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Copyright infringement issues


Philip Game
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Last Friday I was advised by Alamy's Copyright team that one or more of my images had triggered a copyright infringement complaint.  Legal action was threatened, with the prospect that Alamy would seek to have me share any resulting legal costs or damages awarded.  Obviously this is a rather frightening prospect.  Has any other member received a similar alert in recent days?

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Alamy Copyright Team wrote as follows: "We are in receipt of a notice of injunction filed concerning infringement of intellectual property rights via images of intellectual property displayed on Alamy. The notice identifies specific image references, however we have performed a wider sweep of the Alamy collection in relation to the complaint and identified some images of yours which may also be subject to the notified claims...."

 

In other words, Alamy has identified other contributors' images affected, and singled out some to be withdrawn. They have deleted just one of mine, therefore I can no longer share the refs. It was a seemingly inoffensive image of the street frontage of a modern corporate office complex in Berlin, HQ of a well-known European publishing company whose name featured prominently.  There were probably also some logos of that company's major brands displayed around the entrance. 

 

I'm curious to know whether this issue originates in Germany or in the UK, but no further details were provided.  I wonder how the street frontage of an office building can be considered not in the public domain!  Possibly other parties have purchased this/these image(s) and made inappropriate use of them. 

 

Would certainly like to know how any similar issue may have panned out for the contributors affected. 

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2 hours ago, Philip Game said:

Last Friday I was advised by Alamy's Copyright team that one or more of my images had triggered a copyright infringement complaint.  Legal action was threatened, with the prospect that Alamy would seek to have me share any resulting legal costs or damages awarded.  Obviously this is a rather frightening prospect.  Has any other member received a similar alert in recent days?

Hi Philip, Yes, I had exactly the same. I had taken some pics of newspapers stacked in a stand outside a newsagents. Not quite sure what the issue is but perhaps it relates to the fact that there is a part photo of an identifiable famous politician on one of the newspaper covers.

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6 hours ago, Jansos said:

Hi Philip, Yes, I had exactly the same. I had taken some pics of newspapers stacked in a stand outside a newsagents. Not quite sure what the issue is but perhaps it relates to the fact that there is a part photo of an identifiable famous politician on one of the newspaper covers.

Thanks, Jansos.  I hope others might also be able to add another piece to the puzzle...

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On 09/01/2023 at 22:26, Philip Game said:

Alamy Copyright Team wrote as follows: "We are in receipt of a notice of injunction filed concerning infringement of intellectual property rights via images of intellectual property displayed on Alamy. The notice identifies specific image references, however we have performed a wider sweep of the Alamy collection in relation to the complaint and identified some images of yours which may also be subject to the notified claims...."

 

In other words, Alamy has identified other contributors' images affected, and singled out some to be withdrawn. They have deleted just one of mine, therefore I can no longer share the refs. It was a seemingly inoffensive image of the street frontage of a modern corporate office complex in Berlin, HQ of a well-known European publishing company whose name featured prominently.  There were probably also some logos of that company's major brands displayed around the entrance. 

 

I'm curious to know whether this issue originates in Germany or in the UK, but no further details were provided.  I wonder how the street frontage of an office building can be considered not in the public domain!  Possibly other parties have purchased this/these image(s) and made inappropriate use of them. 

 

Would certainly like to know how any similar issue may have panned out for the contributors affected. 

 

Philip, I'm interested in knowing if the image that was pulled was marked for editorial use only and if it was shot from a public pavement/road?

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On 11/01/2023 at 16:20, sb photos said:

 

Philip, I'm interested in knowing if the image that was pulled was marked for editorial use only and if it was shot from a public pavement/road?

Hi there,

 

Since Alamy pulled the image before notifying me, I cannot be completely sure whether or not it was marked editorial use only, although certainly it should have been. It was definitely shot from a public pavement.  I'm still wondering whether the allegation relies on German or British copyright law.

 

Here in Australia, I've known snappers who have been harassed by security personnel whilst working from public space, outside such landmarks as the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne's much-criticised Crown Casino.  

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8 hours ago, Philip Game said:

Hi there,

 

Since Alamy pulled the image before notifying me, I cannot be completely sure whether or not it was marked editorial use only, although certainly it should have been. It was definitely shot from a public pavement.  I'm still wondering whether the allegation relies on German or British copyright law.

 

Here in Australia, I've known snappers who have been harassed by security personnel whilst working from public space, outside such landmarks as the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne's much-criticised Crown Casino.  

 

Nicaraguan law is like US and UK law -- anything can be photographed if it's publicly visible, but Nicaraguan photographers know that local cop interpretation can still be problematic, and a friend was hassled by a cop in the US upper Midwest for photographing a bridge.  Other countries do have other laws, and it's well to see what they are when traveling.  This may be useful though it's specific to photographing people.   

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Country_specific_consent_requirements

 

EU rules do appear to be stricter than US rules.  

Edited by Rebecca Ore
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On 09/01/2023 at 22:26, Philip Game said:

I'm curious to know whether this issue originates in Germany or in the UK

Perhaps Germany as the very famous politician in my pic was German, also taken from a public footpath in London.

Edited by Jansos
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On 09/01/2023 at 23:26, Philip Game said:

It was a seemingly inoffensive image of the street frontage of a modern corporate office complex in Berlin, HQ of a well-known European publishing company whose name featured prominently.  There were probably also some logos of that company's major brands displayed around the entrance.

4,659 images on Alamy for Springer Berlin.

Or was it a different company?

 

wim

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9 hours ago, wiskerke said:

4,659 images on Alamy for Springer Berlin.

Or was it a different company?

 

wim

 

Bertlesman (or however that's spelled).   The company owns a large chunk of US publishing, including Doubleday. 

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18 hours ago, wiskerke said:

4,659 images on Alamy for Springer Berlin.

Or was it a different company?

 

wim

It was that company, and my own image (now withdrawn by Alamy) was very similar to Alamy's DFJBC0 and C0850K .   The corporate logos displayed so publicly, including that of Bild, may well have triggered the issue. 

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11 hours ago, Rebecca Ore said:

 

Bertlesman (or however that's spelled).   The company owns a large chunk of US publishing, including Doubleday. 

Yep, but it's HQ is in Gütersloh. Their Berlin main building is not to be sniffed at, but has no signs whatsoever. It's function is a sort of embassy to the (new) capital. Mainly cultural and PR related but maybe some lobbying is done there as well. They do have more buildings and offices around town though. That like new looking Renaissance building actually is new, because the East Germans took it down in the 1950's. We sort of snickered when they reconstructed that facade 20 years ago. Not knowing what would come next: the demolition of the Palace of the Republic (Palast der Republik aka Palazzo Prozzo) a bit down the road. And it's renaissance as the Humboldt Forum that has just been opened.

 

wim

 

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3 hours ago, Philip Game said:

It was that company, and my own image (now withdrawn by Alamy) was very similar to Alamy's DFJBC0 and C0850K .   The corporate logos displayed so publicly, including that of Bild, may well have triggered the issue. 

Weird. Could it have been a sweep for the keyword logo?

Results for logo: 4,126,513

Searches -rolling year- for logo: 5483

 

Anyway it's not a great loss as Springer has opened a new main building across the street.

 

wim

 

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Philip - I would be interested to know whether the image in question had been actually sold at any point, or whether the complaint relates to an image of yours which was on sale but had not been sold? 

 

If it was sold, was it a direct sale, or was it via a distributor?

 

Thanks

 

Kumar

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On 17/01/2023 at 02:46, Doc said:

Philip - I would be interested to know whether the image in question had been actually sold at any point, or whether the complaint relates to an image of yours which was on sale but had not been sold? 

 

If it was sold, was it a direct sale, or was it via a distributor?

 

Thanks

 

Kumar

Hi Kumar, I don't believe it had ever sold - and certainly not in the last 12 months.  Have to go out now, but later today I'll check up on earlier sale records.

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12 hours ago, Philip Game said:

Hi Kumar, I don't believe it had ever sold - and certainly not in the last 12 months.  Have to go out now, but later today I'll check up on earlier sale records.

Thanks Philip

 

Kumar

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On 09/01/2023 at 14:45, Philip Game said:

Last Friday I was advised by Alamy's Copyright team that one or more of my images had triggered a copyright infringement complaint.  Legal action was threatened, with the prospect that Alamy would seek to have me share any resulting legal costs or damages awarded.  Obviously this is a rather frightening prospect.  Has any other member received a similar alert in recent days?

 

In his blog, Brasilnut talks about having the same notice. The images were of newspaper stands. https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2023/01/31/january-2023-brutally-honest-earnings-report/

 

Paulette

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