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Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 25, 2014, 3:30 PM
Well, just on a whim I did a google image search of this photo:

Queen Anne's Slumber by Metal-Bender

The results were kind of interesting. Most of the results showed that it was in the fave collections on DA with one exception, which stated as follows:

In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s)

The links listed led me to the following:

Digital Millennium Copyright Act…

The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse collects and analyzes legal complaints about online activity, helping Internet users to know their rights and understand the law. Chilling Effects welcomes submission of letters from individuals and from Internet service providers and hosts. These submissions enable us to study the prevalence of legal threats and allow Internet users to see the source of content removals.…

I've never heard of any of this and find it very interesting. It's kind of nice to know that there are other resources available to combat art theft besides depending on websites to do the right thing and delete the stolen work.  I was wondering, has anyone else heard of this and have they used it?

Wow, I've been looking around with google image search and it seems a great number of my photos are featured in blogs as well as sites like Tumbler. They do identify me as the artist, many include my DA address, and describe me as based on my profile here on DA. Some even call me 'Peggy Metal-Bender'. Quite a few of these blogs include 10 to 20 of my photos. I had no idea this even existed and am not sure how I feel about it.  

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Trippy4U Featured By Owner Edited Aug 26, 2014
Sry u are having this nightmare, Peggy. The internet is the wild wild west to many...always has and always will be for those with no scruples. The adage is, "If you don't want it stolen, don't post it on the internet." Sad and harsh facts of the digital age.
Thanks for sharing the link to that consumer advocacy group...maybe there is help just over the horizon after all :thumbsup:
Wow, sorry to hear that Peggy, that's a Damn shame...

Honestly, I figured that you'd be getting stung eventually and it comes as no surprise to me.  Your first work was impressive, but your current work has improved exponentially over the last number of years and given that, I assumed that it would only be a matter of time before you were going to find 'Many' of your photos out in Cyberspace, especially since many were/are available in a fairly large format for easy downloading.  My guess is that there are a LOT more out there that you just haven't found and likely just as many that have yet to be used...  Now as much as that might sting, I would try and ignore it as much as possible as it's a MAJOR distraction from the creative process.  Based on personal observation, the creation process can be interrupted and/or fogged by the energy that goes into finding out who's using your material and in today's digital age, it's a battle that can never be won when speaking in terms of 'multiple counts' of copyright infringement.

My personal experience is based on my owning a small Art Gallery and actually knowing of 2 people who had their pieces not only copied, but sold and even one who had a Photograph turned into a limited edition poster In Europe (France to be exact) without his knowing...  Even back then before the Digital Camera when Photo and Art publishing was MASSIVE, there was little to no recourse and those posters STILL continued to be sold until the publisher faded away into obscurity!  Unfortunately even today the laws regarding Copyright (such as the DMCA today) are basically just as useless in any other Country aside from the USA, or unless you're a US entity in the offending Country (and even that's a stretch, which you likely are already aware of..).  The one good thing about the internet is that it is a place where people can apply 'pressure' to others when these kinds of things 'do happen' and where you might indeed be able to get people to 'assist you' (as some have offered to do) in pointing out the very obvious fact to the offender(s) that they are using your work 'sans permission'!

Anyway, don't give up and don't let them get inside your head!  I've seen first hand what can and it's not pretty and can be all-consuming....  Having said that, I would certainly 'do what you must' in order to 'alleviate' some of the tension that these thieves have created for you because keeping it ALL bottled up isn't much better, right?  Regardless, the bad people took your work for a very good 'reason' and that speaks volumes in terms of your creativity.  Would a Water-Mark help?  Perhaps, but I think that you won't know until you do 'something' in regards to a deterrent when it comes to your work.  I for one would be very 'SAD' if your work disappeared from DA for good and wish you the best of Luck in whatever way you choose to deal with it...

Warmest Regards,

Metal-Bender Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014   Photographer
Thank you very much Joe. This is all very true. I do believe social and legal pressure can be helpful. It might not stop them but it will annoy the hell out of them and that's a start. I guess my work is pretty good given how much of it has been stolen. They don't the talent to produce and I do. Unfortunately watermarks and other measures will slow them down but not stop them. I almost wonder if I could use the fact that so much of my work has been stolen and is so widespread as a way of showing that it has some value. A kind of negative endorsement. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue to post here - this is a lovely community but the administration of this site is so lax. There was a recent incident here that motivated me to check to begin with. That person is still here and is not the least embarrassed. Worse than that, people are sucking up to him/her. They have stolen so much work and lied so much I don't know what they are. They are very charming and complimentary to everyone and a lot of people are willing to overlook the fact that this person is a thief and a liar. Given my recent revelations, I have no tolerance for that sort.
Unfortunately many people are very gullible and can't see 'reason or truth' past the end of their nose...  Those people that 'refuse' to entertain the other party's position (yours) is a good indication of the way many people now choose to 'think'.  The problem with many 'sheeple' is that they are blissfully unaware of how ridiculous and 'unreasonable' they have become and as such there's just no reasoning with them...
Your work is EASILY proven with exif or 'original size' photo's of which the thieves just 'CANNOT produce and if DA management or any mediator had half a brain they could easily tell the difference, thus cancelling the others account for copyright infringement and misrepresentiation and of course 'Lying' to the faces of said management / mediator.  Too bad the administration has taken the often traveled 'low road' in order to deal with the problem...
Metal-Bender Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014   Photographer
It's pretty shocking Joe - these people feel that all photos on the internet are fair game. I keep hearing the same lame excuse over and over - 'if you don't want your photos being used then don't post them'. When did these losers put themselves in charge and call the shots? I've stopped talking to these people because they get really nasty and stupid.

Well, some of my photos have been shown with falsified EXIF data - one just yesterday with a jerk offering them for sale on Photobucket. It's been taken down. I only shoot in camera RAW and post and process in JPEG - the RAW file never gets posted. No one seems to want to deal with it as the attitude is that it's going to happen anyway so why bother trying to stop it. Most of my gallery on DA has been ransacked. Well, I've been filing take down orders non stop for over a month with no end in site. I've been making changes and trying things and see how effect it is. I'm so disgusted with the ignorance and lack of decency I've been encountering. I've been looking into having my own website so I can show my work the way it should be seen. 
Hi Peggy,

Yeah this whole thing stinks to Hell...  Unfortunately the 'nasty people' make a point (even though many don't realize it..) and literally 'anything' that goes out in Digital format is indeed 'fair game' in terms of what people will steal.  The difference is that these 'people' think that you getting your stuff ripped off is YOUR problem and that is ridiculous and shows their complete ignorance...

I think having your own Website is a GREAT idea and likely a bit over-due, simply because the quality of your work certainly deserves it's own venue!  I would also be remiss if I didn't suggest that you should really look into getting some pieces into a Gallery and/or seek a way to have your work published.  Although your audience will certainly be smaller, the chances of someone ripping off your work that way is very small.  Also the benefits are obvious to me in that you're likely to make a name for yourself and before you know it you'll be selling your work in good time, 'assuming' of course that this is one of your goals (I mean 'who wouldn't' want that right? :).

Anyway, I think some footwork may be in order and I believe that a with a 'ready to go' portfolio (including a few ready to frame, larger format photos) you WILL find the right people in time.  Your Website would of course be the 'go to' place for viewing your work, but having 'PHYSICAL' prints available can actually create a deal or partnership on the spot.  The beautiful thing about today's technology (that works in your favour) is that you can literally print on ANY smooth surface (paper, wood, aluminum, acrylic, canvas, etc, etc...).  I think some of your Black and White pieces on a sheet of Aluminum with rear float mount would be *$%ing unbelievable!

When I had my small Gallery, we took in a few photographers and painters that had their own material and we framed and/or mounted several pieces to see how the response was to their work.  Given that my place was only 600 square feet and I had a lot of my own inventory, the response was still quite good even though I didn't have a lot of 'free' wall space!  I also gave cost on any pieces that were to be framed and then took a commission, or if money was tight on the Artists end, I paid up front for framing and took out costs + commission upon sale of the piece. It was a bit more risky for me, but not a big issue if I felt the work was going to sell.  In any event, there are are a good number of ways to get your work out there and although it's 'not as easy' these days, if you DO get your work out there for 'purchase', it's only a matter of time before the ball get's rolling.
Metal-Bender Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014   Photographer
Hi Joe,

For sure. They really are very ignorant.

Thank you very much. It seems like the only way I can securely show my work. Free sites are convenient and well, free, but it's been too much of a hassle. A lot of my work was stolen off of my artist page on facebook too. I'm going to look into all ways to get my work out there in a way that is to my advantage. I'm so sick of filing take down notices, especially for people who 'share' my work and don't even identify me as the artist. I guess following a more traditional route has it's advantages, even if it is more time consuming. For sure - it's a lot better to make a name in legitimate art circles than to have my work just strewn all over the internet, especially without even giving me credit. I would actually like to sell my work rather than see other people selling it without my permission or giving me credit. 

Thanks - that sounds like a good idea. I have some prints of my work because of some exhibitions but I have to get more printed. Thank you so much - I'll have to look into that.

That sounds like it was pretty exciting! Yeah, I'm guessing it's going to take some effort but I'm willing to put in the time. The ironic part of this is that I didn't think my work was quite ready or good enough but given the amount of theft I've experienced, I guess it's time to take the plunge. This terrible experience is just pushing me to do what I really need to do. 

Thanks so much for your suggestions and interest Joe!

EmMaciasArt Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you found that website. And I'm glad some of these websites are at the least giving you credit somewhere on the page where your photo is displayed. But I do still agree that they should ask permission first... or at least notify you that they want to use your image.
Metal-Bender Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014   Photographer
Well, it's kind of sketchy, they give me credit but it looks like you can download wallpapers of my work. There is so much of my work that is being used without my permission it's shocking. I almost wish I didn't know about it. It makes me sick to my stomach. I've sent an email to that volunteer group asking advice as to what I can do. I'm nervous about filing a copyright claim without the help of a lawyer. If you get anything wrong, the offenders can sue you for a lot of money. I'm so fed up I'm thinking about disappearing altogether from the internet.
tntrekabulator Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Professional Photographer
nothing is more infectious than an idea :)
Metal-Bender Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014   Photographer
Very true.
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