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  1. #501
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    But all of your responses here make the following clear to me about Web developers/designers:

    1) They're proud to steal if they can get away with it
    2) They have no consideration for the creators of some resources they use often
    3) They have no regard for law or ethics
    Hey hang on a minute. You can't tar everyone with the same brush. Sure there are some people who will do that and if they get caught then tough, they deserve everything they get but some on this thread are innocent having assumed they had got rights to use the image having bought them as part of a template or got them from a magazine disk. The mags usually have a piece that says you are free to use the images in any way you see fit.

    Personally I only use my own images (taken with my own cameras), images that I've purchased from stock sites or images that I have sought and received permission to use from the owner. I make my clients sign part of my contract to say any images they are supplying me with are owned by them or that they have written permission to use them.

    Occasionally I have used images from free disks supplied with computer mags, however, since this thread appeared I have removed them from the sites they were on as when I sought assurances from the editor of the magazine in question I received no reply. I therefore don't trust the source.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
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  2. #502
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    But all of your responses here make the following clear to me about Web developers/designers:

    1) They're proud to steal if they can get away with it
    2) They have no consideration for the creators of some resources they use often
    3) They have no regard for law or ethics
    Do the moderators in here allow people like this to insult us in this way?

    I would welcome any audit of the images that are used on my site. Your rant is moving towards slander now so be careful.

  3. #503
    SitePoint Guru marcel's Avatar
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    Booler, yes he didn't curse.

    And it's free speech.

    What Shocked guy said can apply to every industry, not just the web.

    You should only be offended it any of it is true.

  4. #504
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuckRUs View Post
    Hey hang on a minute. You can't tar everyone with the same brush. Sure there are some people who will do that and if they get caught then tough, they deserve everything they get but some on this thread are innocent having assumed they had got rights to use the image having bought them as part of a template or got them from a magazine disk. The mags usually have a piece that says you are free to use the images in any way you see fit.
    All I can say that if this came up in a photographers' forum, with one or two photographers saying "I used this Web template that I 'found' and it didn't have a copyright notice on it so I assumed I could use it if I wanted to, and now they're suing me," what you'd see would be a whole lot of other photographers saying "Darn right they sued you, and shame on you as a creative professional, stealing someone else's work like that! You give us all a bad name!" Even if someone said "I got a web template off a $5.00 'web templates' CD at the local truckstop and it was apparently stolen because now I'm being sued," what you'd hear is "Why would you believe that a $5.00 CD is legit, and why don't you want to pay other creative professionals a REASONABLE price for their work? You got what you paid for. Try to be more professional in the future. Hire well, pay well, and you'll do well."

    What I see here instead, however, is a lot of rationalization, attempted justification, ongoing claims that you ARE free to use any image you stumble across in any way you want unless there's a copyright notice plastered across the front so big that you can't plausibly even say you "missed seeing it," and also a whole lot of slagging off on big, mean photographers and agencies who (it is being said) are overreacting to the dilution and co-opting of their very livelihoods.

    Where is the shame? Where is the embarrassment? Where are the "you don't represent our industry well, please go and LICENSE all of your photos and learn about the law" posts? All I see is a lot of righteous indignation from everyone, quasi-legalistic rationalizations about how you can easily "get away" with taking any image you want, and anger at photographers and agencies, who are the ones suffering HARM here (lest we forget) and are just trying to collect what is theirs.

    Getty images is Getty images. They are not some fly-by-night microstock with half-baked images. If you used Getty images on your site for X years, you derived the benefit of Getty images on your site. Don't bray about how they're not that great, those of you who selected them... obviously thought they were worth selecting. And now that you've had the benefit of Getty images and the work of their photographers, you're upset that someone's making you pay for it.

    As far as I'm concerned they should be throwing the book at anyone who marches around with the attitude "if it isn't nailed down, it's mine for the taking, and if you come and ask for it back, don't expect me to be sorry, you should have nailed it down if you didn't want me to take it!"

    It just makes me sick to my stomach to read these posts so wholly lacking in any kind of respect for other creators. I ask again: where is the outrage! Why is this thread not a "Well don't go stealing other peoples' work!" thread rather than a thread saying "Don't worry, you're completely in the clear, or at least you ought to be, if only it wasn't for those mean, nasty photographers!" (Mean, nasty photographers whose work you obviously saw fit to use instead of taking your own pictures. Those of you talking about how any schmo with a digital camera can take a good snap, well... why exactly didn't you? If all photos are the same, why did you choose to take--without paying--work from a top-level agency instead?)

    Sheesh. Cry me a river. It's not that I'm normally a combative person. But reading this thread makes me absolutely sick. Disgusted. And, believe it or not, SHOCKED.

    I realize I've offended some of you. And really, I don't have a reason to come back, so I won't. Just register my three posts as a STRONG VOTE *AGAINST* letting people off the hook for using my images without paying for them... however they came to have them in the first place, and whether or not any copyright notice or IPTC tag I applied may have survived as the image was passed around. We're talking about my livelihood here and, like anyone else, I'm happy to protest loudly for it, especially when the law is on my side.

    Goodbye to you all, and good luck.

  5. #505
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    for those in the UK, i have today contacted my local Trading Standards who requested more information from me. Gettys address in London, and also in Southend (?!) and also the irish VAT number.

    They advised me not to pay and they will investigate it. Unfortunatly they are on holiday until the 8th of Jan, but they are going to help me with it.

  6. #506
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    Goodbye to you all, and good luck.
    Missing you already!

  7. #507
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Why would you believe that a $5.00 CD is legit, and why don't you want to pay other creative professionals a REASONABLE price for their work?
    Ahhh but there's the point, last time I bought a template for a client site it was $300 not $5 and that was for non-exclusive use. If I'd wanted it taken off the market I'd have had to pay $1500. You rather assume for those prices that you are getting something legal.

    SP if you re-read my post I said that anyone who has helped themselves to an image deserves everything they get and I stand by that. Yes I uphold your right to be paid for your work, and if I were in your shoes I'd be just as upset at being ripped off but I can also see the point of those who believed the images they had were obtained legally. They did not intentionally steal, the most they can be accused of is naivety.

    The problem with Getty not using some sort of copyright notice is that it makes it easy for unscrupulous people to steal those images and put them up for sale in what looks to many people, especially the less experienced, like a perfectly valid deal. Lets face it, if I can legitimately buy an image from iStock for $1, I'm hardly likely to think there's anything dodgy about buying another image from a stock site for $5.

    If there was some freely available method for people to check the copyright of images coupled with Getty and co routinely applying copyright to images then I'm sure most web designers would use it. we don't want our clients getting sued, it's not good for business. Yes there will always be the quick buck makers who will help themselves to anything that's not tied down but I like to think that the majority of people are pretty honest.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
    Site - under construction - again

  8. #508
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbankrupt View Post
    Check this out guys, Corbis mean business:

    http://www.lightstalkers.org/corbis_wins__20_million

    They just won a big court case. So I imagine Getty will be chasing up payments too. They mean business.
    I have a friend who use to work for them and they are ruthless businessmen. They will use the best lawyers to destroy you.
    They will think nothing of bankrupting you as legally you have nothing to stand on. You used there images without consent.

    The **** is going to hit the fan.

    Also I'm sure if you are registered with a debt agency you can't get credit for loans and mortgages. I use to work in mortgages and it happened all the time. Bad debt means bad credit history. Try getting a loan now.
    Are you sure you don't work for Getty?
    -

  9. #509
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTE View Post
    Hi all,


    What would the position of the forum members here be if someone downloaded a site you had spent hundreds of hours designing, changed the text to personalize it and called it their own? What would be your response if they told you they didn't know any better or that they had searched (a little) to find out who designed it and when no easy answer was available, used it anyway? You'd look at them like they were stupid.
    They have... Including our logos, which they used as their own. We talked to our attorneys about it, and a copyright attorney all of which said, screw it, it is a waste of time pursuing it. It will cost you more in the end than you will make. So I blew it off...

    Hell, the other day I found some foreign site via Google images that had a Mac Plus image of mine I drew in college in the 90's on a Performa 638CD with Illustrator and Photoshop v1.

    I suppose I should send them an invoice?
    -

  10. #510
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie_A View Post
    4 or 5 weeks later, i get a call from Getty.

    They have 'managed' to get me a 25% discount.

    I told them i need to seek legal advice and get back to them.

    Any suggestions on what i do now? This is so stressfull, its just eating me up, im so dissapointed in myself for letting it happen.
    Personally, I would ignore them.. They will go away.
    -

  11. #511
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    'If you used Getty images on your site for X years, you derived the benefit of Getty images on your site.'

    Actually NO. In fact the complete opposite. Anyone involved in recent developments of SEO will tell you that the same images used on multiple web-sites will attract a duplicate penalty in the serps. Particularly as Google have an Image recognition system not too dissimilar to picscout. So the fact is the getty images actually hurt a web-site.

    As usual shockedphotos rant is not backed up with any legal precedent, be it case law or statue.
    The fact of the matter is most if not all alleged infringers are INNOCENT of a scam operated and set up by getty and picscout. The images were marketed in a fashion where they knew the inevitable result would be the fiasco we now all face. Getty and their photographers are legally and morally bankrupt, with no hard evidence or law to support their spurious claims - they are the ones trying to steal our money and for that they will pay a price much higher than you could ever conceive :-)
    sally

  12. #512
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    Unless the creator of a photograph explicitly states it's free from copyright restriction in writing then every professional creative must assume a photograph is copyrighted. Therefore written permission for usage from the copyright holder must be obtained to make use of a photograph legally. Every photograph is the intellectual property of (copyrighted to) its creator, be it a $50,000 commercial production piece, or a family holiday snap. Under UK law the copyright is in place for the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years. Infringing copyright is illegal, this is a fact that's not debatable.
    Sources such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock & Fotolia make the cost of legally licensing simple photgraphy negligable (approx. $1 a hit for Web res). Why steal from Getty? An answer to this question may be that Getty's collection includes photo's from shoots that cost thousands to produce. It also includes images from some of the Worlds finest commercial and art photographers. It also has a depth and breadth of commercial subject matter that no single competitor comes close to. If you need to access this level of photography then you need to either...

    a) Pay Getty's price
    b) Pay a professional photographer who can produce to that standard
    c) Take the photograph yourself to that standard
    d) Steal the photograph from Getty, thereby breaking the law, and running the risk of getting caught.

    If I want a Porsche I can...
    a) Buy a Prosche
    b) Pay a team of highly skilled individual to design and build me a facsimile of a Porsche
    c) Design and build a facsimile of a Porsche myself
    d) Steal a Porsche, thereby breaking the law, and running the risk of getting caught.

    Assume EVERY photograph you see online is copyrighted (the VAST majority on the Web are). Buy legally from the dollar stock sites.

  13. #513
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    I qoute the post by Simonstanmore above:

    "Unless the creator of a photograph explicitly states it's free from copyright restriction in writing then every professional creative must assume a photograph is copyrighted. Therefore written permission for usage from the copyright holder must be obtained to make use of a photograph legally."

    Now.... I use 2 photographs supplied on a PC Magazine Cover Disk in the 90's. There is no copyright that can be seen to be attached to them. How the hell do I find out if there is a copyright or indeed who owns it? Do I have to create a site to show both images and ask the WORLD, (yes, everybody on the internet without exception), if they own copyright? By publishing the photographs to ascertain ownership would break copyright if it existed.

    I have very many photographs that I have taken floating around the ether of a particular breed of cat. I have decided that these hold NO copyright whatsoever. Once they are used and taken from my site I have no control whether people formally make a notice saying that they are totally free from copyright. I am sure that there are many others that have non-copyright photographs out there. Again, I quote:

    "Assume EVERY photograph you see online is copyrighted "

    The only way around this is to have a "new start". With effect from now, all images posted on the internet should be watermarked. You cannot change what has happened in the past, but you can change the direction in the future.

  14. #514
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    Ok, I swore before that I was going to stay out of this but...

    I would think that there would have been a sleeve with that PC Magazine Disk and/or a text document on the disk or in the magazine at the time it was issued with specfic usage information detailing exactly how you can or cannot use the material on the disk. If you used pictures from that disk and you have the disk and you are allowed to use the images, then you have no problem. If you don't have the disk (and the other side can provide it and it does have specific usuage information) then you might have some explaining to do.

    Furthermore individuals don't get to decide that "that these hold NO copyright whatsoever". There are copyright laws in effect and while some of you may or may not agree with them, the courts in the world are not likely to take kindly to individuals declaring their own rules.

    Personally, I'd like to see the moderators step in and try and tone down some of the rhetoric on this thread. While I can understand why those of you who received Getty letters are upset, there are other points of view and there's way too much jumping down the throats of those who voice differing opinions. This thread should be more than just a commiseration party and more of an open dialog.

    Finally, I suggest that people read the text of the various copyright laws and see exactly what the laws say. It's dry reading to be sure, but will certainly educate both sides of this issue.

    US Copyright Law
    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

    UK Copyright Law
    http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/co..._copyright_law

    Universal Copyright Convention Berne/Paris
    http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-U...CTION=201.html

  15. #515
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    Back on track

    Hello all,

    I think everyone on here will admit they have slipped up and have either have assumed images were in the public domain (wrongly) or have acquired images from 3rd parties and have assumed they were okay to use, or have no way of checking. Yes, we have all made the mistake and I'm sure no-one will do it again.

    People are complaining about the _EXCESSIVE_ penalties of the consequence, and Getty's heavy handed approach for doing so (on top of the fact that according to the Trading Standards and Tax Office their invoice is illegal). Noone would object to respectively pay the price of the licence of the images and this has been stated several times. But Getty are asking for "damages" relating many more times the cost of the actual image - and this is downright greedy and profiteering. IF licences had been bought by everyone orignally in the first place, both Getty and the photographers would have got just the cost of the licences. However, since they are asking for damages, they are attempting to "profit" on the situation, rather than just recup the original licence amount which would have been more fair. I, for one, among others, will admit I ballsed-up and would be happy to retrospectively pay the original licence fee - I'm just not happy to pay the excessive fees added on top of that price.

    So let's please get away from the argument about what is and what isn't copyrighted - and get the thread back on to track about the excessive fees and Getty's heavy handedness.

    Thanks

  16. #516
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    SidraG the UK Copyright Law website you refer to states ...

    "It is normal to simply request the withdrawal of all infringing work as the first course of action, if however you believe that you are entitled to financial remuneration, such as damages or royalties, then contact a solicitor immediately."

    How can any fair minded person believe that Getty and Corbis are entitled to damages at the level they are claiming? That is what this is all about. They are not interested in Copyright per se, what they are interested in is taking as much money as possible from the (mostly unsuspecting) people involved.

    Here in the UK you can commit quite a serious crime and get away with a fine much less than they are claiming.

  17. #517
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Sources such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock & Fotolia make the cost of legally licensing simple photgraphy negligable (approx. $1 a hit for Web res).
    Yes they do and I use them but how do I know those images are legally obtained? I have to take their word for it that they are licensing those images to me with full permission of the original artist.

    In the same way that if I get a disk with a magazine that contains stock images and the disk states "these images are copyright free, you are free to use them in any way you wish", how do I know that's true? Some of the people on here getting the letters from Getty have acquired their images in just this manner.

    IMHO it's not the photographer's fault, nor in many cases is it the user's fault, it's down to the mess that is copyright on the Internet and it needs to be tightened up.

    iStock for example have a watermark all over their images, I just don't understand why Getty can't do the same. If an image appears with a watermark then anyone who helps themselves and airbrushes the mark out should get hauled through the courts and have the book thrown at them.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
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  18. #518
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    iStock for example have a watermark all over their images, I just don't understand why Getty can't do the same.
    Getty own iStock.

  19. #519
    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    They do now but it's fairly recent. They need to take a leaf out of their new acquisition's book for their main site.
    SMILE! everyone will wonder what you're up to.
    Site - under construction - again

  20. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuckRUs View Post
    IMHO it's not the photographer's fault, nor in many cases is it the user's fault, it's down to the mess that is copyright on the Internet and it needs to be tightened up.

    iStock for example have a watermark all over their images, I just don't understand why Getty can't do the same. If an image appears with a watermark then anyone who helps themselves and airbrushes the mark out should get hauled through the courts and have the book thrown at them.
    I know I said I wouldn't post again, but this is driving me crazy. Listen to what you're implying: you want a world in which if it isn't watermarked, you're free to use it. This is absolutely morally and legally wrong. You are not free to use ANY image you see until you have written permission to use it--a license. People here keep mentioning "not copyrighted" images, but there is NO SUCH THING, all images created since Berne IMMEDIATELY assign a copyright to their creators--the moment they are brought into existence. All images are copyrighted.

    Even if they are free to be taken, for example, their photographers distribute them through the creative commons at http://commons.wikimedia.org, or free stock like http://www.sxc.hu, they are STILL copyrighted, whether they say so or not. They are simply LICENSED to you at no charge. See:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Licensing
    http://www.sxc.hu/info.phtml?f=help&s=8_2

    NOTICE, in particular, lines like this: "All Images on the Website are copyrighted and they are the properties of SXC or its Image providers. All rights are reserved unless otherwise granted to You. Your rights to use the Image are subject to this agreement and the restrictions specified at each Image."

    These images are still copyrighted. Notice, too, at sxc.hu: "We hereby grant to You a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the Image on the terms and conditions explained in this Agreement" (emphasis added)

    This means that YOU CAN NOT LEGALLY SHARE AN SXC.HU IMAGE with someone else, and that if you do, both you and the person with which you share it have engaged in copyright infringement--even though the image came to you free of charge. Your license to this copyrighted image does not give you permission to license someone else, or to transfer your license to someone else. It was granted to you by sxc.hu on the photographer's behalf.

    Think about what you're saying when you say that all images at a stock photo agency should be watermarked. What you're saying is that you want a world in which non-watermarked images are free to be taken. A) That's would still be stealing according to current copyright law, and morally as well, and B) it would mean that you would see watermarks in magazines, on websites, basically *everywhere*. Or hadn't you thought of that? Because otherwise, the watermarking would do absolutely nothing anyway. Even now, using iStockPhoto as a test case, imagine:

    - Someone buys a license to a photo from iStockPhoto
    - It comes without a watermark
    - They put it up on their website as part of a story
    - They do not include an attribution (not required by license)
    - You find it in Google Images search

    There is no indication that the photo comes from iStockPhoto. Your vaunted watermark does nothing right now to indicate that this image has a copyright and that its license is commercial. Basically what you are saying is that you'd consider this image stealable. So under your system the only way to remedy this is to leave watermarks in place, worldwide, for publication. That's not a solution that I want to see--that defeats the purpose of using visual images in the first place--they're suppose to be aesthetic and representative, not full of advertising text.

    And as far as buying from $1 agencies goes... They DON'T indemnify you. That's why they're cheap. It's a RISK YOU TAKE when you buy images for $1 instead of paying a reasonable fee. Yes, some schmo COULD have bought a Getty image, used it, then uploaded it to Dreamstime or Fotolia to make some ill-gotten money. And YES, you'd be liable for infringement because YOU USED THE IMAGE without a license. The $1 Dreamstime or Fotolia licenses that you bought don't help you because Dreamstime and Fotolia were not the copyright holders, nor were they legally engaged to act on the copyright holder's behalf. They CAN'T license you an image under such conditions, so you bought $1 worth of nothing. That's the law.

    It's exactly the same as if you bought a stolen car from someone. Even if you didn't know it was stolen, if the police locate the car in your possession, 1) they'll seize it and return it to its owner without paying you a cent, and 2) they MAY also charge you with receiving stolen goods if they suspect you DID know it was stolen. Because the thief who stole it to you did not have a legal right to sell it. And your ONLY recourse is against that thief, just like your only recourse in cases above would be to sue Dreamstime or Fotolia for selling you a license that they didn't have the legal authority to sell.

    Which makes me want to mention: please stop thinking you've ever "bought an image." You haven't. When you pay Getty or Fotolia all you're getting is a LICENSE TO USE THE IMAGE. You are not buying the image itself. There are ways to buy the full rights to an image free and clear forever, but these cost significantly more than $1 and if you READ THE LICENSES that you're buying (which I suspect few of you have done) you'll see that that's NOT what you are getting when you go to these places and lay down $1, or even when you go to Getty and lay down $300.

    And while we're on the subject, everyone who thinks the Getty fines are excessive have no idea about the stock industry and are clearly just small-time designers. All high-end agencies traffic in "rights managed" photos, which means that for every such photo they maintain a list of EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER LICENSED the image and WHAT THEY USED IT FOR, exactly. This list helps clients determine which photos they want to license (because in advertising and many types of publishing exclusivity is valuable and directly affects the public perception and bottom line of the product being advertised or published). Thus, an image that has made it "into the wild" and for which the list of licensees is no longer accurate sees its value and potential for future sales significantly damaged. In short, the value of the image for Getty and the photographer drops from potentially many, many thousands of dollars (or pounds) to virtually zero, or whatever it has already been licensed for and no more (thanks to no future licenses able to be sold). $1000 instead of $300ish is thus getting off VERY EASY, since by putting an image in a web template that you license out, for example, you may take what would otherwise have been a $100,000 image for Getty and photographer and reduce it to $0.

    Please, everyone go to your local library and get a post-Berne book on copyright and a book on the stock photo industry and read them before you steal any more. And stop thinking that "all photos unless copyrighted are free for me to use," because all photos as a general rule ARE copyrighted. Instead, resign yourself (because for some of you this will clearly be hard) to "I am free to use no photo unless I have a license for it."

    YES, this means that there will be images you simply can't use. Those of you who keep saying "What do I have to do to use this image, then? Ask every person in the world if it's theirs? Search every photo site online to see if I can find it? And by showing it am I not using it without a license?"

    The answer is precisely the one you apparently can't fathom: YOU JUST CAN'T USE IT. You don't know the photographer or the agent legally assigned to license the image, then you can't use it. Period. Because YES, to post it online along with a question saying "Can I use this photo? Anyone own it?" WOULD INDEED mean that you were likely using an image without a license, and you could indeed be subject to precisely the kind of action some of you are being subject to now.

    I know it makes you want to scream and cry and get upset, but that's the law. If you come a cross a photo you like, but you don't know who owns it or where it was licensed from... You just can't use it. Period. There is no "what you have to do first, before you can use it." It simply isn't yours to use unless you find some way without reproducing the photo to find out who holds the copyright and to license it from them. In most cases this means that if a call to the publisher or website where you saw it doesn't turn up the copyright holder from whom you can license it, that photo is simply OFF THE TABLE for you. Forever. Period. End of story. That's it.

    Photos are not some kind of natural resource that arise from the Earth and that everyone should have a right to after they do the necessary paperwork. They are personal, creative labor that is owned by their creators. There are images that you just can't use, ever, sometimes even if you DO know the creator (because they simply won't license it to you). If you want an endless supply of photos that YOU control, take your own sodding camera out and shoot your own photos. Otherwise, learn to respect the rights of others under law, both international and moral, and stop expecting (I'll say it again) that every photo you find can be used, or that you have some sort of moral right to use every photo you find if you jump through the right hoops first. You have no such right, moral or legal.

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    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Listen to what you're implying: you want a world in which if it isn't watermarked, you're free to use it.
    NO that is not what I said and I rather resent the fact that you think I did. If you read back through my posts you'll see I fully support copyright and the right of the Photographers to be paid for their work.

    What I meant with watermarking is that it's then obvious which it clearly isn't at the moment. Why are you so against images being watermarked by the selling site? In an ideal world where everyone understood that you can't help yourself it wouldn't be needed but it clearly is. As far as I can tell the images that are being swiped are in the previews and I don't see the harm in watermarking those, the paid images come with no marking.

    If I buy a license for an image from iStock or any other site that sells images I assume I am buying the right to use that image otherwise there's no point in buying it. Are you saying that if I buy from iStock or Getty or wherever else that I'm buying for the fun of it? Or am I supposed to track down the photographer and ask if it's OK for me to buy from iStock?
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    Actually, the amounts Getty is asking for is in line with the amount of damages that RIAA was asking when they started going after people who were illegally downloading music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StuckRUs View Post
    NO that is not what I said and I rather resent the fact that you think I did. If you read back through my posts you'll see I fully support copyright and the right of the Photographers to be paid for their work.

    What I meant with watermarking is that it's then obvious which it clearly isn't at the moment. Why are you so against images being watermarked by the selling site?

    If I buy an image from iStock or any other site that sells images I assume I am buying the right to use that image otherwise there's no point in buying it. Are you saying that if I buy from iStock or Getty or wherever else that I'm buying for the fun of it? Or am I supposed to track down the photographer and ask if it's OK for me to buy from iStock?
    1. With watermarking it is only obvious ON THE AGENCY SITE (unless you are, as I discuss, advocating permanent watermarks on all images, i.e. when they actually appear in newsprint). This is because once you license an image from, i.e. Fotolia, the image that you download from them after licensure does not have a watermark. Thus, the moment the actual licensed photo is reproduced on a website or in a magazine by the person who licensed it, it is "in the wild" with no watermark. If there remains an attitude that no watermark = I can use it, then all it takes is one licensure and use for any photo to be de-facto thrust into the public domain, so long as the presence of a watermark is the deciding indicator. The only way around this is to require that watermarks remain in place even when the photo is reproduced. Then, when you go to (for example) news.bbc.co.uk you'll see little logos in every single photo--Getty over one image, Dreamstime over another image, Alamy over a third image, etc. Is that really the world you want? A world in which you never see an unadulterated image again because any image seen in public without an unremovable watermark cedes its rights?

    2. When you license an image from an agency (microstock, macrostock, or otherwise) you do NOT OWN THE PHOTO after you pay. What you own is a LICENSE TO USE THE PHOTO for a specific, limited set of uses detailed in the license. Every single agency out there makes you agree to the terms and conditions and license before you pay them. If you never read what you were paying for, that's your problem, but it doesn't magically rewrite copyright law. Specifically, you are typically NOT licensed for transfer of license (you can't give a copy of the image to your friends, nor can you re-sell it). You are also limited in reproduction quantity and other ways. For example, consult the Shutterstock license:

    http://www.shutterstock.com/licensin...?type=standard

    Note in particular Part II ("Restrictions"). You aren't allowed to transfer the image to any other party in any way. You can't use an image at greater than 800x600 size on a website. You are only licensed to publish the image to 250,000 viewers or fewer. You cannot use the image in a logo or trademark. You cannot use the image in merchandise, or as an office decoration.

    If you end your relationship (i.e. subscription) with Shutterstock, you CAN'T EVEN KEEP A COPY OF THE IMAGE FOR YOURSELF more than 6 months after your end the relationship--in short, if you stop your Shutterstock subscription, you have to DELETE ALL COPIES OF THE IMAGE that you hold.

    This is typical, especially for microstock. If you read the iStockphoto, Dreamstime, or Fotolia licenses, you'll find very similar terms and restrictions. And they are legal.

    You'll also find that none of these tiny cheap agencies indemnify you. All of their terms, conditions, and licenses documents either say that they won't be held responsible for liabilities, or they even say that YOU indemnify THEM--that if Getty comes around suing people, YOU are responsible. That's what you get for $1.00 or less.

    And by paying the money and accepting the license when you download the photo, you are accepting and agreeing to these terms and restrictions.

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    SitePoint Addict StuckRUs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SidraG View Post
    Actually, the amounts Getty is asking for is in line with the amount of damages that RIAA was asking when they started going after people who were illegally downloading music.
    Which has now resulted in legal download sites where you pay for the track. You have to assume though that the site you buy it from is allowed to sell you that track in the same way you have to assume Getty and iStock are allowed to license you to use the images you paid them for.

    I do read the small print and if it says that I am buying a license to use the item then I have to assume that's correct. If I buy photographs, which I frequently do, from Redferns, I assume that by paying for the print that I now own that print, for my sole use, and can stick it in a frame on the wall, I don't expect to have to track down the photographer and find out if Redfern's had the right to sell it to me.

    If I was intending to make copies of it and sell them on then yes, of course I'd find the owner and would expect to pay them royalties.
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    With regard to watermarking an image -- it isn't necessary because the copyright law doesn't require it. It also devalues the image, altering the photographer's creation and in many cases making the image unusuable for many types of buyers. Legitimate stock agencies take pains to make sure that the images they have on their sites are not infringed. There are agreements that the sellers answer to that legally protect the stock agency. And, don't forget, those who buy the rights to use licensed pictures, even for a dollar at Istock, click to agree to a whole set of licensing rules. Should you be concerned about downloading images from a stock agency? Well, I would certainly would only buy from legitimate stock photography companies. I stay clear away from the free sites. However, it really doesn't matter. The act of purchasing a license for an image, even if that image turns out to be infringed, would make you not liable if the issue came up. There's protection for those who unwittingly "purchased" the rights to an infringed photo, not to those who simply copied and used an image.

    What the general public has to understand is that downloading images that you haven't purchased rights to is the same as downloading music or movies you haven't purchased the rights to use. Many get away with it, and only some get caught. Those who get away with it aren't in the right, they just haven't been caught. (Keep in mind too, that music files don't have the artist announcing at the end of the song that it was copyrighted. The copyright notice exists outside of the work) RIAA's lawsuits weren't designed to make money for the artists as much as they were designed to quell the spread of illegally downloading music with some well-publicized cases. I suspect that's what Getty and the other stock agencies are trying to do.


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