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9 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Presumably you realise you're competing with yourself at a lower price point. if you have the same images on MS and Alamy.

 

This is unnecessary, the guy has more important issues

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 In this gig economy of ours, it's easy to ignore good business practices but the OP's predicament is an example of why business property and indemnity insurance should be part of everyone's arsenal.

 

So sorry for your predicament. 

 

 

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I do have sympathy with the situation but also can't help a little internal giggle at the thought of the judge's face when they hear how much these infringements have been worth in financial terms. 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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36 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Presumably you realise you're competing with yourself at a lower price point. if you have the same images on MS and Alamy.

I do realize that some buyers may shop around for the cheapest price of a download.

 

Glenn

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Several years ago, Alamy sent letters to those of us who had museum shots advising that these might be problematical.  If the painter is dead, the work is out of copyright.  If the painter is alive or if the museum bars photography for sale, then you're better off not taking the photo.   Alamy's advice on murals a bit after that was that the photo should show context and not be just of the mural.  Because, yeah, a living artist who makes money selling photographic prints of his art is likely to come after you.  Selfies are not competing.    A high resolution photos just of the work is (no matter how little the money). 

 

I've been pirated as a writer and while I haven't gone after the Russian site, it is annoying and it takes away from ebook sales from my publishers who do pay me royalties.

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Alamy did a sweep of murals & street art at the beginning of 2019 (maybe they do it all the time in fact). I had one removed, a mural in France, RM & 'Editorial only', the email said:

 

"This an email to inform you that we have removed some images in your collection.

This is in response to the continuing increase in the number of complaints we have been receiving from mural artists.

Our lawyer has advised us to remove all images of murals that have little to no context, as this could be seen as a copyright or trademark infringement of the original artist’s work. We have an ongoing process in place where we actively sweep for street art and murals to identify images that could be problematic. As this subject continues to be a hot issue, we’ve removed the following images from your collection to prevent any potential issues;

Alamy Ref / Contributor Ref

PDH2TK /_MG_0433

Our advice on our help pages about artwork in images is: Images of artwork/murals/graffiti must be taken with wider context to the image (i.e. as part of a street scene). They should also be marked as available for editorial use only. Images that are solely of artwork could be seen as a copyright or trademark infringement and shouldn’t be uploaded to Alamy as stock photography.

Please understand, we are doing this to help protect you from any third-party issues, we're working with a huge number of images so please bear with us during this ongoing process.


Thanks

Alamy Copyright Team"

 

I suppose they were anticipating problems such as the one described by the OP, for whom I have every sympathy. I wonder what the 'artist' really thinks about this kind of action on his or her behalf?

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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This makes interesting reading. A podcast happened to pop up on Photoshelter about this matter, but the link wasn't working properly but since I'd just been in this discussion I was intrigued and did a little googling, finding this story which explains things rather well and wasn't behind a paywall - 

 

https://thejewishvoice.com/2020/12/disgraced-ny-copyright-troll-attorney-richard-liebowitz-disbarred/

 

 

 

 

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One argument is  that since the original object is still in existence, copying a song or a novel isn't stealing in any real sense.  The person is not deprived of the object.

 

Copyright law is a bit more rigorous.  You can make a backup copy of Photoshop, say, but cannot use more than two machines for running Photoshop and can only use one at a time. 

 

One thing to do would be Google the lawyer and see what his history is.  There is also an Alamy copyright email which is probably a better place to address inquiries than contributors or the forums (these are world-readable).

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3 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

One argument is  that since the original object is still in existence, copying a song or a novel isn't stealing in any real sense.  The person is not deprived of the object.

 

Copyright law is a bit more rigorous.  You can make a backup copy of Photoshop, say, but cannot use more than two machines for running Photoshop and can only use one at a time. 

 

One thing to do would be Google the lawyer and see what his history is.  There is also an Alamy copyright email which is probably a better place to address inquiries than contributors or the forums (these are world-readable).

Thanks...I have been interacting with the Alamy Copyright team as well.

 

Glenn

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Marianne said:

This makes interesting reading. A podcast happened to pop up on Photoshelter about this matter, but the link wasn't working properly but since I'd just been in this discussion I was intrigued and did a little googling, finding this story which explains things rather well and wasn't behind a paywall - 

 

https://thejewishvoice.com/2020/12/disgraced-ny-copyright-troll-attorney-richard-liebowitz-disbarred/

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is a great link. It seems to be what is happening here.

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How about filing a counter claim against the artist for harrassment? He's painted a huge mural on the side of a building in a public place, what did he expect to happen? It seems he hoped it would be a tourist attraction. Photos of his mural must now be all over social media/the internet. Perhaps you could crowd fund your legal action....

 

Mark

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4 hours ago, geogphotos said:

There must be an ambitious young attorney who would love to take this on.

 

 

If it's okay to do one to one copies of someone else's work without permission or compensation, then what happens to us?  

 

 

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Glenn,

 

Really sorry to hear this is happening to you. I had some worries about this about 7-8 years ago.

 

Can I recommend you get hold of this book?

 

"Legal Handbook for Photographers". by Bert P. Krages .

 

It is an american book. Krages is "an attorney who specializes in intellectual property matters, and is nationally recognized as a public advocate for the rights of photographers to document what they see in public places." (taken verbatim from the "About the author". He also used to be a stock photographer.

 

I have the 3rd edition, publ. 2012, but it is now in its 4th edition. 

 

I found it extremely useful - it has sections on: 

 

Access to property

Privacy issues

Restrictions on subject matter

Confrontations & Remedies

Publishing

etc etc.

 

Its only about $25. 

 

Frankly I would recommend any american stock photographer , or anyone who has photos taken in America, to buy it. 

 

It also reads very well and easily. No legal jargon.

 

Frankly, it might even be worth contacting him!!!

 

Best wishes for what happens!

 

Kumar

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2 hours ago, MizBrown said:

 

 

If it's okay to do one to one copies of someone else's work without permission or compensation, then what happens to us?  

 

 

 

If somebody paints a huge mural on a wall in a city centre which is designed to be a tourist attraction they should not be surprised if it is photographed and shown in editorial articles about the city. 

Edited by geogphotos
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51 minutes ago, Doc said:

Glenn,

 

Really sorry to hear this is happening to you. I had some worries about this about 7-8 years ago.

 

Can I recommend you get hold of this book?

 

"Legal Handbook for Photographers". by Bert P. Krages .

 

It is an american book. Krages is "an attorney who specializes in intellectual property matters, and is nationally recognized as a public advocate for the rights of photographers to document what they see in public places." (taken verbatim from the "About the author". He also used to be a stock photographer.

 

I have the 3rd edition, publ. 2012, but it is now in its 4th edition. 

 

I found it extremely useful - it has sections on: 

 

Access to property

Privacy issues

Restrictions on subject matter

Confrontations & Remedies

Publishing

etc etc.

 

Its only about $25. 

 

Frankly I would recommend any american stock photographer , or anyone who has photos taken in America, to buy it. 

 

It also reads very well and easily. No legal jargon.

 

Frankly, it might even be worth contacting him!!!

 

Best wishes for what happens!

 

Kumar

Thanks Kumar!

 

Glenn

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

 

If somebody paints a huge mural on a wall in a city centre which is designed to be a tourist attraction they should not be surprised if it is photographed and shown in editorial articles about the city. 

isn't that the argument people use for stealing my image from the web?

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2 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

isn't that the argument people use for stealing my image from the web?

Not quite- there's usually a separate copyright in a photograph of a mural. Inside the ambiguity of that "usually" is where predatory US lawyers make their money.

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5 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

isn't that the argument people use for stealing my image from the web?

 

I can't see the equivalence between photographing something created by an artist using a different media and stealing a photo taken by somebody else.

 

For example, our images are licensed by people who want to use them as inspiration to create paintings - would you claim ownership of the copyright of that painting?

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5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Not quite- there's usually a separate copyright in a photograph of a mural. Inside the ambiguity of that "usually" is where predatory US lawyers make their money.

but stating it's " Fair game because it's in a public space space with lots of movement", for me  sends a bad example, as many people seem to believe the same about the Web.  

It should be fair game, because "such are the copyright laws", let's not open up a debate based on traffic and visibility.

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Freelance photographers may want to take photos of your public artwork that they can use in a variety of ways, including selling their image to stock agencies. Depending on the nature of their photograph, sometimes the image may be considered a “transformative use,” making it their original work and therefore they are free to sell it without your permission. And even though it’s your artwork being photographed, you may not use their photograph for your own purposes—on your website, for example, or in your portfolio—without their permission, since the photograph is their copyrighted production.

 

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2 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

“transformative use,”

It's fair to point out that that is US only. There's no such principle, fortunately, in the UK or EU, but it's not required anyway. Arguing it is more fodder for lawyers.

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