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Author Topic: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.  (Read 16650 times)

aot

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2018, 11:24:23 AM »
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Most victims never wanted to buy or license that damn photo or whatever anyways.
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... yet they were happy to make use of it when they thought there were no cost or consequence for doing so? Sounds a lot like "Not sorry for breaking the law, just mad at being caught"

This is a wrong conclusion or interpretation.

Most copyright extortion victims are genuinely not aware of the exact copyright laws when it comes to digital goods. They take something which appears to be free (while it is actually not free) and then the merchant comes after and asks for his arms and legs.

Photographers and Photo Publishers should also be held liable for sharing copyrighted work on forums which otherwise promotes free distribution.

Or, at the minimum, set clear expectations and rules that if you upload your photos to Flickr or Pixabey, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and if your photo is shared without your authorization, you can't sue the publishing platform AND ask for money more than what is the fair market value (which may very well be $0 in most cases).

Lastly, if you don't want your photos to be shared without your permission ever, DO NOT upload them to open Internet platforms with global userbase AND keep them password protected on your own servers and website AND make it only viewable by your clients.

In the above example, if I came to your shop and asked how much for this photo to share on my Twitter and you say, $100. I will reply, "no, thank you. I am not buying this, I have other free options."

Moreover, if I ever pay for generic photos, it will be like music steaming costs, so $0.02 or something like that per photo.

I understand, it is not up to me to judge what constitutes "fair" in a collective sense. But at least let's talk about it and then do something about it.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 11:19:42 AM by aot »

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2018, 12:48:39 PM »
Photographers and Photo Publishers should also be held liable for sharing copyrighted work on forums which otherwise promotes free distribution.

What services/forums are those?

Or, at the minimum, set clear expectations and rules that if you upload your photos to Flickr or Pixabey, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and if your photo is shared without your authorization, you can't sue the publishing platform AND/OR ask for money more than what is the fair market value (which may very well be $0 in most cases).

Who sets the "fair market value"?

Lastly, if you don't want your photos to be shared without your permission ever, DO NOT upload them to open Internet platforms with global userbase AND keep them password protected on your own servers and website AND make it only viewable by your clients.

Ah, victim blaming. "If they didn't want to be assaulted/mugged/raped, then they should/shouldn't have [insert perceived 'asking for it' or 'not being careful enough' transgression here]"

aot

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2018, 02:08:54 PM »
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What services/forums are those?

Creative Commons feeds all types of Wikipedia. Flickr is one example which is one of the sources Wikipedia editors frequently look at.

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Who sets the "fair market value"?
That's why I said, that may very well be $0. The digitization of everything has commoditized everything. A nice photo of the Eiffel Tower is no longer worth $1000. A nice shot of Eiffel Tower (digital copy) is $0.00 as per the current fair market value.

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Ah, victim blaming. "If they didn't want to be assaulted/mugged/raped, then they should/shouldn't have [insert perceived 'asking for it' or 'not being careful enough' transgression here]"
Please, DvG don't do silly extrapolation. A human body or a stolen car or bike is not same as digital distribution. You should know better, this same logic that you have used has been made by several pro-copyright photographers in the comments sections of various articles.

Often the example is of bicycle theft (if its not locked). Physical objects (and human to human violence) are very, very bad examples to compare copyright infringements of digital assets.

Please allow me to help you make your argument sharper. Later you can use this line of argument with a future copyright victim.

But for heaven sake, don't mix rape/mugged logic with digital photo reproduction. This just brings everyone's cumulative IQ down by 15 points.

Material asset vs. Digital asset
A digital photo is a digital assert. If I steal your physical object or a non-reproducible object (such as a bicycle, a hard copy of an old vintage photo album, or your secret soda recipe, etc.), you suffer an intimidate loss.

Either I have your bicycle or you have it. We both can't have it at the same time.

Likewise, either I sell that particular flavor of Coke or KFC (a trade secret that already has a market success), or you sell it. But, we both can't sell the same Coke under two different brand names.

At the minimum, with idea theft, there is a market confusion (or Trademark confusion).

But when we talk about, digital asset, by me taking your unsalable photo, one, you still have your photo, and second, you can ask me to stop using it. You never lose the possession of the item in the first place.

Your clients are not buying your photo from me. Nor, I am selling them. If I do, I am in a more serious trouble.

The key issue here is: "rights to distribution" and that's how the copyright law states it.

If I don't have the rights to distribute your photo, I should stop distributing. Period. If I fail to do so, yes, litigation makes sense as potential next step.

I know, you will jump now to what about the loss of income or my private property rights, my copyright/IP rights? And this my friend, is the problem with so many photographers.

Understand, in 99.99% of cases, you have and you will not suffer financial loss. And second, "rights of digital asset with 0 reproduction and distribution cost in the internet age needs to be re-discussed.

Copyleft is definitely a progress. But, even with Copyleft, we need much relaxed and broader range coverage for "fair use". Also, an updated definition of what constitutes "commercial" vs. "non-commercial" usage.

I have my dogs in both camps. I would love to make money from my photos. But, I am not banking on that future. That's why I am producing goods and services and that's where I want to make my money. But, not by extortion.

So, yes, "victim" is the correct word. And so is "legal extortion". Please wake up. I am sure, we need to meet somewhere in the middle. But it seems, you photographers are still living in the 80s.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 11:24:49 AM by aot »

bilbo1

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2018, 10:48:23 PM »
Hey aot,

Did this get resolved? I also have a case with Pixsy on behalf of Mr. Marco Verch.

I followed what was suggested on other Pixsy related posts here on ELI and followed the "takedown and notice" procedure.

Pixsy said that they if I can show them that I had a registered agent with the US copyright office at the time of the infringement then they would drop the case. 

However, I did not have anyone registered at the time of the infringement.

Just curious to hear if they dropped your case or have they filed a suit against you?

aot

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2018, 10:25:41 AM »
Bilbo1 -

I resolved it in the most unsexiest way. I said, I can't pay $750 USD (the original extortion price) and offered $125. Finally paid $200 and closed it.

My thoughts:
1. DMCA Takedown Notice is the way to go in the future. Get registered: https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/
2. For now, how much are they asking you? Try to negotiate and bring the extortion price down. This step will also buy you some time to prepare your arguments whether in the court on through emails to Pixsy et. al.
3. Clean all of your sites and social media platforms. Use this time to both learn from your naivety and make yourself extortion-proof in the future.
4. Wait...and if you can give time to this matter then fight it till the end. The end is either they will stop harassing (emailing) you, or they go to the court and they'll lose, or you lose and have to pay according to the court's decision.

Whatever course of action you take, please document everything.

If you are into Podcast, listen to Seth Godin's podcast Akimbo (episode: "All rights reserved: beware the legal-industrial copyright complex").

I would like to join forces and shoot a full length documentary. A Netflix or YouTube full length documentary is the first step to bring awareness. The ongoing Copyright reform in EU is disturbing to say the least.

Some (lawyers) folks needs to be sued back, some (agencies) should go to jail or bankrupted and some (photographers participating in this social evil) should be publicly shamed. Most importantly, the "Copy-right" laws needs to be updated and society should embrace and move to "Copy-left".

PS:
1. I contacted Marco (photographer) and he basically turned a blind eye and said "deal with Pixsy".
2. I have taken several screenshots of Marco Verch using automated bots to send mass likes (favorites) on Flickr. This is against Flickr's policy.
3. Marco has created a second Flickr account and loads tons of photos on both of his Flickr accounts. (He may well have more than two accounts, btw). From my research he uses Flickr platform and Creative Commons licencing to lure victims.
4. I have figured out that there are a bunch of photographers who love the automated money making
 via extortion part and totally ignore who the victims are. Majority of the recipients of these extortion letters are hobbyist bloggers who make no financial gain AND cause no financial loss to the photographer. So, it's a systemic evil. And several parties are involved and therefore the burden of guilt is distributed and makes it harder to stop it at the human emotion level.

For many of the recipients even a $50 USD fine can be matter of having to skip a meal. Think student bloggers on University campuses. But generally since they do not have proper contact form, they are safe until they have made the error of publishing their contact name and address and email.

Also, if you have a business (tiny or startup or small doesn't matter), you are definitely going to be targeted. This group of individuals are the easiest target.

All the best!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 10:32:25 AM by aot »

DavidVGoliath

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2018, 09:50:45 AM »
1. DMCA Takedown Notice is the way to go in the future. Get registered: https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/

Sidenote: if you personally, or a member of your staff (whether salaried or not), or any person acting under your direction (think: contractors, subcontractors, etc.) place infringing material on a website or other publishing platform associated with you, or under your significant ownership and/or control, you will not be exempted from liability under the DMCA; the immunity afforded by the DMCA only applies to situations when wholly unconnected third parties infringe via your services.

3. Clean all of your sites and social media platforms. Use this time to both learn from your naivety and make yourself extortion-proof in the future.

I personally love how you've made your website "extortion proof"; a quick glance at https://artoftravel.tips/things-to-do-in-london-when-you-dont-want-to-be-outside/#.W_6oPOj7Srw shows the majority of photographs seem to have been licensed from (drumroll, please....) Getty Images, or their sub-brands.  ;D

aot

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2018, 11:12:14 AM »
I personally love when you try so hard to feel good about yourself.

I am well aware of what needs to be done. We have 30,000 photos to review and clean up. (Almost 11,000 on Twitter alone).

All of our social media is now "extortion proof". Our blog is currently going though the clean up (removal and substitution), attribution, and renaming of all image files in meta with source, date, and/or any relevant information.   

PS: Due to MV's sinister tactics, I have finally embraced Flickr and have committed to upload enough photos (atleast 10,000 photos taken by us or our team) for FREE or under CC for which no one will get an extortion letter ever.

Here you go: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142693219@N06
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 11:26:26 AM by aot »

bilbo1

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2018, 06:09:21 PM »
Hey aot,

1. DMCA Takedown Notice is the way to go in the future. Get registered: https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/

I have done this now, very easy. However, as it was a contractor of mine that wrote the article I'm not sure that this would give me safe harbor protection as DvG pointed out.

2. For now, how much are they asking you? Try to negotiate and bring the extortion price down. This step will also buy you some time to prepare your arguments whether in the court on through emails to Pixsy et. al.

They are asking 750USD, however, with the license that Pixsy offers it is very limited so I would not think its even work the $200 you paid, however, I would settle if need be.

3. Clean all of your sites and social media platforms. Use this time to both learn from your naivety and make yourself extortion-proof in the future.

I'm on it. Double checking that every image is CC and has proper attribution to the author.

4. Wait...and if you can give time to this matter then fight it till the end. The end is either they will stop harassing (emailing) you, or they go to the court and they'll lose, or you lose and have to pay according to the court's decision.

I'm going to try to keep this out of the courts, but I'm not going to be a walkover either.

Interestingly enough, the last email request from Pixsy had an attachment for ALL of the cases that Pixsy had on behalf of Marco Verch. Including who the license was issued to, the image that was licensed, and the fee charged. According to this, he has collected >$300K worth of licensing settlements with Pixsy! Including providing multiple licenses for the image he is pursuing me for.

I'm going to presume that this was a mistake of the case manager because giving me this information gives me some leverage against Marco & Pixsy. Presumably, they have client confidentiality agreements in place that giving me this information would violate.   


aot

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2018, 08:12:11 PM »
Regarding DMCA - I think the best way to go about it is to give full registration/login/publication rights to your audience. They can be on a pre-approved list as well. For example, we allow visitors to sign-up on our site and even write and publish if they have an approved account on our platform.

At-least, DMCA offers a layer of protection. Given it's just $6 USD in fee, it's worth having this as a first layer of defense.

Also, I fully agree with you that the best course of action is to not use copyrighted "stuff" and when using CC images, always give proper credits and in the right format.

For example: Photo [hyperlink to photo] by [photographer name] CC-BY [X.X hyperlink to license]

After dealing with Marco Verch, we are actually in the process of limiting our dependance on CC images. But if we must pick, we prefer photos and photographers whose photos are already used on Wikipedia. (My reasoning here is that Wikipedia has lots  of traffic and I am crediting the photo just as it is credited on Wikipedia.)

One important note though, when using CC images, please remember to NOT share those on ANY social media platforms. Because, it is hard to credit in proper format, and there is this greyarea where you need to be a license holder to be able to re-license the images you share on Facebook, linkedin, twitter, et. al. So, the best thing to do is stay away from even CC images when it comes to Social Media. (CC photos on blogs are fine though.)

Lastly, I am thinking of one reason why Pixey might be sharing with you how much MV has made with them is to perhaps scare you into paying. This is an intimidation tactic to make you believe they are good at collecting money or winning court cases or to signal "look, other people are paying, so should you."

This whole industry is backwards and frustating to say the least.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 08:18:00 PM by aot »

bilbo1

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2018, 08:27:57 PM »
Aot,

Re:registration/login/publication rights - That's a good tip. The best I could do was to state that people can email us if they want to post an article and then we can set them up with their own account to post on the blog because my CMS doesn't allow people to register themselves and post automatically.

They have just sent me an "Escalation Notice" as I haven't responded since I sent them the takedown notification. I guess I can try to negociate them down to a more reasonable rate, but I might book a call with Matthew first to get a second opinion.

Aot, do you have any more ideas from what I've told you?


aot

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2018, 03:41:38 PM »
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They have just sent me an "Escalation Notice" as I haven't responded since I sent them the takedown notification.
Is this the first escalation notice? They will send you a couple of different escalation emails... perhaps even under different names.

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I guess I can try to negociate them down to a more reasonable rate, but I might book a call with Matthew first to get a second opinion.
I would have called Matthew if my family was not visiting me in the month of October. Also, if not for my family and partners, I would have definitely not even negotiated or paid anything. At the least, I would have taken more time, if not, playing the wait game.

So I would recommend you do a call and discuss with Matthew, unless, Matthew jumps in here and can answer any specific questions you may have.

Can you share the flickr link of the photo in question? Also, did you take screenshots of any site metrics such as page views, date image uploaded, image deleted, etc.? What was the resolution of the photo uploaded. (For eg. it's two different thing if I downloaded a High Res. pic in 600x600 and shared in a blog post which was seen by let's say 1000 people (with no commercial activity).

These numbers will help you in the negotiation as well.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 03:43:11 PM by aot »

bilbo1

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2018, 10:02:08 PM »
Is this the first escalation notice? They will send you a couple of different escalation emails... perhaps even under different names.
 
Yes, this is the first escalation notice.

The first time they emailed me about the image was 24th october and they said "Note that a failure to resolve this matter of unlicensed use within 21 days will result in escalation to one of our partner attorneys for legal proceedings."

21 days have passed and they are still trying to get me to pay rather than take me to court. I guess that could be an indication that they don't have enough evidence or the claim is to minor to take me to court.
Can you share the flickr link of the photo in question?

www .flickr. com/photos/30478819@N08/32067586033/

Also, did you take screenshots of any site metrics such as page views, date image uploaded, image deleted, etc.? What was the resolution of the photo uploaded.

It was uploaded Jan 2nd this year (2018) and the image was taken down on the 27th of October. The post received 1,169 page views during that time. No promotions or marketing is present it in the article... it is purely informational.

I'm going to book a call with Matthew before I reply and I will report back once I've resolved it.

Cheers for your help Aot!

aot

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2018, 10:24:35 AM »
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www .flickr. com/photos/30478819@N08/32067586033/

{sigh} I don't know what to say. All I can say is I feel sorry for you.

It's shared under "CC BY 2.0". Trying to extort $750 USD for a photo that no one wants to buy because several free photos are available online, for eg. https://pixabay.com/en/photos/Avocado%20Burger/?

Also, MV's pic has just 3922 page views. Clearly there is not a huge market demand for health and/or lifestyle bloggers to pay for avocado burger photos.

Even though the CC license terms were broken, somewhere between $5 to $99 USD might justify the dispute, if it's resolved peer-to-peer.

This is where I call this whole thing a scam and backwards. 

{Sigh} I would offer $50 and try to close it. :-'(
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 03:09:09 PM by aot »

kingkendall

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2018, 01:44:29 PM »
@bilbo1

Do you know what low hanging fruit means?

bilbo1

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Re: Creative Commons Photos on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2018, 08:53:10 PM »
Thanks @aot.

@kingkendall

Yes, I do, it's a common expression.

 

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