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What To Do About CC License Violations?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the put-your-feet-in-these-stirrups dept.

Advertising 437

An anonymous reader writes "In the past, I've seen my pictures used by big commercial companies despite the Creative Commons license that clearly limits them to non-commercial use. I just let it slide because a friend who's a lawyer says that all I can do is sue. They've ignored emails and comments. Today, I saw two other examples that show this is pretty rampant. These big commercial corporations are some of the most tech savvy publications around, but they just grabbed the image. One, BoingBoing, even reprinted the 'non-commercial' clause, warning others to stay away. But they've got their ads from Cheerios, HP and Mazda running alongside. Does anyone care that we've gone to all this trouble to create new, more flexible licenses? Does it even matter when very smart people just flip the bird to the license? Is the only alternative to sue? I wouldn't mind asking for $150k and settling for $1 for each copy made, but that seems a bit crazy. I hate to type out DMCA notices but their attitude is that only uncool people complain about this and I should be happy about the publicity. Then they can be happy about not sharing their ad revenue with artists or photographers. What can I do?" Update: 08/30 18:39 GMT by T : (Very belated; mea culpa.) Cory Doctorow writes: "The anonymous submitter is not the creator of the photo. The creator of that photo is Jennifer Trant, a friend and colleague of mine who has no trouble with my use of her photo. I have just gotten off the phone with her and confirmed that she did not submit the story and also that she is happy to have this photo on Boing Boing." The photo has since been added back to BoingBoing.

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437 comments

Send them a bill (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059064)

Invoice them. If they don't pay, sue them.

Re:Send them a bill (5, Insightful)

Fwipp (1473271) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059114)

They would sue you in a heartbeat if they thought they could make a dollar from it. Don't let them get away with hypocrisy.

DMCA? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059086)

This sounds like one of those situations where a DMCA takedown would work...

Wired, having y'know, actual printed copies and stuff, could probably be intimidated into an actual settlement more easily...

Re:DMCA? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059116)

Wow did you even read the summary?

I hate to type out DMCA notices but their attitude is that only uncool people complain about this and I should be happy about the publicity. Then they can be happy about not sharing their ad revenue with artists or photographers.

Real helpful fuzzyfuzzyfungus ...

Re:DMCA? (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059190)

He said that he hates to do it. I said that it would likely work. There is no implied contradiction here.

Receiving the news that what you hate to do is what the situation likely requires is not fun; but it can be informative...

Re:DMCA? (3, Informative)

butlerm (3112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059218)

"Wow did you even read the summary?"

In other words, the original poster wants to do something about a problem he is not willing to do something relatively easy about, unfortunately.

Re:DMCA? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059264)

Yeah, start filing takedown notices.

It's a frickin' license. It's a legal agreement they're violating.
Offer settlements, if they decline, file DMCA takedown notices and start a blog shaming them. (With appropriate screenshots.)

If that still doesn't help, get a lawyer.

Always remember: If they have no reason to pay you, they're not gonna pay you. It's as simple as that. You invested work into those pictures and you're entitled to payment if they're being used commercially. Since they don't play fair, you'll have to force them to play fair.
If all else fails, just harass the shit out of them. Constant calls, blackfaxing, etc. As soon as they figure out not paying you would cost them more than paying you, they'll be much more cooperative.
(Remember to send them bills for the time you wasted getting them to comply with the license.)

Why ask? (5, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059088)

Why ask about it on Slashdot? We'll all say information wants to be free and we don't believe in imaginary property. Oh, wait, you said big corporations are ripping off your stuff? OFF WITH THEIR HEADS1!!11!!1!

Re:Why ask? (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059148)

Information doesn't want to be free.
Some people want other people's information to be free, but that's about as far as it goes.

Re:Why ask? (3, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059414)

This is not so much "My information shouldn't be free" but "stop using my works for profit when the license explicitly says for non-commercial use."

Re:Why ask? (-1, Flamebait)

kz45 (175825) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059602)

"This is not so much "My information shouldn't be free" but "stop using my works for profit when the license explicitly says for non-commercial use.""

which is only saying that you refuse to follow a license you don't believe in, yet expect others to follow one that you do. Because of all the pro-piracy comments that come up on a weekly basis here, it makes me happy when a company violates an open source license.

It's giving you a taste of your own medicine.

Re:Why ask? (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059462)

Information doesn't want to be free. Some people want other people's information to be free, but that's about as far as it goes.

I found the original quote in its entirety to be a lot better at describing our trade off [wikipedia.org] :

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.

It became some sort of rallying cry for some folks about some ideals. But if you really think about it, personifying information is quite idiotic. Information doesn't want to be free. It can't want anything. If there were no humans around information wouldn't do a whole lot. Certain kinds of information like DNA seem to have some unknown motive and mechanization to persist and mutate but the way we view information (as a product of other humans) is something that we want to be free and that we don't want to have to pay for. And really, the producers of the information want it to be expensive. They want their reward back for their work. And the consumers are still wanting it to be free. So the speech did an interesting job of boiling it down into one thing -- one thing that has both these very strong forces pulling on it. But then you have the legal system of most nations pulling it to be more expensive and litigious while at the same time technology pulls it paradoxically the other way. It's a capital tug of war game with the rope of information and when you say "information wants to be free" you're only talking about one side of the rope.

Re:Why ask? (2, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059300)

big corp or indy web developer, if his stuff is getting ripped off, sue sue sue if they won't be polite.

Re:Why ask? (2, Funny)

Brootal (571331) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059322)

Saying, "Information wants to be free" is no different than saying, "Your laptop wants me to hit you over the head and take it from you."

Re:Why ask? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059470)

This is not a question for slashdot. This is a question for a lawyer. If you don't trust what your lawyer friend said, you should find another lawyer and ask them. You will *NOT* find legitimate legal advice on slashdot.

Re:Why ask? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059512)

There is a big difference between copying others stuff as an aid to making a profit like the corporations the poster is talking about has done and a person copying something without the interest of making a profit off it.

You just kinda lumped in the guy who downloaded the last episode of his favorite TV show he missed right with the guy who copies thousands of movies and music to sell on the black market and the corporations who copy with impunity cause they can get away with it like that movie where the guy invented the intermittent windshield wiper and GM stole it into the same group which is FAR from the same thing.

Re:Why ask? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059610)

And don't forget all the semantic games about how when infringing copyrights by downloading movies, music, software, books, etc for free it isn't "stealing" but if you even so much as use one line of GPL code in a proprietary application (inadvertent or otherwise) and you are burned at the stake as a "code thief". Slashdot hypocrisy is so deliciously hilarious.

According to Boing Boing (1)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059092)

Information wants to be free - stick it to the man - hey thanks for the content, sucker.

I'll be keeping my information to myself now - thx CC and blogs run by "Xeni" - a name that just oozes trust and professionalism.

(says a slashdot poster with the name jewishbaconzombies)

If you really care, sue (3, Insightful)

Joe Mucchiello (1030) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059096)

If you don't sue, who will? Perhaps the EFF can help.

Re:If you really care, sue (3, Insightful)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059236)

If you don't pay the lawyers, who will? Perhaps EFF can pay the lawyers.

There fixed that for you.

The sad truth is that like any other agreement or contract, it is only worth as much as you are willing to pay your lawyer.

Re:If you really care, sue (2, Interesting)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059650)

Were you being facetious? The EFF are the lawyers - when you make a donation to them, you're helping to pay for litigation for people who may not otherwise be able to afford lawyers. Check out some of the legal battles they've won here [eff.org] , and consider making a donation.

Re:If you really care, sue (4, Informative)

kubitus (927806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059496)

In Germany the authors of artistic images created an organisation defending their rights.

They bill the companies - and if they do not part with their brass, sue.

http://www.bildkunst.de/ [bildkunst.de]

maybe there is a similar org where you live?

Here's what you do (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059102)

1. Send a DMCA notice.
2. They take it down, you DON'T sue, you DON'T get any money
3. Case closed.

or
1. Send a DMCA notice.
2. They don't take it down.
3. Sue.
4. Lose money on legal fees
5. They take it down. You still don't get any money.

DONT EXPECT MONEY!

only 1 option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059112)

sue! it's the American way!

Sue them. (1)

panda (10044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059130)

Your lawyer is right. All you can do is sue them.

Your other option is just don't put stuff up on the web if you don't want people/corporations ripping it off. They will, you know.

Re: What can I do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059134)

Sue. The only remedy that is available in a civil society is to sue. Use statutory damages for the amount.

What other solution do you think there would be?

Shoe's on the other foot (2, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059138)

So in the examples listed, are the authors making any money off the image...? If so, no harm done right? Because when software/movies/music/etc. are pirated for non-financial gain, it's no big deal. At least that's what I've heard on /.

Re:Shoe's on the other foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059356)

In practice, there's simply no way of knowing if "non financial gain" has an underlying corporate motive, to either perhaps make oneself appear more prolific, and so possibly more attractive to investors, or whether to attempt to "suffocate" the legitimate commercial providers of the work so as to eliminate unwanted competition.

CC Non-commercial license (4, Insightful)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059404)

The summary states plain as day that the non-commercial CC license was used, so if the offenders weren't using his material in the furtherance of making a buck he wouldn't have a problem.

Re:CC Non-commercial license (2, Interesting)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059586)

Do you really think these particular images were chosen over others to generate revenue? Or do they just happen to be images picked to go along with the theme of the articles (which is indeed the case)? You guys are confusing the fact that these images happen to be placed on sites that earn revenue with the images themselves being responsible for said revenue.

Re:Shoe's on the other foot (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059508)

You're reading it backwards.

In the argument that you've "heard on /.", the pirates downloading software/movies/music aren't making money.
In this case, the pirates (the companies) are.

You're mixing the financial gain of the author with the pirates'.

So no, the argument isn't contradictory.

Re:Shoe's on the other foot (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059550)

Are you trying to say that the use of these images was directly generating revenue for the companies in question? I doubt anyone actively sought out these articles for the pictures. More like readers came to the site to read an article that happened to have some picture on it.

Re:Shoe's on the other foot (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059568)

Put another way, do you think that a different choice of image would've generated more or less revenue than these particular images would have? Sorry, I really don't see any appreciable amount of "financial gain" associated with these images.

Re:Shoe's on the other foot (1)

aitikin (909209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059620)

In this case, the pirates (the companies) are.

You're mixing the financial gain of the author with the pirates'.

So no, the argument isn't contradictory.

But it is one hell of a thin line right there. Also, I'm fairly certain that I've heard the GP's aforementioned argument here on /. from at least one or two people.

The big difference here is, that financial gain that the author is missing out goes nearly directly to him, whereas with music the financial gain that the artist is missing out is less than 10% of revenue, more than likely less than that even.

Either way, people are violating licenses, it's just that with CC licenses, what is allowed and isn't allowed is pretty clear as day. There's none of this arguing over what is and isn't "Fair Use".

Re:Shoe's on the other foot (1)

novafluxx (1089189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059630)

I like your tone. I think he should contact their legal department if he has not done so already. He mentioned sending emails, but to who? The editor? That kind of correspondence needs to go to legal. Inform them of the legalities and if they give you hell. Don't threaten a law suit, just thank them for their time. Then contact an attorney and let it rip.

Very annoying (2, Interesting)

valeo.de (1853046) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059156)

I've had similar things happen with my own works that I've licensed under either the CC or similar media-suited licenses. It's very annoying. Even worse, it's always the big companies that could actually afford a to pay for whatever rights necessary that dont, in my experience. Very sloppy business practices...

But what can you do? You have a choice: protect your rights (while you still have them!), ot let corporations take the piss. Pretty simple, really.

Re:Very annoying (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059384)

Even worse, it's always the big companies that could actually afford a to pay for whatever rights necessary that dont, in my experience. Very sloppy business practices...

Obviously. You don't get to be the biggest company around by playing fair.

Reprint It (3, Interesting)

Courageous (228506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059158)

Regarding the one vendor telling people to stay away from YOUR image, put up a copy on a website, and then taunt them with it. Make them sue you. Your response in Court should be most interesting. :-)

Re:Reprint It (1)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059222)

I like where this is going.

boingboingstealsmyshit.com could be a fun meme-of-the-week blog (with your content front and center)

Then submit it to boing boing.

Re:Reprint It (4, Interesting)

harrkev (623093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059364)

I am not sure that I understand. Boingboing used his image in a blog post. He is upset because there is an advertisement next to it? Or his he just mad because Boingboing is using the image in the first place?

To me, if a corporation wants to use the image IN an advertisement, then it is time to get upset. Until then, no big deal. If I had some CC-licensed images, I would feel honored if Boingboing used one. Then again, I am a little bit of a Boingboing fan.

Re:Reprint It (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059450)

He thinks that the Boing Boing blog constitutes commercial activity.

(I can see where he is coming from given that they have advertising and pay the posters)

Re:Reprint It (2, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059552)

I think he's thinking that BoingBoing is getting money with their posts (through advertisement), hence it's a commercial activity - and it makes sense. The BoingBoing poster obviously doesn't see their activities as commercial, which is odd.

Re:Reprint It (4, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059316)

The "vendor" (it's a blog) isn't telling people to stay away from it, it's literally linked back to that dude's photostream and describes the license which means the vendor thinks they're following the license and doesn't think their blog is commercial use despite the ads. And he probably hasn't gotten a response back from the guy because he emailed him about a blog post that is titled Gone Fishin because the dude literally fucking left to go camping in the woods and included a photo of a hammock. Give me a break.

Re:Reprint It (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059518)

Yeah, I don't even see any ads on the BB page. I'm not sure how you can really claim it's a commercial entity. Looks to me like he did everything he should have.

Re:Reprint It (5, Funny)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059566)

Wow, okay, I'm an idiot. Ever do that thing where you genuinely forget you're running adblock?

Use... (2, Funny)

ringmaster1982 (1817772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059160)

...hired goons. Nothing says loving like a hired goon visit.

Re:Use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059490)

Forget hired goons. Use shaved gorillas instead.

You sue (1)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059168)

Suing's all you've got, it's all big corporations will pay attention to. They just shrug off DMCA notices, because a DMCA notice is a piece of paper until it becomes a lawsuit. If you're not willing to suck it up and do it, then you shouldn't be surprised when they walk all over you. When people learn that actions have no consequences, they tend to repeat them.

On the bright side, there have been successful suits brought against CC violators.

put logos on everything (3, Interesting)

sqldr (838964) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059182)

if someone wants the non-logo version, they have to contact you directly and demonstrate that they've read the license.

Re:put logos on everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059600)

One thing creative commons does is make it so I don't have to contact every artist every time you want to use their work for anything. So, that's no good if uglified versions are all that's available.

Also, your popularity will suffer, since there are only uglified versions available for browsing/viewing.

Re:put logos on everything (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059612)

Logos suck: Logos, publicity URLs and copyright warnings don't appear to keep pr0n from being reposted all over the internet, though. If you put a single one of them on your commercial image, even amateurs in image boards like 4chan can crop them out in seconds. It's worse when you're posting without commercial interests or lawyer power, like the story submitter, and find that someone rudely took their work without attribution.

What you need are alpha-blend watermarks running diagonally over the image, preferably corner through corner, or in 2 or three three different diag lines. That certainly kills all attempts to copy them, but also remove people's interest in seeing / licensing and paying for the real one. Google's Streetview or Google Earth (or both) watermark their snapshots so that everyone knows where to get to the source. Watermarks are not being copied or used much.

Does anyone know of freely available batch-file watermarking software?

Re:put logos on everything (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059656)

if someone wants the non-logo version, they have to contact you directly and demonstrate that they've read the license.

Well, then they'd just rip off someone else's stuff.

Send them an invoice (2, Interesting)

Erich (151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059184)

You could send them an invoice for the use of your work.

Re:Send them an invoice (1)

WarriorBob (1865438) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059304)

Does this actually work? I don't have any real experience but this always seemed to me like something that wouldn't fly because the price was never agreed on.

Re:Send them an invoice (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059468)

You should try out that theory in practice. Go to a restaurant and order a drink, then refuse to pay because you never agreed on a price.

Re:Send them an invoice (1)

CoolCash (528004) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059580)

Actually they do post the price on a menu, either when you walk in or they give you one when you sit down.

Re:Send them an invoice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059522)

The price was never agreed on because they took the work without permission. It is like a store manager catching a shoplifter, but giving the thief the option to pay for the item, without getting the police involved. It could be a win-win, no one have to pay their lawyers.

Re:Send them an invoice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059358)

That's the one. Just invoice them for a standard license, give them 30 days, issue a statement and follow up with their accounts department, follow up at 60 days and tell them you'll be taking the issue to small claims court.

If they already published, they'll probably just pay the invoice (so long as it's reasonable).

If you're not going to defend a license... (1, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059192)

don't bother using it? IANAL, but isn't that how stuff like trademarks work? If you don't defend it, you're giving away the right to use it?

Re:If you're not going to defend a license... (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059276)

In general, people that use Creative Commons licenses are trying not to live in the Everybody's-a-Dick-iverse.

Re:If you're not going to defend a license... (5, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059382)

You're missing the point. It's not about "being nice"; if you were really being nice you'd just release it into the public domain. If you're not willing to enforce the terms of a license, then it's the same as not using one. You can moan, "But I'm using Creative Commons!" all you want, but unless you sue, from the corporation's perspective it's the same as if the material had been public domain, since they're not seeing any consequences. Submitter is trying to have it both ways, all of the protections of copyright/licenses with none of the effort. It doesn't work that way.

Re:If you're not going to defend a license... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059488)

Am I missing the point? Do I have a rosy Creative Commons glow in my eyes?

Re:If you're not going to defend a license... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059334)

Yeah, you sure fall under the clause of "not a lawyer". Seriously, trademarks and copyright have NOTHING in common. Well, maybe except that they are both laws and written down somewhere.

Re:If you're not going to defend a license... (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059596)

NOTHING at all in common...except for the GP's ONLY point which was that they are in general only enforced by the owning party so if you don't defend them there's little reason to have them (unless you want to keep other people from taking/defending them). They are also both intellectual property and there is a host of other similarities but let's not let the broad picture truth distract us from bashing someone for some legal differences that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Re:If you're not going to defend a license... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059658)

Understood, but I still think it is a valid question. Why bother licensing the work if you are not going to defend that license. The poster clearly is upset that his work is being used without permission. Either take action, or don't bother with the license.

Re:If you're not going to defend a license... (4, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059340)

IANAL, but isn't that how stuff like trademarks work?

Trademarks work that way, but copyright doesn't.

as a photographer that's been screwed over (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059216)

I'd say you are fool for releasing anything on creative commons.

suck it up, don't do it again, and place a watermark in the middle of your shots.

Get it recognized as a Class Action Suit. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059220)

Then your suit will have much more weight and impact as all others can join the class, or something like that?

Is BoingBoing's use "Commercial"? (3, Interesting)

Broofa (541944) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059230)

From section 4b of the Non-Commercial CC [creativecommons.org] license:

You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing or otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided there is no payment of any monetary compensation in connection with the exchange of copyrighted works.

It's up for debate as to whether or not BoingBoing is receiving "monetary compensation" for "exchanging" your work. Yes, it's next to ads, which they're being paid to display. But they're not being paid to display your image. At least, not directly.

Re:Is BoingBoing's use "Commercial"? (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059422)

What happens if you run a site that does _nothing_ but post CC images in a slide-show fashion along side advertisements?

Maybe that shows direct profit from the images?

What if they type a one paragraph "article" or "review" once a month or so and put that on some sub page, along with CC images and ads?

What if they put that "article" or "review" on the main page, along with CC images and ads?

Where is the line?

In my opinion, if you're being paid merely for having your site (through advertisement agreements), anything on that site is now for personal and/or commercial gain. The whole idea is to entice users to come, increasing advertising profits. Anything on that site is meant to draw in users. It's a direct correlation, the way I see it.

Only Uncool People Complain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059248)

How did they convey that impression to you? They can read the license. They can easily purchase stock imagery to use or find imagery that allows commercial use. If they're blowing off your e-mails, perhaps they won't blow off a letter from a lawyer. You explicitly went out of your way to choose a license that prohibits commercial use, and now they're exploiting your work. Sue 'em (presumably you'd settle out of court). Wired and BoingBoing should both know better. If they wanted a license for commercial use, they could have contacted you, and maybe you'd have even given it to them for free, but they didn't.

Boing Boing (2, Interesting)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059270)

Boing Boing releases all of their stuff under CC NC SA, so you may not have a case there. IANAL, but that's probably the last one you'd want to take on over other companies.

That doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059510)

Boing Boing releases their stuff using a license that would prevent others from picking it all up on a different web site and selling ads. This doesn't give them the right to use others' work in a way that conflicts with the license (other than fair use, which might allow for a thumbnail link). I think that this license violation on their part was inadvertent, the author of the web page thought he was filing his personal "I'm on vacation" announcement and forgot about the ads. In the case of BoingBoing I would politely ask them to take it down, and to respect that "noncommercial" means "don't attach ads to this". The copyright holder can still decide to grant permission if asked politely.

Forgive my ignorance... (2, Interesting)

TDyl (862130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059280)

but would it not be possible to post lo-res versions with CC license information and a link to you to request higher-res copies for use within the commercial work, or does that go against the point of posting hi-res with CC in the first place?

SUE (1)

jchawk (127686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059288)

You have a couple of options.

1. Stop posting your photos on the Internet.
2. Do nothing and accept the exposure.
3. You can sue.

Like it or not but the legal system is probably the answer. Try to find a firm that will take on the case for free in exchange for a larger share of the profits. If you can't find a firm to take it on then reality is your work probably isn't worth any real money anyways so you should probably just accept the exposure and move on.

Or like I said earlier just stop posting your photos on the Internet.

--

Life's tough get a helmet.

Re:SUE (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059406)

There's an intermediate step: send them a DMCA takedown notice. If they defy it, then you have to decide whether you want to sue.

find a lawyer who'll work on spec (1)

Lserevi (1270986) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059292)

Find a lawyer who will work in the hopes of getting a portion of the settlement. That way, the cost to you will be minimal.

Wrong place for this... (1, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059302)

This is slashdot. All digital content "wants" to be free. Just as /.ers should haven't to pay for music, movies or audiobooks, neither should corporations.

DIY (5, Informative)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059310)

File against them in small claims court for the maximum allowed. They will probably not bother to show, so you will win. With a judgement, you have legal permission to do all kinds of creative nastiness to them. Garnishing wages, filing liens against their property, even having a sheriff by your side as you take some of their property to fulfill the judgement.

I am obviously not a lawyer, and the details will vary with jurisdiction.

That's a rude way to start (1, Insightful)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059542)

Begin by sending a polite request to remove the content that is being used without permission.

Two Questions (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059312)

1) How do you find violations? Did you just happen to stumble across it, or does your host provide the means to detect when it's being hotlinked? Is it from all the visitors clicking on the link that makes the activity on that image go up?

2) if you don't mind a little hassle, you could just only publish a low res image and have people request the higher quality image? You could then police the proper usages of the image, but I suppose it won't stop the people using the low res image anyways, such as the blogs in your example.

The EFF should (1)

anticlone (1245294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059318)

The EFF should use these examples and any others that can be gathered as ammunition as to why copyright holder lawsuits against individuals are invalid since they abuse the copyrighted works of individuals. (US law says those are copyrighted at the moment of creation regardless of any CC terms or not...)

Fair Use (1)

prestonmcafee (923223) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059332)

Boing-boing probably isn't violating your copyright. If they have used a compressed, low quality version of the photo and are using it for commentary, it would fall under fair use.

Send them an invoice... (4, Insightful)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059352)

The obvious thing would be to send them an invoice for a commercial license to your asset. Odds are, accounting will be more than happy to process it. No need to sue, or threaten to... Hell, you might just snag yourself a customer, if you are not careful for other assets too.

Re:Send them an invoice... (2, Informative)

PurpleCarrot (892888) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059410)

Bingo. It worked for me when I had to deal with the same issue for a magazine in the UK which printed a photo of mine without permission.

You'd think ... (2, Interesting)

Keyslapper (852034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059392)

Of all people, Cory Doctorow would know if he had violated the CC ...

I bet the author also has a crapload of MP3's.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059394)

I bet the author also has a crapload of MP3's that they ripped or downloaded and yet can't see the similarities.

Doctorow (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059458)

The Boing Boing "article" you linked to was written by Cory Doctorow himself. There are probably easier ways to contact him than through Boing Boing... Of course, that wouldn't solve the problem. Perhaps Boing Boing's editor needs a lesson about CC actually being a form of copyright? But, to be fair, given the content of that article (or rather the lack of it), I doubt they would have paid to have an image there in the first place -- it would have been either no image at all, or a CC image with a less restrictive license.

Re:Doctorow (1)

dawich (945673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059536)

There's the fact that the photo in question is of a hammock which is described as "Cory's Hammock" in the photoset. It's possible Cory believes that a) it's non-commercial, and b) it's his owned damned hammock, so it's cool.

Re:Doctorow (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059648)

But, to be fair, given the content of that article (or rather the lack of it), I doubt they would have paid to have an image there in the first place -- it would have been either no image at all, or a CC image with a less restrictive license.

Then if you aren't willing to meet the terms of using the work you don't use it. It's entirely irrelevant whether you would have paid for it or not.

Watermark your stuff (2, Interesting)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059494)

Have them contact you if they want the non-watermarked version, which will, if your stuff is as good as you make it out to be, be undoubetdly lower quality. As their quality slips, so does their ad-revinue. They should eventually turn back to their cash-cow. Best way to deal with this horseshit is to nip it in the bud. At least in a perfect world.

Re:Watermark your stuff (1)

_0rm_ (1638559) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059570)

Forgot my IANAL

EFF!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059498)

http://www.eff.org/about/contact

Don't sue. Just press charges. (1, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059502)

Copyright infringement is, you know, an actual crime with legal penalties above and beyond what might be collected by someone who sues them for it.

Press charges against them for infringing on your copyright. You can trivially show that they did not have permission to copy your work by pointing out the self-evident fact that they had not adhered to the limitations you imposed on people to retain any permission to copy the work.

It seems like it's a personal issue... (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059534)

There are many sayings from many places, and I find that most of them don't work, or are just outdated. So I won't bore you with those. But the best thing you can do *now* is to look after yourself.

1) You've done your job in taking the photos and protecting your work.
2) You've noticed and are considering actions

3) You must take action to protect your work and receive fair payment for it.


So do yourself and others a favor and stand up for the little guy. If you don't, and no one else does, then that's how it'll always be.

Personally.... (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059572)

I don't mind as long as they do not alter the images & site the source, using them on a site that's driven by ad revenue doesn't bother me, what does bother me is if someone claims my work as their own, or if they (try to) sell it, but that's just me i guess

I don't think you have a case (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33059606)

I scanned the text of the CC license in question for mentions of what "non-commercial" actually means, and this looks to be it:

You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.

I doubt using an image for editorial illustration can be said to be "primarily intended for commercial advantage". It sounds to me like the only thing this license really disallows is using your image in advertising. (IANAL)

man up (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059618)

torch something.

I've had a similar thing... (1)

Retron (577778) | more than 3 years ago | (#33059626)

...with some of the images I've uploaded to wikipedia - google duma_roll.jpg to see what I mean.

Thing is, I couldn't care less as anything that goes on the Web is going to get ripped off left, right and centre anyway. That's why I released my newer pictures as public domain, people are going to do whatever they want anyway...
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