Thursday, July 10, 2014

D'Oh!


Well, it finally happened. I had a notice from Blogger saying that someone claimed that I had infringed on their copyright so the offending post was taken down. Not thrown away mind you, just reverted to draft status.

I did get an anonymous comment from someone a few weeks ago indicating that I had "stolen" their photos and that I would be paying. Big time.

That's right. An anonymous comment, not an e-mail. A comment.

Sigh...

I figured that someone sending me an anonymous e-mail may have just been a troll. Then again, them filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint might indicate that they were more than a troll. Either way, the offending content has been taken down.

Of course, Google didn't tell me what photo I had allegedly stolen, only the post which contained it. A check of those photos on the Internet indicated that I could have got it from any number of sources. Some of the photos involved were historical in nature and were from national archives. Some were current photos.

Also this "Chilling Effect" website where these Cease and Desist complaints are stored has a virtually useless search engine. Google said, just use the URL from the offending post. Uh, no. There is no place to enter that.

The whole thing smacked very much of the old English Star Chamber.

So lately I've been much more careful about the photos I use. This has added a lot of time to preparing a post, so I have decided to cut way back on my use of photos harvested from the internet.

What does this mean in the short term. Well, for one thing, no more Friday Flybys. Probably ever. These posts take quite a while to put together and are rather photo intensive. Having to track down copyrights and the like would double the time it takes to build those posts. Unless I come into possession of a large number of aircraft photos that are either A) in the public domain or B) I took myself. That's unlikely.

C'est dommage.

I wish Mr/Ms Anonymous had contacted me personally via e-mail rather than in a comment. Then we could have worked things out like civilized folk.

He or she chose a different course. Ah well.

Who is hurt?

I don't know, you, the reader, perhaps.

At any rate, there was a momentary impulse to chuck the blog over the side and get on with real life. Far from the internet trolls and their ilk.

Ya know, become a lurker and snide commenter. Not actually contribute, just stand on the sidelines and carp.

But I'll hang in there.

So if you're out there, if I use a photo of yours inadvertently, send me an e-mail. We can come to an accommodation of some kind. No need to lawyer up or file anonymous complaints.

Let's be civilized. I know most of the world has forgotten how, but I also know there are some pockets of civilization out there.

Right?

Bueller...?


Bueller...?

Bueller...?




For those of you keeping score at home, that first photo is from Wikipedia and is marked as being in the Public Domain. Sigh...

26 comments:

  1. Price of success? I use stuff from Gooogle all the time with, so far, no problems. You have way more readers than my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That may be WSF. I have had one guy before (again on a Friday Flyby) noting that I had used one of his photos without attribution. He said he didn't mind, just throw him a link to his place. So I try to do that when the provenance of a photo is clear. Many (if not most) times it is not.

      You can't please everyone I reckon.

      Delete
  2. I wonder how much it costs to pursue such a suit and how much money they could claim as damages? I use pictures I find on the internet all the time, shouldn't they sue the source...Google. I never see anything indicating a photo is copy protected. Since I make doodly squat on my blog I guess I could cut them in on 20%, oh hell make it 50%.

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    Replies
    1. What happened is that the individual filed a Cease and Desist complaint with Google via a website known as Chilling Effects. Google will then immediately reset the "offending" post to draft status. No proof of ownership by the complainant seems to be required (the online form has a block for a "yes, this is mine" statement but there is no "cross my heart and hope to die" phrase). Finding the specific protest against your blog is next to impossible.

      If you trace a photo deep enough you might find an actual "owning" website. Google Images will have the caveat "This image might be subject to copyright" just to cover themselves.

      You may be able to slide by citing the "Fair Use" act. Especially as we don't do this for the money. (Heck, 50% of nothing is still nothing.)

      I try to get stuff from Wikipedia now (if I can) they will actually tell you what you need to do to use one of the photos posted there.

      Delete
  3. Aw, man...

    So one liberal twonk who doesn't even have the courage to contact you in person gets to shut down one of the best features of the whole internet? That's not right.

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    Replies
    1. Yup.

      Definitely sucks. This Chilling Effects website is being looked at by the authorities for precisely that reason. An unsubstantiated complaint with Google gets the post pulled down. Get a few more, you lose your blog. Welcome to the Soviet Union comrade!

      Delete
    2. Murphy's right, this sucks. I always look forward to the Friday Flyby but I certainly understand your dilemma . I've said for a number of years now that we're slowly but surely becoming the USSA!

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    3. Yup.

      I think I might let the dust settle on this one, then revisit this in the future. Because I enjoy doing the Flyby.

      Delete
  4. D'oh! Who knew there was an apostrophe in Doh. I didn't. I looked it up. You're right.

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  5. Chilling effect is right. And the complainant doesn't even have to prove the photo was his.

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    Replies
    1. That's why they are being looked at.

      No proof, but Google does need to cover their butts, so better safe than sorry I suppose.

      Delete
  6. Damn, I'm gonna have to either stop all my picture postings, or just attribute them. Prolly the latter. However, the punishment seems like it's a slap on the wrist. By the way, if you google PMRF, you'll find my photo on there. I sure wouldn't care if somebody used it- I put it in the public domain, so it's public.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I know. It kinda sucks and makes some of our posts much more labor intensive.

      Brave new world.

      Delete
  7. Drat! In all the years I did this thing, I only encountered two places that put the copyright on its photos. I can so live with that. It was up front. I still used one of them because that is fair sex or something like that. I'm entittled. and it was Cuba...
    The lone photographer who puts awesome photos on line from San Diego hasn't gotten back to me in 4 months. NO. I DON'T use his stuff. The beach cam stills at Del Mar that I sometimes use, they're the bomb. His stuff is good but the beach cam is about the same.

    It is harder to imagine, screwing up taking pics from video of a beach cam in Del Mar. I could do it every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's tough to tell sometimes.

      Beach cam at Del Mar? I'm gonna have to Google that!

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    2. no no. On the home page, above the Weapon Shops of Isher is the beach cam o' Del Mar. Maybe it is below. By some extraordinary coincidence, it is still there even as I write on your giant trans----------------------------------------------continental page.

      I am truly sorry that you got hit by one of the esquires. It once worried me but I figured, nothing I do on the blog is commercial and so I get a pass for free use. I won't exploit it at all if another claims all rights, I'll just move on. It is impossible though, to say where free use and claimed lie when nobody CLAIMS. All the beautiful skillful stuff on my blog...yeah, I took that. You may have it. Gratis.

      Delete
    3. That's my stance as well. But my real issue is that if Blogger gets multiple complaints, they can take down my blog. So I'm pursuing the source of the burr under my saddle.

      (I checked out the Del Mar Beach yesterday. I was sorely tempted to book a flight to that locale. Immediately. If not sooner.)

      Delete
  8. I have just grabbed pictures off the net - assuming that the people who posted them did the same. Unless there is a watermark (and even then cattle thieves have re-branded cattle ;-) ) how can you know?

    But you have given me cause to ponder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is definitely an issue Bill. What about photos that someone claims to own, but actually doesn't?

      It would be interesting to hear a copyright lawyer's take on this.

      Delete
  9. That's ridiculous... Anonymous??? WTF???

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, kind of weak isn't it?

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    2. Hi folks. I have no idea what Chilling Effects is (good name though, eh?) but I would count yourself very, very lucky this was just an anonymous takedown notice, maybe from some kind soul who could see you didn't really mean any harm. If it had come from a lawyer you could be kissing goodbye to your home. Here's a good primer: http://blog.seattlepi.com/timothymccormack/2012/01/26/copyright-infringement-letter-for-images-on-your-website/ - Anon :)

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    3. I note that the link doesn't address 17 U.S.C. § 107 (Fair Use).

      Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

      1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
      2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
      3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
      4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

      The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.


      Kind soul? Perhaps. The "kind soul" could have also sent me an e-mail indicating exactly what photo of their's I had used. A better way to handle it? Perhaps.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)