Picture Stolen Watermark Register Copyright
MY IMAGE HAS BEEN STOLEN? WHO STOLE MY IMAGE? WHAT DO I DO?
Many “Borrow” / Steal Images On The Internet • Simply Picture Stolen!
Call it: Picture stolen, stolen pictures, image stolen, stolen images, picture grabbed, picture theft… there are many forms how to describe an image infringement!
Imaging, the Internet covers the planet like a spider web! Without any photo in an article, the article is “naked”. Imagine a newspaper or magazine without images!
Everybody wants to see photos accompanying an article, it looks nicer and a photo says more than 1000 words:
Who • What • Where • When • Why • How
Photos accompanying an article or are set up on a website, sells a newspaper or magazine much better and makes the website much more attractive! The demand on images is high! IN these days no one wants to pay, or just does not have a budget for that!
Did you know, the Internet, you are right now using, every body is surfing with sunglasses or not, you can cross borders without showing any passport or getting the ‘bags’ checked by the customs each time you cross the “invisible country border”! Images pulled out in a website sitting in Australia, flipping in just 1-3 seconds into a website sitting in Europe, or from the US to Russia, Swissyland to Vietnam….etc.!! Wish I could travel that fast too! Beam me up Mr. Scotty! 🙂
Many Professional Photographers Have To Fight For Their Stolen Images
I am one of them in the sardine swarm in the big ocean, called Internet!
Fed up with it > Picture Stolen Watermark Register Copyright > Registered Copyright to all my images > What else to do?
Who ‘borrowed’ / stole my image (s)?
First, how to find your images. Open Firefox or Google Chrome, right click on the image you posted, click on: Search Google for this image! Be prepared, before you do, grab a coffee or tea, that might take a bit long or not, to follow up all found images! You also can have Digital watermark, but that cost money. In these days Google does it easier for us, IMHO. Hover with the mouse over an icon, it shows you the website address. Click on it the image shows big on the right hand side you can open the site. Make sure also to click on top the little image icon on: SHOW ALL SIZES, if possible. Not always possible!
I did check on my images, was thrown out of my chair what I have discovered. Many coffee’s have been drunk since. I took some time to follow up a sum of the most stolen images. I have even a runner up “borrowed/stolen” image. That runner up I am now after for a few weeks to get it taken out here and there and sending out retroactive license to money making websites. Progress looks very good. 🙂
Money making websites and blogs:
Why do I let a blog owner, a “normal” person, ”borrow” NOT my image for their blog? This I will do only, when the blog owner does not have credits nor source link accompanying my copyrighted image! This is up to you, how you want to handle that!
But to have the credits written and the source link does NOT excuse the infringement!
If credits and source link is given to my image/my name in a blog, I usually do nothing, as long it does not pop up as an advertisement, in a newspaper or magazine. When I find images with no credit given in a blog, I send them first an e-mail. Kindly asking for credit & link, which works 60%. Others come up with all sorts of excuses. Whatever excuse it is, it will be still an infringement!
The runner up of excuses: “I did not know!”
There are also the nice blog owners, I like them a lot. They sent me an e-mail and ask me for permission to use a image in their blog, accompanied with their blog url. The blog owners have given credit and source link in their blog to my name and website! Thank you very much.
What I should not forget, there are some cases, when a blog DOES make money! See below for more info on that.
Than I had/have those “holy cow wow” cases. Some of my images, found on a blog, credits of my image went to someone else name, blog owner name or to a well known photographer name! This kind of infringements I take the fastest, easiest steps. Send e-mail, no answer within 3 days – I file a DMCA – Digital Millennium Copyright Act right away. Send an e-mail to the website host (look up in Whois) and this is usually settled pretty fast. I have all those mails now sitting in drafts, that makes life easier! Keep in mind, those drafts are written very polite! Info on this you find below.
When you find your images in the far east. In which Whois site can I find all info I need? Usually, just put behind the word Whois the “.com” or for Russia the “.ua” …etc. wherever the site is located. Remember, the spider web! Google does a pretty good job in helping you to find the right Whois website. Now you end up in, say a country you cannot read the website content. Google Chrome has a inbuilt translator, use this one or any on the Internet. Helps a lot.
Edit 27 Nov 2013:
Since I have found a few images of mine with another watermark added, the websites watermark or whatever name! It was hard to find a contact e-mail address or phone number or anything in whois for me. I sent my Copyright Claim to the addresses given in whois and got answers back, like we are not the Registrar, but they have been listed as such! Since the websites have been open and I saw the G+, FB or another social icons I did something different. I went into the source of the website and grabbed from there the websites G+ or FB or any other social “web address”. Went into such social sites, like G+ and found under about the e-mail address I needed for the copyright infringement. Even goes faster. Not all have those social icons, but many do!
How to find the source of an website?
- Safari: Develop – Show page Source
- Chrome: View – Developer – View Source
- Firefox: Tools – Web Developer – Page Source
Sometimes you find the social web addresses on top or below in a source page. You need to look for them in the page from top till toe.
They look like this, I use here now mine:
For Google Plus: href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/111548840891165617747“target=” Just copy the link ** https://plus.google.com/u/0/111548840891165617747 ** paste into the address bar, enter. Check under About in the social web address, there you might find an e-mail address. This has worked for me as well in a few cases!
When you did this 2-3x you get to know very fast what to look for 🙂
Where did I find all this info ? How can I get my stolen image taken out of a website?
How can you do that? I was digging quite long the web for all sorts of help and info.
- What on earth can I do to with my images, which got stolen?
- How can I proceed?
- How can I get them out of websites not paying for a license, but that website makes money?
Many “how’s” were popping up during all search. Till a website suddenly was shown on my screen. Oh, was I thankful for that. They do have all info on their site and I am very happy to share this link. Nearly all you need to know you find there, in one website:
What To Do When You Found Your Stolen Image
You found your image • Picture was stolen, with watermark • register copyright
- First take picture of screen showing as well the url to the website and your image.
- I also print the whole site as an PDF, I do that with all website using images of mine unauthorised!
- You need proof! Sometimes those sites are very fast with taking out your image, when they receive an email from you!
- The two points above done, then I send an e-mail/fax/snail mail letter, most of the time all 3 (if I find all info for that). Usually asking kindly for to pay me the retroactive license fee from the date, they have published it.
- Watermark, shall I put one in my image or not?
- Register copyright of my images ? (upload a zip folder, packed with images cost you around 35.-$US)
- Retroactive License and much more info: http://improvephotography.com/11517/legal-issues/
Retroactive license fee, Michael Russell, a G+ user, has been so friendly telling me all this. Mike Spinak has also has written a blog about this. Worth checking out as well.
A retroactive license was written by a lawyer for me! It has been advised in few websites to go that step! Careful how you write it! Don’t be insulting or angry in your writing, that can backfire badly!
Did you get curious with this retroactive license? For sure I was very curious!
Just Google: “Do I have to pay for a retroactive license? Interesting it is!”
That all leads to:
IMHO (in my holy opinion), yes, in both cases. It is up to you, how you handle this!
A watermark, does it prevent stealing? It certainly makes it a bit trickier to remove a watermark in some cases in others not! We all know the procedure!
When you push the shutter button on the camera the image is protected by copyright, yours. I also set in the camera menu the copyright and all I can to my name! Do not assume that everybody on earth does know all that! Again, not knowing is no excuse!
Watermark Your Images • Does This Help?
Haven’t those Stock Photos Agencies, watermarks in their small images on their websites? Yes, most of them do! Crossing through the whole image or in other forms. They do know why!
There are so many discussions out there with pro and cons. At the end, it is up to you how you proceed. My thought is, a watermark shows people that this image belongs to you, including the copyright!
Some info of registering your copyright for your images and a link to a information for retroactive license.
Yes, I DID register all my images for copyright. Info of the how to, you can find in PictureDefense or here: http://www.copyright.gov (around 35.-$US a folder packed with images) check the how to in PictureDefense in the tutorial video.
Link to copyright tutorial by the American Society of Media Photographers
Keep in mind, there are quite a few websites, in which you can register the copyright of your images! Please do check them very careful, do your homework, some might close in 2-5 years and than what? Start all over?
Also if nothing works, there is a FBI department for all that as well! You find that information in the PictureDefense website. Yes I had a few cases quite a long while back in which I had to contact them at the very end!
I Am Well Aware that Professional Photographers Have Different Opinions
Professional photographers have different opinions on their stolen images. As said, how everybody handles this problem with stolen pictures is their own business. For me it always depends on the case!
The time I spend on one stolen image for me is about 3-5min. I have set up a workflow, have templates written to make life easier in this case. Keep Bookmarks of Google DMCA forms, the Whois sites I use…etc. A fax number or address is not often given in a website or can be found on Whois, well then only an email goes out. If nothing given, DMCA. All info, the how to, is given in the link of PictureDefense. Again it depends on the case for me! You need to decide how you want to proceed with all.
So far I have found images of mine around the globe, in sites people think: Wait a minute, you should know for sure that this is an infringement of copyright! Like government sites, even a lawyer, Newspapers…etc. Do I have proof? Of course I do, I did my homework. I find the image, open the website, first pic of screen, print all in PDF. Copy the link of the website where the image sits and start my process, if I want to proceed! As said it always depends on the case, where the image is located and what it is used for. I am not a Charity for Newspapers or anyone else out there, all these sites HAVE a budget to buy images for editorial, advertisement…etc.
I think, like Mike Spinak says in his blog. If we all go after some images or more it might make a difference in the big ocean, the Internet.
You may want to start surfing in my wildlife and landscape photography galleries
If you are interested in my review about the PhotoShelter Beam just go here. I personally do not use the Beam for serval reasons you can read in the review.
By Anette Mossbacher