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Copyright Thief

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:15 am
by Grisee08

I took this photo of the flight deck of N938AT on 7/3/2006, and it appears that some jerk has stolen it off of wikipedia (I put it on wikipedia for others to enjoy and to add to their personal collections for NON-COMMERCIAL use).

I have reported it to eBay. But the reason for this post is I wanted to let everyone know that the seller, gallery374, has listed my photo for sale without my permission, and it is possible that he/she may have some of your photos for sale as well. I encourage you to check out his store to check and make sure.


RE: Copyright Thief

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:18 am
by ckw
I think Wikipedia is great BUT you need to be very careful when submitting material, as in most cases you are giving away quite a bit. In essence Wikipedia only accepts images licensed in such a way that

"The license must not prevent commercial reuse or derivative works."

There are exceptions to this, but basically, if you just add a photo to Wikipedia, its in the public domain and free for anyone to use. A number of license options are available, some of which insist on attribution, but Wikipedia does not accept material with restrictive licences (with rare exceptions).

People need to be very careful where they post their images, and always carefully read the terms and conditions. Never make assumptions. What you INTENDED has no bearing on the matter whatsoever. Wikipedia makes no secret about their licencing. The "jerk" on ebay has almost certainly done nothing wrong - he has found a picture on a site which offers non-restricted use (including commercial).

You didn't add a link to your wikipedia image, so I couldn't check the license applied. If you DID apply commercial restrictions, then I it is a different matter.



RE: Copyright Thief

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:39 am
by soyuzavia

The photo in question is at

As you can see you have offered two different licences for the image.

Firstly, you have chosen the GFDL. To comply with the GFDL, reusers not only have to credit you as the author, but you also have to 1) print the entire copy of the full licence text (runs into a couple dozen pages) or 2) provide a link to the text. They have not done this.

Secondly, you have chosen Creative Commons Share-Alike Attribution (various versions). To comply with this licence, reusers are required to attribute you (in this case "J. Griffin") and to distribute under the same Share-Alike licence.

Because none of these simple requirements are fulfilled, the listing on eBay is a copyright violation, and you have every right to go after them for it; i.e. send them an invoice or take them to court.

Whilst some of what Colin states above is correct, in the sense that making your works available under a Creative Commons licence opens them up for re-use by anyone for any purpose, so long as they adhere to the licencing terms, Creative Commons your works can actually be a great way to get exposure for your work. In case you are a "commercial" photographer who charges for use of your works, CC licencing can also work for you in the sense that opening works up for wider reuse when copyright violations occur you are able to act legally, or send invoices.

I am an editor/admin on Wikimedia Commons and I have been very active in getting photographers to make their photos available under a CC licence (see -- over 200 photographers so far do so). In discussion the other day with one photographer whose photos we host on Commons, when I asked them whether they would like to upload directly to Commons as well, his response (which I post here with his permission) was:

"Let me know how to do it and I will. I get lots of positive feedback from my photos that are already there....I love sharing my photos on Wikipedia. Funny thing is I have sold more photos for commercial use on Wikipedia than I ever did on"

Don't discount CC licencing and Wikimedia Commons; embrace it as much as you can. The trick is making your works available in such a way that you can still derive income (if that is your goal in photography); if you don't know how to do this, contact me and I can help to advise you on the best ways to do this   I also run @commonsaviation on Twitter if you prefer to contact that way.


[Edited 2014-11-24 03:41:07]

RE: Copyright Thief

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:26 pm
by ckw
Thanks soyuzavia for providing more info on this, and yes, clearly in this case attribution was a requirement.

I think the most important point in my post still stands - ALWAYS read the T&Cs of any site you upload to!

I don't for a moment discount the value of CC licensing, but there are implications which, if you are selling work commercially can result in conflicts so you do need to make sure it works in your case - particularly if you are distributing your images through another agency.