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DavidC

Stand by for a massive bout of Imager Thievery (double post merged)

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 The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act is making its way inexorably to the statute books and, as you know, this effectively 'orphans' any image without identifiable copyright information that a potential image thief can find by "Diligent Search".

 

Will Alamy PLEASE enforce a contractural requirement with ALL of its clients (especially the UK newspapers) - placing them in breach of contract if they remove or edit the IPTC fields installed by Alamy at the time of the licensing.

 

This is not just desirable it is essential and is indeed in the interests of all picture agencies/libraries as well as the actual owners of the copyright in the images.

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I'll add my vote to that. 

 

In an ideal world, it would be illegal to remove copyright info from images. If only we lived in an ideal world! 

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 The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act is making its way inexorably to the statute books in the UK and, as you know, this effectively 'orphans' any image without identifiable copyright information that a potential image thief can find by "Diligent Search".

 

I have posted to Alamy asking them to  enforce a contractural requirement with ALL of its clients (especially the UK newspapers) - placing them in breach of contract if they remove or edit the IPTC fields installed by Alamy at the time of the licensing.

 

This is not just desirable it is essential and is indeed in the interests of all picture agencies/libraries as well as the actual owners of the copyright in the images.

 

For many images the horses have already left the stables - we need firm action to protect future exploitation of our copyright - David Cameron was not moved by David Bailey's recent letter - (nor for that matter was my MP following my e-mails)  it is down to us to try to redeem as much of the copyright protection that we once had -

 

Come on !  Ranking, Reputation and Liking buttons etc are unimportatnt compared to this - shoulders to the wheel ! 

 

Lobbying parliament failed - let's see what lobbying Alamy can do..........

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Great idea..

Come on Alamy lets hear what you think.

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Thought I'd added my support but post has vanished???? Just realised there's two parallel threads on the same issue...Post is in other one..DUH :wacko:  

 

Great idea...

We need feedback from Alamy on this.

 

Phil

Edited by Phil Crean
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Agreed - after all, Alamy will ultimately lose business as well as those who provide them with images

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Even if you have images out there with stripped metadata, if it is possible for you to show that copies exist with metadata anywhere on the web, you'll be able to force the image thieves to pay a fee. Under certain conditions you will be able to get the central collection agency (PLUS or whatever succeeds it) to invoice the client, collect and pay you - and there's no suggestion they will be charging Alamy newspaper scheme rates.

 

Agreed, action needs to be taken, but you are not going to shift this lot from their intention to free up the exploitation of hundreds of thousands of literary works and millions of pieces of art and photography (none of which are actually intended to current work). Nor will you get them to force newspapers and websites to retain IPTC data though I think there's a possible lever on that (security and police/military) where mandatory inclusion of EXIF data could be sold to them :-)

 

David

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Thanks, David, as always for a careful reading and a measured view. I for one am grateful for it.

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Do not often disagree with DK - but in this matter I do.

 

The infringer has to show a "Diligent Search" to avoid potential action - they do not have to provide evidence of an exhaustive search - there is no reason whatever that Alamy (and others) cannot make it a contractual obligation to leave the IPTC information intact on the file - as David K knows the original programme design for web use included the stripping out of metadata was a 'size' issue - and that just does not wash now.

 

I'm pretty sure, but stand to be corrected, that in the USA the actual removal of copyright assertions from an image before stealing it would considerably enhance your claim size if the issue were to go to court. Further, the problem is not with the EXIF data (which can be manipulated in a number of ways) but with the IPTC copyright field - the removal of which should be a contractual offence - or at the worst, evidence of an attempt to defraud.

 

Oh, and in my previous outing on my soapbox Alamy really did not want to watermark their images did they ? Battles can be won - but choose your fight with care.....

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It all hinges on 'diligent' as a term. My feeling would be that if nearly all your images are on Alamy, you are pretty safe - or would be once Alamy makes the image database more readily indexed by at least one of the picture-comparison utilities (whether it's Google Images, or Picscout, or Tineye, or some future image-matcher). The government's agency should, perhaps, fund the research and creation of a new one, intended just to find any match to an image and flag up copies which include metadata or a watermark (harder) and throw up a copyright not orphan warning.

 

People are saying that Facebook etc pose risks, but all my images on Facebook are clearly uploaded to my account not someone else's, and I am prepared to bet the date of the upload can be identified too. They live in MY albums or photo file section. Therefore, they can be found and my authorship is in no doubt. They are not orphans even if I have failed to add metadata, because 'diligence' will find out they are my images.

 

Since maybe 70% of the world already doesn't care in any way about finding the origin of images, this unwelcome Act is not going to make them search for extra ones to steal. The biggest losers, I think, will be traditional art/illustration libraries like Mary Glasgow whose content includes paintings and stuff, and also a large class of work from around the 1950s to 90s, the anonymous print or slide found in car boot sales. Until this Act, it has been dangerous to digitise anything in a Kodachrome 25 or 64 mount, or any Fujichrome, with an unknown source because there's been a strong chance the work is still in copyright.

 

Now if you find a stash of such material, it could be used. What the right hand takes away the left may give back.

 

David

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I would ask alamy to follow David C's suggestion re contracts.

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More and more I think this is a lost battle.

 

At the moment there are several photography packs in the Pirate Bay with tenths of GB of images each totaling many tenths or hundreds of thousands of images being given away for free in all disrespect for copyright.

 

Given the global scope of the Internet it's virtually impossible for anyone to sue thieves.

 

More, every time any kind of news about copyright infringement and associations trying to fight appears in a newspaper 99% of the comments are simply insults and complete lack of understanding that artists don't live from the air and need to be paid to continue to produce new content. Only one or two people try to discuss and understand the issue.

 

Any attempt to explain this to these people will result in insults of greedy, copyright is outdated, adapt to new world, invent new ways to get income as if the tenths of thousands of photographers around the world wouldn't have found alternatives if they were easy, change your professional area, to simple gloating about how great it is for them to download whatever they want without having to pay us greedy bastards anything.

 

I'm about to throw down the towel. It's completely demoralizing not only to see my work stolen all over the Internet but it's even worse to be humiliated by the vast majority of people that are even incapable and unwilling to discuss or try to understand the fragility of our position, and that the images today are almost given for free. To them we are worthless greedy bastards by requiring payment for each download. Many have told me that once an image is downloaded and paid the first time it already was paid and we cannot charge over and over for the same "product". No more, no less. It's insane but this is how people think nowadays.

 

Summing up to the steep decline in royalties it's becoming unsustainable. I'm in total burnout and don't photograph in a systematic way for many, many months as new images will sell for nothing, and soon they will be all over the Internet as public property. And any action you attempt you end up being treated as scum and mocked off.

Edited by Jose Elias
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Deleted. Same post duplicated when the two threads were merged.

Edited by Mark Collinson
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The requirement not to remove copyright information is already expressed several times within the buyer's End User License Agreement, so removing copyright data is already a breach of contract. What your really after is assurance from Alamy that they will enforce these contractual requirements.

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I'm not sure how useful double posts are.

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You've got it Mark !

 

I want them to say that it is already contractual - and that they will put some teeth into their contract !!!!

 

 

....and Jose, don't let the present situation get you down - you have some beautiful images of beautiful places - I admit that when I see one of my images stolen and used more than 1,000 times I get more than a bit angry - but there is little point - it is not fair, but then the world never was fair was it ?

Edited by DavidC
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Alamy say that they will read this one - they might just miss the other one on the more popular and read forum - you can always smack my wrist with a down pointing arrow Mark.......

 

Sorry that was a bit snappy !  The thing is, Alamy promise to read all entries in this forum - we would like them to stand by their contracts - in the matter of the copyright information - and in the matter of refunds made after many months - they have rules, they want us to abide by them - customers should be equally responsible.

Edited by DavidC
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I would truly like to hear Alamy's response to this...

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Thanks DavidC for your words, but it's becoming hard.

 

Portugal images are not that required as I don't see many searches about it, a 60/70% drop in my stock income in the last year, to which I have to sum up a brutal and indiscriminate tax raise we're experiencing in Portugal it's just too much to handle overall and difficult to keep the spirits high.

 

I even thought on making available my portfolio, or a large part of it, for free download and simply ask for donations to those that download my images. Something like a beggar asking for alms. After all, people get my small and watermarked images anyway and do whatever they want with them and I have no capability to recover income from them... Still haven´t done this but I'm considering it. I probably won't earn a thing, and it will be another nail in the stock photography coffin but at this moment I'm almost up for anything.

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The problems in the UK for stock photographers with falling sales values are small compared to long term stock photographers in the suffering section of the Euro zone. I have heard from a friend in Portugal of the crisis there. Tax increases, cuts in benefits and falling income - these are not people who were fiddling and involved in corruption - the financial dealings in the major banks seem more and more to have a lot to answer for.

 

To Jose I would say, do not make your images available for free download - those who would steal your content will continue to do so, and those who pay would think that if you can give it away it has little value - and this is simply not so in the case of your collection of images. It seems inadequate to say that I wish you well.....

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Jose, I have to agree with DavidC on his comments about making your images available for free (i.e. don't do it!).  Of course, you have to make your own decisions, but I would say that this is the wrong way to go.  Hang in there.

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