I put my images on this site so they can be sold, not given away. By allowing people to share images, my images are being copyright violated all over the place. They are MY images, I should have a say in where they will be shared. I opted out of Partner Programs for the same reason, why would DT think I would allow this?
Next stop, if this practice isn't stopped: pulling my images down from this site.
Personally, I can't wait until the U.S. approves the creation of a "small claims court" for copyright infringers. I think it will be much more lucrative than Microstock. All of my images are already protected at Image Rights.
"I think that allowing DT to sell my images through partners I get more revenue."
And you'll also in effect be giving every blogger on pinterest to reblog your images with a convenient free embed code. How's that? Sound like revenue to you?
The pinterest people are thieves. Pinterest has nearly $140 million dollars from investor capital backing a site which encourages users to rob other people's content. Dreamstime may be shortlived for me as well if the practice is not stopped and fast.
Someone who even legally purchases an image from you here on DT, then posts it to Pinterest, etc., is allowing others to then FREELY use that unwatermarked image anywhere they like. In other words, your image may be used 100 times, but you only get paid for it ONCE. That's copyright infringement. Since DT is encouraging this practice by putting that Share button on all my images, they are PROMOTING copyright infringement. I do not believe I am getting more sales from this Share button. I believe my work is being STOLEN even more. I would like the Share button removed from MY images.
And I don't care if people are sharing write your text here images either. It is still copyright infringement to use a watermarked image on ANY website without paying a royalty to use it.
If anyone else sees the Share button as a plus, and you believe that your sales are improving because of it, you are free to do what you like with YOUR images. Not with mine.
Cathy, I would agree with you, if it weren't for the fact that MOST of my images I found in use, where on those countless "please disrespect coyright and grab these stockphotos for free" websites.
I spent half an hour last month and found 186 image used this way (some sites had almost half of my portfolio, some in collages with 6-8 images in 1 download) How did they get these? Perhaps that's where stolen creditcards come in. I know on another site, I'm seeing tons of "bad creditcard" messages appear on a very regular basis. Very dishearting, but nothing we can do about that.
You might want to use Google's reversed image search. I'm afraid you won't be happy with what you find. I know I'm not ready to have another look in a good while.
Needless to say, I'm not saying that it's good to "promote" these kind of things, be it with share buttons or whatever. Just saying that you're going to find your work up on these sites anyways.
@Cathyclapper, judging by your post, you misinterpreted something you read somewhere about our policies. Nobody is allowing your images to be shared for free in Pinterest. If we would do that we would be denying our own business model and our efforts and hard work to protect photographers rights.
Dreamstime has only two features that interact with Pinterest at this moment. One is through our own account, that shares thumbnails (with our watermark all over them and site address) AND link these images to their own page on Dreamstime. There, the visitor can purchase the photo, obviously. The other allows users to pin a photo for their Pinterest boards. That photo is also linked to its page on our site and also includes watermark and site name. Others can take them, but they are watermarked. They can take them from our own website too.
These are both tools that help us promote the site to a new medium. There are other agencies that may prefer to wait and tolerate images being used there as long as there is no profit and react only when profits show up. This link may be useful to you: LINK. Not necessarily wrong but we prefer to put this new model into work right away. It doesn't mean we ignore or don't pay attention to potential conflicts or dangers. But it is a new model that along with others has potential to revolutionize the industry just as microstock revolutionized stock photography. Ignoring it would mean to be stuck into the past.
Just as a knife, a powerful new model can be used to do something useful or to destroy something. I'm not saying Pinterest is perfect either, just as Facebook isn't. I've been advocating watermarked-only stock photos for quite a while now. There are major stock agencies out there still not using watermarks and we're blaming Pinterest now?
Again, rest assured, nobody is giving your work for free. But Pinterest has better potential than Facebook in some way and it would be a pity not to direct those people looking for images to a stock website, where they can license them properly.
I think one of the potential issues that hasn't been addressed is how does the Dreamstime contributor know?
If I see one of my images on Pinterest with a watermark (and in most cases even without), I am going to pursue the infringer either through use of a legal team (ImageRights) or through a DMCA takedown notice.
How embarrasing would it be for Dreamstime and the Pinterest contributor to get a DMCA notice stating they are violating copyrights when that contributor has done nothing more than pin that image because it is available to them? More importantly, how does this educate people about copyright? We (as photographers) already have an issue when we contact infringers and they state "but it's royalty FREE and for that reason I can use it for free?".
I don't think it's reasonable for us to expect that every watermarked DT image we find of ours is legally being used on Pinterest.
I think one of the potential issues that hasn't been addressed is how does the Dreamstime contributor know?
How do you know that someone else is sharing your image through Facebook or linking it from their site via referral program? How do you know Google images is not displaying it along with their ads? You don't know.
If you find your image on Pinterest and it is linked to your page here and displays the copyright there is no infringement. There is no significant "usage" of an image as long as it wasn't included in a design, website nor stripped of its credit line/watermark. It is simply a sharing of that image taking the user to Dreamstime. Do you think removing your image would help? They will find another one and it will not be linked to a stock agency. Their visitors will not know what stock photography means, end of story. This is a way to make stock photography known and advocate legal use. Chase these users away and they will turn to Flickr where they have Creative Commons for real usage for free.
Yes, there could be ways when a user pins a non watermarked image, those are cases we need to be vigilant about. But we're talking different things and different outcomes. Again, you can use a knife to cut bread or to kill someone. Am I a fan of Pinterest? Not really, but one must admit they have success and a better approach to visual content than other social media websites.
First of all, anyone grabbing my image even with a watermark and displaying it on a website is copyright infringement. They must pay for the use of my image, period, with or without watermark. Second of all, allowing others to then take that image is redistribute it, with or without a watermark, is copyright infringement. Third of all, DT is contributing to this by putting the Share button on MY images. You did not ask my permission to do that with MY images. If you are not going to provide an OPT OUT or you are not going to remove that Share button from my images, then I will have no choice but to pull my images.
I have been a contributor here since early 2006, but I am getting tired of my images being misused without my permission. I opted out of the Partner Program...why would I allow this?
Do you think removing your image would help? They will find another one and it will not be linked to a stock agency.
Seriously, you are saying that DT might as well go ahead and allow people to use my images just because other people are stealing them anyway? I can't believe you said that. You, the agency representing me, should be fighting tooth and nail against ALL of these forms of infringement.
I know my images are being stolen and I know they are appearing on torrent sites. I hired DT in a professional relationship to sell licenses to my images. I do not expect DT to decide who gets to use my images without my permission. The battle is difficult enough with Google images, let alone seeing it happening on a site that is supposed to be representing me.
If you believe Pinterest is helping YOU, go ahead and support them. I DO NOT believe they are helping ME, and I would like an OPT OUT and to have the Share removed from my images. People are pinning images because THEY ARE TOO CHEAP to buy them in the first place! Why should they, when they can pin an image that someone has already posted, with or without a watermark? Seriously, you think this translates to dollars for me?
Please let me know if you plan on providing an opt out or removing the Share link from my images. If it doesn't happen, I will start removing my images.
Certainly DT has a right to promote whatever sites it chooses and the arguments Achilles makes are good ones. And OK I admit that I am not really into social media. But my personal opinion is that microstock agencies should not promote Pinterest at all. The fact that Facebook and Google are doing somewhat the same thing, if less blatantly, does not make it good for us.
Google has, through its actions toward authors and artists (ask the Authors Guild members, of which I am one, who sued Google for massive copyright infringement) and protests against SOPA and other support of pirates. The fact that this attack on copyright is expanding and becoming more blatant, in the likes of Pinterest, doesn't make it a good thing. Pinterest needs images to profit from, but do we really need Pinterest?
This deprecation of copyright is a very dangerous trend, I think. Some people want to get rid of copyright, and Google, Pinterest, etc are supporting them. The more money they have to do this with the worse off we are.
And IMO if we wait for J Klein and ******** to do the right thing, we may be waiting a long time.
I use Illustrator and Photoshop. Also 3DS Max and other CG software.
Cathy, the following suggestion will not solve the problem you are addressing, but it may help a bit (although it is definitely more work on your part). Pinterest has a way to report misused images. If you find any of your own images on Pinterest that you would like removed, click on the violating pin, select "Report Pin" from the options on the right, and fill out the form related to intellectual property. You can only report pins that are using your own copyrighted material. I've only used this feature once (someone had taken an image from my site and was using it to point to their own), but Pinterest was very quick to remove the pin and to send me an email that it was taken care of. You do not need to be a member of Pinterest to report misused material.
This next part sounds like self promotion, but I recently wrote a Dreamstime blog about Pinterest and in it explore some of the pros and cons for stock photographers. The blog includes the above tip about reporting misused images and several other tips related to the site. If you are interested, you can read the blog here.
I appreciate the suggestion, enigmacypher. I have done a quick search of Pinterest and have not, as of yet found any of my images. My point is that I don't ever WANT to find any of my images. Once I find them, the damage is done. I would prefer to try and curb that BEFORE the problem exists. Plus, I don't think this is a good deal for ANY contributors, but each has a say in how their own images are used. My main concern is that sites are disregarding MY say in how MY images are being used. That's wrong.
I have read the pros and cons and I personally think their are WAY more cons than pros. As I read someone else say in another post and agree with, I personally do not believe the big hype about how social media sites are going to make me a fortune selling microstock photos. I think it's doing more damage than good.
At a quick search I found 3 illegal use of my images on Pinterest. They were quick to react to the first DMCA and took the image down, the next 2 DMCAs are on the way. I am quite confident that there are many other of my images there, but I don't have the time to hunt them down. I also am convinced that there are a lot of bloggers who won't give a d@mn whether the image is watermarked or not. And this "share" button will certainly not educate them to buy the photo they're illegally using. And I, like so many, believe that micro and macrostock agencies SHOULD NOT use, promote or endorse Pinterest in any way.
Quoted Message: ... but I don`t have the time to hunt them down.
This is exactly my issue. I have a small portfolio on the micros...yet my portfolio on the macros and the rights managed agencies keeps growing. The reason is because under a royalty free license, I don't have control of my images anymore. My intellectual property is being exploited by many, and even if I do find a non-watermarked version, I have no idea if it was licensed legally or not. Secondly, the customer base on many of the micros is much more varied than that of a traditional agency - you have everyone from the local auto repair store to CNN licensing images. If I see the same image on both places, I have no idea if they paid for it or not.
You add in the issues with Pinterest and related sites and it makes the work more time consuming taking money out of MY bottom line.
Serban, you mention other social media sites. I've specifically left Google+ for this reason. I maintain a Facebook page so I can keep track of friends and family....but I have an option to restrict the viewing of those images to just friends, or friends of friends. You will not find my images on Facebook available to the general public (as they are on Pinterest). Coincidentally, I will tell you that recently I went round and round with a local nightclub here in Denver. The reason is because the nightclub solicited images from local models so they could promote a runway event at the club. The model I provided images to was told it would be to "promote the models" not the event. The ONLY reason I knew about it is because I shot a similar runway event on a for hire basis a couple of months earlier and I had "Liked" the club.
Please don't take any of this personally, or as a jab against the agency, but it needs to be realized that if we (the photographers) don't take action against this type of behavior, we have everything to lose. All we have, from a fixed asset perspective within our business, are the cameras that we buy, and the intellectual property that we produce. Take that away, and you take away our business.
I know that one of these websites is using the image and article incorrectly, image being used without my permission. Which one though? I will never know...I will never be compensated for that image.
If you do a Google search on this image:
You will find it in use all over the place...yet despite being grateful for all the sales, I don't know what is legitimate and what isn't.
The same goes for these images:
I've mentioned I have a small portfolio on the micros...I can't imagine other contributors that have thousands...with images everywhere from the local auto shop to CNN and no way to know if they are being used legally or not. Throw places like Pinterest into the mix and I have no clue how a photographer can reasonably expect to enforce copyrights.
I am open to suggestions and open to solutions...I don't know of any aside from being a curmudgeon and taking an iron stance.
You do know when images are illegally used in some cases: Those are the ones with the watermark.
Cathy is right too when she says *ANY* image used on a web site that is not purchased is illegal.
Even in those cases where a web site gives you credit and links back to DT, it is ILLEGAL for them to use the image if they did not purchase it. It is a MYTH you can use an image if you give credit to the image owner.
Enforcement would be a lot easier if you could find the culprit and take a hammer to their computer. :p
If I pin a watermarked photo on to Pinterest using the share button, its linked to the DT purchase page. Basically its an advertisement for the image. Granted most of the Pinterest users are not going to be buyers (housewives?).
The problem is when someone purchases a unwatermarked image, posts it on their blog and then Google Images grabs it and/or someone puts it on Pinterest or uses it in some other way. Once the unwatermarked image is used on a web page or blog, it could end up anywhere.
Seems like the innovation needed here would be that the agency hosts these smaller images and then they could monitor where its being used. (possible?)
Or there is some kind of time bomb built into the image that expires at some point.
I'd like to think that someone at Adobe or someone else with a vested interest in supporting artists would be working on some kind of solution to this.
Education is good. I know the schools do a good job at teaching kids how to cite works but I don't think the education extends to images.