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#1 boydski

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 02:29 PM

I've never been a fan of Google Images (or Yahoo Images) as I always felt like they were displaying my images without context (or ownership) and made it really easy for people to steal images from my web site without even visiting the site.

However, today I had some time to kill at lunch, so I spent about 10 minutes searching Google Images for the few images I have actually sold (so I know they have value to somebody) and low and behold, I quickly found 4 of those images hosted on other web sites. Fortunately, they hadn't even changed the name of the image.

I sent nice emails off to the four web sites, and withing a half hour, two had apologized and pulled the images. One site I have not heard back from yet, and the fourth site has me puzzled. They are trying to determine what to do about the image, which is displayed with a "Photo by Andrew J. Martinez" watermark on the image. I told them that I'm very keen to learn how Andrew's name came to be associated with my image, and that if they check the EXIF data of the image on their site, it clearly says, "Copyright 2004 Scott Boyd All Rights" in the user comment field. :)

Interesting stuff to be sure.

Edited by boydski, 30 January 2007 - 02:30 PM.


#2 whitehead

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:34 PM

Interesting.

I tried it myself but got some unexpected results - the images I searched came up where they are supposed to be (one copy only ) but NOT the ones on my own website. This is strange because I get about 300 links a month from google images on my website and have had imaging indexing of the site set with google for a long time (set through the google webmaster preferences).

#3 echeng

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:50 PM

It's also worth using google's advanced searching to do searches that exclude your own websites explicitly. For example, I sometimes search for:
Eric Cheng -site:echeng.com -site:wetpixel.com -site:smugmug.com -site:flickr.com

or 

ECHENG -site:echeng.com -site:wetpixel.com -site:smugmug.com -site:flickr.com

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#4 segal3

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:42 PM

http://lovacnasnove.blog.hr/

This site has at least one of my images, one of Cor Bosman's, one by Mike Roberts (Tortuga), and maybe more... :glare:

They cropped copyrights/signatures out of all of them! :blink:

From what I can tell, the 'blog' posts images from underwater photo societies, competition websites, discussion boards, and the like.

Does anyone know Croatian? I can't seem to find a real contact form...
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#5 boydski

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:16 AM

It's also worth using google's advanced searching to do searches that exclude your own websites explicitly.


Hi Eric,

That's good advice. I was actually excluding my own web site from the searching, but was searching on the image name. For example:

spinydogfish -site:boydski.com

found one of my images with another photographer's watermark on it! Thank goodness for the embedded EXIF data on that one, but it took about a half dozen emails to get the image pulled.

#6 james

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:34 AM

Guys,

Rather than asking them to just pull the image, why not make some money from it, THEN get the image pulled?

If your images is registered w/ the copyright office, you can usually get a "summary judgement" where you don't even have to go to court to get 3-4x the normal usage fee. The filing fee is all you have to pay.

Anyhow, don't you think that if someone WILLFULLY removes your copyright notice and puts their own, they deserve a little more than a slap on the wrist?

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#7 boydski

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 10:42 AM

If your images is registered w/ the copyright office, you can usually get a "summary judgement" where you don't even have to go to court to get 3-4x the normal usage fee. The filing fee is all you have to pay.

Anyhow, don't you think that if someone WILLFULLY removes your copyright notice and puts their own, they deserve a little more than a slap on the wrist?

Cheers
James


Hi James,

I thought about registering the images with the copyright office previously but was too cheap to fork over the $45 fee. Maybe I should have reconsidered? Is that something you do with your images?

As for the other photographer's watermark, I do not believe in this case that the photographer had anything to do with it. I think a "grad student" was being creative and in truth there was no watermark on the original image (my bad, and I have fixed that now). The web site in question belonged to a University in California and I suspect it would not be worth the effort to seek money through a civil suit in this case, although I did offer to sell them a right to use the image for a reasonable amount. :)

Their claim is that the image came from a royalty free web site with the watermark already on it, but of course they can't tell me where that site is. :blink:

#8 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:37 PM

Keep in mind that it is $45 per work, not $45 per image. If you send them a CD or DVD crammed full of low resolution 200 pixel wide jpegs and call it "Personal and Stock Photography, dates xxxx-yyyy", then the CD or DVD represents the work. Each image within the work is then protected as a component of the original work registered. So you can register literally thousands of images for the $45 fee.

And if you register the image before publication or infringement, you open the infringer to statutory penalties for infringement that can be quite substantial.

I submit a DVD with jpegs on it every 7-9 months or so. Turn around time to receive the certificate is about 3 months. It seems to go much faster if you use a courier to submit to the library of congress rather than sending by USPS.
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#9 boydski

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:45 PM

Keep in mind that it is $45 per work, not $45 per image. If you send them a CD or DVD crammed full of low resolution 200 pixel wide jpegs and call it "Personal and Stock Photography, dates xxxx-yyyy", then the CD or DVD represents the work. Each image within the work is then protected as a component of the original work registered. So you can register literally thousands of images for the $45 fee.



Thanks Craig,

I had no idea that it was "per work". I was thinking $45 per image and that just seemed to darn expensive to me. Sending a DVD is an awesome idea!

#10 fdog

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:39 AM

<snip>Their claim is that the image came from a royalty free web site with the watermark already on it, but of course they can't tell me where that site is. :blink:

Scott, past practice at the newspaper has been to extract a fee (usually via an attorney) from the infringing publisher.

Too bad if they got it from someone else in good faith...it's their duty then to turn around and get damages from their source.

All the best, James

#11 antacid

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:15 PM

Hi everyone,

How do you search for your images? Do you search using the file names, or EXIF information (is this possible?)

Thanks alot in advance!
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#12 KarstenMoran

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:18 AM

Hi everyone,

How do you search for your images? Do you search using the file names, or EXIF information (is this possible?)

Thanks alot in advance!


Good question, i too would be interested to know if it's possible to search exif/metadata.

I've only run into this once personally - weirdest thing, a photo.net member had uploaded one of my images as their own. Couldn't for the life of me figure out why. Raised a real stink about it when the moderators contacted him.

#13 boydski

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 08:56 AM

How do you search for your images? Do you search using the file names, or EXIF information (is this possible?)


I have not found a way to search EXIF information yet (wouldn't that be cool), but by searching for the image names (which in my case match the common names of the species), I have so far found 7 web sites using my images.

For example if you go to Google Images and search for "Spiny Dogfish", the image in the middle hosted by Gulfofme was the most recent site I found. The name of the image was "spinydogfish.jpg".

It takes almost 6 months from when content is posted before it will show up prominently in Google Images, so you will typically only find images that have been on your web site for at least a year.