.
Hi guys, I know it's kinda sort of the wrong forum to post this. But I had this coming to me from a client.
A few huge advertising agencies have done this to me. They just grab web samples of RM images that works for their mock-up. And they
showed it to me. I was asked to replicate the shots. Not just a few, but quite a lot. They had asked me to reproduce up to 95% of the
Getty Images and PicScout are extending the partnership to a
long-term contract, where PicScout shall become the exclusive visual search
provider for detecting infringements of Getty Images collections on
the Internet and in over 2,000 magazines throughout Europe and North
Photo-licensing company Getty Images Inc. and competitor Corbis Corp. won a court ruling that they aren't infringing a European patent by allowing customers to download digital images. [...]
Koos Rasser, a lawyer for Port Washington, N.Y.-based E-Data, said it wouldn't appeal the decision. ("Seattle Post: Getty and Corbis win image patent dispute")
E-Data first sued Getty and Corbis, two digital stock photography providers that let users browse, license and download images online, in Europe in February 2004. It piled on the U.S. suit in May of that year. Although the two suits were filed against the individual companies, they soon buddied up to present a united front against E-Data's claims. In London, the cases were joined for trial. E-Data's U.S. case against Corbis hasn't been resolved. [...] Corbis and Getty also asked the courts to rule on the validity of the patent. In the UK, the judge invalidated the patent, leaving E-Data's licensing push in the lurch. E-Data executives weren't available for comment. While the Freeny patent expired in the United States in 2003 and was set to expire in the EU in 2005, both countries' laws allow companies to sue for back damages, and E-Data had planned to do so.
What some people in the last months considered to be a bad joke, finally became an unpleasant reality: the attempt of E-Data to make money with their FREENY-patent ("Edata seeks royalties from all those who use its "patent" in internet transactions", so PACA). Getty Images yesterday created a webpage with lots of information about this problem:
Getty Images, in cooperation with Corbis and the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA), has established this compilation of current facts and resources for companies challenged by E-Data Corporation.
E-Data is actively demanding money and filing lawsuits against imagery companies it claims are infringing on its patent.
That Getty Images has decided to create this webpage, is clearly a sign how dangerous this matter might become one day. Apple has already agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money... (see the links above). Where will this end? If Getty and Corbis will have or agree to pay one day, E-Data would be mad (from their point of view) not to sue the next imagery companies: "We have a very strong track record enforcing our intellectual property rights...we will aggressively enforce our rights" (Bert Brodsky, chairman of E-Data Corporation). As we all know, there are some others out there. So again the question ("Getty Images and Corbis ... believe that the intent of the litigation is to set a precedent with the industry, and that money collected as a result of E-Data's demands will be used simply to fund future lawsuits against others"; Link):
How small has your photo agency to be not to get hit?
The Apple agreement sounds impressive. However, intellectual property attorneys agreed that the secrecy about terms limits its impact.
"How significant the E-Data/ITunes settlement is turns on the details of the settlement itself," said Robert Badal, a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. "If Apple paid a substantial sum or provided other significant consideration, that would make it more significant than if the settlement was a mere walk-away."
A member responded today in two comments to the post:
I am a member of freaky.staticusers.ugboard and would like to say that the photo traders came to us and we don't want them there. they are distubing our forum with there trades and secondly we are a 100% legal site. we do not allow serials/kracks/warezs on our site and therefore we aren't breaking any laws so please do not blame us for this.
If you people read the posts you will see that out forum "elders" are informing them that this is illegal and that we don't want them there. we are trying to stay 100% legal. please help us get rid of the damn photo traders!
OK, so you had your chance to tell how you see things. We don´t blame you. However, you got a nice site logo... . But, how should we help you to get rid of those photo traders? Easy way: delete all pwd´s and resign new ones only to those you know. The problem should be fixed in some weeks.
...and therefore "the world's largest international multimedia news agency" has appointed Thomas Szlukovenyi to the newly created post of a Global Picture News Editor to "manage Reuters global team of 400 photographers who produce up to 1,000 pictures every day." APAD re-reports (and you soon will see why we quote APAD) that "Reuters will hire roughly 15 new staff photographers in the U.S. in the next several months as part of a plan to boost the wire service's coverage in targeted areas."
APAD links back to a PDN Online story: "Reuters To Embark On Hiring Spree".
We don´t know when but Photo District News recently introduced a new licensing model for the textual content of the site:
An individual or organization can license content to be emailed, posted online, printed, photocopied or republished for distribution. The content will be used by a commercial entity, meaning a for-profit business, for internal or external distribution.
Anyone is free to make one copy for personal use. This can include one photocopy, one printed copy, one email copy, or posting an HTML link (without text or photos). This includes use by a student for an academic purpose. Click on the article title above to go back to the article. From there, you can print (or use) the content as described here. The content will be used by one person, for personal reference, and will not be copied or redistributed to any other person in any form.
All Other Licensing Requests
All other licensing requests are handled on a case-by-case basis. If your intended use does not fall into one of the categories listed on this page, please select this link to submit a Permissions Request Form, or call us at 800-217-7874. (Link)
We had the "Blogs, Photos, Copyright and Fair Use" discussion here. Funny. At PDN, there is no determined licensing model for a private non-profit blog. So, if it wouldn´t be too ridiculous, PDN could sue APAD for copyright infringement. Or, because of "redistributing", APAD is clever and is immediately willing to pay a license fee for quoting that one PDN-sentence mentioned above. For PDN it seems that all online posting of the whole article or parts of the article are "commercial use". There is no possibility to publish parts (quoting) of the article online (weblog) only for private use and non-commercial.
But, again, it is strange to see that a lot of people being photographers, photo editors, photo agency owners etc. get upset and cry out loud if someone uses their photos or a part of them ... . It seems everyone has forgotten, but copyright laws include textual information.
So we are interested to get to know what our readers might think. Is the copyright model of PDN old-fashioned? Should there be some kind of new laws for the "blogosphere", as Jason Calacanis proposed (1; 2) ? How much are you willing to pay for the information "According to one Reuters stringer, on average the company pays its photographers $10,000 to $20,000 more a year than the AP, EPA and AFP, its closest competitors" (PDN) , if you quote this sentence in your blog, thus "redistributing" it? Should the model of "Fair Use" rule or specific rules like the copyright informations of PDN? What will happen if you quote one full PDN-paragraph? Is this "Fair Use"? Would you describe the kind PDN thinks it has to work as "Fair Use"?
If other sources of information (newspapers, mags, their online sites etc.) would be willing to trace, pursue and follow up every copyright infringement of textual information, then about 75% of all blogs would have to close immediately.
Photoblogs.org has a story of photobloggers/moblogers who are stealing the images of others photobloggers/moblogers AND claim that these images are their own work:
Does anyone have any idea what to do about other sites ripping off your work? I got an email a few minutes ago telling me that sithlords.hu (recently registered at photoblogs.org under the member name of everyesno) has used one of my images for their July 7th entry. My image can be seen here.
I've emailed them and told them they're in violation of my copyright but any other suggestions as to how to deal with the pilfering scumbag(s) would be gratefully received. (Link)
I. Copyright: An Overview
II. The History of Copyright Protection
III. The Rights of a Copyright Owner
IV. The Importance of Copyright Registration
V. Digital Armor: Protecting Your Photographs Using Technology
and also -- very useful -- a "Copyright Education Instructional Powerpoint Presentation" ("Members are encouraged to use and adapt this PowerPoint presentation for educating clients and students on copyright and proper licensing") [Link to the .ppt-file]. For all the people out there who are pissed to work with PowerPoint and don´t own an Apple (Keynote), here are the key facts from page 9 until 13:
What rights does the owner control?
make copies of the work;
distribute copies of the work;
perform the work publicly (such as for plays, film, or music);
display the work publicly (such as for artwork, or any material used on the internet or television); and
make “derivative works” (including making modifications, adaptations or other new uses of a work, or translating the work to another media).
the "Fair Use" doctrine allows limited copying of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes. The copyright law provides that reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" is not an infringement of copyright.
What is Fair Use
class handouts of very short excerpts from a book;
quoting for purposes of reporting the news or criticizing or commenting on a particular work of art, writing, speech or scholarship.
What is not Fair Use
using a photograph or other image to illustrate a newsworthy story (because the subject of the story is newsworthy it does not make the image newsworthy)
Example of Fair Use
class studying an artist using samples to critique and analyze his/her work;
making a collage for a school project;
manipulating an image to learn Photoshop or other software.
The Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) has released the "Digital Imaging Standards", Version 2.2 (First presented on 11/15/2003; revised for PDF format on 1/15/2004), written by PACA’s Digital Imaging Standards Committee (DISCo) -- 48 insightful pages:
Immediately, metadata (textual image information) surfaced as the biggest concern. Photoshop’s IPTC structure, developed for newspapers, causes confusion when applied to “stock” images...both rights-managed & royalty-free. It’s poorly utilized & understood by archives & customers alike.
Inconsistent use of metadata undermines the protection & control of image rights. For example, customers might look for image credits in the wrong place, or over-write the creator’s copyright notification.
The TiredAnDirty [email protected] is back -- the previous entries were explaining that he had been wounded -- and shows again a very intense image we consider to be a stolen one (resolution, size, composition etc.). He has shown this image earlier here together with a different text. The previous photo has been removed (this had been the initial link here, now pointing to nowhere), together with the text, but a backup copy is available.
So now we got the same picture with two different background stories being very dramatic: the first text said
they dont seem to learn that even when they have the element of surprise it still wont turn out in their favor
and the text to the previous (the one that disappeared) image said
we had 5 soldiers killed on wensday this is not a picture of it i am not going to post a picture of it untill i have edited it they were rideing in a m-113 that is the track vechial in the picture that is right in front of the camera the insurgents used 400 pounds of c-4 and when it went off it blew that armored m 113 into nothing 5 were killed instantly and one was criticley wounded the blast crater was 10 feet deep and 20 ft wide the good thing is that the guys who were killed never knew that they had been hit it was so quick i hope it is like that for me" (Link, 10th image)
So he stated to have been an eye witness to the scenery the images are showing, someone driving in the tanks. Now it reads:
today was a bad/good day 4 hrs ago we were engaged today in a manner we havent seen in a long time it was well organized and exicutied we were returning from a trip to a out poast when we were attacked it was one of those ones you could see coming but it was too late a child tip us off by covering his ears when we drove by but by then it was too late the it was the biggest explosion i have seen my entire time here from an i.e.d. but usualy after the detonate it they run but this time they had pre positioned men to surround us and surround us they did we were engaged from all sides by small arms and r.p.g's i dont know how to describe what gose on in the mists of it we had rounds hitting the ground all around they make a popping sound when they hit i am not going to go into details becouse i dont know what is cleared to divulge but the last i hear we had killed 21 and wounded 41 and i dont know how this happened but we had no wounded and no killed but by all rights we should have had we been any other army ambushed and surrounded i think they would have gotten alot of us so for all of you that have been praying for us thank you these are your prayer min. at work if anyone sees anything on the news about it let me know what they said later ill share more (Link)
Someone is taking the same image (pardon, but very likely to be stolen from the web) which obviously has a special meaning for him and tells two different stories. There are three months between the usages of this photo. The previous entries on his site shows that he indeed had been injured (he said that another soldier took those pix: "another soldier that was on the convoy took these"). Can we trust his words, his stories now ("this photo wasn taken today i dont think anyone got the chance to take pictures" he explains later in a comment to the second usage of the photo)?
Reviewing his site again and again (especially the previous images which have been removed but had been stored here) it seems that he doesn´t have taken a picture himself -- all images are coming from various sources. Someone starts a photoblog/moblog and not one single image is not, how to say, borrowed? All this because only strong images from excellent photojournalists are outstanding enough to express your own feelings in such a situation?
Following the link, about 20 sites from moblogging US soldiers from Iraq showed up. Clicking through the sites we found images that didn´t correspond to the impression the traditional medias were delivering. Some images even were outstanding. Finally it turned out that these images were mostly stolen from professional photojournalists working in Iraq.
We presented some of those images in the believe that one can trust a person reporting to a public audience -- given the circumstances of being a fighting soldier -- and with the hope that someone with a personal history (and finally skills) in photography might have taken some of the outstanding images -- although we had early complaints described here in the last weeks.
So we did another review of all images under the aspects:
-Light conditions (will a soldier use a 1.0/50mm for his shooting?)
-Point of view (will a soldier use a 2.8/14mm and a DSLR for his shooting?)
-Resolution/Size (will a soldier use a 11 MP camera?)
-Photo finishing (will a soldier intensively use Photoshop?)
-"Image Hunting Instinct", image composition etc.
Dumb questions. Sad to say, but in the end real evidence that an image had not been stolen and is a testimony of a soldier´s real life and surrounding -- at least in this moment -- is only if it is an amateurish image with a daily life scenery. Anything else is highly doubtful.
Statements if an image shown had been stolen or not, if had been taken by the one who testified he did take it, the probability if it´s amateurish or professional -- all this can be found in the above mentionend posts over the next days; comments are assigend in parenthesis .
In April 2004 the European Commission issued a statement advocating European legislation on the governance of collecting societies. CEPIC has filed a Statement in this respect with the EU. The Communication, issued by the Commission, is based on the conclusions of the consultation carried out on these issues, which took place against the backdrop of the emerging Information Society. According to another study ordered by the Commission in 2003, copyright exploitation accounts for over 5.3% of Community GDP. [..]
In this Statement CEPIC stresses again the importance of Individual Rights Management : We believe that the existing individualised system of rights and fees management has proven itself to be efficient and reward rights-holders precisely and appropriately for their work. This system should be retained, and used preferentially where a use can be traced back to an individual rights-holder who can be remunerated in full. Collective management should remain the last resort and be limited to mass usages that are difficult to control; where the individual rights-holder cannot be identified and where such small payments are difficult to collect individually.
Some points are pretty funny, others remarkable (see the full version of the statement for these details; sorry for quoting all this in detail, but it is very interesting):
Some of the organisations that work in the collecting societies area do not seem to consider the difference between the copyright creator and the copyright owner. It is very important that the money goes to the correct recipient As it is now museums, archives, picture agencies and limited companies which have received in different ways the copyright to creative works do not get their part of the remuneration.[..]
It is even so that in the statues some collecting societies every single member has a veto against accepting new members. This cannot be according to transparency throughout Europe. [..]
For the sake of transparency the yearly economic reports should be open for everybody. It is also important that the amount of revenue is divided on the principle of identical treatment
in identical circumstances. [..] However we are not in favour of a one stop shop in the picture business where we believe that the market place is already on the Internet which provides opportunity for all users to receive what they want with competition all over the world on transparent prices and not in a monopolistic way.
The site is mainly a forum for Apple Mac Warez/Hackz but it seems that "photo traders" have hijacked the forum. Users are trading stolen photos in this forum and -- even passwords to access the sites/databases of picture agencies. This guys posted a huge list longer than the first page of the bible, from Alamy to ZUMAPress, from RexUSA to Corbis, from AGE FOTOSTOCK to Getty Images. These guys have serious problems:
Problem with Getty Images... There are some photos I want to download on the Editorial section, but it says "Call Us" instead of "Download" on most of the pics I want to download. I have 2 working UID and PASS but is there a crack that can be used to get these images?
We wonder if any of the bigger agencies knows about this. A Stockphoto subscriber responded:
Informed Alamy of the site and received a reply that they had been unaware of it and will investigate.