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Are Flickr Images Abused By Foreign Businesses?

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the unknown-spokesperson dept.

Media 227

eldavojohn writes "My friend Drew was notified via Twitter that one of his Flickr images had been selected as poster child for freeloaders who abuse the benefits system in an Elsevier news story in the Netherlands. The original image clearly gives an CC BY-NC 2.0 license to the image which doesn't appear in the story — a story which generates revenue for Elsevier. My friend doesn't speak Dutch so he's a little confused about what, if anything, he can do in this situation. I'm reminded of a family's Christmas photo showing up on a billboard in Prague and I wonder if photo sharing sites are treated as free to abuse regardless of copyright by foreign businesses? Has anyone else heard of this sort of thing happening with images from social photo sharing sites?"

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How can you be a freeloader? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118484)

When information wants to be free?

Re:How can you be a freeloader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118508)

Exactly. You can't steal an image. This guy shouldn't have taken the picture if he didn't want it to be used.

Re:How can you be a freeloader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118610)

Exactly. You can't steal a sound. This guy shouldn't have made a song if he didn't want it to be listened to.
Exactly. You can't steal lines of code. This guy shouldn't have made a game if he didn't want it to be played.

I'm sure I could go on...

Re:How can you be a freeloader? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118544)

You must be new here. Information only wants to be free when I don't want to pay for it.

Re:How can you be a freeloader? (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118590)

I think the issue is that it's corporations that want you to have to pay for everything, but the same corporations don't seem to have any problem ripping somebody off for their work. It's one thing to pirate other people's work if you provide yours for free to all comers, but quite another if you're suing to enforce your rights while ripping off other parties.

Plus, a lot of those people saying that would pirate whether or not there was any moral justification for it.

Re:How can you be a freeloader? (4, Insightful)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118752)

It's one thing to pirate other people's work if you provide yours for free to all comers

Actually it's not okay to pirate anyone else's work, whether you provide yours for free or not.

Re:How can you be a freeloader? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118798)

It's one thing to pirate other people's work if you provide yours for free to all comers

Actually it's not okay to pirate anyone else's work, whether you provide yours for free or not.

He as making a point about hypocrisy you stupid nigger. Go moralize somewhere else about TEH EVILZ! of piracy.

Jes, plejeble mi pensas (1)

genjix (959457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118510)

Most likely they are. But the law doesn't serve us plebians. The law seeks to enforce the corporate order.

whatwhatwhat (1)

genjix (959457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118534)

I never understood why photographs can be copyrighted. If somebody takes a picture of me, then why do they own the picture?

I bet the famous Afghan girl [eworldpost.com] never saw any of those millions that the photographer did.

Re:whatwhatwhat (3)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118574)

Because you didn't do anything creative. The photographer is the one that's responsible for pretty much all of the creative work with regards to a photo. You can't copyright a performance of a play, but you can copyright the play itself. Photography is the same way, you can copyright the depiction, but not the seen.

And ultimately, the photographer is the one that decides what is and isn't going to happen in the photo.

Re:whatwhatwhat (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118626)

Because you didn't do anything creative. The photographer is the one that's responsible for pretty much all of the creative work with regards to a photo.

My life is an ongoing creative work. Any photograph of me is a derivative of that work.

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118658)

Because you didn't do anything creative. The photographer is the one that's responsible for pretty much all of the creative work with regards to a photo.

My life is an ongoing creative work. Any photograph of me is a derivative of that work.

By the way you've been drinking lately, honey, I'd say that your life is an ongoing destructive work.

-- your wife.

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118816)

You can't copyright performance art.

Re:whatwhatwhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119300)

My life is an ongoing creative work. Any photograph of me is a derivative of that work.

Are you Gilbert or George?

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118778)

Although the 'model' can't claim copyright, they do have (at least in the US) some say in how the photograph is distributed and how the model gets reimbursed. You are in a potential legal minefield if you publish a identifiable image of someone for commercial purposes without a model release. I'm not sure how it would play out for a photograph of a recognizable human with a public domain or creative commons license, but I presume that the issues are actually separate.

As usual, it's complicated [betterphoto.com] . The usual recommendation of obtaining competent legal advice certainly applies here.

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118808)

Right, but that's a different matter. The photographer always has the copyright unless it was done as a work for hire. It doesn't mean that he can publish the photo as the subject does get a say in whether or not the photo is shown or what is done with it.

It's gotten so bad in the film industry that you can't have anything which can be identified anywhere in the movie, even if you're shooting on location without the permission of the party owning the mark. Even if it is out of focus and not noticeable to most viewers. Which makes it damn hard for independent film companies without the large pockets to cover such expenses.

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118930)

"Because you didn't do anything creative. The photographer is the one that's responsible for pretty much all of the creative work with regards to a photo."

So supermodels should work for free too, since they don't talk, they don't dance, they didn't create the clothes nor did they do their own makeup.
They are getting all the money just for putting their index finger down their throat then.

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

arose (644256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119104)

So supermodels should work for free too, since they don't talk, they don't dance, they didn't create the clothes nor did they do their own makeup.

They are paid to do some very specific things (e.i. they are contract workers), that has nothing to do with what they don't do. It also has nothing to do with photography.

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

patjhal (1423249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119062)

Exactly which is why the photographer is the one who should be able to be sued if a picture is taken of you without expressed written consent. No implied oral consent allowed.

Re:whatwhatwhat (3, Insightful)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118582)

Maybe it would make sense if there were people willing to pay for pictures of you.

Re:whatwhatwhat (3, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118600)

They don't, at least not under some laws, like those of the United States. Someone needs to obtain a release if they are going to make money off of a picture of you (unless there's no way to recognize it as YOU).

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119072)

I most certainly can sell images of you without your permission if you are doing something newsworthy.

You still have your personality & privacy righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118620)

Copyright is separate from your personality rights. Regardless of the photographer's copyright on the composition & other artistic elements of the photo, he does not have free reign to do whatever with your image. That's why professional photographers will always use a model release form. On Wikimedia Commons there is warning in the upload form to this effect, and there is a templated warning that editors can add to an image description page to contend that an image may violate the subject's personality rights and therefore, regardless of the free license the photographer attaches vis-a-vis his copyright, it may yet NOT be free for use on Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia because the photographer cannot (without your permission) give away your rights in the image.

There are exceptions -- people caught in a photograph of a public place, e.g., are assumed to have given up some of their privacy rights by entering the public area in the first place. IANL.

Re:whatwhatwhat (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118640)

"I bet the famous Afghan girl never saw any of those millions that the photographer did."

You are mistaking journalistic photography for commercial photography. Steve McCurry took that photo for National Geographic. He probably makes pretty good money working there, but I can assure you it's not millions.

Re:whatwhatwhat (1)

Kizeh (71312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118670)

A photo that someone takes is automatically protected by copyright like other creative works are. The creator can decide to release it into the public domain, but there's no decision about copyright protection in the first place. People in the picture may have the right to be compensated for their likeness, and art work, architecture, costumes, makeup etc. in the picture may also be protected by copyright separately, requiring agreements between all the creative professionals for use of the combined work, so it's not as simple as saying the photographer can do whatever he or she wants and nobody else gets any rights.

Re:whatwhatwhat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118772)

If somebody takes a picture of me, then why do they own the picture?

Because you signed a model release [wikipedia.org] .

If you don't sign one of those, your ugly mug cannot be resold.

Re:whatwhatwhat (2)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118792)

The photographer may own the picture---

If you sign a model release then they're free to do whatever they want.

If they don't have a model release from you when they publish the picture of you, it's my understanding that you then have every right to get all lawsuit happy on their ass.

Re:whatwhatwhat (3)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118880)

I never understood why photographs can be copyrighted. If somebody takes a picture of me, then why do they own the picture?

I bet the famous Afghan girl [eworldpost.com] never saw any of those millions that the photographer did.

They did the creative work, however, without a model release from you they are limited in how they can use it commercially. As for the Afghan girl, NG reports:

Asked if Sharbat would benefit financially from her famous image, Matson said she was "being looked after." [nationalgeographic.com]

So we now know who the real "freeloaders" are... (1)

MaggieL (10193) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118540)

Elsevier.

Re:So we now know who the real "freeloaders" are.. (3, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119122)

BoingBoing does the same thing with Creative Commons photos all the fucking time, and nobody ever calls them on it. I guess it's because it's "open source friendly" and Elsevier isn't?

Either way, sounds like hypocrisy to me.

Why do you do it? (1)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118550)

Of course it's a violation of copyright to use other people's photos without permission. But why on earth would anyone want to put up their family photos for the whole world to see in the first place?

Re:Why do you do it? (3, Funny)

rmstar (114746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118602)

But why on earth would anyone want to put up their family photos for the whole world to see in the first place?

Very good question. Given how almost everybody does that, it should not be difficult to find out. Maybe someone who does can enlighten us? Here on /.?

I fear, however, that the answer will lead to even more troubling questions.

Re:Why do you do it? (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118656)

So other relatives etc can see them that may a) not be in the picture or B) want to see their long distance relatives?

That's like me saying why does anyone want to see the inside of someones computer or 'insert other geeky shit here' it's not like we all don't have geeky shit so why do we need to share it with others?

Re:Why do you do it? (2)

rmstar (114746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118708)

You missed the whole world part. Your a) or B) can be accomodated perfectly well without putting the picture on a blog for the rest of the planet to see.

Re:Why do you do it? (2)

Nossie (753694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118756)

and an awful lot of people are not technically savvy enough to accommodate any of your solutions..

Re:Why do you do it? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118852)

And they suffer the consequences. There are far harsher penalties in life for not being smart/savvy enough.

Accomidation (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119184)

You missed the whole world part. Your a) or B) can be accomodated perfectly well without putting the picture on a blog for the rest of the planet to see.

Spoken like a truly dense technical nerd. Normally that's a good thing, but not in this case.

Most people don't want to access password protected galleries - especially older people (you know, the ones you wanted to see the photo?) just will not look at them. So to password protect family photos is to greatly inconvenience someone you know for sure would want to look at the photo, to protect against the slight chance that someone somewhere will *gasp* see a photo of YOUR FAMILY!

Who cares if your photo ends up in a billboard in prague or elsewhere! Shouldn't you be proud that your family is good-looking enough that someone else who is not your family thinks other people might want to look at you?

Re:Why do you do it? (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118806)

But why on earth would anyone want to put up their family photos for the whole world to see in the first place?

So your extended family can see it without a lot of hassle.

Here's a better question: why not put it up for the whole wide world? Let's say you're the 1 in 1,000,000 that winds up on a billboard in Hungary. Who cares? If anything it's kind of cool. You were never going to get paid for your photos, and now you still aren't. Big deal.

Re:Why do you do it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118830)

But now random strangers in a country they'll probably never visit know what they look like! What if one of them became obsessed with them and decided to look at every image on flickr until they found them and then hunted them down and did terrible things to them! *

*That sounds like a crappy sequel to 1 hour photo, actually.

vs. cool (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118908)

Sorry, I think this holds the seeds of a flawed position.

You phased it softly - you touched on the yearning to escape the crushing mediocrity of life. But as a policy, "all you get is cool rights" is already accepting being the Boiled Frog. Watch what happens if it's a highly undesirable billboard!

Re:Why do you do it? (1)

Sal Zeta (929250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119348)

If your shot is good enough to be put on a billboard in Hungary, then probably you are already working as a photographer and you expect to be paid for it.

your friend still has the copyright (1)

winnetou (19042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118558)

Your friend has given permission to use the picture with proper attribution, Elsevier doesn't give proper attribution. Your friend still has the copyright for the picture, he can offer Elsevier to give them permission for use in their weekly paper for, say, $100,-, if they immediately start giving proper attribution on the website. Elsevier may not distribute their weekly if they don't pay (that what copyright means).

Re:your friend still has the copyright (3, Informative)

burne (686114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118746)

The going rate for use of a photo is, according to the Dutch photojournalist union, 700 euro's per use of a single picture in low resolution. Plenty of jurisprudence, so getting that shouldn't be a problem. TS's friend can contact the NVJ (http://www.nvj.nl/rechtshulp/) for assistance. Don't worry, their English is at least as good as most Dutch slashdotter's.

Re:your friend still has the copyright (4, Informative)

kwark (512736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119082)

Maybe he should start by contacting Elsevier/Reed Business: http://www.reedbusiness.nl/contact/voorwaarden/gebruiksvoorwaarden/index.cfm?articles_id=29A897BD-9E7D-451E-BD73-4229943FB264 [reedbusiness.nl]

The bottom of the page roughly translates to:
We respect I.P. If you suspect your rights are being infringed, we request that you send us the following information:
-postal address, telephone number and email address
-description of the infringed work
-description of the place you found said work
-statement why you think said work is being infringed upon
-statement that the above information is correct and you are the rightful owner or are empowered by the owner to act upon his behalf
-sign the above letter and include a copy of an identity card

Send this to:
Reed Business bv
Afdeling Juridische Zaken
Postbus 4
7000 BA Doetinchem
The Netherlands

Re:your friend still has the copyright (1)

toetagger (642315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118796)

Devils Advocate:

If you go to the Chinese equivalent of flicker, you find a picture of a panda bear that matches your blog update about how polar bears are relatives of panda bears.
Underneath the picture is some text in Chinese that you don't know what it means. You go ahead and use the picture in your blog without any attribution. One week later, you get physical letter with some Chinese written in it. You don't know what it means, so you ignore it and throw it out. Your blog remains unchanged.

So: if the Chinese texts in the example above were references to the copy right, what went wrong? You didn't translate the text when you found the picture? Or, when they contacted you, they didn't contact you in English?

Back to the story: Should the contact with the newspaper be made in Dutch, rather than English? I think if a local lawyer would send the letter, then this would have some effect. If someone violates your rights, you need to take actions and stand up for your rights. And no, whining on Slashdot about it, doesn't count!

Re:your friend still has the copyright (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119124)

So he can ask. Do they have to comply? Of course not. Does Elsevier know this. Of course. Do they think a random person posting a random photo on free website is going to come after them with a lawsuit? No more than a random person downloading a random movie from a random website believes that the non random corporation is going to come after them.

Certain people have not respected IP rights and stolen work to make huge amounts for a long time. The copyleft movement resulted from firm stealing IP, reworking it, and releasing it under their copyright, thus removing the work from the public domain and destroying original authors rights.

I do publish some of my stuff as CC. I don't post this stuff on free general popular websites as I believe that such websites reduce my ownership rights of such materials. I would have little expectation that the CC is going to keep unscrupulous companies from using my work. My hope is that CC license is strong enough to keep these companies from taking copyright away from me.

My IANAL suggestion would be to retain a lawyer to send a notice to Elsevier stating the they are violating copyright. Ask them to remove the image. It could be that they do not even know the providence of the image. I suspect they will do as it should be pretty easy to get an image that is not encumbered. This is obviously not a profit situation for the person who posted the photo.

Yes, and "oh well". (3, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118562)

There are several [wikipedia.org] international copyright laws. That link will show you the participating countries. But even so, unless you're a top-tier photographer, it's not really worth the time it would take to pursue legal action. Your best bet is a good defense.

If you upload full size images to Flickr, etc, you're really just asking for someone to steal it and use it without your permission. So if you're that worried about it... don't use Flickr. But if you absolutely must, then you can take the annoying step of putting a watermark across the whole image, or, if you don't like to deface your work, there's also no reason you can't downsize the image to something like 800px at a low to medium DPI which makes it practically unusable for print.

All of that said though, people who steal images and use them without permission are, at least in my mind, in the same boat as people who steal music, warez, etc... if they can't get it for free they aren't going to buy it anyway.

Re:Yes, and "oh well". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118712)

The music/game pirate people don't take credit for creating the games they pirate. In fact they sometimes go out of their way to promote creators.

Re:Yes, and "oh well". (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118794)

"there's also no reason you can't downsize the image to something like 800px at a low to medium DPI which makes it practically unusable for print. "

Hmm.... DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and is usable only for printing and CRT's.
PPI in other hand stands for Pixel Per Inch and is usable only for TFT/LCD monitors or even projectors.

What we search here, is the resolution what would be X * Y where X is wide and Y is height. people should not talk about DPI or PPI when talking about saving photo accuracy and print/presentation possibilities, just about the pixel resolution what is the true accuracy and still depending of the compression.

The PPI/DPI needs a physical dimensions what digital photos does not have. Only the pixels counts and so on the pixel resolution is the most important feature (especially when counting on lossless quality) as it rules how the photo can be used. Not about DPI/PPI what are just one variable in calculation to get digital photo in wanted size to physical media (paper, projection, screen...).

If wanted to place photos to online for public sharing services (Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, Picasa and so on) then there are three things need to do.

1. Add watermark (digital and overlay watermarking, digital watermark adds code what can later be calculated to proof photo being yours, even if it is cropped or resized/recompressed. Overlay watermarking adds text/logos/other photo over the photo so it hides or makes original almost unusable).

2. Rescale the photo to good enough resolution (like you mentioned, 800px*Y should be enough)

3. Compress the photo so tight that it actually is impossible to print photo out with good quality. Like JPEG compression level 30-40 at smaller resolution photos (1024) and 15-20 at higer resolution photos.

Re:Yes, and "oh well". (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119046)

Thanks for correcting me on the DPI/PPI statement. I'd mod you up if I hadn't already posted in the thread.

Re:Yes, and "oh well". (1)

Ankh (19084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118886)

Careful - there are multilateral agreements that are enacted in the individual countries who signed and ratified the treaties; there's no "international court" or body of "international law." (probably you know this, but many people reading the phrase "international copyright laws" get confused).

In the particular case here it's more than likely an error, and as others have said, contacting Elsevier, will probably result in a satisfactory conclusion. If contacting the people using the image doesn't work, I would urge anyone in this sort of situation to contact a copyright lawyer and make sure they have experience in the area of "conflict of laws" and cross-border copyright issues. In general, it's expensive to take someone to court in a foreign country, and you are likely to be limited in compensation to the amount of money you can demonstrate you have lost.

Re:Yes, and "oh well". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118890)

There's a difference between using someone else's creation for your own enjoyment and using it to make money.

I create works too. I don't care too much if people copy them for free and use them for their own entertainment. I do have a big issue with someone making money out of my work without giving me some money.

Re:Yes, and "oh well". (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118966)

Bull. Contact the Dutch company, they speak English, demand as much as 20k USD and they will pay it. I do international business all the time, and this is reasonable compensation. European companies will not risk a judgement by a US court that locks them out of the American market. Do not take no for an answer. They will cave, I guarantee. (I live in Europe. This is not Nam, we have laws.)

You're welcome.

Jesus Christ Just ask them to STOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118566)

First of all, get them to stop using it! If you don't want them using it, tell them!

Just write to them in English (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118594)

Almost everyone in Netherlands can read English, and the majority can also write and speak it to a decent level. So you don't need to be worried about the language barrier.

I'm pretty sure that copyright law here is similar to the US, so you can just email them and tell them to either remove the picture OR apply with the terms of the licence.

Re:Just write to them in English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118740)

Yes, they will understand in the sense that they can read the words and follow what you're saying.
But they won't understand in the sense that they'll get why they're in the wrong, nor that they'll feel any action is to be taken.
Chances are, unless you're prepared to sue in a Dutch court, there's nothing you can do. And then you get the problem of precedent. Precedent like Americans understand the word doesn't officially play a part in Dutch law, but judges still take previous decisions by their colleagues into account. And in a rather similar case, which was posted on /., the judge decided that since the plaintiff didn't demonstrate any potential revenue stream related to the nicked imagery, the use wasn't in breach of Dutch copyright law.
You see, Dutch copyright law says that since copyright's intent is to prevent counterfeiters from nicking the profits of creators, Dutch copyright law only applies to works which are to generate a profit. In other words, if you cannot demonstrate you were in any way harmed monetarily by Elsevier, you aren't any worse off than you were before so you shouldn't complain. I don't say I agree, but that's the law.
You could however try to pursue the angle of the image rights of the person in the photograph, but then you'd have to prove that he has a reasonable cause to resist publication of the photograph. In this case, that's a long shot. And the judge may take into account other factors that outweigh your reasonable cause.
Maybe you could hope Elsevier will be nice and you won't need the law, but apart from that possibility you have very little recourse.

Re:Just write to them in English (1)

burne (686114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119170)

You see, Dutch copyright law says that since copyright's intent is to prevent counterfeiters from nicking the profits of creators, Dutch copyright law only applies to works which are to generate a profit. In other words, if you cannot demonstrate you were in any way harmed monetarily by Elsevier, you aren't any worse off than you were before so you shouldn't complain. I don't say I agree, but that's the law.

[citation needed]

I'll give you two examples of non-commercial use leading to fees: LJN:AV2506 LJN:AU9504

Re:Just write to them in English (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118972)

"Almost everyone in Netherlands can read English, and the majority can also write and speak it to a decent level. So you don't need to be worried about the language barrier."

I have noticed that the ability to comprehend a foreign language is lessened considerably if you ask people to hand over some money.

Simply email them! (4, Insightful)

Xiph1980 (944189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118608)

About every dutch person speaks English, so just write them an email saying you own the copyright to that image and would like to be payed a _reasonable_ amount for the usage of your photo. The Netherlands isn't some backwash country where they don't respect copyright. We don't always respect patents, when it comes to software patents, but we do with copyright, although not with the same absurd duration. Also, Elsevier is a politically right-wing magazine, and although I don't know their specific view on copyright, the political right tend to favor longer and stricter copyright terms. Perhaps that could be an advantage here. Also, don't start threatening with any legal action in the first email. That'll only incite a counter-attack. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar and all.

Re:Simply email them! (2)

Xiph1980 (944189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118672)

P.S. Elsevier had an edition of 130 842 in 2009, at a subscription price of €4,01 per magazine, so that's a turnover of € 524 676.42 weekly, going by the 2009 numbers. Looking at the economy, their edition might have gone up a bit.

Contact info (2)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118618)

Original article: http://www.elsevier.nl/web/Nieuws/Nederland/288453/Gemeente-wil-aanvragers-uitkering-eerst-thuis-bezoeken.htm [elsevier.nl]

Elsevier editors email: redactie.elsevier@elsevier.nl

Posters above already mention that 95% of Dutch people speak English so I would just send them an email.

Re:Contact info (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118998)

This is the author or the original Elsevier article. http://www.elsevier.nl/web/Auteur.htm?dbid=1106&typeofpage=71806 . You could email her. She's bound to speak English. If you click "neem contact op met Marlou Visser" you'll get her direct email address. She's an editor with this magazine's web edition, so she should know about copyrights on the web. Good luck.

Copyright is Copyright (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118650)

Irrespective of who unfairly uses a copyrighted image, they are in he wrong. There have been a number of interesting incidents involving companies like the BBC (http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/market/23187-bbc-coughs-up-over-flickr-image-copyright-breach) and others that ended up with the company simply paying for the misuse. To be fair, the BBC's excuse seems reasonable - an oversight - and I'm sure that many other incidences are just that, although not educating your employees in what is and what is not permissible is unacceptable.

This particular example is probably on the extreme end of abuse: all metadata has been removed, so it looks like the abuser has explicitly done his best to hide his misdeeds. I think a sharply-worded E-mail, with a demand for say, $500 for usage and $500 for abuse of copyright and an offer of $100 for each future use, seems fair.

In particular, Holland is a relatively easy country to contact - I can't imagine anyone in business not having pretty much perfect English.

Wait, this is Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118674)

Intellectual property doesn't exist, if it did it would be wrong to download movie and music illegally. Do you really think they're a bunch of hypocrites who believe pictures are actually property instead of ones and zeros that can be copied but not stolen?

Oh, wait...

That's not commercial use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118678)

Commercial use, legally speaking, is use in a commercial (advertisement) -- i.e using the photograph to sell something. This article is an example of editorial use (using the photograph to illustrate a story), which is quite different. The fact that the user generates income from the use of the photograph is irrelevant. After all, Facebook has ads on pages that use your photographs, so does that make all presentations of photos on Facebook commercial use?

The big problem here is that the CC license uses legal terminology without defining it, misleading people using the license into thinking they're getting "protection" from something that they're not.

dom

Re:That's not commercial use (1)

burne (686114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118780)

Poor Drew is depicted as a benefit-fraud. Replace 'commercial use' by 'slander' and re-apply American law, please? Any effect on the likely outcome if this came before an American court?

Yes it is. Re:That's not commercial use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118804)

Your article reads as if you had researched someone. But as someone who does the due diligence of researching before posting I found your claim to be bogus. Go and read up on it. It is commercial use, and for your example you should've read the TOS when signing up to facebook.

Commercial use is relevant to the ORGANIZATION that uses the work. That newspaper is not a non-profit organization, nor is it a hobby.

A commercial use is one which is undertaken for a business purpose, rather than hobby, recreational, educational, or other purposes. Such uses are usually attributed to a for-profit entity, rather than an individual, university or other educational institutions, or non-profit organizations (such as public libraries, charities, and other organizations created for the promotion of social welfare).
http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/commercial/

Contact Elsevier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118682)

The Dutch generally speak a decent English.

CC is a shitty license for photography (5, Interesting)

jedrek (79264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118686)

Generally speaking, Creative Commons is a fine license for most sorts of creative output for one simple reason: piggybacking. If you make music, you can use somebody's CC'd vocals in your track, they can use your drum loops or guitar riffs. In writing, you can use somebody else's characters, somebody else can use the world you've created. And so on.

For photography, it sucks. The photographer gets nothing out of it. They produce, but there's no reciprocation. Your photos get used by other people, sometimes they'll do something cool with it (I've had some of my stuff used as the basis for illustrations) but usually it's to illustrate some bullshit article on some crap blog. This is where the bigger problem with CC comes into play: your work gets tied to people who use it.

If I take a picture of a dog biting a dark skinned man and release it with a CC license, it can get legally picked up by a neo-nazi site/magazine, printed and credited to my name. Not only do people whose politics I find to be morally repugnant get to use my work, they get to tie me to their publication. Boned. Think that's unlikely? How about this example [wordpress.com] , where a french girl's self-portrait was used to illustrate an article about a lawsuit involving hotel pool sperm.

Re:CC is a shitty license for photography (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118866)

Different media, different issues. You can use something like CC-BY-NC-ND to really limit their options/give you many options for legal recourse but honestly, if you have a problem with people using your works for things you don't approve of and can't control, then CC is probably not for you - that's what the normal, exclusive copyright is for.

The GPL - now THERE'S a bad license for photography.

Re:CC is a shitty license for photography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118936)

Fair points, but it seems to me that the basic problem you've got with the CC licenses is that they allow people to use photos you put under them in any context without your permission (not counting restrictions on commercial use etc. that may be imposed by the license of your choice).

If you don't want that, wouldn't it be better to not put your works under a CC license to begin with? At first, I was gonna suggest trying to come up with another license that does what you want but still preserves user freedom, as the CC licenses intend to do, but then I realized that this isn't possible. You want to retain control of your work (which is fine, BTW), but that necessarily means that the user will not be able to free to do what they want.

What you should do, I think, is just mark your photos as "all rights reserved" (the default on Flickr, anyway!), and perhaps add some text in the description that says "if you want to license this photo for free, contact me for details/conditions", and then judge individual requests to see if they meet your criteria.

As for the hotel pool girl, BTW, she would likely have legal recourse against the use of her photo since even though the photo is CC-licensed, she still has independent personality rights and a right to her likeness. She didn't sign a model release, so using her likeness is probably still illegal.

Of course, in both your case and the case of the hotel pool girl, this is just the theoretical side of things; in practice, people may simply ignore all these things and use your photos no matter what license they're under, and all that. And depending on how many different nations and jurisdictions there are involved, it may also be impossible for you to, in practice, do anything about it. If you're not prepared to deal with that, your only option is to not post your photos online to begin with - which sucks, yes, but life isn't fair.

Caveat photographer.

CC licenses aren't to blame for your problems. (3, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119036)

This story is written poorly (shocking for /., I know) because it has little to do with any of the players mentioned: Creative Commons (as opposed to other license writing organizations or other licenses), photography (as opposed to other artistic media), or Flickr (as opposed to other hosting services). This is just another instance of a wealthy organization (which can certainly afford the expense for due diligence) allegedly infringing someone's copyright. It can be dealt with on that basis and resolved amicably for the copyright holder. And, as with so many other copyright infringement cases, how amicable the resolution is for the alleged infringer is, at best, of secondary importance particularly because the license allows the licensee to do so much (derivative works, for example).

Speaking directly to your complaints: First, there are so many different CC licenses and they say significantly different things. So we can't have a reasonable discussion about them by lumping them together and referring to them as if they're a cohesive unit except to note that they're written and published by the same organization. Second, photos are no more exempt from extraction, reuse, and building upon (making derivative works) than any other form of expression (particularly with digital photo manipulation tools we have today). Third, I think the heart of your complaint has to do with what are referred to as "moral rights" in some jurisdictions. But moral rights have little to do with the CC licenses and far more to do with regional powers conferred to authors (moral rights aren't in the US, for instance). Any proper discussion of them would be independent of the copyright licensing for the work. If you want the power to reject the reuse of some work because of you disagree with a potential derivative work, you probably should not license the work to them at all under any license. Then, should they commit copyright infringement and make an unauthorized derivative work anyway, you get to see how CC licenses had nothing to do with that.

Re:CC is a shitty license for photography (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119068)

For photography, it sucks. The photographer gets nothing out of it. They produce, but there's no reciprocation

This complaint makes no sense whatsoever. "The photographer gets nothing out of it." If this refers to money, then what's the issue? The photographer intentionally released it under a license that doesn't require payment of royalties. "They produce, but there's no reciprocation." If "reciprocation" refers to making the derived work free-as-in-speech, then what's the issue? If you want that type of reciprocation, you use CC-BY-SA. If you don't want that type of reciprocation, you use CC-BY.

Your photos get used by other people, sometimes they'll do something cool with it (I've had some of my stuff used as the basis for illustrations) but usually it's to illustrate some bullshit article on some crap blog.

If it's under a free license, that includes freedom to use it in derived works that don't meet your aesthetic standards or that contain opinions with which you don't agree. If you didn't want that, then you shouldn't have used a free license.

How about this example, where a french girl's self-portrait was used to illustrate an article about a lawsuit involving hotel pool sperm.

Apparently she licensed it under CC-BY. It might have been wiser to do it under CC-BY-SA, in which case the problem wouldn't have arisen, and she would still have been contributing to the free information movement. Also, a CC license doesn't immunize the authors of the news story from a libel lawsuit. If they created the impression that the girl in the photo was the same as the one in the story, then I would imagine that the girl in the photo has an extremely strong libel case. (Or she could just not worry about it, since she's probably not particularly identifiable in the photo.)

It is extremely important and useful for people to contribute photos to the commons under free licenses. For example, I'm the author of some CC-licensed physics textbooks. They're full of images from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. I have a photo of a swimmer that I use to illustrate Newton's third law. (The swimmer pushes backward on the water, and the water pushes forward on the swimmer.) If that photographer had followed your advice, I wouldn't be able to use that photo. I don't know whether you'd consider my CC-licensed textbooks to be politically correct, socially worthy, aesthetically up to your standards, etc. But that's the whole point of a *free* license.

Re:CC is a shitty license for photography (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119334)

If you want that type of reciprocation, you use CC-BY-SA. If you don't want that type of reciprocation, you use CC-BY.

As I understand it, the "share-alike" clause only applies to derivative works. Does combining a photo with a text story make the whole thing a "derivative work" of the photo? I'm not sure, although a quick look at Wikipedia suggests it might do.

CC licenses have been enforced already in .NL (5, Informative)

paulproteus (112149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118696)

Just so you know, five years ago, a Dutch judge ruled that Creative Commons licenses are enforceable. See here: http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/5823 [creativecommons.org] . This is the Adam Curry case from 2006, for those who follow the history of such things. There was also a later scenario [creativecommons.org] in 2009 that he also won.

Summary from the Wikipedia article [wikimedia.org] :

In late February 2006, Adam sued the Dutch tabloid Weekend for reprinting photos from his Flickr page and publishing details about his daughter. The photos were released under a version of the Creative Commons license that forbids commercial use and requires acknowledgement, but the tabloid printed a few of them without contacting Curry.

The verdict of the lawsuit did not award Curry any damages, but did forbid the tabloid from reprinting the photos in the future, and set a fine of 1,000€ for each subsequent violation by the tabloid. It was one of the first times the license was tested in a court.

In May 2009, Curry posted on his blog information about a different Dutch tabloid publishing another Creative Commons licenced photo from Curry's Flickr account and Curry's attempt to apply Creative Commons license requirements. The publisher settled without a trial on Curry's terms.

Stop using Google translations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118700)

Please stop basing stories on Google translations of articles. You are abusing the English language.

Just send them a bill (1)

chuckychesthair (576920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118730)

Just send them a bill for a reasonable amount, say $500 or so. They will know they did something wrong and will either pay or rectify. Stay courteous and don't threaten legal action of the bat. You're likely to make some money.

Re:Just send them a bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118810)

I wish $500 was reasonable, stock photo sites are closer to $10 an image a la carte. If you use a lot they're much cheaper - and most of the money goes to the broker site, not the photographer.

Muncipality will benefit applicants first home vis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118750)

The municipality of Rotterdam wants to investigate whether it is legally possible to people who apply for benefits, first home visit. "Problems can be addressed immediately. Also be checked if there are no three Mercedes cars for the door. "

That says Alderman Eric Faas (VVD) of Economic Affairs at the Algemeen Dagblad.

"During these visits, you can see how the home situation. The children bruises, there is a fridge in the house? Often, people have different problems, can you right tackle. " Also examined whether people can be rightly called on the assistance to do.

Refuse - According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, a municipality does not benefit if the applicant does not refuse to have home visits. That is still Faassen investigations. There are no known other municipalities that benefit recipients home visits. The government wants to benefit fraud is harder. In all cases of fraud, the benefit is withheld three months. Also the government will investigate whether there is a counterpart of assistance recipients may be requested.

Photo: Who in Capelle aan den IJssel would like to request a payment, get first home visit

Foreigners on MY Internet ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118856)

we are all foreigners on the Internet.

I guess it depends on local laws (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118868)

We were out with a school friend of my girlfriend. She was very attractive; blond hair and blue eyes; she looked like a super-model. While sitting outside at a cafe, some guy snapped some photos of her, very indiscreetly, here in scenic Heidelberg. She snapped at him, and informed him that taking close up pictures of a single person in public was illegal, and even stated the paragraph in the law. He backed off.

I'm not sure if she was bluffing or not . . . and she died of breast cancer a couple of years ago, at the ripe old age of 37, so I will never know. Poor critter.

Re:I guess it depends on local laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118934)

Nice bluff. Taking pictures of individual people in public (!) is not illegal in Germany. You just can't use the pictures for much without a model release (exceptions exist but don't apply in that situation). He could have made a poster-size printout of the picture to hang on a wall in his home and that would have been fine.

Non-issue (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118902)

As Cooks Source knows well, *anything* on the internet is public domain and therefore open season.

Of Course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118904)

They are a business, and their goal is to obtain profits with any method possible. When they get in trouble with the law they will find some way to get around it by either settling out of court, counter-suing, or doing whatever it takes so make more money than they have to pay out in damages. Business is all about screwing everybody and everything to make a profit. What else do you expect from a business? If they played fair, they'd make less profit!

even by Foreign American businesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118912)

At least one of our local Flickr members has had one of their images used without permission or attribution by a foreign media company, some American news company in California I think (I'm lead to believe they have a few media companies in California ... never been there so not too sure).

they seemed to think that because it was taken in some other country than the US that our "local" copyright didn't apply to them I recall that between arguing about cosigned treaties and that it was published, with creative commons copyright declaration, on a US owned and hosted site (Flickr) they might want to rethink their non attributed usage, settlement was long, drawn out and the apology was insincere (could have easily been interpreted as "we're truly sorry we got caught") and read as if it had been dictated from someone speaking through clenched teeth.

doesn't help that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118920)

It also doesn't help that average people don't seem to understand these things either. I work for a fairly large magazine (yeah, I know), and I've come across an archive of cover and page scans from back issues on flickr where the poster marked them all with some sort of CC free-to-use license. Not surprisingly, googling that username with some various keywords turned up tons of blogs and sites that used those images and included the relevant "licensing" information. All the while, that CC license was totally invalid because the scanner/poster never had the rights to those images in the first place. So it definitely cuts both ways.

Foreign Business? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118984)

Foreign Business? Well as I'm in Europe, I surely do agree, i hate it when those foreigners from America abuse my Flickr photos.

slashdot effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119000)

Once again the Slashdot effect strikes the unwitting site-host.
freeloading site is down as of 17:44 6/2/2011 GMT

Foreign works both ways (2)

Ankh (19084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119006)

When you say, foreign, remember that copyright violations are pretty common in the USA too, both by individuals and by organizations. From the perspective of most citizens of this planet, the USA is also a foreign country :-) (and GPL violations happen without regard for national borders, too)

Is is harder to take action against people in other countries. You may have to travel there to appear in a court, in extreme cases, and you may have to demonstrate financial losses as a result of the use of your image.

Many countries give a legal moral right to be identified as the author/creator of a work, and also give the creator ongoing rights to say how the work can be used. This may strengthen the poster's case here, although in the US, using creative commons may be seen as waiving some of those rights. Here in Canada, the rights are inalienable: you can't ever get rid of them, which in principle may not be compatible with some creative comments licenses (and GPL for that matter): there's no "public domain" in the same legal sense as in the USA.

Write a letter in general terms in the first instance - e.g., "I am writing because you are making commercial use of one of my images without permission; who would I contact in this matter?" Be firm but very polite at all times.

If you are prepared to settle for acknowledgment, and perhaps a small payment to compensate you for your time, then when you do get a reply, be polite and accept their offer if it's in the right ballpark, or negotiate for a little more. If the reply is unsatisfactory, immediately seek legal advice from a lawyer who specializes in cross-border/international copyright disputes. They are expensive, but you should get a free consultation that will get you started.

Do not be rude, arrogant, or demanding - not only is it likely to make people act defensively, rather than trying to cooperate with you in finding a friendly ("amicable') solution, but it can also actually weaken your case if you do end up with legal action. Similarly, be terse, don't volunteer information. Saying "I don't have much money, I'm a student" for example is also saying "I can't afford to sue you, you can do what you like!"

Do not attempt to base any sort of argument on the Wikipedia pages on copyright; every time I look at them I find errors (often with people fiercely defending them), and I'm not even a lawyer. Reading the actual copyright acts is difficult without legal training - e.g. knowing that a phrase like "time shall be of the essence" in US law might mean "if you don't make the deadline, all bets are off", or finding a footnote on page 50 that says, "hereafter, and everywhere in this document, the term "Ship" shall mean "Ship or hovercraft", or discovering some other law that amends the one you were reading... and even after reading the law, what matters is how individual judges ("courts") interpret it. Sort of like how different Web browsers react to the syntax errors that riddle most HTML pages - the specification says one thing, people do another, the Web browsers resolve it. Except that judges are human, of course, and consider each case as it happens. This isn't so much a criticism of Wikipedia as a note that, like any other resource, you have to know its strengths and weaknesses. For that matter I've seen official government web pages on copyrights that had serious errors in them (such as giving incorrect figures for duration, and then a while later silently changing them!) so it's all a bit of a minefield.

Belgian use of my amateur pix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119022)

I had a Belgian company contact me asking for permission to use my photo from Flckr in a tourist campaign. It was all on the up and up with full photo credit given to me but no money. If companies at least asked the Flickr contributer, most of the time there wouldn't be an issue

Again (2)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119054)

Elsevier is known for doing this. Get a Dutch lawyer, sue and make a buck. You're very likely to win. See Adam Curry's and other cases against them.

Foreigners? How about BoingBoing and others? (4, Interesting)

cornicefire (610241) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119056)

Foreign? It's not just foreign. I see it happen at American sites all of the time. Heck, BoingBoing is both one of the biggest fans of Creative Commons licenses and one of the biggest abusers. They always post the CC license link prominently when it allows copying, but when it doesn't they just post the image anyways. And they're about as commercial as a website gets charging some of the heaviest ad rates around. ($20 CPM.) They reportedly raked in more than $1 million in 2006. (http://blogbuildingu.com/articles/making-money-blogging-profiles-of-6-very-successful-blogs)

There's a reason why their masthead lists two lawyers but no staff photographers. They would rather pay the lawyers to spew squid ink about fair use than to pay anything to the people who contribute the art. This attitude, of course, is not unique to this site. A number of sites do it.

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/04/george-bernard-shaws.html [boingboing.net]

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/06/startups-of-londons.html [boingboing.net]

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/07/ol-space-food/ [wired.com]

Mod this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119116)

I really like BoingBoing and I like that they use the creative commons license some of the time. But they're happy to ignore it when they need an image and they can just nick one.

BoingBoing is not profit, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119310)

Come on dude, everyone knows that BoingBoing is a not-profit. I mean they act that way, right?

Re:BoingBoing is not profit, (0)

cornicefire (610241) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119340)

They charge for the ads. Seems pretty profitable to me.

Flickr's recommendation (4, Funny)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119102)

Flickr just announced its list of ways to counteract foreign photo stealing for stock photo-like purposes:
1. be really ugly
2. have a cheap, crappy camera
3. just take really bad, crooked, blurry shots
4. Photoshop a cheesy top hat, moustache, and monacle onto all your photos

It looks like a lot of folks on Flickr have already implemented these security measures.

This is a grey area, and the CC license is vague (2)

maxfresh (1435479) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119110)

Due to the oversimplified and poorly written terms of the CC licenses, which leave many details undefined, neither the copyright owner nor the publications wishing to license the owner's work can have any certainty about which uses are permitted and which prohibited, in some borderline cases. Moreover, since the CC license is irrevocable once granted, content creators can easily find themselves unable to stop others from using their work in ways that they don't want, and didn't anticipate, or which they mistakenly believed were expressly prohibited.

This article has a good discussion of the problems inherent in the CC licenses [epuk.org] .

They'll steal it from anywhere (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119126)

Yes, Flickr is popular but it's not like they're just targetting Flickr and that's it. These people hit Facebook, Flickr, and even Google image search to find what they're looking for. Like if you take a picture and put text near enough to it with a matching file name of "cute puppy" then your cute little puppy is going to be on some Korean bag of dog food after they hit Google image search. Foreign photo thieves will get an image from anywhere that's free on the internet because any way that they don't have to pay for a stock photo looks good to their boss and brings the project in under budget. I can't see anyone who's doing this hit just Flickr and if they don't find just the right photo, they give up and don't look anywhere else.

the first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119176)

your friends first step should be to write an invoice.

.~.

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