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OT: Copyright, Image Theft, and Handling It.


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#1 weiesnbach

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:38 AM

It was brought to  my attention first thing this morning that one of my images was being used on a website without my permission,  and after a bit reverse image searching, I came across several  more instances of that image and several more of my images being used without my permission.  One was on a  "free clip  art" site as a low resolution raster image,  which is kind of odd because it's also on a legitimate clip art site as a vector, another was being used as a postcard/greeting card with  my signature intact,  and credited to  me....

...and if you guys know anything about clip  art sales, you know that  you're not going to  get  rich  from it,  so  every little bit helps. 

Anyway,  I spent the better part of the day  hunting down  images,  sending out DMCA take down notices, and generally feeling a bit helpless over the entire situation. 

So I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences and how you handled it? Is there a faster way of doing a reverse image search  than  Google  or Tineye? It would be nice to  be able to  go  through  an entire folder at once rather than doing each image individually. 

Also have you had any  luck  with simply sending out a take down notice? Anything else you'd like to  share would great too.  I'm open  to  any ideas,  solutions, or whatever you guys might have. 

Thanks,

-J


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#2 Babba

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 01:50 PM

A long time ago when I was about to win my first win here on Design Contest, a certain mad designer (banned for design copies) took my design and put it on Clker.com. Then he reported my design for a clipart, trying to knock me down. Sharie helped me in that case. But even with my various email complaints, I was never able to remove it from that damn site. 

So, it depends how site is serious. 


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#3 weiesnbach

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:42 PM

Yeah,  I'm not meeting with  much  success on most of them,  but I have discovered that  if the site is hosted through Godaddy.com, then  there's an actual form  on the Godaddy site to fill out that makes Godaddy aware of it,  and they  will  supposedly take action.  I'm hoping I will  get  some success in that  direction,  but I'm thinking it will likely be Monday, at the earliest,  before I know anything for sure, if ever. 

 

-J


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#4 Babba

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 11:00 PM

Btw, I went today to see mine issue - and guess what! I found it on 3 more sites! :mad:

I sent them all an complaint e-mail... so let see. 


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#5 weiesnbach

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 11:34 PM

That was me yesterday, and the more I searched the more I found. Some newspaper in  Sri  Lanka had been using one of my images on article for over a year. Just the ridiculousness of it all, and they don't think  that there's anything wrong with it.  Just  because you can  Google it doesn't mean it's your.

I saw a guy on here, about a month ago, literally posting in the description of his work that he got all of the images off of Goggle. Like that somehow makes it okay. 

-J


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#6 Babba

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 10:29 AM

Not long time ago we found a bunch of designers as an agency having on their site all stolen works, from web-design to logo-design, all won projects on 99designs from various designers... including client's reviews. They were reported instantly and soon they removed everything and put their site "under construction".


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#7 sirius

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 02:49 PM

I can't imagine the agony you've gone through when you found out that someone stole your design, or "borrowed" it. But the question is how can we, as designers, copyright an image, logo, vector, or anything belonging to us, so that others can't use it. I'm asking because I have no experience in this field so can you help out ?


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#8 HerbertNordal

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 07:03 PM

So, that must be why some level 10 designers removed their entire portfolio including their winning entries.

They were trying to avoid world wide art theft.

This would be difficult to avoid in a world where intellectual property is not protected.

 

Maybe, just send them a bill with full explanation of details. It may not get paid but everyone will know it was theft.


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#9 weiesnbach

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 04:24 AM

I don't know of any  good solutions myself, harass them with emails and hope that works,  hire a lawyer, or just roll  with it. I can't afford a lawyer myself,  some I'm hoping these DMCA take down letters work.  I've got a template put together that I cobbled from  several  different sites if anyone wants to  use it. 

These are all  the "must  have" terms and phrases to be a legal  notice if and when you do decide to hire a lawyer. I'm  kind of thinking most  will  gamble that  you won't:

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Attention (sir,madam, whom it may concern),  my name is (your name), and I am the copyright owner of the photograph(illustration, song,  etc.) being infringed at: 
 
(full adress of the offending image, page, song, video, etc.)
 
A copy of the photograph being infringed is attached to assist with its removal from the infringing website.
 
This letter is an official notification under the provisions of Section 512© of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to effect removal of the above-reported infringement. I request that you immediately remove the specified posting and prevent the infringer, who is identified by its web address, from posting the infringing photograph to your servers in the future. Please be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the infringing photograph upon receiving this notice. Noncompliance may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.
 
I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of here is not authorized by me, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge. I swear under penalty of perjury that I am the copyright holder.
 
Please send me, at the address noted below, a prompt response indicating the actions you have taken to resolve this matter.
Sincerely,
 
Name
Email
Phone
address
__________________________________________________________________________________

Make sure you attach an original version of the file you are referring to. Also find out who  their ISP is from the WhoIs directory and send them a copy as well,  because they  are legally liable (which I don't really agree but, if it helps...)...

I honestly don't know if these letters will  work or not,  but it seems a bit more proactive than  doing nothing. 

-J

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#10 sharie

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 05:15 AM

most of the time a legal "looking" letter is all that is needed  for them to remove the images. sometimes a phone call works then you can always start sending them a bill for each month they have it on their site.


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#11 triangle

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 12:29 PM

I had a similar issue with a designer that stole one of my logo designs and won a contest with it on another website. I've contacted the contest holder and he kindly removed the design. The designer eventually got banned and the client received his money back.


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#12 sharie

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Posted 06 December 2016 - 06:33 PM

Unfortunately  this type of issue will never  or completely dissolve. Theft happens in "real" world as well it is just slightly easier online but it is also easier today catch these online thieves than the real world thieves.  We work hard to protect our designers here at designcontest.com. I have opened up communication with  some of the other contest sites so we are all working together to help prevent and catch these thieves 


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#13 weiesnbach

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 07:44 AM

Well, I'm happy to  report that  at least one site(the postcard company) has removed my image.  They  aren't saying how many postcards they  actually sold,  in fact they  claim  they  didn't sell  any,  but at least they've pulled it. 

That's one down at least 6 more to  go. 

 

-J


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#14 weiesnbach

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 11:20 AM

...well,  just  got an  email  from  Shutterstock,  and they're going after several of them. So I guess there's a plus to  selling through  them,  my interests are their interests,  and they  have a lot more pull  than I do,  even if I do  only get  about twenty-five cents per download. 

-J


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#15 Babba

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 01:55 PM

Only one removed mine. :(



#16 weiesnbach

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 03:03 PM

Only one removed mine. :(

I'm hoping Shutterstock  will  actually get the majority of the remaining ones removed. Logically if someone is giving away  images that I am selling through them,  then it cuts into  their profits as well.  I can't honestly see it cutting into  them  too  badly, though,  I mean really, I average about $15  a month  through them. So it can't be hurting them too  bad,  but I assume these sites also  have other images that either Shuterstock,  Getty,  or I-stock handle.  Time will  tell.

-J


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