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Archival Images being pirated on eBay


AMD
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Hi, I wonder if anyone can help? I have a historic photo library which I have listed on Alamy as archival images. I've just spotted that an eBay seller is offering copies of dozens of my images as well as those of other Alamy members (easily spotted as they have even used the same descriptions on eBay). I'm not sure what can be done? I've contacted the seller to ask where they obtained the images and just got the brush off. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. 

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6 hours ago, AMD said:

Hi, I wonder if anyone can help? I have a historic photo library which I have listed on Alamy as archival images. I've just spotted that an eBay seller is offering copies of dozens of my images as well as those of other Alamy members (easily spotted as they have even used the same descriptions on eBay). I'm not sure what can be done? I've contacted the seller to ask where they obtained the images and just got the brush off. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. 

 

For example - https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/deec-shop?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

 

Mmm... that's unusual. He appears to have hundreds of un-watermarked copies of what might all be Alamy images. He seems to be selling them as printed postcards and (if his feedback is right) selling quite a few. Where did you get your copies from?

 

Suggest alerting Alamy contributor services (contributors@alamy.com) to see what they have to say. Do they recognise the seller as a customer, have these images been downloaded?

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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I'm not sure what the allegation is. Is it that the Ebay seller has taken these images from Alamy or copied the captions and then found them elsewhere in the public domain? 

 

I assume that AMD is not the copyright owner of all these images in his Alamy collection so there is nothing wrong with somebody else also finding them on the public domain?  

 

Or is the suspicion that somebody with access to unwatermarked Alamy files is helping themselves? 

 

If there is no copyright then literally there is no restriction on them being copied. Though Alamy may have a view if the person is abusing privileges.

 

As I said, not entirely clear from the OP what the issue is.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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In the case of 'my' images I own the original physical images and have scanned and in most cases removed blemishes, faults  etc for use on alamy. I appreciate that I do not own the copyright, but what concerns me is that it undermines my confidence in alamy if a large quantity of the images I've uploaded suddenly appear minus watermark for sale on eBay. Most of the physical images I own don't appear in the public domain which is a criteria I've used in choosing them for Alamy, so I don't understand how they've arrived en masse on eBay. I doubt I'll upload any further archive images if there's a gaping hole in the system. Thanks for taking the time to reply.  

 

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15 minutes ago, AMD said:

I don't understand how they've arrived en masse on eBay

I think we would all like to know how this could have happened. From what you say at least a proportion of your images could only have come from Alamy and so this would be a serious breach indeed. I can't see anyone setting about removing the Alamy watermarks but anything's possible I suppose though they'd be low resolution. Since you yourself have removed the blemishes etc. it must presumably be easy to prove that they have originated from your Alamy upload.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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I completely understand the frustration and have a small number of personal prints of my own which I have scanned, cleaned, uploaded, researched captions etc. 

 

Any logged in Alamy contributor can access and download images of this type and they are clearly of sufficient resolution for this Ebayer to sell prints from them. This is the area where I feel Alamy should be asked to investigate. 

 

The issue here is a breach of trust, or abuse of Alamy privileges, rather than a copyright infringement. Surely it is against our contract to be downloading other contributors images and flogging them off as prints on Ebay. And as you say AMD we deserve protection from Alamy.

Edited by geogphotos
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15 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Any logged in Alamy contributor can access and download images of this type

I've just downloaded a preview and it was watermarked.

OP,  have you recently had personal use licences for these images? Seems unlikely but resale would be a breach of the licence, and I can't see that someone would do it for large numbers of images.

Are you certain that your images are available nowhere else? Facebook, Instagram, Flickr? You also have your own ebay shop- are they just copying images from your listings? If so ebay will take them down.

IF you can track down the seller and he's in the UK you could go to IPEC, or use the threat to extract a settlement.

Edited by spacecadet
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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

I've just downloaded a preview and it was watermarked.

OP,  have you recently had personal use licences for these images? Seems unlikely but resale would be a breach of the licence, and I can't see that someone would do it for large numbers of images.

Are you certain that your images are available nowhere else? Facebook, Instagram, Flickr?

 

Screenshot grab?

 

This is a very grey area. If Alamy licences an image which is out of copyright I can't see how it has any control over how it can be used. 

 

But keep that quiet maybe?

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3 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Screenshot grab?

They're watermarked. AFAIK the only way you get a clean copy is if you license.

4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

This is a very grey area. If Alamy licences an image which is out of copyright I can't see how it has any control over how it can be used. 

 

But keep that quiet maybe?

You have a point- hadn't thought of that. It may be that when paying for such an image you're really just paying to get access to it, not actually licensing it at all. Or are the licence terms enforceable as terms of the contract? Because you have agreed only to use it in certain ways, and doing otherwise is a breach of contract and not copyright. Hmm. IANAL. Just thinking out loud.

As to your second suggestion, yes.🤫

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2 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

I see what you mean. But then a watermarked Alamy image couldn't be the source.

 

 

The Copyright notice is mine. I get an unwatermarked copy when I screen grab the enlarged image. I assume that anybody who is logged in can do the same.

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2 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

The Copyright notice is mine. I get an unwatermarked copy when I screen grab the enlarged image. I assume that anybody who is logged in can do the same.

Oh, the one from the search results page. I get it.

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I suppose we shouldn't go into the 'craft' of doing this or be too specific but the detail displayed on, shall we say a hypothetical zoom image on ebay, is far greater than would be resolved by enlarging a 450 pixel wide image in Photoshop. I think there is more going on here.

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6 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

I suppose we shouldn't go into the 'craft' of doing this or be too specific but the detail displayed on, shall we say a hypothetical zoom image on ebay, is far greater than would be resolved by enlarging a 450 pixel wide image in Photoshop. I think there is more going on here.

 

This is what I got in my screen grab:

 

 

 

I0000TzilB_dRca4.jpg

 

The 'Copyright Protected Image' is mine ( added automatically by Photoshelter) Hint hint....

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

This is what I got in my screen grab:

OK, that looks good, but are you saying that this is directly from Alamy search results 'grid view' where they are unwatermarked. I think those are only 450 pixels across. longest side but perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.

 

Note that I'm not looking for you to describe how to get the best results! 'Yes' or 'No' would be fine just to see if I'm barking up the wrong tree.

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11 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

OK, that looks good, but are you saying that this is directly from Alamy search results 'grid view' where they are unwatermarked. I think those are only 450 pixels across. longest side but perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.

 

Note that I'm not looking for you to describe how to get the best results! 'Yes' or 'No' would be fine just to see if I'm barking up the wrong tree.

 

I clicked on AMD's blue link, clicked on the first one, and then selected Enlarge.

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1 minute ago, geogphotos said:

I clicked on AMD's blue link, clicked on the first one, and then selected Enlarge.

Right, crossed wires on my part, I was seeking to establish if it might hypothetically be possible to get an image of that quality by screen grabbing an unwatermarked image from Alamy. For me the answer is no so I might have totally misunderstood the discussion.

 

I should say that I am in no way questioning the integrity of the individual behind that particular ebay account!

 

I'll get my coat.

 

 

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4 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Any logged in Alamy contributor can access and download images of this type and they are clearly of sufficient resolution for this Ebayer to sell prints from them.

It's that bit I didn't understand but it's best you don't explain it I imagine.

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11 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Right, crossed wires on my part, I was seeking to establish if it might hypothetically be possible to get an image of that quality by screen grabbing an unwatermarked image from Alamy. For me the answer is no so I might have totally misunderstood the discussion.

 

I should say that I am in no way questioning the integrity of the individual behind that particular ebay account!

 

I'll get my coat.

 

 

 

 

I am getting an unwatermarked image as I have shown above.

 

Here is my desktop 27 inch Retina giving me the file I showed above 2546 pixels

 

I0000H7G4F0ZlM5E.jpg

Edited by geogphotos
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Just intrigued by this.  This may be a red herring but I get the same results as Spacecadet with a watermarked image.  However, on the forum we are both 'Verified' while geogphotos is 'Verified+'.  Any additional privileges associated with that or is it purely forum related?

Steve

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19 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

I'm on Safari and Mac. I am not getting any watermark

I know there was an experiment a while back where a couple of contributors bought PU licences, I forget why. Were you one of them? That might explain the privilege.

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