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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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Trying in on my Chromebook an am also getting an unwatermarked version once i click on Enlarge.

 

Perhaps our Ebay trader stumbled across this apparent security flaw and has just decided to help themselves to what is on offer - being careful to select images out of copyright.

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3 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Trying in on my Chromebook an am also getting an unwatermarked version once i click on Enlarge.

Surely even if you had inadvertently become a customer, even a privileged one,  there would be no reason to give you access to unwatermarked previews, I can't see why anyone need be given that kind of access.

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8 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Surely even if you had inadvertently become a customer, even a privileged one,  there would be no reason to give you access to unwatermarked previews, I can't see why anyone need be given that kind of access.

 

I have no idea what is happening. But if it happening for me then maybe it is for our Ebayer too.

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4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I have no idea what is happening. But if it happening for me then maybe it is for our Ebayer too.

Quite, rather disturbing, though obviously we're not casting any aspersions on anyone in particular. It would be good to get to the bottom of why you're not seeing watermarks but maybe it's happening for others as well.

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2 hours ago, SShep said:

However, on the forum we are both 'Verified' while geogphotos is 'Verified+'.  Any additional privileges associated with that or is it purely forum related?

It's worth exploring but I'm struggling to understand why such a privilege, to download unwatermarked images of quite a reasonable size, presumably across the whole of Alamy, would knowingly be given to anyone.

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A while back someone (I think maybe Sooth) was seeing a difference in search results and asked if anyone else saw it. I did and I think it included a preview that did not have a watermark. I am seeing a watermark now. I have searched a bit but cannot find that thread.  Ooops.. I found the thread and it is about something else...https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/12821-missing-alamy-id-from-preview-photos/#comment-242974

 

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat
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I see the watermark too. Inspection of the HTML code reveals flags that are set according to the user's account privileges, the name of one of the flags suggest it controls the watermarking.... Maybe Ian has special privileges? I wonder if those who know their way around HTML are able to override the values? I hope not.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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34 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

I see the watermark too. Inspection of the HTML code reveals flags that are set according to the user's account privileges, the name of one of the flags suggest it controls the watermarking.... Maybe Ian has special privileges? I wonder if those who know their way around HTML are able to override the values?

 

Mark

 

 

Mark I have just logged out of Alamy, clicked on your first picture of some boats, then 'Enlarge' and there is no watermark.

 

I have no idea how this is possible.

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20 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

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

 

I am on Safari and Mac. I am getting watermark.

 

??????

 

Allan

 

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24 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

Mark I have just logged out of Alamy, clicked on your first picture of some boats, then 'Enlarge' and there is no watermark.

 

I have no idea how this is possible.

Now this really is getting strange, so seemingly not to do with your Alamy privileges. Does this mean that you've never seen an Alamy watermarked image preview? To put it another way are there circumstances when you would see watermarked previews?  Your assumption that we all saw unwatermarked previews would suggest that you don't. I should perhaps say that my concern isn't that you personally are not seeing watermarks but that it can happen at all.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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9 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Now this really is getting strange, so seemingly not to do with your Alamy privileges. Does this mean that you've never seen an Alamy watermarked image preview? To put it another way are there circumstances when you would see watermarked previews?  Your assumption that we all saw unwatermarked previews would suggest that you don't. I should perhaps say that my concern isn't that you personally are not seeing watermarks but that it can happen at all.

 

Yes I'm sure that I have seen watermarked images. 

 

Honestly I have no idea where these super powers comes from.

 

I just tried turning a jug of water into wine....

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

Mark I have just logged out of Alamy, clicked on your first picture of some boats, then 'Enlarge' and there is no watermark.

I have no idea how this is possible.

 

Hi Ian,

That's worrying... 

Can you go to this webpage (my boat image preview) in Chrome Browser?

Then right click your mouse somewhere to the right of the image (not on it) and select "view page source".

A new tab will open full of HTML code.

Then search within that page for the word watermark by typing <ctrl F> and typing watermark in the search box (towards top right of screen)

You should see the listing scroll down to a section that looks like this, which I suspect shows your current Alamy privileges.

 

<script type="text/javascript">

  alamyUser.userId = '{I deleted mine from here in case it's confidential}';
  alamyUser.isBespokeUser = false;
  alamyUser.currency.code = 'GBP';
  alamyUser.currency.symbol = '&pound;';
  alamyUser.currency.exchangeRate = 1;
  alamyUser.isEnableEasyDownloads = false;
  alamyUser.isContributor = true;
  alamyUser.isDistributor = false;
  alamyUser.isSuperUser = false;
  alamyUser.NumberOfAccounts = 0;
  alamyUser.CustomSchemeKey = 0;
  alamyUser.ocdMsgEnabled = false;
  alamyUser.isWatermarkDisabled = false;
  alamyUser.isUserLoggedIn = true;
  alamyUser.ShowAsPopup = false;
  alamyUser.IsNormalComp = 1;
  alamyUser.IsSingleAccountUser = 0;
  alamyUser.IsCustomPackUser = 0;
  alamyUser.currentLightboxID = '';
  alamyUser.currentLightboxName = '';

 

Have a look at your value for alamy.User.isWatermarkDisabled, is it true or false? Mine shows false and I see watermarks.

Also note the alamyUser.userId and alamyUser.isUserLoggedIn values

Try the same test both while logged in and when logged out to see what changes.

Curiously for me, nothing changes, irrespective of whether I'm logged in or not. My user ID still appears and it says I'm logged in. This suggests cookies maybe involved somewhere too. I'll try the same test in an Incognito window.

 

Update: If I try the same test in an Incognito Window it shows a different UserID (a default?) and isUserLoggedIn shows as false. Also looking inside my Alamy cookies does show that my UserID and other stuff is stored in there. 

 

So here's another test open an Incognito window in Chrome and now visit my boat image from within that Window by copying and pasting the following URL directly into the Incognito window's address bar.

 

https://www.alamy.com/sailing-boats-yachts-moored-in-ardfern-yacht-centre-marina-with-beautiful-reflections-in-still-waters-of-loch-craignish-lochgilphead-scotland-uk-image353268901.html

 

Do you see watermarks or not?

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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55 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

 

So here's another test open an Incognito window in Chrome and now visit my boat image from within that Window by copying and pasting the following URL directly into the Incognito window's address bar.

 

https://www.alamy.com/sailing-boats-yachts-moored-in-ardfern-yacht-centre-marina-with-beautiful-reflections-in-still-waters-of-loch-craignish-lochgilphead-scotland-uk-image353268901.html

 

Do you see watermarks or not?

 

Mark

 

 

Yes I see watermarks. 

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Thanks for all the efforts, a lot of this is going over my head, but it's leaving me with a bad feeling about uploading to Alamy. Without watermark protection I'm just offering images for free really as the copyright is not mine. 

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40 minutes ago, AMD said:

Thanks for all the efforts, a lot of this is going over my head, but it's leaving me with a bad feeling about uploading to Alamy. Without watermark protection I'm just offering images for free really as the copyright is not mine. 

 

I tell you most of it goes right over my head too. But the fact that I am able to access images without watermarks should concern all of us copyright or not. Those who steal images don't care too much about copyright since they can stomach theft! 

 

Most uses these days are for the web and the size of images that I am getting access to for free is truly scary. 

 

It makes you wonder how widely known this situation is to the 'baddies' out there.

Edited by geogphotos
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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Yes I see watermarks. 

Hi Ian,

 

That's good to know. So, if the "system" doesn't know it's you or have access to your earlier cookies and cache (because you're Incognito) then you see watermarks.

 

OK. Are you able to do the other test I described whilst in the browser window where you see a non-watermarked copy of my image? (Right click, view Source etc.)

If you can, then I suspect this will reveal that the reason you can see images without a watermark is that your Alamy user privileges have been set to allow this.

i.e. you will see that alamyUser.isWatermarkDisabled = true;

 

Mark

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38 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

It makes you wonder how widely known this situation is to the 'baddies' out there.

 

I don't think we have any evidence of a "situation" that affects anyone but you. So I wouldn't be too alarmed yet, but it will definitely need reporting to Alamy. I suppose you can currently see, and possibly download,  all contributors images without a watermark???

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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Sorry Mark. You are very clever I am not. 

 

Reading all that makes my stomach churn. 

 

Don't we have some 'evidence' that an Ebayer is accessing images from Alamy without permission?

Edited by geogphotos
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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

Sorry Mark. You are very clever I am not. 

 

Reading all that makes my stomach churn. 

 

Don't we have some 'evidence' that an Ebayer is accessing images from Alamy without permission?

Be brave 🙂 if you use Chrome as a Browser and you can use Alamy Image Manager, it really is very simple. Give it a go, you can’t hurt anything and we can make progress to understanding why you can see un-watermarked images. Please.

 

We have two observations, but concluding that the cause is the  same is premature IMHO. For example AMD could simply have sales that aren’t reported yet. I suggest AMD needs to contact Alamy to find out before we jump to conclusions.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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6 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Be brave 🙂 if you use Chrome as a Browser and you can use Alamy Image Manager, it really is very simple. Give it a go, you can’t hurt anything and we can make progress to understanding why you can see un-watermarked images. Please.

 

We two observations, but concluding that the cause is the  same is premature IMHO. For example AMD could simply have sales that aren’t reported yet. I suggest AMD needs to contact Alamy to find out before we jump to conclusions.

 

Mark

 

 

Okay Mark. Let me build up to it. Perhaps tomorrow when I am wake up.

 

Aren't we possibly missing the 'elephant in the room' point here.

 

That the Ebay seller is making money from direct print sales of low res images?

 

And why don't we from our own pics?

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, AMD said:

Without watermark protection I'm just offering images for free really as the copyright is not mine. 

 

It's quite possible that the reason Ian (geogphotos) can see your images without a watermark is just an incorrect setting in his Alamy privileges. Thousands of contributors have millions on images on Alamy, and your and Ian's examples seem quite unusual. If you haven't done so already, please contact Alamy (contributors@alamy.com) to tell them what you are seeing and ask for their response.

 

Mark 

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4 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

please contact Alamy (contributors@alamy.com) to tell them what you are seeing and ask for their response.

And ebay- they will take down the listings at least. If they don't they're on the hook for secondary infringement themselves, so they usually do.

Edited by spacecadet
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5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

And ebay- they will take down the listings at least. If they don't they're on the hook for secondary infringement themselves, so they usually do.

 

There is no infringement because the OP has no copyright on them.

Edited by geogphotos
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