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Intellectual Property and Copyright Theft In Our Industry.

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by cptcorn, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. cptcorn

    cptcorn adad

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    There was a thread that was deleted by request last night.This thread quickly exploded after I discovered the illegal use of a rights managed photo and I'd like to continue this in an educational and editorial type fashion in order to help people to understand what is at stake when you do this. It continues below...

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    Here is a link to the Copyright Law of the United States and related laws dealing with title 17.

    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

    Here is also a link to chapter 1 regarding the general basis of the copyright laws put forth by the US.

    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html

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    I'm not sure about those other photos you stole... But the one I showed you has a bit more... History behind it...

    This was taken/created by Michael Freeman, while in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This photo is a rights managed photo. Unlike royalty free images, the price of this specific image changes based upon it's use.

    http://www.michaelfreemanphoto.com/ (Not firefox friendly)

    I'm not entire sure what you charged your customer. Based upon what you've shown us so far I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and estimate on the low side. It's an outdoor display, the overall display (vehicle) is under 100sq ft, the image itself is used in 1/4 of the over all display, its used twice [actually 3 times, it is again on the rear]so I have to select up to 5 ("up to 5" because its on two sides and you can only select "1" or "up to 5"), the industry is house and home, we'll say the license start date is today, and that license will last a year (again benefit of the doubt here), the geographical location is within the United States. The price of this is $1,565.00 (USD).

    Again, this is benefit of the doubt... it's more than likely at least $2,610.00 (USD) since I'm sure he'll keep it on for at least 3 years.

    You can check for yourself on final pricing and usage rights by contacting Corbis who speaks on behalf of Mr. Freeman. http://www.corbis.com/corporate/Overview/contactus.asp

    Here you can find Corbis' listing for this photograph.
    http://www.corbisimages.com/Enlargement/Enlargement.aspx?id=MF001933&caller=search

    Maybe you want to look through one of his many books he's written?
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=michael+freeman&x=0&y=0

    It's not my job to report anyone... I will remind you this is a public forum and search-able from popular search engines. I would think about contacting a lawyer.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above was the last piece that I wrote before the thread was deleted. This is a perfect example of something horribly wrong in this industry. This is why we are not respected and we lose jobs to people like this. This company has built it's reputation on the fraudulent usage of artwork. I wouldn't have even looked into it this far had the original poster not given an extremely disrespectful attitude towards the issue at hand in conjunction with the other advice given by the users that posted responses in the original thread.

    This is also an example of stealing, not directly from a company of endless size, but of an individual who's obviously worked extremely hard to develop his skills and become a well known photographer through out the world.

    A
     

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  2. Circleville Signs

    Circleville Signs Very Active Member

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    Cpt,

    I dont' care what ANYONE else has to say, I respect you for pointing stuff like this out. If someone walked into THIS guy's shop and stole a bunch of his material I'm guessing he would be livid. But it's ok for him to steal someone elses materials....

    Nope.


    Gary
     
  3. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    People use Google Images as their photo source every day. Half the stuff you see on wraps on this site can be rounded up if you do an image search long enough. It's become almost commonplace for me to get artwork from clients with Corbis or istockphoto watermarks on them or poorly photoshopped out.

    While you're at it ask how many people have commercial rights to all of their fonts? If you look at the EULA on lots of free fonts they're free for personal use but cost for commercial use.

    It's just going to become a bigger and bigger problem. The idea of Copyright law and intellectual property are laughed at by most people and not even considered stealing. I know PREACHERS who don't think anything about using Limewire to download music. Stealing something physical people can understand, stealing something digital is beyond most people's grasp.
     
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  4. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    great post cpt. i am also disappointed that the before mentioned post was deleted...

    there was material in that thread that was of benefit to many members. obviously the op didn't like the responses that he received but if a post is deleted because the op doesnt like the direction the discussion has gone, well, that is disappointing.

    the majority of the responses explained why they did not feel the design was effective and why they would not utilize the products/services of the person sporting that particular advertisement...there is tremendous value in those replies, in my opinion.
     
  5. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Yes it's unfortunate but also unavoidable. Signs 101 is totally opposed to the use of copyrighted work obtained illegally. Once it was established that the work displayed included infringements, the thread was removed.

    I have also spent half my morning answering emails from Mr. Freeman. He is very upset about how the photo was used considering the actual nature of the photo and the human misery it represents.
     
  6. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

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    Cptcorn, where in Minnesota are you? I am in Willmar, which is about 2 hours east of the cities on hwy 12. I am just curious.

    I was reading that post as it was happening. How did you find that pic and make the match like that so fast. I agree with your views on copyright. You have to watch as your looking for stuff as it is easy to be searching for what you need and use what you need. Which is why I have gotten into photography over the last couple of years to be able to take my own photos. Then you don't have to worry about using someone else's stuff improperly.

    Keeping this info out there will hopefully make people think about what they are doing more.
     
  7. mikey-Oh

    mikey-Oh Very Active Member

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    i've been using http://www.tineye.com/ to check against questionable artwork customers provide me. the database is not very big yet.

    it's not just professionals, the world as a whole seem to believe all the internetz is under the creative commons license.
     
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  8. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Why is he contacting you, Fred? I'm just curious, I would think he'd be contacting the person who used the photo.
     
  9. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    I had already deleted the thread Pat and Mr. Freeman couldn't access it...
     
  10. GP

    GP Very Active Member

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    Wow Capt - you have always maintained a pretty solid and outspoken stance against pirated art work and I commend you for that. But this is some incredible detective work. I wish I would have been able to follow the thread yesterday.

    Curious - how did Mr. Freeman discover the misuse?
     
  11. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    was wondering the same thing, although it doesn't much matter
     
  12. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    It was reported to Mr. Freeman by an anonymous person who viewed the thread.
     
  13. cptcorn

    cptcorn adad

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    It is avoidable, through education. People take this stuff so light heartily. I'm not the copyright police but I do take it to heart when someone speaks so casually without any regards as to what they are doing.

    I live in Two Harbors, MN. I was raised in St. Cloud, MN.

    A photo depicting a pile of skulls is not something you see everyday. Quickly searching google turned up the reflected image -very- quickly. I cross checked the image I found with the image on the vehicle. It was clearly a match. When pointed out to the Original Poster he responded in complete disrespect of what he had done.

    Since this photo has such a high level of uniqueness to it, it was not difficult at all to find the photographer.

    I don't know how Mr. Freeman found out about this so quickly.

    This is a great resource, I hope it grows.
     
  14. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    Fred we are all responsible for the decisions we make. If the OP chose to steal content and use it for his own gain...well we are all professionals and he made his choice(s).

    I am trying to find a way to ask my next question in the way it is meant. To me I don't understand why the thread was deleted. He knew he stole the content and to me it seems like the forum is protecting those people by deleting the thread because of how he obtained the content he choose to cut corners and steal artwork versus purchasing it like the rest of us...why is this any different than the posts we see about people printing copyrighted material for clients valve covers or video game advertisments for wallpaper? when those people have in many cases blatantly admitted they had no authorization to print said content?
     
  15. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    The main difference is monetary gain I believe...
     
  16. Dice

    Dice Active Member

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    I'm not defending this guy, but doesn't he have a provision under fair use to create new unique works of art.
     
  17. hydo1

    hydo1 Member

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    He found the image through Google Image Search, he didn't buy the rights to the use the photo...
     
  18. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Our policy is not to provide a venue for anything that includes copyright infringement. That prevents any notion of a seal of approval from Signs 101 on such behavior and it also reduces liability exposure for Signs 101.

    It should be understood that at the current level of member activity, it is impossible to read every post or recognize every situation. If such posts are reported, they will be reviewed and acted upon. We receive reports from less members than my total fingers and thumbs on my two hands. Evidently most don't know, or don't care, or somehow think it's worse to be a "rat" than to protect our community and support intellectual property rights.
     

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  19. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    No one has the right to create derivative works without first obtaining the right to do so. One can be inspired by another's work and create their own from scratch. One cannot simply copy, paste and position someone else's work and claim it as their own.
     
  20. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    It seems like :design: have nabbed yet another stupid person, but as Dan has mentioned... I have no idea of what happened or if the perpetrator was indeed a member here. It might've been mentioned in the articles, and I over looked it, but is the OP or whomever posted the stolen artwork still a member here ??

    Since such good detective work was done by one of our members... I would like to extend a well meant 'Thank You' to him and possibly even suggest something for his efforts somehow.

    I'm sure cpt is not looking or seeking any returns for his :design: work, but I believe he has achieved quite a goal here red handedly.




    Anyway.... three hip-hip-hoorah's for cpt in the meantime.

    :toasting: :toasting: :toasting:
     
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