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Screwed all over the world or what? Follow up

Hi All

The “Screwed all over the world or what?” thread is deleted to make place for “Screwed all over the world or what? Follow up” thread – this one.

What happened before? A number of online editions of well known newspapers thinks that it is okay to make a screen grab of another newspaper’s website, crop this screen grab in a way that it shows only the content they like and then they republish that on their own website. And all this under the pretext of being a digital ‘quote’.

So that happened to an image of me and made me pretty upset, especially as I went through hell to make that shot.

As expected nobody here on LS thought that this practice is allowed or should ever become accepted.

I followed all advice I got here and elsewhere. And that helped.

First I stopped being angry – very important – and instead focused on getting compensated.

I sent the newspapers letters with registered post claiming copyright compensation fee (I added a print-out of the web-page with the image in question).
Much to my surprise 60% of them actually paid after 6 weeks without even asking a question.

The ones that do not pay get a reminder first and then let see what else later.

So sending out letters does work fairly well sometimes, definitely worth a try if you see your images are re-used in this way.

Cheers Tom

by Tom Van Cakenberghe at 2009-10-24 04:42:59 UTC Kathmandu , Nepal | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Any luck with chinese websites?

by [former member] | 24 Oct 2009 13:10 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
Many thanks, good to know that.

by Hernan Zenteno | 24 Oct 2009 15:10 | Buenos Aires, Argentina | | Report spam→
Good follow-through Tom, and good to hear you actually got paid by some … perhaps its morbid curiousity, but do you have a link of the photo in question? Also, did any of the papers in question at least credit you? Thanks… hope things are well in Kat.

by Cheryl Nemazie | 08 Nov 2009 02:11 | Salisbury, Maryland, United States | | Report spam→
Great follow-up Tom. I hope the remaining 40% pay up too. My laggards both finally paid up 10 months late, too. Hope things are well with you otherwise. John

by John Lander | 08 Nov 2009 07:11 | Kamakura, Japan | | Report spam→
According to newspaper fréttablaðið sachi&sachi (by mistake :Þ) took pictures from 20 photographers flickr sites an used in online ad for Toyota.

“Mistake” the company said: They are now dealing with the Icelandic photographer Snorri Gunnarsson for further use of the image

by Kristjan Logason | 08 Nov 2009 10:11 | Reykjavik, Iceland | | Report spam→
I’m afraid this is rife in the industry right now. But your right Tom… don’t get angry, get even.
Often it’s some twit in the office who has no idea of copyright. I’ve had the same happen with
TV using my images,(they paid up reluctantly and eventually).

Good luck getting the other 40% but my experience is that about 75% pay up and the others
just manage to get away with it however hard you try to get them to pay up. I have some photos
on Flickr and a few idiots have tried to make off with those even though they are watermarked and
there is a clear warning on each one. These people rely on the photographer not noticing usage, or
not bothering to chase it up. Only answer as far as I’m concerned is to make like a Rottweiler and
sink your teeth in then don’t let go.

by JR, (John Watts-Robertson). | 08 Nov 2009 10:11 | rothwell, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I missed the earlier posting, but IMPO (“P” for professional – I was a lawyer dealing with this stuff for many years) what happened with those crops would at least in the US be an infringement of your copyright under almost any circumstance that I could foresee. The notion that it is a “quote” is ludicrous on every criterion related to “fair use”. You did exactly the correct thing to demand compensation. If this happened in the US, you might be able to find a “cause” lawyer that would be willing to take on the case.

One of the problems, of course, is where you can sue an online publication. I do recall that the Australian courts held that they had jurisdiction over content providers that sent material into their country over the Internet (in a libel case against the Wall Street Journal). These was much hue and cry, but I seem to recall that the decision was by its top court, so maybe there was no further appeal. But that should be checked, as my info is a year or two old.

by [former member] | 08 Nov 2009 18:11 (ed. Nov 8 2009) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
This is a interesting topic and I would like to ask Neal, or any one else that thinks he knows about this.

If f.x we have a web publication and the images are published there. Then an other publication writes a article about the news of that publication and uses a screen grab from the publication siting the original.
is it then infringement if?
Screen grab of the hole page is used?
screen grab of part of the page is used?

according to the first post partly grabed it is infringement. So where are the boundaries for citation.

I know of more than one sites from members here that are frequently used and grab screens that way. I my self am starting a site that is going to use this method. So if it is not considered fair use (as it is a publication for that site) I would need to know before I become a criminal

Can any one clear this question please!!

To clear things a bit better. I have a site where I link to a photographer. I use a grab of his website as an image decorating the link. Am I on the dark side doing this?? Or is it considered citation and fair use.

I have a news site and an other phot or news site writes about something happening to a phtographer. I write about them writing about it and grab a shot of their site. Where does it leave me? With the dark forces? or is it ok?

by Kristjan Logason | 08 Nov 2009 19:11 | Reykjavik, Iceland | | Report spam→
I am no longer practising law so do not rely on anything I say. I post it for commentary only.

But I can say one thing…where fair use is involved, there are few bright lines.

The first issue is that the doctrine is a creature of US law, though it has antecedents in other systems of copyright jurisprudence.

Technically in the US a court will look at four factors:

1. the purpose and character of your use,
2. the nature of the copyrighted work,
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market.

There are no ways to know for sure in all circumstances, but I can say that as a practical matter the US courts look most heavily at the last two factors. For a good general discussion look at the Wikipedia entry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use.

I think if someone uses links to other Web sites’ content to construct one’s own site, especially if the site were commercial (unless the other content originators consented), that would be an infringement. I recall hearing of at least one photographic site which did that, and I think it infringed the works to which it linked. If my content were being used, and I did not get compensation, I would demand cessation of the practice.

In my opinion, writing a story about another photographer and posting one of her/his photographs is too close for me to call. But posting the Web site page which includes the photo as a portion might be enough to push it out of the infringing area.

by [former member] | 09 Nov 2009 00:11 (ed. Nov 9 2009) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Jeezzz Neal its like speaking with my sister :-) (she is an internet fraud lawyer)
No clear answer but clear enough still.

I fully understand that using just an image even though it is a link to the photographer is way over the line.

The thing that confuses me is that f.x here in Iceland we have the same/similar laws like in europe and they now are publishing old newspapers online. One of them is filled with my images but this is not to be used commercially but thought more like as a historical library thing. Still the sites are open for all and I do not get any compensation. (the copyright holders association might though. I Am investigating this)
Some one cited fair use here but I do not like it,

Guess I have to do two thing.
Not do it my self
Stop the others doing it as it might confuse people even more about what is right and wrong.

The “standard” is still there and should probably be there for ever as it is so simple:
No license no use :)

every thing else just adds to the confusion

by Kristjan Logason | 09 Nov 2009 04:11 | Reykjavik, Iceland | | Report spam→
“they now are publishing old newspapers online. One of them is filled with my images but this is not to be used commercially but thought more like as a historical library thing. Still the sites are open for all and I do not get any compensation”

In the UK, this would clearly be a copyright infringement. Here is a recent case you might find useful:


Of course, it’s possible that Icelandic law is different.


by Simon Crofts | 09 Nov 2009 11:11 | Edinburgh, Scotland | | Report spam→
Please understand that the circumstances of publication by linking of a single photo alone might well make the use of the photo alone OK. So it is not a solid line. And, yes, here in the US use for educational purposes cuts in favor of the finding of “fair use.”

by [former member] | 09 Nov 2009 12:11 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
In the UK there is no concept of ‘fair use’ like you have in the US. Instead, there’s a concept of ‘fair dealing’, which is much more narrowly defined than fair use in the US. The educational use exemption for example only applies if the photo is used “in the course of instruction or of preparation for instruction” by the instructor his/herself, or if the copying is by an individual for his/her own research or private study.

Publication for criticism of review is also permitted, so Neal’s example of a photo published as part of an article about the photographer’s work wouldn’t be a breach of copyright.

But we don’t have the 4 points that Neal mentioned on fair use – there is no such wide concept of fair use in the UK, happily for photographers!

Whether Icelandic copyright law is closer to US or UK or perhaps Danish law, I don’t know!

by Simon Crofts | 09 Nov 2009 12:11 | Edinburgh, Scotland | | Report spam→
Thanks for that link Simon. That is interesting, will look into that.

A couple of things: Approx a year ago I was successfully compensated by a publisher who used an extract of text which I had written for a Broadsheet newspaper back in 2000. The publisher argued it was fair dealing.
They back pedalled when it was pointed out that not only was the extract beyond the realms of fair dealing because of the quantitative amount of text used they also failed to credit for the use. Settled.

Also if anyone is ever in need of legal council I would highly recommended the Media law firm in the link from Simon’s post.

The author of the article represented me on two occasions and did excellent work.

by [former member] | 09 Nov 2009 15:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Glad the link’s useful :) It’s worth noting too with your example that (in the UK) the fair dealing exceptions are wider for text than for photos. So, for example, they might claim fair dealing as a defence in quoting text while reporting current events, but not for photos.

So if they were publishing photos, they generally would have a hard time proving fair dealing in the UK as a defence, unless they’re actually criticising or reviewing the photographs eg. a review of an exhibition or book about the photographer.

by Simon Crofts | 09 Nov 2009 16:11 | Edinburgh, Scotland | | Report spam→
I should add that, like in the UK (apparently), the law in the US makes it more difficult successfully to use the fair use defense for photos than for text. If someone uses an entire photo for photojournalistic purposes on the Web without a license, they’ve pretty much violated the last two factors. Then the test will be whether the use is “transformative,” such as criticism, parody, or the like. If the use is not transformative, the copyright owner (and the original licensee publisher, for that matter) can make a claim against the infringer.

In the US, if the photo is registered at the copyright office, the claimants can get attorneys fees and, often, “statutory damages” from the infringer (ranging from $750 to $150,000). See 17 US Code sections 504-505. http://tinyurl.com/a67j9

by [former member] | 09 Nov 2009 17:11 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
It’s strange how after all these years internet still isn’t considered something “public” by some people. I recently tried to hint to a photographer I know that it’s not so correct use music by groups and artists like Coldplay and Michael Buble on his website. I also tried reasoning on the ground that I doubt he’d like if some group used his photos without his permission or without paying him on their website or cd cover. He said I’m of course right. I also suggested he could try to find a young musicmaker and make an agreement with him/her; in that way he would also have quite original music on his site. He said again I’m right but that he’s “too busy for things like that just now.” So? In the meanwhile he at least could stop using the music he’s using now…

by Laura Larmo | 10 Nov 2009 15:11 | Milano, Italy | | Report spam→
You have to consider how the music industry screwed the consumer for a very long time.

When Napster first appeared offering “file Share” the music industry went berserk. Although the record companies managed to close Napster, the toothpaste was out of the tube: filesharing networks grew like hydras.

Some music such as classical should be freely available to people but along came the record companies who bought up the rights, did their mark-up and put it on the shelves. They defended the cost of the extortionate prices by telling us how expensive it was to produce the music which of course is a crock of shit.

If you purchased a track via iTunes there is a the standard t&C’s regarding usage and it does not allow the track to be used for public performance which I guess would include the use within a multimedia piece…but how do you regulate it, the Internet is the new Wild West.

File sharing is here to stay and the record companies don’t like it. It is similar to the death of photojournalism in a way but the losses for the record companies and the artists are on a much grander scale.

At the end of the day you have to use your discretion and consider the moral, ethical and possibly the legal implications of using music on your website.

If you consider who much money the record companies have made over the years some may feel it’s kind of a refund.

Also some artists like Moby allow free downloads for non commercial use.

Consider it like this, the poor (consumer) steal from the rich (record companies) and the rich will do anything within their power to stop the stealing. But what happens when the rich (publishers, record companies etc etc) steal pictures from poor (photographers) they will do anything within their power to bullshit their way out of it, and when they are taken the extra legal mile by the poor (photographer) they will try all kinds of skulduggery knowing it is unlikely you have the mental and more importantly the financial will to continue.

“The poor are always being fucked over by the rich, always have, always will.”


by [former member] | 10 Nov 2009 16:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Sure, but I meant the principle behind it, “using someone’s else’s work for free to make your product more saleable without acknowledging the help of that someone else’s work” – whether we’re talking about Michael Jackson or the musician next door who’s always broke vs. photographers or the photographers vs. online newspapers.

As for the rest of it, it might be fine if it was just about the music industry and the consumer but there are also the musicians in between – some of which don’t need to be screwed after being screwed by record labels…

by Laura Larmo | 10 Nov 2009 18:11 | Milano, Italy | | Report spam→
Well that’s right, everyone is screwing everyone else. It’s one big orgy.

by [former member] | 10 Nov 2009 18:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Yeah, and you know how it is, also your quote (“The poor are always…”) says it in a way; the coolest guy is the one who manages to screw the others the most, and everyone wants to be the coolest guy around.

by Laura Larmo | 10 Nov 2009 21:11 | Milano, Italy | | Report spam→

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Tom Van Cakenberghe, Tom Van Cakenberghe
Kathmandu , Nepal
Hernan Zenteno, Photographer Hernan Zenteno
Buenos Aires , Argentina ( EZE )
Cheryl Nemazie, editorial photographer Cheryl Nemazie
editorial photographer
Baltimore , United States ( BWI )
John Lander, Photographer John Lander
(Asia Images)
Hanoi , Vietnam
Kristjan Logason, Photographer Kristjan Logason
(editorial and advertising)
Leikanger , Norway
JR, (John Watts-Robertson)., Photographer JR, (John Watts-Robertson).
Rothwell , United Kingdom
Simon Crofts, Photographer Simon Crofts
Edinburgh , Scotland
Laura Larmo, Photographer Laura Larmo
Helsinki , Finland


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