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Reef Keeper Supply using pictures from Miami Rosenstiehl Underwater Photo Competition


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#21 Garrethe

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:47 PM

1. Register everything with the USCO


So how hard/easy is this to do?

#22 Tobias

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:54 AM

Hi,

no problem to register my most important images with the USCO. Just wanted to know the effects of that. What if I register the image after the "crime" happens?

BTW: I found the contest images used at the discovery news webpage as well. Without any relation to the contest not mentioning the author.

http://news.discover...est-110422.html

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#23 Tobias

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:02 AM

Just had a look at the USCO site and yes, I find it actually hard to register my images there....especially if you mother language is not english it's hard to read that "law-english".

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#24 johnjvv

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:29 AM

Hi,

no problem to register my most important images with the USCO. Just wanted to know the effects of that. What if I register the image after the "crime" happens?

BTW: I found the contest images used at the discovery news webpage as well. Without any relation to the contest not mentioning the author.

http://news.discover...est-110422.html



If I were you, instead of going on a war path with those exposing your picture, I would save all of these places as screen shots and put it in your portfolio to use as references and ask them to credit it to your name....I would be flattered if my picture popped up on Discovery, why not ask them if they will do an article about how you took the picture and post it on the same site, then you develop a relationship with them. When you take another great photo in the future you can approach them as you know them...obviously get the right international copyrights.

I take photos as a pure hobby to show my family and friends what is underwater and really don't know anything about selling photos, but I am a salesman and you need to keep these guys sweet and bet on doing more great work which you can sell them.

And tell the world you were on Discovery....that is huge!!!

#25 johnjvv

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 03:36 AM

BTW I just had a look at the Discovery Website and it does credit it to your name when you put the cursor over the image...

#26 Tobias

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 06:50 AM

Hi John,

many thanks for your comment. Actually I didn't know that they wrote my name as the mouse-over is not working in my Firefox. Just tried it with Safari and it works! :-) So nothing I can blame them with.

In general, I found a lot of pages using my images, but 99% of them feature the Miami University contest, where this picture won Best Overall. So as they all got the image via the University this would be ok, as long as they print my copyright. I found only very little pages that don't. And none of them is for a commercial reason, so I won't do anything regarding them. Only the Reef Keeper Page was using it commercially.

Anyway it's a good idea to contact Discovery and ask them for a story. Maybe they want to have a story about another picture of mine, which recently won Best of Show in Ocean Art. Let see... :-)

http://www.uwphotogr...st-winners-2011

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#27 Garrethe

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:36 AM

Not to say you shouldn't be glad to have your photo on that site but having said that I have a question. Anyone can steal your photo and put it up on their site as long as they give you credit? I actually think it's worse that they know who the picture belongs to and didn't seek your permission and/or offer renumifaction.

#28 decosnapper

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:01 PM

...Anyone can steal your photo and put it up on their site as long as they give you credit?...

Anyone can steal anything they like...but does it make it right? The US idea of fair use and the more widely accepted fair dealing principles come into play so the answer is 'depends'. But speaking for myself, a credit alone is rarely never sufficient reward for commercial use of images. In fact, it can go one step further; commercial clients are advised that if the credit is omitted, then there is a +25% increase on the fee.

So when it comes down to using images the dual questions of 'can I? and "should I?' apply. The answers do not always agree...

......I would save all of these places as screen shots and put it in your portfolio to use as references and ask them to credit it to your name....I would be flattered if my picture popped up on Discovery, why not ask them if they will do an article about how you took the picture and post it on the same site, then you develop a relationship with them. When you take another great photo in the future you can approach them as you know them...obviously get the right international copyrights.


Let's just turn things around for one moment and consider this suggestion from another viewpoint. Do you think the Discovery Channel would be flattered to find others using their programmes without permission? If contacted, how do you think the line of "Well I was going to use this programme for free (and make some money from it) but I would like to develop a business relationship with you if you ever come up with a show I like perhaps I could pay for that one?" would go down? Do you think Discovery would be happy with a credit?

I should add that I am in no way advocating trying this on with Discovery content, its just hypothetical...

And tell the world you were on Discovery....that is huge!!!


Just how did Discovery became to be so huge? Do you think it has anything to do with commercial success? Has it ever occurred that Discovery rely on high quality content and perhaps they have a budget to pay for images?

Register everything with the USCO So how hard/easy is this to do?


In all honesty, not easy. In my experience, the USCO site is not that user friendly - and I empathise with those whose first language is not english...at times I have to read and re-read carefully what is required, what things mean and how things should be done...legal speak is dominant and only after a few registrations have I gained some confidence in the how's and whys of the process.

But as this thread shows, commercial infringement does happen and without registration there is little redress available...it is worth persevering.
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#29 johnjvv

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 05:23 AM

Let's just turn things around for one moment and consider this suggestion from another viewpoint. Do you think the Discovery Channel would be flattered to find others using their programmes without permission? If contacted, how do you think the line of "Well I was going to use this programme for free (and make some money from it) but I would like to develop a business relationship with you if you ever come up with a show I like perhaps I could pay for that one?" would go down? Do you think Discovery would be happy with a credit?

I should add that I am in no way advocating trying this on with Discovery content, its just hypothetical...

Just how did Discovery became to be so huge? Do you think it has anything to do with commercial success? Has it ever occurred that Discovery rely on high quality content and perhaps they have a budget to pay for images?


If you win a competition and Discovery publishes a your winning picture on their site, stating it has won a prize and credits it to you, would you seriously be offended???

I would not as it is free publicity...

Btw, I flog office furniture for a living and every now and then I loan furniture to people on the promise that they will place and order. Many times they dont and I wasted time helping them free of charge hoping to win business, instead of confronting the situation I keep them sweet and most of the time they come back to me for something else or refer me. You have to look the other way sometimes....then there is the adage that people buy people and not products so it pays to not piss future clients off. I agree with Tobias that the aquarium company should not use his image without paying, however all the publications that publicised and crediting his image can only be positive for him.

BTW Tobias you have amazing shots on your site and I really like it.

#30 decosnapper

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:03 AM

If you win a competition and Discovery publishes a your winning picture on their site, stating it has won a prize and credits it to you, would you seriously be offended???


Not sure that Discovery mentioned the competition win...therefore offence is taken...as per Tobias's comments earlier in the thread.

Btw, I flog office furniture for a living and every now and then I loan furniture to people on the promise that they will place and order. Many times they dont and I wasted time helping them free of charge hoping to win business, instead of confronting the situation I keep them sweet and most of the time they come back to me for something else or refer me. You have to look the other way sometimes....then there is the adage that people buy people and not products so it pays to not piss future clients off. I agree with Tobias that the aquarium company should not use his image without paying, however all the publications that publicised and crediting his image can only be positive for him.


Caring for clients is indeed a good thing. Clients - potential or otherwise - come back to you to buy furniture for one simple reason; they have to. By not ordering they may be wasting your time but you look after then because you know they don't have any office furniture to sit on.

The moment an infringer starts using an image without asking/paying, they are getting the benefit of what that image brings with immediate effect. If there is no benefit, why would a business use a picture in the first place? Whilst it can be difficult to compare physical goods with images, in this case the infringer is getting the equivalent of free office furniture without even asking you for a quote. Delivery is immediate. The goods come with all the benefits attached, but none of the outlay.

From what we know so far, Reefkeeper did just that and the photographer was not impressed. It is for this reason that the principle of permission first is of extreme value. Had Reefkeeper had asked first, then the photographer could say "Sure, help yourself" or "credit please" or "yep, it will cost $$$" or "Not at any price". Delete any that you are happy with. Sadly, Reefkeeper did not ask first. In my experience (one or two image sales....and infringements...) is that those who infringe are unlikely to become clients - and more to the point, would I want to continue to do business with them?

Finally, the principle of permission first allows the 'not at any price' to be applied when the intended use happens to be racially offensive, homophobic, politically extreme, misrepresentative or otherwise objectionable to the creator/photographer. Not all publicity is in the photographer's interests...and having denied such use rights for one of my images I cannot stress the benefit highly enough.
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#31 Drew

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:51 PM

I hope you saved the page? I would write to their domain server and ask for an injunction and send them the bill as well. Make as much waves as possible (or is it shake the tree? :)) Either way, don't let them get away with this.

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#32 Tobias

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:49 AM

Hey,

just to mention it: Many photo contests have written that you're allowing to publish the pictures for them or third parties as long as the competition and credits are mentioned. You agree to this by submitting your pictures. So, all the sites, talking about the competition and mentioning my name in the credits are not offending in any way, as well as Discovery. In my long search I only found one small blog that didn't had my credits on and that aquarium site. And in the case of the aquarium site they use the picture to commerically sell items. So I see a break of a law here.

Anyway I will try to contact them one more time and if they don't react, I will think about contacting a lawyer.

All the best
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#33 bvanant

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 10:38 AM

Simon:
In today's New York Times/LA times there was an article on why the "Stop Piracy Act" was a bad idea and they mentioned the fact that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act gave amnesty to any site that would remove copyrighted material after being notified but didn't explain the details. Do you understand how that works? I know that it is aimed at music/movies not photographs mostly but I don't have any details. Is it your understanding that the US copyright laws with regard to digital media have been changed? I would like to understand what is important (register with the Copyright office etc) but if the act is what the paper suggests and websites that are infringing get "amnesty" if they remove the infringement it seems like a bit of wasted trouble.

On the patent topic, if you want to make lots of money infringing one of my patents is not the way to go, but if you invent something that we infringe you can get rich. The last big patent dispute we got into, we ended up paying the inventor/doctor about $2B (yes billion, $2000 Million). Of course we got a license after the fact.

Happy New Year
Bill

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#34 decosnapper

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 11:55 PM

As ever, I'm not a lawyer...but here's my understanding:-

In today's New York Times/LA times there was an article on why the "Stop Piracy Act" was a bad idea and they mentioned the fact that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act gave amnesty to any site that would remove copyrighted material after being notified but didn't explain the details.

I have not seen the article, but US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Also referred to as DMCA) introduced the concept of 'safe harbour' and this may be what the article refers to. I will assume it does.

Do you understand how that works? I know that it is aimed at music/movies not photographs mostly but I don't have any details.


The Act protects both websites and internet service providers from infringement claims by IP owners. It is also supposed to protect creators...but more about that in a moment... Video hosting sites are a good example; lets say I decide to submit Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to a video hosting site. Great idea as everyone can watch it without the inconvenience of paying, except I don't own the rights...so under the DMCA JK Rowling would issue a 'takedown notice' informing the site that the video they are hosting a video that infringes her rights as the creator. At this point, the site is now obliged to remove the content, and its liabilities are limited to this.

As far as I know, 'takedown' and 'safe harbour' only apply to sites that store or transmit content for users. If the company themselves posted up content, or get direct financial benefit from doing so (such as selling a subscription) then this falls outside the safeguards of DMCA.

A brief aside; As far as I understand it, Eric and Co at Wetpixel are protected under DMCA, as long as they don't post the content themselves. Having said that, I seem to recall an absolute zero tolerance from the Mods here when it comes to posting third party images without permission...and this approach is to be not only applauded, but supported.

But here's the rub; creators have to issue DMCA takedowns (taking up time finding and issuing notices) and there is no incentive for sites hosting infringing content to do anything about it until the notice arrives, or filter the user-posted content. In the meantime, the Harry Potter movie is surrounded by advertisements, all deriving indirect revenue for the site...I wonder what sort of content is more popular with viewers? CGI wizardry or 'Here's my out of focus dancing cat'?

Is it your understanding that the US copyright laws with regard to digital media have been changed?


Not recently, no. The interpretation is shaped with various cases...

I would like to understand what is important (register with the Copyright office etc) but if the act is what the paper suggests and websites that are infringing get "amnesty" if they remove the infringement it seems like a bit of wasted trouble

Safe harbour would protect the site sharing content...but its not a blanket get-out-of-jail-free card for every case. It protects the aggregator of third party content, and the transmission. I do not believe it would protect website owners who used images for advertising - for example. I should add that I'm not up on case law, neither have I tested it...but that is my understanding. If anyone knows better, please correct me.

Hope this helps Bill. Happy new year to all on WP!

Edited by decosnapper, 03 January 2012 - 01:52 AM.

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#35 bvanant

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 11:05 AM

As ever, I'm not a lawyer...but here's my understanding:-

I have not seen the article, but US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Also referred to as DMCA) introduced the concept of 'safe harbour' and this may be what the article refers to. I will assume it does.



The Act protects both websites and internet service providers from infringement claims by IP owners. It is also supposed to protect creators...but more about that in a moment... Video hosting sites are a good example; lets say I decide to submit Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to a video hosting site. Great idea as everyone can watch it without the inconvenience of paying, except I don't own the rights...so under the DMCA JK Rowling would issue a 'takedown notice' informing the site that the video they are hosting a video that infringes her rights as the creator. At this point, the site is now obliged to remove the content, and its liabilities are limited to this.

As far as I know, 'takedown' and 'safe harbour' only apply to sites that store or transmit content for users. If the company themselves posted up content, or get direct financial benefit from doing so (such as selling a subscription) then this falls outside the safeguards of DMCA.

A brief aside; As far as I understand it, Eric and Co at Wetpixel are protected under DMCA, as long as they don't post the content themselves. Having said that, I seem to recall an absolute zero tolerance from the Mods here when it comes to posting third party images without permission...and this approach is to be not only applauded, but supported.

But here's the rub; creators have to issue DMCA takedowns (taking up time finding and issuing notices) and there is no incentive for sites hosting infringing content to do anything about it until the notice arrives, or filter the user-posted content. In the meantime, the Harry Potter movie is surrounded by advertisements, all deriving indirect revenue for the site...I wonder what sort of content is more popular with viewers? CGI wizardry or 'Here's my out of focus dancing cat'?

Not recently, no. The interpretation is shaped with various cases...

Safe harbour would protect the site sharing content...but its not a blanket get-out-of-jail-free card for every case. It protects the aggregator of third party content, and the transmission. I do not believe it would protect website owners who used images for advertising - for example. I should add that I'm not up on case law, neither have I tested it...but that is my understanding. If anyone knows better, please correct me.

Hope this helps Bill. Happy new year to all on WP!

Thanks, I have a call in to one of our IP lawyers as well but he is not really a copyright guy more a trademark and patent type.
Bill

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