Friday, March 16, 2018

Robbed Again! A Tale of Copyright Infringement

  Remember a few posts back when I was complaining about people stealing my photos,and using them on their own blog,or offering them for download, etc.? Well last night I found something else that really set me off. I found an auction on Ebay. The seller was offering a 1/6 scale 'portrait package' of Ricky doll pictures...MY pictures! It's bad enough when somebody steals your photos for their blog or something where they aren't directly making money from it. But when somebody is selling a product they made using your work,that's worse.

This is one of the photos she used.
  I sent her a message:
 "Hello,I have just seen your auction for this miniature picture pack,the contents of which are ALL MY PHOTOGRAPHS. These photos are ALL from my blog,Planet of the Dolls,and are subject to the copyright mentioned on the blog's Home page. I have also posted some of these photos on Flickr. Please remove this auction and any others selling products made from my photographs. Cease to sell any products made from any of my photographs. I spend a great deal of time and effort photographing dolls for my blog. These photos are for my use only. I didn't do the work for you to make money from it. If the auction is not removed I will be reporting your actions to Ebay."
 
She used this one too.

  Today I had gotten two messages from her. She scolded me for not being 'nicer',because she is 'old' and 'disabled' and that this is how she 'pays her bills'.  So now I'm supposed to feel guilty for complaining. For one thing,I don't know anything about her,except that she stole my work. I have no idea of her situation. For another thing,that's no excuse for stealing. She also said,

I don't even know what a blog is. All I do is google Kelly, Ricky, Barbie, pics and copy from there. If there is a blog somewhere that these pictures came from how would I know?

Well they have to come from somewhere. They didn't just appear already taken. Admittedly,if you see something that has been pinned on Pinterest there isn't always a trail to the original posting. But I tried to explain to her that just because something shows up on Google that doesn't mean it's public domain and can be used freely. It only means it was posted online somewhere. She has an online store and sells on Ebay.She obviously knows something about using the internet. Here's the message I sent back to her first response to my complaint:
    "You could have checked the source of the photos. Apart from that, you knew they weren't your own work,so you had to know you had no right to use them. Just because something shows up on the internet doesn't make it fair game. That's something a lot of people need to realize. Someone put time and effort into that work. I don't have nearly as much of a problem when someone is using one of my photos of a boxed doll strictly for reference purposes. When someone is using an artistic photo and/or using them to make money, however,that's another thing. Also,I make and sell miniatures myself,and might want to use my own photos at some point."

Another photo she stole.

 And here is the answer to her second message:

"Try to see it from my side as well as your own. I don't know anything about you. I don't know your situation. (And your situation doesn't allow you to steal from others. That may seem harsh, but it is 'stealing'.) All I know is that once again someone has stolen my work. I have seen my photos stolen and being used on other people's blogs,being offered for download on sites,etc.I have contacted them all and asked for them to stop using my work, and haven't even received a response. This was one more instance of others stealing my work,(and I do put a lot of work into my photos.The ones you used were from a year where I posted a different doll EVERY DAY. That's a lot of photos and a lot of work.),and this time the culprit was using them for their own profit. I was very angry. You have to realize that all those photos out there didn't just pop into existence. Someone put time and effort, into those photos,and in the case of some people's photos,a lot of money/work has gone into props and settings. Just because a photo is on the internet doesn't mean it's public domain and can be used freely. It just means it's been posted online somewhere. (You can Google anything and it will come up. That doesn't imply any rights to use it.) I have discussed this with many others who post online, and a lot of them have also had their photos stolen and they are angry too. A lot of people have resorted to watermarking or labeling their photos,only to have the thieves cut the photo off above the mark. Photography is an art form. You wouldn't use someone else's drawing, painting,or writing.What if someone broke into your house, stole a box of your hand made miniatures, and you found them online being sold by someone else? Look at it that way. It's the same thing."


  To top it off,she also put me in my place by telling me, "For your information,not one of these sold."   In other words,my photos aren't so hot because she didn't even sell any. That's nerve. Good. They weren't yours to sell anyway.

Here's one she didn't actually use!
  By the way, you can see Ricky's original post,including these photos and more,HERE.

20 comments:

  1. Some people have a lot of nerve! I know watermarks are ugly as sin, but it might be wise to start using one. They're easy to put in on Photoshop.

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    1. The problem is, not only do they mar the picture,but there are ways of getting around them. Someone told me the person who stole their pictures used them by cutting them off just above the watermark. There's also Photoshop to get rid of them.

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  2. The nerve of that woman! People like that make me so mad. If she downloaded music offline would she think she'd have the right to make cds and sell that too?

    (P.S. the text from the emails is the same color as your background and is getting washed out.)

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    1. Thanks for telling me. I've noticed that on several other posts when updating them. I have it set for black print on a white background,so I don't know why it's doing that.and I've tried changing the others and it won't change. I'll have to enlist help.

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  3. It amazes me how defensive people can get, even when they are in the wrong. I suppose they already have a defense worked out in their minds because they know what they are doing is wrong. It must be embarrassing to be told, "Hey, you stole my images," but they could avoid that by not stealing the images, couldn't they? I'm glad she didn't profit by her theft, at least not from you.

    I have to think that if there was a solid legal case against Pinterest, it would already have been brought, not that I'm saying you think that. I'm too tired to try to say anything else coherent along those lines, though. G'night. :)

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    1. Yes. We've talked about this before. I'm in two minds about Pinterest. It's for an individuals personal collection of favourite or useful images,but anybody can see what anybody else has saved to Pinterest. Not everybody bothers to provide the source of the images they save. That's where people end up stealing the images without knowing who to ask for permission, even if they want to.

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  4. The nerve of some people! I can't imagine taking someone else's photos and selling them without permission. People will steal anything that's not nailed down.

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    1. The thing is, she tried to claim she had no way of knowing where the pictures originated. She also seemed to think that anything on Google was free for the asking. Nobody is that dumb.

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  5. you could share the link to her selling these pics, i would gladly pester her about this.
    Some elderly peole are sort of dumb internetwise... But....When you're able to sell on ebay and get pics from google, you're also able to know that you're stealing.

    The watermarks...yeah... they're ugly, can be removed again and think of the amount of work to watermark all the beautiful pics on this site...
    I so enjoy them, especially the vintage matteldolls, Ricky is sooo cute, he's still on my list to buy. But money is tight here so I enjoy the pics of others :-)

    some sites have a gimmick that you cannot copy pictures, do not know how that works but might be an option

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoy the photos. You're right. There is a way to make your pictures hard to steal. It can usually be gotten around by those who know how,(The people who really know what they're doing on a computer,which means not me!) I might have to see if I can find somebody who knows how to do that to help me start using it though.

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  6. I don't buy the old and disabled and I don't understand line. I've worked in retail long enough to know that habitual theives always have a sob story prepared and will always claim they've done nothing wrong. To the length where they'll try to tell staff that they always put the items they're buying down their shirt or trousers until they get to the counter.
    If she knows enough to put the packs together and sell them, I doubt she is that clueless. Besides if she's going to sell pictures it's her duty to find out if it's ok to do, that's just common sense.
    What a pooper

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    1. Well, that's what I am thinking. She knows enough about the internet to know how to use Ebay, how to Google images and to steal the images and resize them for her use,and run an online store. She's not that uninformed. Besides, even if you don't knwo where an image came from,or what a blog is, you would still know the image belonged to someone. Daughter Ivy asked if she must think Google invents the images then? Surely nobody is that dumb.

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  7. Ebay has an article called, "Images and text policy" and there is a link to report under "What should I do if my image or text is being used by another member?" You might want to consider that option. That she is old and disabled is an excuse. She's trying to profit off your efforts and not her own. Old people tend to use the 'I'm old' or 'forgetful' when they steal and it's manipulative in at least some cases.

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    1. The only Ebay policy I'm familiar with that concerns images is the one where you are not allowed to use someone else's image to sell a similar item. For example,I couldn't sell a Ricky doll using a photo I stole from someone else's auction. That's strictly to keep people from selling something they don't own,as in a fake auction,or to mislead someone as to what your item looks like,(condition,etc.) If she hadn't removed the auction I would have had to look into that though.

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  8. This is very surprising and saddening! Only when you are able to recoup money from people who do this will it stop. I have seen your pictures and love them! It has inspired me to purchase Ricky and related items. I hope this stops for you!

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    1. Thank you. With the internet there is no way to ever chase everyone down. I'm sure there is a lot of it that will never be caught. I'd hate to have to use a watermark but I guess the only thing is to use one or stop complaining!

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  9. WOW what a bloody cheek! And to try using the 'disabled' card, that is not good. There are lots of other disabled people out there who are trying to make a living and they don't do it by stealing other people's work. I'm glad they didn't sell but I don't think it's to do with the photos not being good enough!
    As for watermarks, I thought about putting them on my photos but yes, they're so easy to get around, is it really worth it?

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    1. That's what I think about the watermarks. And you know,there's no guarantee that she isn't, or won't in the future,sell them elsewhere,or even put them back on Ebay later. If she can run a computer and a printer to make her miniatures,she can use a camera and take her own photos.

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  10. Maybe you should start selling "portrait packages" for yourself?

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    1. I know Em. I need to get that printer up and running.

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Thanks in advance for your comments.