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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot ngi112's Avatar
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    Urgent Advice - What to do?

    Hello everyone,

    Recently I made a community in one of my webpages. The community has been fairly active for many months, and about three months ago a member of mine began cutting and pasting images in the forums including an image about the Bermuda Triangle.

    I just forgot about it. A month ago, it caught my attention that hundreds of sites were hotlinking that same Bermuda Triangle image all from around the internet, and I thought that since they are stealing so much of my bandwidth, I could paste my URL at the bottom (like ebaumsworld does when it hosts an image).

    Today I received an e-mail from someone pretending to be making a book and asking permission to use the image. Since I have been reading these forums quite often, I have noticed how that is done many times in order to incriminate the offender.

    From reading the e-mail it is quite obvious that he is in fact the legitimate owner.

    I wasn't aware of hotlinking back then, so I didn't apply those rules - instead I tried to benefit from it which is clearly wrong.

    What can I do in order to avoid trouble?

    Thanks for your feedback
    Last edited by ngi112; Nov 16, 2005 at 14:28.

  2. #2
    busy Steelsun's Avatar
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    If he wants you, he's got you now, merely because you added the url to it to give the impression that it's your work.

    My suggestion (and I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advise) would be to tell him you are not the owner of the image and therefor you cannot give permission. Explain that the image was posted on your community by a member and that you have no control over the posting in message boards. Ask him to contact the member through the message board to ask for permission from them, since you can only assume they are the maker of it.
    Brian Poirier
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot ngi112's Avatar
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    is that what you would do? Any more advice about this?
    Last edited by ngi112; Nov 16, 2005 at 14:28.

  4. #4
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
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    That sounds like solid advice to me. I suggest you go with steelsun's recommendation.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot chihpih's Avatar
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    follow his advice and if the guy tells you that he is the copyright owner then offer to remove the image from you forum
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Or tell him it's a low-res image that wouldn't reproduce well in a printed work.

  7. #7
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I would remove the image immediately and not even respond to any further inquiries. If he wants to pursue it further, he can. But, why provide any information to someone you has you in a legal corner?

    I've learned over the years that in a legal dispute, silence is PRICELESS. Take down the image, remove any evidence that it was ever there, and hope this problem goes away. If he contacts you again, make it clear that you are committed to responsible publishing and that you don't publish images without rights (which is hopefully true, now).

    It's very unlikely that the owner of the images could prove damages, so the only immediate need he would have to take legal action would be to get an injunction (or whatever was required) to get you to remove the image. If you remove it yourself and pre-empt that, you might get lucky and the problem will go away.

    If it doesn't go away, don't communicate with him - hire a lawyer and let them do it.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot ngi112's Avatar
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    sage I followed your advice... I hope he doesn't communicate anymroe. It's just forums after all

  9. #9
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Hopefully that'll be the end of it. Good luck
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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