Administrator From Sweden, joined May 1999, 3251 posts. Posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2061 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW SITE ADMIN
Below is a copy of the mail I got this morning after having sent them a "Cease and desist" letter that included a request to have them automatically scan for our footer (black banner on the bottom of every photo) in the same way as they scan for porn.
Not very positive reply I'm afraid.
Dear Mr. Lundgren:
Upon receipt of your message, Sara deleted from the Webshots Community the postings in which Airliners.net asserted copyrights and sent warning messages to the users responsible for the postings. I believe that this process is familiar to you as Sara has previously deleted the postings you have contacted Webshots about, and she has either sent warning notices to the responsible users, or in at least one case that you reported to us, terminated the user's account because the user had been the subject of repeated complaints.
Sara has asked that I respond to the other demands contained in your message. As you may know, the Webshots Community is an online forum for users to share their photographs with each other. It contains more than 6 million images today, and this number is rapidly growing. We cannot review each posting for possible copyright infringements, and in most cases would not be able to determine whether a posting infringes a third party copyright.
Moreover, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA"), which governs online forums like the Webshots Community, we are not legally obligated to conduct such a review or make such determinations. The DMCA explicitly states that "monitoring its service or affirmatively seeking facts indicating infringing activity" are not expected of an online service provider. 17 USC Sec. 512(m)(1). Additionally, the legislative history of this provision states that a service provider is not required to "investigate possible infringements, monitor its service or make difficult judgments as to whether conduct is or is not infringing." H.R. Rep. 105-551)II), 1998 WL 414916 at *154.
Your assertion that Webshots sells Airliners.net photos is mistaken. Users upload and download images to and from the Webshots Community free of charge. Webshots does not print or sell photos; for the convenience of users, the site offers links to the web pages of Ofoto, which provides photo development services. User transmissions of photos from the Webshots Community to Ofoto are governed by Sec. 512(a) of the DMCA. Ofoto has its own copyright policy; questions regarding it should be directed to Ofoto.
As I believe Sara has told you previously, Webshots is prepared to promptly delete from the Webshots Community any photos identified as infringing the copyrights of Airliners.net and to warn the responsible users or terminate their accounts in appropriate circumstances, just as it has done in the past. Moreover, while we cannot agree to monitor a rapidly growing forum that currently contains more than 6 million images for possible infringements, I can assure you that whenever Sara or any of her colleagues become aware of a posting which contains indications that it has been taken from the Airliners.net site, they will delete the posting and send the responsible user a warning notice.
John J. Sullivan
Associate General Counsel
Senior Director of Intellectual Property
Working on the site from morning 'till night that's livin' alright (1997-2007)
AKE0404AR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2535 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1755 times:
Not very positive indeed!!!
For me it still looks like that WEBSHOTS is hiding behind the "IRON CURTAIN" and I don't like that.
They have always been pushing the responsibility to either the user or now in this case when it comes to prints to Ofoto.
This is the biggest aviation site online with so many viewers all over the world. I
Isn't there one person in this whole community who is a lawyer and familiar with the copyright laws?
There has to be........
In order to stop all this wouldn't there be a possibilty to restrict users to download / save the "big" picture.
It still can be viewed but not downloaded anymore.
I know that this would hurt a lot of honest people here but maybe that is the way to go in order to stop this ongoing problem.
SashA From Russia, joined May 1999, 867 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1716 times:
Those 300-10=290 users prolly download yer shots for putting on desktops and stuff . Well, most of them, who're a decent bunch.
SashA From Russia, joined May 1999, 867 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1704 times:
What about embedding watermark information into pic's code, then have some utility to scan the web for all occurencies of yer pic. I heard of such a method, although due to the size of the Web, I doubt it's very effective at finding. But watermark is still proof that the image is yours, not the guy's who posts it. But I guess he/she can resave after removing watermark... and that reduce the quality of image (JPEG compression). Hmm...
Ckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 810 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1695 times:
The web is such that we cannot effectively prevent downloads without introducing a barrier of some sort (eg. insert your credit card details!) which of course many people won't like. I think the choice is between a large viewing audience with the possibility of being ripped off or a secure system with a small viewing audience.
Personally I can't believe that pics downloaded from A.net have much comercial value simply because the quality (in printing terms) is so poor - furthermore, because they are in .jpeg format, any post-download manipulation will normally result in a further reduction in quality. Don't get me wrong, I am very much against copyright theft but we should measure any response or counter measures against our actual loss.
Possibly we do not have the right view of this - perhaps it would be better to say "this image may be downloaded for personal use and displayed on non-commercial web sites provided full credit is given to both Airliners Net and the photographer".
In doing this we a) lose very little as I don't think this sort of usage is much of a revenue generator in itself
b) gain free publicity
c) perhaps get a little kudos from the educational and similar communities.
EDIpic From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1669 times:
"..quality (in printing terms) is so poor.."
Yes, if a color reproduction is used, but if a newspaper
wishes to use any a.net photo in a black & white format
the a.net downloads are sufficient. It doesn't take much
for and newspaper officeworker to crop, reduce,
sharpen and lower the saturation to (black & white) to
head or illustrate with any article. That will be even harder to find or prove. I'd be curious if anyone has noticed their shots used in this manner.
I've already resigned myself to knowing that anyone can
right click my images or find it in their cache if there is
a disabling java-script fitted to prevent right-clicking.
Moral: If you don't want to be right-clicked, then don't upload.
Hawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3235 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1666 times:
Agreed that Webshots is once again hiding behind the DMCA and shifting responsibility to its users and Ofoto.
They said before they had a screening process to filter out porographic images, that same screening process could easily look for the Airliners.net banner that's included at the bottom of every image. They just don't want to.
I recall reading something a few years ago, in Macworld Magazine I believe, about an electronic image watermarking program that while invisible to the eye, could always be detected, no matter what cropping or editing was done to the image -- even being printed.
I don't have access to my old Macworld collection (I don't even know if I still have it), but perhaps this is something we ought to be looking for.
And I still think we should avoid Excite services (except for searching Webshots for our photos). Visiting Excite sites earns them revinue from the ads they display, and the less traffic they get the less they can charge for those ads. I like Google for web searching and usually use Yahoo for the rest of my basic portal functions (weather, calendar, tv listings, etc).
FastGlass From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 0 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1648 times:
Colin is right. Why lose any sleep over this? WebShots IS good at deleting photos when they are detected and advised. I do not remember seeing any banner on these pages that say "I TOOK THESE PICTURES". Downloading and using them again in their unedited form is annoying, as most do not edit-out the banner at the bottom. However, even if they dont, the banner DOES indicate who 'owns' the copyright.
Since this whole thing started several months ago, the violations have dropped to practically nothing. I think these people just see some pictures that they like and include them in their photo albums. Many albums aren't even 100% dedicated to aviation, and their other albums range from anything - like fire trucks fo animals.
I seriously doubt that any of these 'webmasters' are making any money off of the photos in question. After all, what respectable publication or agency is willing to waste the time and money to search through a ton of albums and 25,000+ aviation pictures in WebShots to generate income? If somebody really wants the picture to be used, they will contact the photographer personally, and NOT use a low resolution image found at WebShots IF they are even lucky enough to find what they want.
Agreed they are doing a 'bad thing' (on paper), but searching for more pics downloaded from here is now a "Witch Hunt"...
OH-LGA From Denmark, joined Oct 1999, 1436 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1640 times:
That's the Excite@Home conglomerate for you... they aren't very friendly, especially in things like Webshots and even in our @Home cable internet service which we get from Excite@Home under the AT&T@Home name.
They are notorious from hiding behind the smallest things, they annoy the heck out of me. I won't fault them though, they know how to read legal documents.
Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
Bruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5084 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (14 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1564 times:
Ok, if they have software that can scan for our banner or watermark, then webshots would have to scan for every company's logos. Its not fair to make them do it just to find "airliners.net" photos.
what about if I uploaded a pic of a Corvette from Chevy's website? THat's also copyright infringement - they'd have to scan for every kind of registered copyright trademark.
I'm in favor of each photographer putting their own "logo" on each picture, like Gary Watt did, since you (the photographer) are the copyright holder. So, if anyone does download your picture from any source, at least your name will be on it. I don't think there's much else we can do except keep checking for your photos on webshots.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens