ake0404ar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Sun Nov 05, 2000 11:59 pm

Hello all,

we went through this a couple of months ago and here we go again.
I don't know if you guys gave your permisson, I was certainly not asked.

Here the link:

http://community.webshots.com/album/5103824qZtCzifbyQ

http://community.webshots.com/album/5211120RpCJoNznRG

Photos by Craig Murray, Mark Garfinkel, Frank Schaefer ( Wunala Dreaming) Samuel Lo, AirNikon, Lawrence Feir and of few others can be seen there.

Just wanted to let you guys know.

Regards
Vasco Garcia
 
henryjr
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 04, 2000 9:35 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 2:47 am

Who does that?
There is so much it's like going through the Airliners.net gallery!

Henry Jr
 
AirNikon
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 11:31 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 3:56 am

Don't get married, don't have kids, and you will have more money than you know what to do with...
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4968
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 12:48 pm

Well, 2 of mine showed up this time (better than 10 like last). I just wrote them an email. Johan, I hope you email then to have them remove those pages.
 
777boy
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2000 1:34 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 1:48 pm

Yep, two of mine also.

I'm not that upset since it is not for profit, and probably only five people look at the site a year, but it is irritating that people do this without asking.

Matt
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 6:24 pm

The thing that worries me most about this is that there is an option to "order a print" in this gallery. As a non-member, I can't access full details, but I would be concerned if this person is distributing crap copies of my pics ... with my name still on the bottom!

Anyway, I too have sent a complaint. Thanks for the alert.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
tappan
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 1999 9:30 pm

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 9:16 pm

Thanks Vasco,
and Matt it is not a " not for profit" when thry have a button there that says "order a print"
Take care,
Mark G
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 9:36 pm

This offending website appears to be a commercial operation. They sells wallpapers and prints. They can claim to have removed your image when in fact they have already sold it. It is time to get serious about protecting your property. To repeat part of my statement of September 9:

This will happen again. What are we doing now to protect ourselves from similar theft in the future? Only if you have swift legal assistance can you really accomplish what you need-prevention of theft.
I suggest the administrators try to line up someone who has the right expertise to truly protect the work on this website.

There must be some internet-savvy lawyers out there who can come to our aid. I suggest that through a lawyer, those of you who had their images stolen could be monetarily compensated for the theft of your property-whether they were taken off the site or not. After all, they seem to have a business of supplying images for wallpapers and postcards, so they have something to lose.

The people running airliners.net should provide some form of protection for the contributors. Lets not look the other way and shrug our shoulders. The folks running airliners.net need to show some action toward a permanent solution to this problem.
TomH
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4968
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 9:38 pm

I should try to buy one of mine that are on there, and see what I get. Do you think if he did sell me that picture, could I file suit against him?
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 10:05 pm

While I agree that violation of copyright is unacceptable, I don't think we should expect a.net to sort this out for us. A.net clearly sets out terms and conditions of use, which is all we need should we choose to contest a misuse. The problem with a.net dealing with the problem is that there are a range of contributors with differing concerns and interests - some may be able to show financial loss due to an infringement, others won't (this makes a HUGE difference in pursuing any claim). Some may take the view that their work is being made more widely available and not wish to take any action.

A.net does not own our photos, and should not be expected to do more than it already does to protect them. Indeed, I don't think a.net should take any action on my behalf without first consulting me.

Speaking from experience of being on the receiving end of complaints, multiple complaints ALWAYS gets quicker results than a single complaint no matter who its from, so complaints from many individual photographers will probably be more effective than one from Johan.

Finally, while there is a clear copyright violation, no one is likely to receive financial compensation unless a financial loss can be documentented and demonstrated. That being the case, I doubt the legal profession would be interested in taking up this fight unless WE paid them a large wad of cash up front.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 10:13 pm

I believe a proactive approach is required. Here is a letter I just sent to these people at the offending website. You may feel that it won't change things a bit, but I disagree. I think that if they know we are willing and able to cause them legal and financial problems, they will go about their business more wisely. Don't just sit there-do something!

Dear Sirs:
I operate a small business registered in the State of Vermont known as Tom Hildreth Photography. I have been an aviation writer/photographer for 30 years, and have contributed my work to many magazines, periodicals, books and websites. My work in photography is of value to me in that it contributes to my financial welfare.

My attention has been called to your website by others who feel their photographic work has been repeatedly stolen by you. I have seen a statement on your website in which you require a photographer to prove his work is on your website. This runs contrary to copyright law, which clearly makes it the responsibility of the publisher to determine that they have been granted rights to a specific intellectual work, including photographs.

Should any of my work appear on your website in an unauthorized manner, you will be charged a user's fee of US $100.00/photo, and $35.00/hr. research time. To this, you can add any legal fees that I accrue in defense of my property.

I am specifically prohibiting Webshots, part of the Excite family, from using my photos without written permission. You have been warned.

Tom Hildreth, Prop.
Tom Hildreth Photography
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 11:46 pm

Fyi....as I said in the begining we had this problem about 3 months ago and webshots is not really responsible for the pictures displayed on their website, rather the particular user is who stole our pictures from airliners.net.

Last time, Johan got in touch with them and requested that all airliners.net pictures are to be removed immediately and they did.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_photography/read.main/2761/


Regards
Vasco Garcia

 
777boy
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2000 1:34 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Mon Nov 06, 2000 11:47 pm

Sorry, didn't notice that order prints option. I though that it was just one of those online photo album things.

I'll follow everybody's lead.

PS: That letter sounds good!

Matt
 
classic707
Posts: 514
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 1999 1:39 pm

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 12:08 am

TomH,, the letter sounds great, thanks!
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 2:30 am

Tom is definitely taking the right approach - you must look after your own property and not expect A.net do it for you.

In my note to Webshots I requested the name & address of the account holder, intending to send an invoice. Following Tom's lead, if they do not reveal the true identity, I will send the invoice to webshots.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 4:59 am

When airliners.net contributors inform each other of theft of images such as that which is once again taking place, it is because there is a brotherhood here. It comes as a heads up, a friend telling you that your property rights have been violated. Second, I’m sure we all would really, really like to see this theft end once and for all. None among this brotherhood want to enter into correspondence with the offending website every few months to reinforce our concerns over our property. There is indeed more that we can do.

Earlier posts left me with the impression Webshots was a California-based organization operating from a known location. If this is true, a deluge of complaint letters from around the world sent to the office of the California Attorney General would be a worthwhile effort in the near term. The most meaningful letters would be from the people who have had their work stolen, so the burden of this effort would be theirs. (Hey, it's just another letter). Note that in the recent cases, the photographer’s name and airliners.net can be seen on the black bottom border, so this helps prove that you own the rights to the image. You should mention that you own the original negative/slide/photo, and provide other specifics such as dates and witnesses.

Airliners.net administrators need to avoid being put in a position where this website becomes a distributor of images for other websites. I doubt if any present contributors feel comfortable with that possibility. This is why airliners.net needs to be part of the solution to the problem. I see this as a necessity before we can move on to the long-term step, which is to obtain a lawyer. I am not talking about anyone getting money as damage payment due to use of an image. I’m talking about cease and desist orders from a court, or something like that, which would end the practice permanently.

I’m not sure of the best way to do this, but I believe that if Webshots is made aware that there is a determined group of photographers willing to fight for protection of their property they will cease these copyright infringement activities. The person who uploaded the image to Webshots is not the issue that affects us the most. That Webshots publishes the works of others without first obtaining permission is the issue. The international copyright laws are in our favor. There needs to be enough of us willing to go the next step and seek action, for only then will we be able to protect our property in a meaningful way. It is up to us to decide what the next step will be.

TomH
 
mirage
Posts: 3612
Joined: Mon May 31, 1999 4:44 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 5:26 am

Did you notice the small letters in the bottom saying: "perrro contributed and has sole responsibility for the content on this page."

Could Webshots save themselfs from trouble with this statment?
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 5:36 am

For all here again the answer Johan did get the last time from Webshots.com


Dear Mr. Lundgren,

Thank you for your message. As you may know, the images you identified as belonging to Airliners.net, like all images in the Webshots Community, were uploaded by users, not by employees of Webshots or Excite@Home.

We have deleted the images from the Webshots Community and, because of multiple complaints of copyright infringement, have terminated the user's account. Although we have deleted the images from the Community, it is possible that some of the images have been cached, and it may take a few days for the cache to clear. However, within 24 hours, these photos should no longer appear in the users' albums or topic pages, and users should not be able to download them.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns regarding the Webshots Community and thank you for calling these users' postings to our attention.



 
777boy
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2000 1:34 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 10:50 am

I sent a complaint also. Hopefully, this guy will learn a lesson!
 
USAir_757
Posts: 949
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 12:30 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 11:10 am

Yes you need yo get the user's profile, and contact HIM to propose fees and/or suits - not webshots. Only contct them to have the images removed.


Cheers,
C. Wassell
-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4968
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:40 pm

What aggravates me the most is that you can buy my photos from their site. That is WRONG!
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 6:18 pm

Webshots will, I'm sure, stick to their caveat "not our responsibility" in the first instance. They may or may not be able to get away with this, but the legal mood does seem to be swinging against the service providers these days who are beginning to be seen as facilitators of various forms of misuse (such as spam, copyright theft).

I have requested the true identity of the person responsible. If not provided, as I suspect will be the case, then I think we have a much stronger case against Webshots as "facilitators" of the theft.

Meanwhile, I suggest those affected take a download of the complete webshots page. The evidence will probably be removed shortly, and you will need the download to progress any action.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
Sukhoi
Posts: 1561
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:03 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 7:51 pm

Anybody notice that if you send an E-card then the preview picture then has the copyright to Perro ?

As Colin has said im sure Webshots will say its not their fault again as they did in the first instance.

regards

Paul
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 8:13 pm

Webshots is simply employing a dodge here. These activities are their responsibility. They have an uploading process that creates copyright violations on their website. It would be a weak legal position for them to shrug their shoulders in court and say they cannot exercise control over this process. Keep copies of any Emails you recieve from them, as their response can be used to our advantage down the road. Dazed767, by all means order your prints from them-this would be strong evidence of profit motive on their part.

Can we keep Webshots on the hotseat by invoicing them for the images uploaded by Perro? It would be better if we could put Webshots in the position of being the bill collector, and force them to turn around and invoice Perro. This would be a potential drain on their resources.

Lets work it, guys. Keep the ideas coming!
TomH



 
Granite
Posts: 5026
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:55 pm

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 8:23 pm

Hi all

It's absolutley amazing (if that's the right word) as to how many shots have been 'pinched'

Other than the pages mentioned, if you search for 'aircraft' there are tons of other people using images.

If the shot(s) were credited to the right people, it is not so bad, but most are cropped with all wording now gone.

Some of mine have been cropped quite a bit.

So, what do we do?

Regards
Gary Watt
Aberdeen, Scotland
 
administrator
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon May 17, 1999 5:11 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 9:13 pm

Sorry I haven't been around until now, I've been traveling.

Here's the reply I got from their legal department when I told them this can not continue and that we will take every action possible to stop this:

---------------------------------

Dear Mr. Lundgren,

Your messages regarding the unauthorized posting of airliners.net images
on Webshots has been forwarded to me for further response.

To begin with, we understand your frustration at finding images uploaded
to the Webshots Community without your organization's permission. We
respect the rights of professionals and amateurs alike who contribute to
society via their original creative works. Unfortunately, there are
always those people who are either ignorant or uncaring about copyrights
in images. Whenever we are contacted about a copyright violation, we
immediately remove the image and warn the user that unauthorized
postings are illegal, possibly subject to statutory damages, and that
the user's account may be terminated should a similar complaint be made
in the future.

Please bear in mind that, as explained in Sara's emails, the images you
contacted us about were posted by members of the Webshots Community and
by employees or agents of Webshots or Excite@Home. Webshots, like other
Internet forums where users exchange information and materials, isgoverned by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Under the
provisions of 17 USC 512(c), an online service provider is not liable
for unauthorized postings of copyrighted material so long as the online
service provider promptly removes infringing postings upon receipt of
proper notice from the copyright owner.

Under the DMCA, online service providers are not required to actively
review user postings for possible copyright infringements. Indeed, with
more than 2 million images in the Webshots Community, it is impossible
for us to review each posting for copyright infringement. Not only do
we lack the resources to do this, but also, in the vast majority of
cases, we could not tell whether an image is posted without
authorization.

Again, we remain more than willing to remove any unauthorized postings
you report to us in the future.

Sincerely,
--
JC Hedger
Legal Intern
Excite@Home - The Leader in Broadband
(650) 556-3964

---------------------------------

Is that true? Any US citizens here that know the US regulations concerning these issues?

Thanks,
Johan Lundgren
Editor Airliners.net
Working on the site from morning 'till night that's livin' alright (1997-2007)
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 10:29 pm

As I understand it, the letter quoted by Johan is factually correct. However, it is seldom the case that only one law applies. I beleive this can be approached by another angle in that if they do not provide user details to me/us they are frustrating my right to protect my copyright and/or facilitating copyright infringement. I think the invoice campaign is the best plan, and I am just awaiting the response to my initial mailing to webshots, which I'm guessing will refuse to divulge the info I requested.

Incidentally, there is also a question as to WHOSE law applies. Here we have an (apparently) Brazilian individually uploading (in my case) English photos to a US site for downloading poytentially anywhere.

A predominant legal line in the UK is that the offense takes place at the point of download.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
777boy
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2000 1:34 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Tue Nov 07, 2000 11:31 pm

Thanks Johan. 
 
USAir_757
Posts: 949
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 12:30 am

Possible Solution...

Tue Nov 07, 2000 11:35 pm

Prehaps they can put this in their rules:

"NO images from http://www.airliners.net - PERIOD!"

But even then, people can crop, and they would never know it's an image from airliners.net.


My recommendation is to put a small copytight message in an area that is not important, but lined up with an area that is, so that if they try to crop it out, they will have to crop out some of what they want, or leave a big white box which makes it obvious that they attemted to infrigment the copyright.

It may be difficult on some shots but it can be done.

Look at this example showing it done on one of my Comair shots:

http://www.geocities.com/aviationspotter/comair-6.jpg

Even there, it's not foolproof, but a lot harder to get rid of then a copyright placed in the corner of a photo.

Tell me what you think.

Regards,
C. Wassell
-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
 
Guest

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 12:06 am

Usair_757: Well actually your idea is not bad, but I think that it won't stop those who want to illegally use your pic, they could just reproduce the sky color around the text and paint it over. That would take approx. 30 secs to do.

As anyone heard of watermarks? If you have PSP 6 or Photoshop 5 it should be integrated in your software (For PSP 6 users go under IMAGE then WATERMARKING) Watermarks are offered by a thrid-partie compagny called digimarc, basicelly is it a ID number that is inserted in your image and it is invisible. The ID is refered to your Name, adress ...ect so when you think someone have stolen one of your image just download it, open it in either PSP 6 or Photoshop 5 and go to READ WATERMARK, if it is your image your personalize ID number will show up as well as the copyright years. Then after that it is very easy to prove the picture is yours.

Also concerning the watermarking. A site which I upload my non-aviation photos called photo.net add automaticely a watermark to the image when you upload it to their website. Maybe this sort of automatism could be used here, although it might cost an arm or nothing, I have no idea on that.

So if you have PSP or photoshop just watermark your picture yourself as this service is free for non-compgny use, you will save a lot of troubles.

I know this post sounds a bit like an advertisement but it really isn't.

Have a good day

Nicolas - Montreal
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 12:24 am

Hello again,

pls find an extract of useage of photos on airliners.net

------------------------------------------------------

The digital photos on this site are licensed to Airliners.net. They are equipped with a footer with copyright and licence information and also carry an invisible watermark. Even if you receive permission from the photographer to use a particular photo, you may not use a copy of the photo from Airliners.net. You must get a new copy directly from the photographer that does not carry our licence and watermark. You need a prior agreement with Airliners.net to be excluded from this rule.

------------------------------------------------------

Maybe Johan can explain further......



Regards
Vasco Garcia





 
Guest

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 12:56 am

Does this means that airliners.net is already watermarking the uploaded photos?

Nicolas - Montreal
 
Sukhoi
Posts: 1561
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:03 am

There Are More....

Wed Nov 08, 2000 1:11 am

If you search under "airplanes" then this is what you get: In this topic: 23,782 photos available in 1,328 albums in Airplanes.

Having had a very brief look through many of these "sites" use pictures from Airliners and such as in my case our own websites. Is it possible to stop this happening, who really wants to look through all those pictures, many of them have been cropped to remove the Airliners wording. I think its something were all going to see get more popular......

Here are a couple more links:

CKW your find a few of your pics here http://community.webshots.com/album/4488091tZrLaimzul

For the rest of us

http://community.webshots.com/album/2931347SFymhaAZtN

http://community.webshots.com/album/3557813tNlvaBzJrx

Can somebody come up with an answer ??

Paul


 
administrator
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon May 17, 1999 5:11 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 1:48 am

Here's a reply I just got from Webshots:


Dear Johan,
Thank you for brining these postings to our attention. I will remove the images immediately.
Webshots answers emails Monday-Friday 8-5 PST. Any emails sent over the weekend to business@webshots.com will be answered today. If your photographers have not received a response to emails by today, please verify that they sent email to business@webshots.com. Emails sent to support@webshots.com are answered within 3-10 business days.
Please let me know it you have any questions.
Sincerely,
Sara
P.S. Sorry for the delayed response. We are in the process of training new
Customer Support Representatives.


USAir_757,
A larger copyright message is definitely not a solution. Read more about this and how it affects the enthusiasts in the upload-FAQ.

Nicolaki,
I agree watermarks are the way of the future. More info below...

Vasco,
Yes, I have been experiencing with invisible watermarks that would remain on a photo even if the bottom black line with copyright info is cut out. With that info, we can instantly see if a photo is stolen from Airliners.net and used without permission and take appropriate action. Unfortunately, I am still working on the watermark issue and have yet to find a viable solution.

/ Johan
Working on the site from morning 'till night that's livin' alright (1997-2007)
 
USAir_757
Posts: 949
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 12:30 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 2:30 am

Johan: Did you view my example photo? The copyright message in it is very small, not covering any important part of the photo, but aligned with important areas. Thus if someone wanted to just crop out the copyright, they'd also crop out half the plane. That's what I meant.


Cheers,
C. Wassell
-Cullen Wassell @ MLI | Pentax K5 + DA18-55WR + Sigma 70-300 DL Macro Super
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4968
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

Good News

Wed Nov 08, 2000 3:22 am

They removed my photos, and I guess everyone elses. Thanks to Johan for sending them an email. I'm going to keep an eye on that site for more photos from here, I hope you guys would help me on this crusade also. Thanks again Vasco for spotting this one.

Justin
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 4:18 am

Justin,

GOOD NEWS , I am not too sure about that, just clicked the link and the pictures are still there.

Regards
Vasco
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Good News

Wed Nov 08, 2000 4:27 am

Thank you for your efforts, Johan. I'm sure you are frustrated by this also, and I expect you would like to see a permanent solution. This is as much an attack on your website as it is on the rights of its contributing photographers. Watermarks may help in the future, but where are we now?

At this point in the recent episodes of stolen images by Webshots, contributors began to congratulate each other on a job well done. That would be premature here, because the job is not done. We must pursue this through the Attorney Generals Office of the State of California. Webshots is located in Redwood City, California. That they have a legal intern replying to your letter may mean nothing more than the occasional presence of a law student on their payroll. I suggest you put them on the defensive by asking the intern if he is willing to represent Webshots in a court case involving large scale copyright violation.

I also suggest Webshots provide you with a list of all prints they have offerred for sale since the most recent episode began, and also all other products for which they are responsible (such as wallpapers) that may contain the images of airliners.net contributors. Make them work. Make them think someone is going to be knocking on their door soon.

You know this theft is going to happen again if we don't pursue the issue. I am working on addresses and any other information I can get my hands on. In the meantime, those who had their images stolen should be documenting as much of this as they can. Which images were stolen? What webshots pages were they on? During which dates were they displayed on Webshots pages?

Bringing this to a successful conclusion means more work. If we don't continue, we will just see it all happen again. I personally do not believe Webshots can continue doing business as they have in the face of a barrage of complaints to the California Attorney Generals office. I also do not believe that the Millenium part of USC referenced by the legal intern supercedes or replaces international copyright law in any way.
Finally, please take note that I am not qualified for employment in the legal profession. These are simply my opinions.
TomH
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 5:10 am

Here are two addresses to which you should send letters of complaint concerning theft of your images or your concern that such theft may have occurred:

Office of Attorney general
Public Inquiry Unit
Post Office Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550


Chamber of Commerce
1675 Broadway
Redwood City CA 94063

I hope to have more information soon.
TomH
 
777boy
Posts: 284
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2000 1:34 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 8:03 am

So Johan, does this mean that I shouldn't post pictures I have taken myself with the airliners.net tag at the bottom on my website?
For example, I used it here: http://www.geocities.com/matt11686

The reason for using pictures with the tag on them is to prevent events such as this one where someone tries to steal my work.

I would really like to know so that I can start replacing them if necissary.

Matt
 
AirNikon
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 11:31 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 10:54 am

Mine are still online as well...
Don't get married, don't have kids, and you will have more money than you know what to do with...
 
AirNikon
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 11:31 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 11:34 am

Here are two more. I'm not too sure how many have been cropped or not, with or without credits. I just recognized a few of mine (uncropped):

http://community.webshots.com/album/4099245DslCuuTBVA

http://community.webshots.com/album/4100315qmfNgZMWlF



Don't get married, don't have kids, and you will have more money than you know what to do with...
 
pascuzzi
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 1999 1:23 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 1:05 pm

Hello all,

Again, this seems to be a heated issue, as Johan has thankfully pointed out to me. As far as I've noticed, this site www.webshots.com has posted images submitted by other people who are NOT the photographers of said material, and apparently sell them (thanks to Vince Gury, I've noticed some of mine there, WITH my copyright symbol still in them).
If you go to the "contact us" page on this site;

wysiwyg://13/http://www.webshots.com/html/contact.html

you will see these phone numbers (US numbers);

1-650-556-FOTO
1-800-880-1831 (toll free USA only)
1-650-556-2722 (fax)

and if you call, ask for a woman by the name of Sara. I called her yesterday, explained all this to her, and, interestingly, she stated that they only search images that are submitted to them for PORN, and NOT for copyrights. Thus, in doing so, and in then selling them, they are breaking the law. I assured her of this, and also assured her that her company was the responsible one for checking copyrights of images BEFORE attempting to sell them (as they are NOT shareware), and that said responsibility does not lie with the submitter. While she denied this, I also assured her that I would take legal action against her website and company to have them either sued for malicious intent and fraud, and/or have their site closed and permanently destroyed. Of course, she agreed to remove the images from the pages within 24 hours. I have yet to check to see if they are gone.

So, people, in essence, WE ALL must watch this site (for the time being) and INNUNDATE her with phone calls and faxes so that she gets the point, and stops this nonsense. I for one am not at all reluctant to open a lawsuit against a creep like this.

Anyone interested in chatting more about this, do not hesitate to contact me.


Sincerely,
Edward Pascuzzi
www.thephysicsguy.com
eclipse3@erols.com
 
ake0404ar
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 10:55 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 6:52 pm

********** E-MAIL alert *******************

Johan,

just a quick note in reagards to all these recent copyright violations.
A lot of the photographers posting here are not that active in these forums. Wouldn't it make sense to send out an e-mail alert to everyone positing on airliners.net pointing them to in this case http://www.webshots.com and advising them of what's going on.
I don't know what kind of e-mail database you have and if possible at all. It was just an idea, which came to my mind.

Regards
Vasco Garcia
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 9:00 pm

Ed Pascuzzi, thank you for taking the initiative by placing the phone call to Webshots. In the past, photographers have been appeased by removal of their images from the Webshots pages. It is likely that Webshots has continued to profit from the original theft, however. If this is the case, it is an action harmful to photographers and it needs to legally addressed. I am willing to contribute to a fund for the express purpose of obtaining a lawyer to bring a copyright violation case against Webshots. Details need to be worked out, and we need to know if others are willing to contribute also. I suspect it would be best to have this action take place in California.

Vasco, you have a good idea in your suggestion that an E-Mail Alert should be sent to all contributors in a case like this. It makes sense that all should be apprised of this situation, so they can become involved in defending their work if they so choose.

Another observation regarding Webshots. It is possible that theft of images extends well beyond what we are seeing in regards to our own photos. There are a great many air-to-air photos of military aircraft, aircraft carriers, and other military systems on their website. I have some experience working in military public affairs offices. I feel they are prohibited from profiting from the sale of these images, yet the “Order Print” option is available on some of these images. I am surprised to find certain artwork on their pages. The well-known images of the B-1 and F-14 flying low over the water come to mind. I believe these, and other art images on Webshots are sold through galleries and dealers. We know that Webshots has obtained photographic images without the photographers permission, so we have to ask if they are applying the same tactics to the works of artists. I think we know the answer.

This is where they live:

Webshots.com
c/o Excite@Home
450 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA
94063 USA

(650) 556-FOTO (3686) phone
(650) 556-2722 fax
(800) 880-1831 toll-free



 
Granite
Posts: 5026
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:55 pm

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 9:10 pm

Hi all

I was having a look through some of them and there are a few pages now offline.

These were online as of yesterday so it looks as if something is being done.

Regards
Gary Watt
Aberdeen, Scotland
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 9:57 pm

Regarding Gary's observation on the removal of pages - this does seem to be the case, hence it is essential that you take a copy of the Webshots page when you see an infraction.

With regard to further action - those of us not living in the US are in, perhaps, a different situation. A US settlement may not apply to us, conversly, a local "let out clause" may not apply to us either.

I have written to Webshots invoicing them for the use of my pics, making the following points:

1 - while they MAY be able to use their "conditions of use" as a get out, there is (in UK law at least) a responsibility on the part of the service provider to take "reasonable measures" to ensure these conditions are adhered to. Since my pics at least still had my name and Airliners Net on the bottom, I would contend that due care is not being exercised.

2 - as Webshots claim the right to re-distribute the images, they are effectively "fencing" stolen property. Again, under UK law, ignorance of the fact that the property is stolen is not an acceptable defence.

3 - as Webshots declined to reveal the true identity of the person uploading the pics, they are obsrtucting my right to protect my copyright.

My next step will depend on their response.

Cheers.

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Wed Nov 08, 2000 10:24 pm

Colin,
Under US Copyright law, the originator of a work has the sole right to distribution. This means that Webshots is violating US law. The originator of a work has many other rights, including control over reproduction and duplication. This is not limited to paper, but includes other mediums as well. These rights become the originators the moment the work is created. To photographers, this means these rights are in effect immediately following depression of the shutter release.

Those of you who have spent time searching the Webshots site and have found your work there should invoice Webshots for research time. This often runs around $25.00/hr in the USA.

TomH
 
AirNikon
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 11:31 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Thu Nov 09, 2000 2:46 am

Gary:

I still don't see where anything is being done. As of 1745Z/08NOV the pages and individual photos are still online.
Don't get married, don't have kids, and you will have more money than you know what to do with...
 
TomH
Posts: 950
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Copyright Violation / Illegal Use Of Pictures

Fri Nov 10, 2000 1:04 am

Johan,
In your 11/07 post you asked if the statements by Webshots legal intern were true in regards to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This act is available for downloading on the US Copyright Offices website. It has been in effect in the USA for about two years now, and it is controversial. The DMCA is attractive to ISPs because it provides protection under Title II: Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation. Indeed, it is states in the DMCA that “an ISP is not required “…..to monitor its service….in order to be eligible for liability limitations.”

However, under sections 512(c), in order to be eligible for the limitation the provider must be several conditions, including “If the provider has the right and ability to control the infringing activity, it must not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity.” This may mean that those images taken from a.net that were posted with a “buy print” option, or if they were used subsequently in wallpapers or screensavers sold by Webshots would disqualify Webshots for protection. It is important here for a.net contributors to purchase copies of their own images as proof of profit.

The DMCA also …”established a procedure by which a copyright owner can obtain a subpoena from a federal court ordering a service provider to disclose the identity of a subscriber who is allegedly engaging in infringing activities.” So it is legally possible to hold accountable the person who posts pirated images on Webshots. This seems an unlikely option for most of us considering the international distances involved and little financial loss at stake.

The DMCA also states “…a service provider must have filed with the Copyright Office a designation of an agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement.” I have checked the list, and find Excite’s agent is:

John J. Sullivan
Excite@home
450 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
650-556-2714
johns@excitehome.net

Note that I am not trained in the legal profession, and I have only mentioned a portion of the DMCA. Hope this helps all those affected.

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