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Has anybody had any successful dealings with the infringement notification form that was introduced last November?

I have recently reported three examples of images stolen from the Alamy website, complete with watermark, being used on commercial websites.

Unfortunately it seems that if you cannot find a valid email address for the person who has stolen your work, the team "won't be able to pursue this case any further".

Providing a postal address for the business and a dozen phone numbers is of no use, as without a valid email address they "won't be able to pursue this case any further".

Even pointing out a link on the page to click on to 'Send an Enquiry' or 'Email Us' is no good as they "won't be able to pursue this case any further".


Anyone had any luck yet?

 

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I've had several paid by Alamy after filling in the form, but they were ones which were in newspapers or magazines (some several years ago) and hadn't been invoiced by Alamy. A number were European distributor uses others national newspapers/magazines etc. Alamy usually checked whether there was a relevant download and then followed it up and eventually invoiced for the use. My main grumble with that, has always been, that the image is licensed as at the month of the invoice sometimes for several years, however there is no retrospective license for the previous 5 years or whatever the period of use had been before being invoiced. Also there has never been any financial penalty added for the unauthorised use period. So the infringer gets of scot free!

 

However, these weren't the ones that you are talking about where the image was lifted from the Alamy website and being used with the water marks on them. I'm afraid I've never been paid for any of these types!! 

Edited by Lynne
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This is topical for me. I had a team response yesterday for an infringement:

 

The team have been chasing this for some time now but have had no response from the infringer. Therefore we’re closing this case at our end.

 

Not terribly successful.

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I can understand that invoicing existing customers for uses that have slipped through the net is quite easy, but when images are simply taken from the website, complete with Alamy watermark, for use on commercial website, there seems to be very little (to put it politely) interest in doing anything about.

If the photographer can't find an email address - nothing done.

If the thief doesn't respond to an email - sorry, we've done all we can.

 

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There are ways of finding email addresses that are hidden behind contact forms - not something that has ever affected me but I know it can be done.  There are even companies that do it for free on the internet.  If you are finding the problem is lack of email try googling these companies and you can probably get that far at least

 

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There's usually a contact email address given if you look up the website on WHOIS.  However I have never had any success - either with copied images from a newspaper or copied watermarked images.  I still chase some of these up myself and they do seem eventually to be taken off. I've also contacted Pinterest when images appeared there and they get taken off immediately. There was useful advice in another thread recently, to contact Google if the watermarked images appear in a website that seems to be designed solely to earn income from adware.

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6 hours ago, Malcolm Park said:

This is topical for me. I had a team response yesterday for an infringement:

 

The team have been chasing this for some time now but have had no response from the infringer. Therefore we’re closing this case at our end.

 

Not terribly successful.

After reading this I did a check and found this fairly blatant usage - I have reported it to the infringement team with an email address!

IMG_0550

 

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I reported a farm b&b using one of my local (to their location) shots and many others with Alamy watermarks and other obvious infringments.

 

I was quite chuffed to find that the infringement team followed it up and told me of their success.

 

Then I found they had asked him to buy the image and imposed no penalty. I recieved pennies for it.

 

Even now he has not substituted the bought image for the watermarked one.

 

I can only assume Alamy are not really interested. If it happens again, I will try myself though I find the whole process shabby and unedifying.

 

 

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Alas, the infringement team could not help as the site was not in a country that they can chase

19 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

After reading this I did a check and found this fairly blatant usage - I have reported it to the infringement team with an email address!

IMG_0550

 

Alas the infringement team could not help as this was not a country (Indonesia) that they can chase 

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1 hour ago, geogphotos said:

I would have been happy to pass this to Alamy on the basis that they are specialists and would probably get a better fee and at least make sure it was handled properly. But they were not willing to take it on. 

 

I was surprised because I would have thought this a potentially useful income stream for Alamy. But judging from the comments it worked out for the best that I handled it myself.

 

Alamy are certainly specialists in some areas and on the whole I am a huge fan and supporter of what they do, but their lack of interest in doing anything more than sending an email (and then only when they are handed the address on a plate) when their contributors' work is being stolen is just baffling. 

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If the only result of being caught is having to pay the same fee you would have if you had been honest in the first place there is no deterrent to copyright theft.  Unless and until people are made to pay more for stealing images they will continue to do so.

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I've had some success but others where they did not follow up further - usually with a reasonable explanation as to why they did not go further. It's frustrating that people steal images when they can be licensed for a reasonable amount and that there seem to be no penalties for most infringers. 

Edited by Marianne
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Alamy's attitude to infringements really pi$$es me off!  It doesn't seem to give a hoot - many times I've received the 'We can't chase it but you're more than welcome to follow it up yourself' line.  It really makes one wonder...

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15 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

But equally you cannot simply charge anything you want - not in UK anyway. 

I am not suggesting charging anything we want I am suggesting something along the lines of the victim surcharge used in British courts - if you steal something you have to make amends with a small extra charge on top.  So say the price of the image stolen used in the circumstances it is being used in is £10 the person stealing it should have to pay the £10 it would have cost plus say £2.50.  It is then heavily promoted and advertised that stealing Alamy images results in a 25% higher cost.

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What's encouraging is that some very high uplifts are being claimed, and awarded, at court, as long as, as Geog says, they're halfway reasonable.

Additionally, since infringers don't seem to be going to court just to object to the amount of the claim, they don't usually have any evidence themselves. So the photographer usually gets all or most of what he asks for. Sometimes it's a  lot more. Judges like reasonable and reward it.

Edited by spacecadet

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