Well, more art theft of my work. A restaurant in a foreign country has decided to use my photo to promote their restaurant on a travel site.
**Update: The restaurant changed the photo and isn't using my photo - small victory!**
They cropped off my watermark. I sent an email demanding that my photo be removed immediately. I'm really sick of this rubbish.
This is the photo:
Another theft where my photo is being offered as a poster:
This is the photo:
Yet another stolen photo - I am really pissed off. This one the guy replaced my signature with his own and is bragging about my work as if it was his own.
He even renamed it 'Decay and Despair' What a pathetic loser.
Oh, and another jerk has used it and put text on it. At least he left my signature on it. Yet another theft from a member of VK!! It is being used for promotion by a band called 'Never Believe Twice' I wonder how they would feel if someone stole their music. I just found them using it to promote their concert tour on another VK page as well. They're also offering a full download.
**UPDATE 8/26/14: I sent an email to Chilling Effects and they responded with sympathy and advice:**
Dear Ms. Reynolds.
Thank you for your letter.
Our sympathies for the difficult situation in which you find yourself.
Unfortunately, Chilling Effects is not really in a position to assist you.
We an independent 3rd party research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content. Our goals are to conduct and facilitate research on the notices, to educate the public about the different kinds of cease and desist letters--both legitimate and questionable--that are being sent to Internet publishers, and to provide as much transparency as possible about the “ecology” of such notices, in terms of who is sending them and why, and to what effect.
We collect as many letters as possible to help the public understand the types of letters that are being sent and what searches are affected by them.
Chilling Effects is not the sender or recipient of these notices, and is not responsible in any way for either removing or restoring on-line content from the web or search engine listings, or for "blocking" or restoring access to sites.
Our initial suggestion would be to use the reporting services of Google and other search engines to minimize the visibility of the copied material.Cf. support.google.com/legal/troub…;
the Chilling Effects Team
I'm sorry to hear this, and can totally empathize. . . Travel sites are probably the biggest offenders, along with bloggers, people (no longer just kids) "decorating" their social media pages, and unfortunately, unethical small businesses. Oddly, in each instance where I learned of the theft, it was a dA friend who spotted my image elsewhere online and wrote to let me know.
If we are going to keep dA as a safe, thriving art community, we have to look out for each other. . .
Please don't leave. . . At least not yet. . .
You're a professional. I think of my own level of anger and frustration, and then I realize that I cannot even begin to comprehend your level of anger and frustration over this whole phenomenon. While I think that the Admins spend far too much time refereeing battles over who stole who's "selfies," I understand that they can't be everywhere at once. Perhaps the metaphor has become a bit hackneyed, but it is pretty much a game of online community-policing "whack-a-mole." I'm certain that there are people out there with 5-10 accounts that they use for all sorts of nefarious purposes. I don't have my Visitor list visible, but I watch it every day. On any given day, at least 33% of my "visible" Visitors have what I consider to be "shell" or "troll" accounts. You've seen plenty of them: "Deviant for 5 Years," "0 Deviations," "0 Journals. . ." I doubt that there's much that can be done about that.
One other problem is that dA users can just randomly choose their "nation" of residence. That had never even occurred to me until I asked someone who was "from" Cote d'Ivoire what life was like there (I've never met anyone from there). She laughingly replied that she just randomly chose that country, because she thought it was "fun." There really should be a way of constricting that that problem during registration. That was an adult human being, who was basically clueless, but harmless. Imagine what evil minds can do. If this were just all kids being kids that would be one thing, but it's not. . .
I try not to think about this every day, because I don't want to become one of those people who eventually fears leaving the house. But with stupid problems like these there comes a point where enough is enough. . .
Let me know what you're thinking before you make any final decisions. . .
P. S. I'm following Catherine's Journal like you are. So we'll see where this goes.
Thanks - I really didn't view myself as such, but given the amount of theft, I guess I am - ha! I was in some sort of delusional bubble and didn't realize how things really are. Yeah, there's a lot of silly nonsense on DA for sure - I've been here almost 7 years. I know that but even when they're presented with a horrible situation, they drag their feet. A poor older lady was being harassed and verbally (in writing) abused by some troll and she and many others reported him. The DA admins took forever to get rid of this guy. Some of the kids on DA started to harass him as they knew who he was - he had more than one account. Eventually he was kicked off, but it took a very long time.
Yeah, I see them too and it makes me uncomfortable - I always figure that they're looking to steal things. I just had no idea the extent of it. For sure.
Wow, I wouldn't think someone would falsely claim a real place - some people jokingly say the moon or whatever, but it's obviously a joke. There are all sorts of people on DA. Well, yeah, it can kill creativity and spoil things if you focus too much on it. I guess I'm getting over my shock and have decided to methodically attend to whatever I can do for a little bit every day until I'm satisfied that I tried my best. I'm not going to be someone who just complains and does nothing. I think if everyone made at least some effort to fight back, not full time, just a bit here and there, it could make a difference. If these thieves figure that they could meet some resistance, they might think twice. For sure, I probably won't post for a while but I'm not leaving in a hurry either. I'm just trying to process all of this.
I'm following it too - she has some very good ideas. I hope some good can come out of this.
"Application Offline for Maintenance
This application is undergoing maintenance right now. Please check back later."
One small victory, perhaps, but this is ongoing and frustrating for many of us as well. I'm not sure what the solution is, as heavy watermarks just ruin our art. Maybe some sort of embedded electronic watermark, something not so easily cropped away?
I might suggest lowering the rez quality of the work you post. I know having to compromise your expression goes against every fiber in your artistic bones but there really is no defense. All this does is basically keep the honest, honest. There are thieves everywhere, not only stealing images but also intellectual property and passing it off as their own. These people are a sad lot...wannabe's who crave "love" so badly that the only way they can feed that habit is by stealing from others. I've come across many of these people here on DA...some I had even considered "friends". But they turned out to be nothing but pond scum trolls.
The one positive is that our work is deemed by some good enough to steal. There is no way to "police" the small time thieves unless one wants to spend all their free time tracking them down. I'm waiting to see one of my images used for one of the big boys, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, The Rolling Stones, etc. Oh man that will be a big payoff and a great lesson to be taught.
I would pursue the band that is using your work though. They must be making some money...hopefully enough to pay you for damages and unauthorised use of your art.
I'm going to use several things - it won't stop them but it might slow them down. Art thieves are relentless and pathetic vermin. Yeah, that's kind of interesting - guess my work is a hot ticket, especially in Eastern Europe. It's actually possible to embarrass the big boys so they will do the right thing in order not to lose face. The restaurant on the travel site took my photo down and replaced it with what looks like where they actually are - small victory! I haven't heard back from the band but they're on FB so they can be embarrassed - I'm going to send them a bill via FB!
I did hear back from Chilling Effects - they only catalog and track complaints but don't actually deal with them. They did offer some interesting advice which I'm going to check out. I posted their response in an update at the end of my rant journal. You might want to take a look at some of their suggestions.
Yeah pretty much what DA says too...nothing they can (or will) do but they also suggest going after the site providers. Well at least Chilling Effects is doing far more than DA is doing about this problem. Christ DA hand's out DD's for theft
That's a possibility as well. For sure - some helpful advice at any rate. Yes they do and apparently a lot of people on DA are willing to overlook art thieves and liars as long as they're charming and full of compliments. I really have no tolerance for that sort, especially now.
I hope you don't leave "the net". I really do enjoy seeing your exceptional photography but I'd understand perfectly if you did.
I think a lower rez file and perhaps, like I do, a screenshot and an ugly "frame" may deter some to leave your stuff alone except for viewing and hopefully buying.
I'm undecided about that. I might end up having my own website for my work where I have a little more control. I'm considering all of that and some creative watermarks too. I really like DA but maybe it's time for me to go. I've been here almost 7 years.
Aww...your leaving is a sad thought. And worse yet is to want to leave due to no fault of your own. It's just not fair. I've been thinking of leaving too and I'm only here for five years but my reasons have nothing to do with being forced away.
I think your own website is a must for you. Some of them you can monitor the IP addresses of who visits if your site is set up as a server. Your work, sincerely, warrants it. I am also surprised that your work isn't being exhibited in galleries in New York. You really need to purse that natural course too because your work is fine enough to be shown.
Well, I'm so disgusted by all of this. I used to think posting work was fun and now the thought of it makes me cringe. Well, life isn't fair I guess. I've been thinking of leaving for a while anyway and this has just pushed me even further.
I do too. At least I'll have a little control over my stuff and it's probably time to stop playing and get serious. The way things are run here on DA doesn't seem to support real artists. Thank you so much - I haven't really pursued that route much but am now going to give it a try. I didn't think my work was good enough yet, but ironically this stupid situation kind of shows me that it is. Thank you again.
now what are the options? it's mentioned in these comments that you can always keep your camera data on an original file and upload either a screenshot or a format that doesn't contain EXIF data. this will take care of things in a court of law, but you could always upload small sizes too, this will take care of others printing and selling them, but no effects on those seeking attention, etc.
but there's a better solution (I think) you can always move to a website which unlike this Open-For-Robbery-Green-Thing doesn't offer right click and "Save Image As..." which means anyone who wants to steal your works ends up taking a screenshot of your work, which are not very good in quality. (this option has flaws too, depends on how secure the website is)
but all in all, there's no running from it!
For sure - I've been thinking having a closed website that doesn't allow for sharing and downloads would be a good idea. I love the social aspects of sites like DA but it really isn't helping with the fast and loose attitude towards art theft.
but all these things may save from 1 in every hundred (maybe) best thing to do is really, small sizes without the camera info and watermark.
that's actually the extent what can be done about this.
(You got me to look and I found one of my paintings on a oriental sight with my signature removed and prints for sale, although it's all in their language. I can't wait to show my daughter-in-law who is from China to see if she can read it and let me know what's going on.)