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Seems like there has to be a better way for Alamy and its contributors to find copyright infringements. Like many of you, I use Google's reverse image search to try and track down where my Alamy photos have been used. Though I often find plenty of results, they very rarely credit me, either by my name or my Alamy pseudonyms. Though Alamy is often the credit line, it is not at all uncommon to find that somebody else is- presumably another third party stock agency. And with each search, I seem to open a new can of worms that takes me hours to follow up.

 

As examples, I go to my "zooms" for this month and reverse search here. My blogs pop up a couple times, and then there's a real result: a news story in a Slavic language. Three of my images are used, and they are all attributed to a "Profimedia". After some searching, it turns out Profimedia is another stock photo distributor. I can only assume that they are legit and working with Alamy. Another search came up with what appeared to be my photo, but I wasn't sure until I compared it detail for detail for several minutes. This is a photo of the "Apple Garage" in Silicon Valley and there are plenty of other similar photos. Seemed plausible at first that it could have been a very similar photo until I compared the little details. So this image of mine is being used by a German publication and my photo is attributed to another outfit I've never heard of, Mauritius Images. Again I’m assuming that they are on the level and working with Alamy. I’ve been tempted to just call them out and have them explain to me why their name is attributed to my image.

 

Recently I had an experience directly with Alamy that seemed to make enforcing my copyright difficult as well. I knew an old photo of mine had been used for a book cover a couple times. The licenses I see on Alamy both state "Media: Retail book - print only". But I found the book for sale as an ebook and as a Kindle book and contacted Alamy. Their response was it was indeed licensed, but that licenses are issued with a price calculator and can't be 100% specific. I get that but I do find it strange that something that is explicitly excluded in a license would be "covered" by said license. And it makes it nearly impossible to then enforce copyright for contributors or? Again, I’m tempted to just confront the publisher and send them a bill for the extra usage. But if Alamy is making deals that we aren’t privy to, this could end up being embarrassing for all involved.

 

Seems we're leaving a lot of money on the table, both contributors and Alamy. We should be chasing blatant image thieves and making them pay. I understand in licensing that there may be grey areas at times. But there must be better ways. 

 

For example:

 

·Require end users to credit Alamy, or the pseudonym or real name of the copyright holder, never just a third party

·Generate a code that can be used to verify the license that end users are required to display alongside the image

·Use a service like Licenstream that tracks content digitally and follow up on violations

·Generate licenses that are pretty close to the actual use

·Or????

 

Suggestions? Thoughts? Am I missing something I should be doing? 

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My limited experience with chasing infringers has led me to the conclusion that it's a full-time job, one that I don't have the time and patience for even though it actually -- and ironically -- pays more than selling stock by the sounds of it. That said, I like your suggestions, especially the ones about digital tracking and generating codes. It seems to me that agencies should be able to develop ways to employ the same digital technology used to lease images to also track their usage.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Just sign up with imagerights and upload low res images there for their system to actively search.

I have hundreds of images uploaded there to be searched.

I've been with them for 3 years and they've made me a heck of a lot of money.

Chasing on your own is time consuming and stressful.

 

 

If you sign up,please use my code!

Signing up has its benefits by not having to pay for each case they take on or other legal fees they might incur.

They don't chase down blogs or social media or sites where recovery prospects are poor.

 

https://www.imagerights.com/?aid=489

 

Thx!

L

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Does Imagerights cover photographers in the UK?

Yes. Depending discovery-if  they can conclude the infringer has the money.

 

L

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The scope for damages is rather less here, which is likely to affect their opinion of what is worth pursuing.

Edited by spacecadet

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Thanks, Linda. The copyright situation is quite different here in Canada, and I don't have images registered with the US copyright office. I will take a peek at imagerights, but my guess is that they wouldn't be that interested. I also don't have the financial resources to hire lawyers. 

Edited by John Mitchell
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Thanks, Linda. The copyright situation is quite different here in Canada, and I don't have images registered with the US copyright office. I will take a peek at imagerights, but my guess is that they wouldn't be that interested. I also don't have the financial resources to hire lawyers. 

John,Imagerights has gotten me several settlements from Canada.

 

 

L

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Thanks, Linda. The copyright situation is quite different here in Canada, and I don't have images registered with the US copyright office. I will take a peek at imagerights, but my guess is that they wouldn't be that interested. I also don't have the financial resources to hire lawyers. 

John,Imagerights has gotten me several settlements from Canada.

 

 

L

 

 

I see that uploading the first 1000 images for their "Discovery Service" is free, which is in my price range. B)

 

Looking into it...

 

Merci beaucoup.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Thanks, Linda. The copyright situation is quite different here in Canada, and I don't have images registered with the US copyright office. I will take a peek at imagerights, but my guess is that they wouldn't be that interested. I also don't have the financial resources to hire lawyers. 

John,Imagerights has gotten me several settlements from Canada.

 

 

L

 

 

I see that uploading the first 1000 images for their "Discovery Service" is free, which is in my price range. B)

 

Looking into it...

 

Merci beaucoup.

 

 

They wouldn't take my case to court because they didn't have a UK law firm to represent them so I'm going to IPEC myself. Just about to serve papers :)

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Thanks, Linda. The copyright situation is quite different here in Canada, and I don't have images registered with the US copyright office. I will take a peek at imagerights, but my guess is that they wouldn't be that interested. I also don't have the financial resources to hire lawyers. 

John,Imagerights has gotten me several settlements from Canada.

 

 

L

 

 

I see that uploading the first 1000 images for their "Discovery Service" is free, which is in my price range. B)

 

Looking into it...

 

Merci beaucoup.

 

 

They wouldn't take my case to court because they didn't have a UK law firm to represent them so I'm going to IPEC myself. Just about to serve papers :)

 

 

What's IPEC?

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Just sign up with imagerights and upload low res images there for their system to actively search.

I have hundreds of images uploaded there to be searched.

I've been with them for 3 years and they've made me a heck of a lot of money.

Chasing on your own is time consuming and stressful.

 

 

If you sign up,please use my code!

Signing up has its benefits by not having to pay for each case they take on or other legal fees they might incur.

They don't chase down blogs or social media or sites where recovery prospects are poor.

 

https://www.imagerights.com/?aid=489

 

Thx!

 

L

Very good Idea, I'll look into them!

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Thanks, Linda. The copyright situation is quite different here in Canada, and I don't have images registered with the US copyright office. I will take a peek at imagerights, but my guess is that they wouldn't be that interested. I also don't have the financial resources to hire lawyers. 

I only hired a lawyer once so far. It worked out really well. You might well have heard of him, Bert Krages II, author of among other things the PDF many of us carry around to show cops and security guards. 

 

A while back a local festival asked to use a few of my images for internal purposes and on their Facebook page. They ended up giving my photos away to the media for free and seemed unconcerned when I confronted them. I gave the festival folks a week or so to explain themselves, but when they didn't get back to me, I hired Bert. His fees were reasonable and I ended up making some money and feeling good that the festival folks didn't get away with completely misusing my pics. 

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