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Russell

Stolen images on Alamy

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Understandable on the "News" sizing, didn't realize it was news. Not ready the original thread properly. 

 

Jill

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Russell, can you mail me (in private mail) that criminal's name or his Alamy's pseudonym. If I find one of my images among them, his/her days are numbered.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

PS: why doesn't your friend/colleague contact Sheila Smart (I miss her) or at least take a look at her blog. Hey, I wouldn't like to be in that fraud's shoes if he/she messed with Sheila  :o 

 

Yeah, we all miss Sheila. And how about LauraM in Chicago? I'd rather go up against the SAS. 

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To get the image on Alamy, he has to be able to download at least a 17mb raw (2-15 mb jpg) from the web. Who puts full size images on their site? They would scroll off of people's monitors so make it tough to see the image. 

 

Was your friend silly enough to have full size images available on his site? Although theft of images for end use is plentiful, theft for resale on a commercial site would seem difficult. Any photographer that makes an image that size available to be stolen is crazy.

 

Jill

 

Maybe from Flickr?

 

wim

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The crazy part is not pursuing it now that we have a small claims track for IP.

Infringers usually cave in nowadays if they're properly advised, or even smart enough to google IPEC. It makes me more than Alamy does.

Edited by spacecadet

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If this is a case under the jurisdiction of English Law (and probably most laws) the issue is clearly between the copyright holder and the infringer. Alamy can only accept contributor images at face value and presumably remove an offending image once the dispute is resolved,

 

Alamy is a passive third party until and if the infringement is proven.

 

The offended copyright holder should be taking action against the infringer and has plenty of recourse to law if the case is as clear cut as suggested.

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If this is a case under the jurisdiction of English Law (and probably most laws) the issue is clearly between the copyright holder and the infringer. Alamy can only accept contributor images at face value and presumably remove an offending image once the dispute is resolved,

 

Alamy is a passive third party until and if the infringement is proven.

 

The offended copyright holder should be taking action against the infringer and has plenty of recourse to law if the case is as clear cut as suggested.

 

Why? It's a simple breach of (the Alamy) contract by the infringer.

It's Alamy's move now. And while they're at it, it would be wise to scan that contributor's whole collection.

Could it be this is one of the major individual contributors?

 

wim

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If this is a case under the jurisdiction of English Law (and probably most laws) the issue is clearly between the copyright holder and the infringer. Alamy can only accept contributor images at face value and presumably remove an offending image once the dispute is resolved,

 

Alamy is a passive third party until and if the infringement is proven.

 

The offended copyright holder should be taking action against the infringer and has plenty of recourse to law if the case is as clear cut as suggested.

 

Why? It's a simple breach of (the Alamy) contract by the infringer.

It's Alamy's move now. And while they're at it, it would be wise to scan that contributor's whole collection.

Could it be this is one of the major individual contributors?

 

wim

 

wim

 

I don't agree. Alamy are presumably at liberty to disqualify the 'offending' contributor from ever participating again on their site and remove all of his/her images , but they have suffered no damage or loss and hence have no cause of action. The copyright owner is the one who has an actionable case in law and while it might be comforting to think that Alamy would be supportive, that puts them in the position of judge and jury. The copyright holder is the only one who can sue for breach.

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If this is a case under the jurisdiction of English Law (and probably most laws) the issue is clearly between the copyright holder and the infringer. Alamy can only accept contributor images at face value and presumably remove an offending image once the dispute is resolved,

 

Alamy is a passive third party until and if the infringement is proven.

 

The offended copyright holder should be taking action against the infringer and has plenty of recourse to law if the case is as clear cut as suggested.

 

Why? It's a simple breach of (the Alamy) contract by the infringer.

It's Alamy's move now. And while they're at it, it would be wise to scan that contributor's whole collection.

Could it be this is one of the major individual contributors?

 

wim

 

wim

 

I don't agree. Alamy are presumably at liberty to disqualify the 'offending' contributor from ever participating again on their site and remove all of his/her images , but they have suffered no damage or loss and hence have no cause of action. The copyright owner is the one who has an actionable case in law and while it might be comforting to think that Alamy would be supportive, that puts them in the position of judge and jury. The copyright holder is the only one who can sue for breach.

 

You're both right in that there are two separate issues relying on the same facts: the contributor's breach of contract with Alamy, and his commercial infringement of the photographer's copyright.

Only Alamy can deal with the former, but they will only become legally involved in the latter if they refuse to identify the offender and are ordered to do so by a court.

It would be a shame if the victim gives in and he will do us no favours if he does.

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I agree with Richard on this. It's difficult to see who has been harmed financially, has a case to bring, and is willing to pursue it. As far as I can see that's not the original poster. Or am I missing something?

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I agree with Richard on this. It's difficult to see who has been harmed financially, has a case to bring, and is willing to pursue it. As far as I can see that's not the original poster. Or am I missing something?

 

The problem seems to be that the original copyright holder does not know if the contributor has sold (any of) his/her image(s). Certainly under UK law that matter is pretty simple: prove that the images are his/hers and demand disclosure.

One caveat: did the photographer make it clear enough that this was copyrighted material and that it was not CC or anything.

The other case is also a simple one: breach of contract. In the past we have seen some very swift action here in matters like this.

So: could it be a major contributor?

And/or could the infringer claim enough uncertainty about the copyright position of the image(s) to get away with it?

In that case, just removal of the image would be enough.

 

In any case it proves my point (lost in a long forgotten and deleted part of this forum) that it would be wise to have a sort of complaints button on every zoom page.

 

wim

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I agree with Richard on this. It's difficult to see who has been harmed financially, has a case to bring, and is willing to pursue it. As far as I can see that's not the original poster. Or am I missing something?

 

The problem seems to be that the original copyright holder does not know if the contributor has sold (any of) his/her image(s). Certainly under UK law that matter is pretty simple: prove that the images are his/hers and demand disclosure.

One caveat: did the photographer make it clear enough that this was copyrighted material and that it was not CC or anything.

The other case is also a simple one: breach of contract. In the past we have seen some very swift action here in matters like this.

So: could it be a major contributor?

And/or could the infringer claim enough uncertainty about the copyright position of the image(s) to get away with it?

In that case, just removal of the image would be enough.

 

In any case it proves my point (lost in a long forgotten and deleted part of this forum) that it would be wise to have a sort of complaints button on every zoom page.

 

wim

 

wim

 

Not wishing to prolong this debate unnecessarily but copyright automatically vests in the originator of the work and so there is no need to assert it. Whether the 'fraudulent' contributor has actually sold any images illegally or not doesn't alter the fact that the offence of 'passing off' an image as one's own has been committed. It is hard to believe that any Alamy contributors are not familiar with this fundamental concept or would upload an image that is not their own, not knowing or caring who owned the copyright. If to follow your line of thought it was a major contributor, then this would be all the more unforgivable.

Surely there can't be any credible defence of 'uncertainty over copyright. Pictures of monkeys aside, one either owns it or one doesn't.

 

Richard

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Yes Richard, that is all true. If it was also that simple we would not have copyright lawyers and the US would not need the Copyright Office. OK maybe the US don't actually need that. (Whole different can of worms.)

The principle is simple enough: you make it; you own it.

But whatever claim you make, you will have to back it up with some evidence: Are you who you say you are? How do we know the image is yours? (That's what the US use the Copyright Office for.)

Everyone now looks at the process Google has in place for claiming ownership of images, but it is certainly not watertight. It's merely complying with the DMCA at the least costs.

(DMCA: yet another can of worms.)

The disclosure comes in when the damages are concerned. Surely the maker will want to be compensated. At least he/she will want the full proceeds of his/her images. And there must be punishment (fine) as well, otherwise everybody would sell other peoples images at no risk, and only pay up if they're caught.

 

wim

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Commercial infringement is already a criminal offence in the UK, but good luck trying to get the police to act on a few images.

Fortunately IPEC is starting to award some impressive flagrancy damages so it's no longer the case that you can only recover what you would have charged for a licence. This is a 'fine' of sorts. Alex Todd, late of Alamy, has just had an impressive settlement out of court. He's described it on the FB group.

Edited by spacecadet

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