ALERT: Copyrights are being violated

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by paulstenquist, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. I stumbled across a rather distasteful internet site called PlayComet that my be
    taking photos from photo.net without the photographers permission. I searched
    the site under my name and found that quite a few of my photo.net pics had been
    posted. I searched a couple of other names from photo.net and found the work of
    these photographers as well. I recommend that all photo.net members check this
    site for their work and send a cease and desist notice if it's found. I have
    already done so. The url is http://pic.playcomet.com/

    By the way, their "use agreement" gives them a lot of rights to the work posted
    on the site. Something smells very bad here.
    Paul Stenquist
     
  2. Yup, sure enough. Rather startling to see so many ripped-off images. At least they're not stealing the hosting bandwidth from PN. These "bitcomet"-related sites seem to mostly revolve around heisting off other people's creative works.
     
  3. It appeasr that "playcomet.com" is owned by "bitcomet.com" The whois for Playcomet doesn't turn up much other than a "private" listing and the info for the registrant. The whois for bitcomet shows it as being a site based in China. Since the images are not being hosted from our servers, there isn't a whole lot we (meaning photo.net) can do at this point. Which sucks.

    It is situations like this that are the reason I encourage everyone to watermark their images and/or only upload low resolution images if they want to maintain some semblance of control over how your images are used.

    I'll ask the lawyer if she can think of anything to do. But I'm not particularly optimistic.
     
  4. Disrespect for intellectual property in China? No, I won't believe it.

    By the way, Josh, the domain's registration IS being handled by a domestic US company (GoDaddy.com). I don't know whether there's a DCMA-based way to get the registrar to delist a domain that's being flagrantly used to pirate IP. It might also be worth dropping a note to Google... I'm sure that PN has a contact there, given your traffic. The site in question is making money off of all sorts of prominently placed Google ads. They (Google) can pull that plug if they're alerted to obvious violations. Good luck. Sic 'em!
     
  5. Yep, three of mine have been hi-jacked as well. Even low-res pictures (mine are) are being stolen! I guess from now on every picture gets a watermark. I'm just not sure even that will keep these thiefs away.
     
  6. I'm just not sure even that will keep these thiefs away.

    No, it won't. You have to make your image so distastefully marked up that no one will want to run off with it... which also makes it unpleasant to gaze upon for the reasons you'd post it in the first place. So the other choice is to not post it in the first place. *sigh*
     
  7. It is a sad fact of "internet life". But for me (speaking as a photographer, not a photo.net admin), the benefits of having images on the web outweighs the annoyances.

    Matt makes good points about godaddy and google. Like I said, I'll shoot an email over to our lawyer. But I'm not going to hold my breath.
     
  8. Their namservers (DNS.BIZCN.COM DNS.CNMSN.NET)
    suggest that besides the company being based in China, the images are also being hosted and served from a machine which is also in China.
    <p>
    Administrative Contact:<br>
    Bizcn Bizcn postmaster@bizcn.com<br>
    +86.5922577888 fax: +86.5922577111<br>
    <1F - 4F>, Software Technology Service Builing, Xiamen Software Park
    Xiamen Fujian 361005, cn

    <p>
    Apart from sending them email compliants I'm not sure there is much to be done.
    <p>
    BTW BitComet is a C++ BitTorrent Client for file-sharing, think of it as a Napster for images. As such any image sharing done using it may well be done via a distributed network of hosts.
     
  9. Right, Bob. But the whole thing is all about the ads they've got plastered all over the site. That's where the action is, and that's where their weak spot is. Larger corporate ad providers can be talked into pulling their accounts. That leaves only the very marginal, low-paying, mostly ignored ads... and that takes all the fun out of running a piracy-oriented site. Hopefully there's some traction there. Otherwise... oh well.
     
  10. Some of the guys on the PDML traced the url. It's hosted by godaddy.com. I sent them a takedown notice. Everyone should do the same. Here's the ISP info:
    > White:~% nslookup pic.playcomet.com
    > Server: 192.168.1.4
    > Address: 192.168.1.4#53
    >
    > Non-authoritative answer:
    > Name: pic.playcomet.com
    > Address: 72.167.47.18
    >
    > ARIN Registry info:
    >
    > White:~% whois -h whois.arin.net 72.167.47.18
    >
    > OrgName: GoDaddy.com, Inc.
    > OrgID: GODAD
    > Address: 14455 N Hayden Road
    > Address: Suite 226
    > City: Scottsdale
    > StateProv: AZ
    > PostalCode: 85260
    > Country: US
    >
    > NetRange: 72.167.0.0 - 72.167.255.255
    > CIDR: 72.167.0.0/16
    > OriginAS: AS26496
    > NetName: GO-DADDY-SOFTWARE-INC
    > NetHandle: NET-72-167-0-0-1
    > Parent: NET-72-0-0-0-0
    > NetType: Direct Allocation
    > NameServer: CNS1.SECURESERVER.NET
    > NameServer: CNS2.SECURESERVER.NET
    > NameServer: CNS3.SECURESERVER.NET
    > Comment:
    > RegDate: 2007-07-05
    > Updated: 2008-01-18
    >
    > RAbuseHandle: ABUSE51-ARIN
    > RAbuseName: Abuse Department
    > RAbusePhone: +1-480-624-2505
    > RAbuseEmail: abuse@godaddy.com
    >
    > RNOCHandle: NOC124-ARIN
    > RNOCName: Network Operations Center
    > RNOCPhone: +1-480-505-8809
    > RNOCEmail: noc@godaddy.com
    >
    > RTechHandle: NOC124-ARIN
    > RTechName: Network Operations Center
    > RTechPhone: +1-480-505-8809
    > RTechEmail: noc@godaddy.com
    >
    > OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE51-ARIN
    > OrgAbuseName: Abuse Department
    > OrgAbusePhone: +1-480-624-2505
    > OrgAbuseEmail: abuse@godaddy.com
    >
    > OrgNOCHandle: NOC124-ARIN
    > OrgNOCName: Network Operations Center
    > OrgNOCPhone: +1-480-505-8809
    > OrgNOCEmail: noc@godaddy.com
    >
    > OrgTechHandle: NOC124-ARIN
    > OrgTechName: Network Operations Center
    > OrgTechPhone: +1-480-505-8809
    > OrgTechEmail: noc@godaddy.com
    >
    > And a traceroute showing the connectivity to QWest:
    >
    > White:~% traceroute 72.167.47.18
    > traceroute to 72.167.47.18 (72.167.47.18), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
    > 1 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 1.274 ms 0.443 ms 0.436 ms
    > 2 66.48.21.53 (66.48.21.53) 202.327 ms 59.330 ms 37.080 ms
    > 3 242.atm4-0-0.hr1.tor2.alter.net (152.63.133.82) 24.140 ms
    > 102.803 ms 63.750 ms
    > 4 101.at-4-0-0.xt1.tor2.alter.net (152.63.128.130) 79.990 ms
    > 44.196 ms 69.187 ms
    > 5 0.so-6-1-3.xt1.chi2.alter.net (152.63.128.117) 111.625 ms
    > 145.583 ms 108.148 ms
    > 6 0.so-6-0-0.br1.chi2.alter.net (152.63.66.65) 129.496 ms 116.052
    > ms 145.282 ms
    > 7 204.255.169.46 (204.255.169.46) 90.967 ms 44.904 ms 126.331 ms
    > 8 cer-core-02.inet.qwest.net (205.171.139.149) 118.652 ms 114.331
    > ms 87.531 ms
    > 9 phn-core-01.inet.qwest.net (67.14.19.30) 98.229 ms 151.561 ms 118.497 ms
    > 10 scd-edge-01.inet.qwest.net (205.171.12.42) 141.181 ms 110.188 ms
    > 88.745 ms
    > 11 63.227.225.70 (63.227.225.70) 108.898 ms 87.223 ms 93.699 ms
    > 12 ip-208-109-113-153.ip.secureserver.net (208.109.113.153) 81.492
    > ms 114.415 ms 110.356 ms
    > 13 ip-208-109-113-170.ip.secureserver.net (208.109.113.170) 85.576
    > ms 91.388 ms 145.415 ms
    > 14 ip-72-167-47-18.ip.secureserver.net (72.167.47.18) 85.411 ms
    > !<10> 118.542 ms !<10> 102.595 ms !<10>
     
  11. Well now we have two bits of information that are conflicting. Bob is saying that he sees the host as being in China and Paul has information that he says indicates otherwise.

    Can someone who is smarter than me (and there are a lot of you) figure out the real answer here?
     
  12. They got quite a few of mine, too! Not my best stuff, but pix of my family...I have got to get them out of there. Family should not be all over the 'net. They did not sign up for this crappola...neither did I! Is there a shorter url we can use? This is all very new to me, and extremely scary, not to mention disheartening. Guys...what's the best way to go at this point?
     
  13. Godaddy.com is hosting the site. Tell them to take it down. Mail them at abuse@godaddy.com. Repeat the IS info cited above.
    Paul
     
  14. The answer you need is here: log into your adsense account
    https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=18386

    I have used this in the past with good success with copied material. Hit them where it hurts i.e. their adsense account. Without a financial incentive, there is no reason for them to copy images and it doesn't matter where in the world they reside.

    I have also filed a report through this.
     
  15. Some of the confusion here may be due to the fact that their domain registry is anonymized by Domains by Proxy.
    Which is owned by Godaddy.com.
     
  16. If you're going to display your photos on the Internet, and you do not register them with the U.S. Copyright Office (who can register all their work?), at least pay to register 2 or 3 which are displayed all the time.

    Then if someone bulk downloads your images and starts using them you stand a much better chance of getting an attorney to take the case because of the much higher chance of recovering monetary damages, at least for the registered images.

    If a few of these people got nailed for $300k per image it would certainly slow down this kind of infringement in the U.S.
     
  17. Daniel, that would work if the major issue was in the US but often online it is not the issue. I agree with you if work is important to you here in the US but in this case, removing their incentive through removing their adsense account is the best and in my experience the most effective move.
     
  18. Here's the response I'll be you'll get: "Made you look!"
     
  19. The hostname of the server in question:
    <BR><BR>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;pic.playcomet.com
    <br><Br>
    resolves to this IP address:
    <br><Br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;72.167.47.18
    <br><br>
    And a WHOIS look-up on that IP address (good ol' DNSSTUFF.COM) reports that it is owned by GoDaddy.com. So, this site IS indeed hosted here in the US, and GoDaddy.com happens to also be the registrar, and have the registrant's info hidden behind a proxy (which you can do for about $10/year).
    <Br><br>
    So, as has been mentioned above, it's off to GoDaddy.com with the take-down requests. This stuff is living on their servers. And those servers are in lovely downtown Scottsdale, AZ. Go, Daddies.
     
  20. If anyone plans to contact GoDaddy, file a DMCA as most registrars and hosts require that. Cease and desist rarely works with them and are used to warn the original violator, not the host.
     
  21. I received this answer from Godaddy.com:

    Dear Paul Stenquist,

    Thank you for contacting the GoDaddy.com Spam and Abuse Department.

    In order to ensure that your claims are dealt with in the most efficient manner possible, you will need to send your claim to CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com.

    Please submit your copyright claim in accordance with all steps as outlined in our Copyright and Trademark Policy located at http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/legal_agreements/show_doc.asp?se=%2B&pageid=TRADMARK%5FCOPY. If all the policy conditions are met, and if we can verify that the material in question is indeed a registered and copyrighted work, then we will re-direct the site per the terms of this policy.


    Regards,
    Spam and Abuse Department
    GoDaddy.com
    ARID1003
     
  22. Sorry, don't mean to sound dumb, but most of these abbreviations are foreign to me...please, what does DMCA mean? Also, we've got several addresses and opinions as to what, where and how to get our pix back; who has used what, and what kind of response have you gotten? Which of the above do you think is THE most appropriate and effective way to approach these thieves? Daniel, you are so right...it's high time to register w/the copyright office! Thanks you all for your concern and help.
     
  23. Sorry, didnt mean to confuse anyone. DMCA is Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If you do a search online, you will find sample forms and how to send them. This applies to the US. I have had copyright material removed this way.
    The other suggestion I had was to report them to Google adsense program (the ads they use to make money). The reason is that they can repeatedly violate copyright and change hosts etc requiring you to file new DMCA forms. An adsense account covers all websites held by the individual or company and prevents them from making money from the program no matter which host they use i.e. it removes the incentive to violate copyright. Yes they can try to apply to other company's ad programs but there are a lot fewer of those than website hosts.

    I am not a lawyer so do not take this as legal advice but i have used this to good effect in the past.
    I have filed a DMCA and a complaint with adsense.
     
  24. They have 27 of my images posted.
     
  25. I can't believe that China's espionage has stooped to such a level as to steal photos from PN. And you thought lead poisoning was the end of it. And so the war drums beat on...Get ready my friends.
     
  26. I encourage everyone who has photos posted on this site to report the copyright violation to Google Adsense and to Godaddy.

    I have sent an email off to our lawyer. She may not get back to me until Monday, and I'm still not really convinced that we can do anything, but it is worth a try.
     
  27. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    "Beautiful large prints are available at YarmouthLane.com"?

    Playcomet grabbed a whole mess of my photographs, too, so I posted the English version of the above text pointing to my website as comments on all of the images they ripped. You don't even have to sign in; they allow anyone to comment on the stuff. Hey, might as well get some free advertising from them, right? Trying to bring down that Chinaman is going to be mighty hard. Regards.
     
  28. The DNS servers for the domain are in China, and when I do a tracert to playcomet.com the final IP I get is 222.73.227.221.

    I can't get a full resolution on that IP address, but it appears to be somewhere in China from the following report:

    nns.sta.net.cn. (an authoritative nameserver for 73.222.in-addr.arpa., which is in charge of the reverse DNS for 222.73.227.221)
    says that there are no PTR records for 222.73.227.221.

    The hop prior to the final hop is to a server in Shanghai, China, so it looks like the route does end up in China.

    Google are notoriously slow to act on complaints, but maybe PN is big enough to have some influence, though it's not like we have the traffic of a slashdot or msn. It's worth a try.

    I doubt that DMCA complaints to China will have much effect since it's a US Copyright Law, plus China isn't exactly well know for upholding international copyright law anyway.
     
  29. Just got this back from GoDaddy:

    "Dear Juergen Sattler,


    Thank you for contacting the GoDaddy.com Spam and Abuse Department.


    In order to ensure that your claims are dealt with in the most efficient manner possible, you will need to send your claim to CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com.


    Please submit your copyright claim in accordance with all steps as outlined in our Copyright and Trademark Policy located at http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/legal_agreements/show_doc.asp?se=%2B&pageid=TRADMARK%5FCOPY.

    If all the policy conditions are met, and if we can verify that the material in question is indeed a registered and copyrighted work, then we will re-direct the site per the terms of this policy.

    Regards,
    Spam and Abuse Department
    GoDaddy.com
    ARID1003"

    In other words, they will only act on this if the pictures in question have been officially registered and copy-marked, which is not the case for my photographs. Sounds like they think it is OK to copy pictures from one site to the other, unless you registered them.
     
  30. Juergen: If you follow the link that was provided above in an earlier comment, you'll see some very specific instructions on how to submit a proper copyright-related request. It's simple, and does NOT mention registered (vs. non-registered) copyrighted works. It simply requires you to make good-faith assertions that you are the copyright holder or are authorized to speak on that person's behalf.

    Bob: DNS for that domain may indeed by in China, as is their main web site, but the "pic.playcomet.com" server - which is a different web presence, on different servers - IS hosted by GoDaddy in the U.S. It's very common for a given domain to sport servers in multiple environments. The IP address I mentioned earlier is domestic... tracert a route to that specific host name, not just the parent domain name (which will indirectly resolve, sometimes, to the mail server on the domain). Note that the "www" hostname (www.playcomet.com) ALSO resolves to the Arizona-based IP address.
     
  31. All good investigative stuff.

    It seems to me that photo.net needs a dedicated discussion forum for this stuff, because
    it happens often enough.

    PN may not be able to afford to pay a lawyer to do this kind of work, but there are
    standard request mechanisms in many countries, there is a strong enough sense of right
    and wrong and collective effort here, and at least having somewhere that the various
    avenues of investigation could be archived would provide some value.
     
  32. Coincidence maybe, but every photographer's name I check on the Play Comet site is a Photonet member. I searched Play Comet's site for several names of regular posters to a couple of other sites I subscribe to and their names or photos don't show up. Is this site just drawing from Photonet?
     
  33. Jim: they could indeed have written a special screen-scraping bot that's been trained to understand how to crawl and fetch images and names from photo.net's particular way of hosting and serving that content. Obviously there isn't some guy in China sitting there ooh-ing and aah-ing at the images from this site and choosing which ones to put there. It's driven by easily found links into portfolios, and a robot is doing the work. If you look at the file names for the larger JPGs, you'll see that they're date-based. All of my images were scraped on the same day.
     
  34. Juergen, Matt is right. The information provided at the link is required to be in their policy by the DMCA. Those steps are a DMCA filing exactly - no registration of photos needed.
    Godaddy is the place to start and if they determine that they are not the host, they will say so in response to the filings.
    The only part i am unsure of is the anonymous registration i.e. domainbyproxy. I am not sure if they are required to reveal the registrants details.
    If it does turn out to be hosted in china, then Bob is right. There is often little that can be done. Google adsense would be the fall back position though it can take time. If enough people file though it might catch their attention.
     
  35. Maybe next years 2009 calendars being printed in China this summer will contain many of these free web images?
     
  36. "PN may not be able to afford to pay a lawyer to do this kind of work"
    As I have said more than once in this thread, we have a lawyer. She is a very good lawyer. The issue is more with sites like this being hosted in foreign countries. If they are, there is little to nothing we can do about it. If multi-billion dollar companies can't get chinese companies to stop making counterfeit merchandise, we don't have much of a chance of getting a website to pull down images.
    That having been said, if the site is based in the US or is using US based services like Adsense, then there is a better chance of using legal threats to make a difference.
    Do keep in mind that even if we are successful at cutting off their US based host, the chances are very good that this website will simply re-appear on foreign hosted servers.
     
  37. While I will do whatever I can do to have all of our images removed, I also took Walter's advice and posted the following message in the comments section of each of my photographs: "This unauthorized low-resolution copywritten image in available for purchase at www.lifeonthe45th.com". At least as we fight, we can use it to hopefully sell something or drive people to our websites.
     
  38. If you click on the Google Ads text that reads "Ads by Google", you get to a page which invites comments. Click on the link that says " Send Google your thoughts on the site or the ads you just saw" and let Google know. As you check the various boxes, more boxes will open up and eventually you'll be given an area in which you can type your comments. WARNING - If you click on the ad part of the ad, you will be giving the site money! Click only on the text at the lower right corner of the ad which reads "Ads by Google" (sometimes it may also read "Ads by Gooooogle"). If might be especially effective if you do this from a page which is displaying one of YOUR stolen images, since the page URL is sent back to Google along with your comments. Don't expect any direct response back from Google or any immediate action, but if they get enough complaints about the site they may look more closely at it
    00OM20-41623384.jpg
     
  39. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Thanks Bob, that is some good advice! I think that this fight is not going to be won unless we have the cooperation of as many of our members as possible. To that end, I strongly suggest that a notice is emailed or, even better, posted prominently in the Forums, concerning this situation. In addition to an explanation that PhotoNet is working to resolve the problem, a request for members to individually contact Google, GoDaddy and whoever else is involved should be included, with suggestions as to what we should say. Regards.
     
  40. "Strength in numbers"... I think that's a fantastic idea, Walter! I'm on board! Everyone else?! Admins--can we do this?
     
  41. I have made this thread "sticky" at the top of the Feedback forum and will make a post in the Casual Conversations forum pointing people here.
     
  42. Just to clear up any confusion about the IP addresses etc., playcomet.com does resolve to a server in China, but pic.playcomet.com seems to resolve to a server in Scottsdale Arizona. The last server in a tracert resolves to a company Wild West Domains, Inc., 14455 N Hayden Rd #219,
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260, however the IP suggests that Godaddy is involved, but maybe just as the registeration agent?


    BTW, adding a copyright watermark doesn't seem to stop them using the images! See http://pic.playcomet.com/show-72015.html
     
  43. These guys are unscrupulous. They even rip off software. I see a title on there I just paid $49 for. He claims it is free, but it's not. Also others have prices, so I'm not sure who you have to pay to use the software.
     
  44. Am I missing something? They have one of my pictures, but it has my name with it. Does that mean they have referenced it and so it is not a copyright violation?
     
  45. Pete, No. If they used your photo without your permission, then its a copyright violation. There are a few exceptions but none of them apply here
     
  46. Bob,

    GoDaddy's business address is 14455 N. Hayden Rd.Suite 219 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
    Domains by proxy is 15111 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ ( a block away)
    Wild west domains address is 14455 N Hayden Rd # 219, Scottsdale, AZ
    The place to start is definitely GoDaddy.
     
  47. damn... found one of mine... i've filed my grievances - I'd also make a suggestion - when you
    file with google and godaddy, give them the link back to this thread as well, so that they can
    see that you're not alone.
     
  48. Son-of-a-gun! they took three of mine! Not only are they pirates--they have no taste!
     
  49. Taking advantage of the no login requirement on the comments, I posted the following comment below my photo:

    PlayComet.com are thieves!

    pic.playcomet.com is illegally infringing on photographers' copyrights. I am the photographer who took this photo and I have NEVER authorized them to use this photo. If you would like to see this photo and others I've taken on my website where of course they were intended to be seen, go to: http://www.kierselinsky.com

    To read more about other photographers that are having their copyrights infringed by PlayComet.com, go to: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg? msg_id=00OLRb
     
  50. More stolen images here

    http://www.vojvodinacafe.com/forum/umetnost/1712-fotografija-dana-105.html

    Does anyone read this language (Russian possibly?) and can they give an idea of what this website is about?
     
  51. hanna - it looks like a norse or swedish type of language to me

    Josh - this gives me an idea of a great service that pnet could provide: a directory of
    infringing sites. it could be a system where say you know that pic.playcomet.com is
    infringing, and then us photographers could each put in the URLs where our copyrights are
    being infringed, then the database could be made readily accessible by google, godaddy, etc,
    so that they can be mindful of who's naughty. feel free to email me outside the thread if you
    want an expanded idea of what i'm talking about.
     
  52. What is interesting is to read on this thread that folks find this behavior as being anything new or shocking. The general public views the web as a free library. You post your images and expect magically they are not going to be harvested; used; printed; ie stolen. Its like leaving 100 dollar bills on park benches overnight and expecting every bum to be a goodie two shoes. The public lifts these cool images and brings them to print shops mixed in with their own custom brochures and work; and us print shops have now way of knowing what is legal. In a way web stuff is just given away; like releasing a bunch of birds, bugs and ants and expecting them to stay in the same local area. Whats legal and whats practical in enforcing are two different things. You have no way of knowing if your image is being used 1/2 way around the globe in a report; local advertising; weekly reader ;) calendar; greeting card.
     
  53. Does anyone read this language (Russian possibly?) and can they give an idea of what this website is about?
    Serbian or similar. Someone here will know.
     
  54. They have 3 of mine- I'm flattered! Didn't think any of my work was worth stealing!
     
  55. They have 1 of mine...
     
  56. Wow, they even took mine! and I suck.........I don't know if I should be mad or honored.........I feel like Metallica. I DID follow the google links to report abuse...so I'm in.
     
  57. it

    it

    you really think they're making money on your photos?
     
  58. Ian: Yes. They are running ads that generate revenue. They are using the images (and a lot of other pirated content) as bait.
     
  59. While sorting through this at GoDaddy, I saw a photo of the guy that is purportedly the founder of the site. He looks like a sleazebag so it is not surprising that they are involved in the caper.
     
  60. Maybe we should start bragging about how many of our pictures got ripped off. Mine's 63. Can anyone beat that?
     
  61. At least my name is on them. This happens so many times that I have for the most part
    stopped worrying about it.

    When I find people selling my images that is another story. One guy was selling my
    photos, as fine art prints, with HIS name on them as the artist. I immediately went after
    him and he eventually apologized along with was banned from the website (Art.com).

    Other Real estate companies, Ebay sellers, etc have used our images without authorization
    for advertising, and we have collected thousands of dollars from them as a result.

    Many teenagers will download my photos and post them on sites like Myspace, Xanga etc.

    I no longer worry about them. It's a J-peg, they are usually just having fun with their
    pages.

    In my opinion, it's just not worth the bother 98 percent of the time. What Walter Tatulinski
    did by posting a comment on these images, directing people to his own website sounds
    like a smart idea.

    Some battles are worth fighting for, others not quite.


    I put this one in the latter.
     
  62. I'm coming across plenty of other PN members as I browse around them. Should there be a central location where we can record what we suspect are other member's works and have a notice emailed to them?
     
  63. it

    it

    This happens all the time. Not even remotely worth all the kerfluffel.

    Don't like it? Don't put your photos on the internet.
     
  64. Twenty-one of my photos have been posted by the BitComet/PlayComet site. For what it's worth--which probably isn't much--I've pasted the following notice on each image's "comment" link: "This copyrighted image has been stolen by the operators of this website, based in China. Unlicensed use of this photo is a copyright violation. Persons wishing to license this image can contact the photographer, Bill Wingell, at bwingell@gmail.com." I'll follow-up with emails to all the identified parties involved, including advertiser Google, but getting a satisfactory response, I'm sure, is unlikely.

    I think it's probably worth noting that on the positive side regarding my participation in photo.net, just in the last month I've licensed three of my p.net images to the publishers of two forthcoming books--one shot to be used as a cover photo on a book about native American political action and another to help illustrate a high school civics textbook with a print run of 750,000. There are honest users of our material out there. Cheers...Bill
     
  65. they got six of mine. i'm just upset because the one person on PN I despise got nine stolen! honestly, i couldn't care less. at least they acknowledged me as the photographer. nothing like free advertising!? ;)
     
  66. Many Thanks to all the Internet Savy PN folks who posted their wisdom above!

    Cheers! Jay
     
  67. Oh please. The URL resolves to an IP address that is registered at Go Daddy. If Photo.net cannot get the domain shut down what good is photo.net?
     
  68. In a way it's ironic. A site in Korea hotlinked to 60 of my Waterton Scenery folder pictures and got over 100,000 hits before Josh had the link killed.

    This one in China only "stole" one of my pictures. Should I be insulted or relieved ;)
     
  69. They have about 26-27 of mine. Atleast they are credited. I have sent a message to google via the link on the ads, but will the do other stuff tomorrow when i can think coherently.
     
  70. I'm with Vincent et al on this one - some battles are not worth fighting. I've seen some older PN images on another website for qite some time (not the one Hanna cited) but can't find it again. In that case whole portfolios have been copied.

    I like Walter's idea though - nice one, Walter!

    I'm only at a count of 13 on this latest site.
     
  71. Thank you guys for pointing that out! I did what Bob Atkins and Kier Selinsky suggested. The chinese have stolen 11 of mine... I hope this will be solved. Thankfully, my name is on them.<p>

    I'd have a suggestion on how could PN protect our images against these thefts. The photos posted could be dispayed as flash embedded images. So there should be no .jpegs and other files to steal. The only way you can steal a flash embedded image is to take a print screen of the page and then crop the photo in some photo editor. It's complicated and a bot couldn't do that.<p>

    The question remains how hard it is to implement this system. Well, there are to impediments: technical and financial. Technical: a script that would automatically embed the uploaded photos in a .swf file. However, the site's pages would not get bulkier and slower to upload as the .swf files that are not animated don't weight much. Financial: flash programmer/programmers. However, I think Josh is more in measure to evaluate this possibility.
     
  72. I would rather put up with some thievery than go to a flash embedded system. Consider how often we help each other by demonstrating a PhotoShop technique on a right-clicked image of another? Or sometimes it's good just to take a look at the processing "what ifs" of someone elses work on your own desktop. Flash would destroy some of the communal benefits of this site.

    I was annoyed by this site in China because they blatantly ripped off many PN shots, and the environment is somewhat sleazy. Sometimes, howeverm, I'm pleased when someone uses one of my pics. A little newsletter in Budapest took one of my coffee shop portraits and used it to illustrate an article. They didn't tell me, but they credited it, so it came up on google. Good for them. That's okay by me.

    Speaking of google, I stumbled across Playcomet while googling my name to see how high on the google page my own commercial site appeared. I almost didn't report it. I'm annoyed by it, but certainly not devastated. I'm a bit surprised to see how much angst it has caused.
    Paul
     
  73. anyone ever heard of Sysiphus? Vincent is right. As annoyingly as it is, it isn't worth the bother and will continue to happen.
     
  74. Wow. They got 3 of mine also. I'm not sure if I should be proud of not. Anyway, I send and email to them, Google, and used Kier's comment about "PlayComet.com are thieves!" on all the photos with my name.
     
  75. Well it appears I'm another "victim" of theft too! So it sounds like the only recourse is to NOT post anywhere on the web including PN, that's sad 'cause I really enjoy my time here and have learned a lot, but with an impending Gallery Show and the possible sale of my work I just DO NOT want my imagery floating around the internet.
     
  76. They have one of my lo-rez images, with my name on it. So what? I don't agree with what they did, but this is the Internet. The moment I posted an image on Pnet, or even created an electronic file of an image and e-mailed it, I acknowledged to myself that I was giving up a portion of my control to the great beyond. Commercial work is kept under much tighter wraps.
     
  77. In regard to Susan's point, I think that exposure on the internet is usually a good thing. Lo-res images can't be turned into marketable prints. My personal experience suggests that photo.net and other forums have only made my work more desirable. In fact, I've sold prints as a direct result of the work having been viewed on photo.net, and I've been approached by stock houses and local galleries after they saw my work here. Because some moronic site that no one sees is displaying my photos won't change any of that.
    Paul
     
  78. It was nice not to have any anonymous 3/3s on my photos. :)
     
  79. On a serious note. While I certainly have no respect for thieves, and if I had the power to end all theft of photographs throughout the known universe...how many of us are really affected in a tangible way by this? How many of us will lose one dime? If a billion bad copies of one of my photographs are sold in China (or Mars for that matter) all it will mean is that a billion Chinese (or Martian) people have a bad copy of one of my photographs. For all the wringing of hands and fear that the sky is falling...who cares...
     
  80. They ripped off 31 of my shots, but they got my father Dennis Jones, for over 60 shots......
     
  81. THey got a dozen or so of mine also....... But I'm a technophobe and have difficulty following all info above. I won't be uploading any images to PN until I can figure out how to put watermarks on.
     
  82. 76 to be exact. I'm going with the Walter method, plus leaving a few rude comments on on www.bitcomet.com, "THIS STOLEN PHOTO BELONGS TO WWW.CAMERAVIEW.NET".

    Josh Root, question: Is there any way that Photo.net can get a good discount on someone's services like Digimarc's?
     
  83. I believe they have at least one image from everyone on here. I typed in every name that I could remember in the search box and it came back with at least one image.
     
  84. 180 of Alec Ee's
     
  85. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Lo-res images can't be turned into marketable prints."

    Hi Paul, prints are not the only commercial market. I don't understand the dismissal "they're just low rez web jpg's anyways...". How about if your picture was made into a logo or used on a commercial website? All jpg's can be turned into vector graphics and places like PN are a feeding ground for unscrupulous graphic designers looking for elements that can quickly be made into a derivative image.

    These images were harvested manually so i disagree with whomever said a bot grabbed them. Someone hand chose these for quality and categories and went to the trouble to post the authors name.

    PN can do more for this community by upgrading its software. It's not unusual to right-click (on non-flash sites) these days and get nowhere. One photo site has a notice that comes up "Sorry, you can't do that here". Another site opens with what you think will be the jpg but instead, you get a gif of the site's logo with text "Please contact us if you wish to use this image." Over on flickr, when you have a $25 pro account, one ends up saving the famous 'spaceball.gif'.

    Watermark your images. Most of us can see the forest through the trees and it doesn't bother me a bit. It's perfectly acceptable behavior on the net these days. If you can enter your name on your dslr's exif data, do it and do not 'save for the web' in post.

    I couldn't imagine being Jim Krantz and visiting the guggenheim museum...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/06/arts/design/06prin.html
     
  86. it

    it

    He's taken thousands of images, none of them indexed by category, None of them with hi-res files. He has a couple of crappy local ads. It's more or less a blog, it's not going to make any real money.
    <p>

    So, huff and puff and blow it down. One or ten or a hundred more are going to pop up in its place.
    <p>
    Someone in China likes your photos. Congratulations.
     
  87. John: I think it matters because when it's being scraped by bots/scripts in a large-scale way (as in this case) so that a commercial entity can use it as bait to make money selling ads... it's really bad form. More to the point, "resources" like this site contribute to the prevailing wisdom of 13-year-olds everywhere that anything they can see and touch should be theirs to use how they see fit, regardless of the means by which they acquire it. If creative people don't sometimes actually put up a fight when they're being badly abused (not to be confused with someone passing around a shot they love just because they love it), then we lose any moral high ground we may just barely still have.

    Especially as western nations become more and more engaged in the crazy economy that is China, we need to make a few efforts, where we can, to set the tone. Earlier, louder, and more often is better than shrugging it off. It's indeed pointless to fuss over whether the Greater Beijing Hsitsu Breeders Club has heisted a puppy picture for their web site's calendar. But when a big ol' Google-Magnet, making ad revenue, serves up thousands of images while being as oily about it as they have been here... that's worth the keystrokes to get (especially domestic) hosting shops to look into it.
     
  88. I am a little concerned about how people are reacting. Posting on the web entails a risk of being copied. Crossing the street entails a risk of getting run over but the benefits outweigh the risks.
    For me the benefits of posting an image on photo.net or elsewhere outweigh the risks.
    Simple steps can be taken as were outlined here and hopefully that will remedy the situation. However my life will go on as normal and i will continue to post.
    The expense and inconvenience of watermarking etc is not worth it.
    I see this thread as an education on how to file a complaint, not as a warning and I certainly won't stop posting and learning.
    For those who don't report it, don't worry. Plenty of others are and if we get a result, thats great. If we don't, then thats how it goes but life shouldn't stop for this.
    Allowing this or other copyright violators to spoil your enjoyment is allowing them to control your life and enjoyment of your hobby.
     
  89. Theyt have three pages of mine.

    I suppose that at least they credited me with the photos, which is more than some thieves do.
     
  90. I'm not naive enough to not realize that my imagery wouldn't be heisted to other sites, it's just that this is the first I've known of it. The bottom line for me is that I treat people with respect and honesty and that's where I'm naive, I expect the same from others. Any kind of "theft" makes me feel violated, and I have no one to blame but myself because I knowingly posted my imagery to PN. The point here is if we are to be "in control of our lives" than we need to make those decisions, for ourselves, whether to post or not. This isn't about monetary gain, but about protecting my personal creativity, that's important to me, and it's about principles and where do we draw the line. I haven't read all the posts but I do know some folks will think this is all silly nonsense and others will feel a tad pissed off like myself. I think part of my frustration is the feeling of helplessness in a situation like this, there's not a damn thing I can do about it but whine.....and send a complaint or two in the right directions. No big deal for some, a real barn burner for others.
     
  91. 18 of mine.. additional information

    Under the US Copyright Law Chapter 17 (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/) and the

    Digital Millennium Copyright Act (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92appb.pdf),

    Give, the server owner, Go Daddy, a take down notification as pursuant to Act, section 512 (c) (3).

    A statement to them of the number and type, webpage address, etc., and your desire to have them remove the images pursuant to the ACT, .. etc.

    Also, send this notic to Google, to let them know you have sent it to Go Daddy.

    Marc
     
  92. "The photos posted could be dispayed as flash embedded images. So there should be no .jpegs and other files to steal."
    It is something that could be considered. But making changes like that to the site would bring other problems that would need to be considered as well. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of sites that rely so heavily on flash. I don't feel like they work as well.
    "Is there any way that Photo.net can get a good discount on someone's services like Digimarc's?"
    While I don't think digimarc would solve the problem we have here (given that legal action probably cannot be easily taken against a chinese company), it might be a good start. I will look into talking with digimarc about some sort of deal.
    "PN can do more for this community by upgrading its software."
    My general opinion is that actions like disabling right-click just slow down the theft process by a few seconds. I have yet to see a site I could not swipe an image from if I wanted to. However, that having been said, I haven't done any serious research into what techniques other large photo sites are using to try and prevent image theft. Might be worth exploring.
    My Personal Opinion on this sort of theft (which is not my "photo.net admin" opinion)
    I tend to not worry about this stuff. Having images "stolen" in this fashion is just one of the risks of putting your images on the web. For my own images, I might explore legal options if the outcome would be profitable. But it a case like this, I don't let it bother me. The benefits of having my images online outweigh the occasional problems that come up.
    However, that is just my personal opinion as a professional photographer.
     
  93. Thanks Josh... I know the risk, where I'm pissed off about is, other than our name, this type of rip off allows no way of contacting the right full owner and they post without my permission. Hell, I'd give them permission in most cases, if they would ask and give me proper credit, not just my name.
     
  94. ""The photos posted could be dispayed as flash embedded images. So there should be no .jpegs and other files to steal." You can simply do a screen capture of a flash embedded image. They're as easy to steal as a normally displayed JPEG. I've attached an image I just "stole" from my own flash based gallery (http://www.bobatkins.com/images2). Took me 10 seconds to do it. Yes, it would be difficult to automate, but not impossible and it wouldn't stop individuals stealing images. If you seriously want images you could also pay someone in a 3rd world economy $1 for every 100 images they stole for you. It's called "outsourcing"! Putting your images on the web is like putting a basket of apples at the end of your driveway along with a box and a note saying "put 25 cents in the box for every apple you take". Most people will put a quarter in the box. A few won't.
    00OMrZ-41644684.jpg
     
  95. Most people will put a quarter in the box. A few won't.

    And some of them (like the web site in question) will take the entire basket of apples AND the box with the money in it.
     
  96. from my perspective, I'm not surprised by this, and am aware this is a risk of posting photos
    on the internet. However, getting robbed is a risk of going to the store, and robberies
    happen every day, but the police still try to stop it. Similarly, these guys have stolen our
    photos, I don't see any reason for not taking the 10 minutes to contact google and godaddy
    to try and shut them down.
     
  97. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "My general opinion is that actions like disabling right-click just slow down the theft process by a few seconds. I have yet to see a site I could not swipe an image from if I wanted to. However, that having been said, I haven't done any serious research into what techniques other large photo sites are using to try and prevent image theft. Might be worth exploring."

    Josh, the path of least resistance is chosen by these types. Yes indeed it's easy to screen grab or go deep into windows and extract jpg's from your cache. But again, if it's too much hassle for sites like the one in question here, they go elsewhere.

    Try right-clicking on this smugmug image for instance.

    http://www.smugmug.com/popular/today/1/252658247_dv2CP#252658247_dv2CP-M-LB
     
  98. That is a clever little dropdown when you right click. But it still took me just a few seconds to download the image from the page. Clicking "page info" then the "media" tab in firefox got me the image with no screengrabs. If I can do it, I'm sure someone can program a computer to do it.

    HOWEVER, that doesn't mean photo.net shouldn't look into what options are available to us to discourage images from being taken off the site. As I said "might be worth exploring".
     
  99. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    that's the hard way, Josh. Most 'humans' searching for images just surf the net and cache out afterwards. ie, read this thread

    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?p=3242786&sid=1c2409d9ad7424c8d3f0084e198a3e44

    but the reasons stated at Feb Mon 4th 2008 3:21am is typical of how they do it for theft en masse. IE is even easier. And it doesn't matter if you're on flash sites or not as usually jpg's are called on from the .swf file and not embedded into it.
     
  100. They also stole one of my photos from PN. I followed the suggestion of Bob Atkins and sent a report to Google, showing the address with my photo at their site, http://pic.playcomet.com/Francisco_Ribeiro_do_Vale-99372.html
     
  101. Got me too. I would have been mighty amused if they has stolen any of the pictures of my law school building!

    Reported it to Google. Considering dealing with GoDaddy's reporting scheme, but they don't define "electronic signature" on the reporting page.
     
  102. "Try right-clicking on this smugmug image for instance"

    Just disable Javascript and the dropdown won't appear.
     
  103. Eric,
    I don't mind people using my images to create web graphics. I work in advertising, and the designers who I depend on for support do the same. It's part of the web pool of information. Post on the web, and you're part of the pool. But posting on the web hasn't had a negative effect on the marketability of my photography. Quite the opposite. It's lead to many more opportunities and assignments. If you see something you like on my pages, and the lo-res image will work for you, be my guest. And don't forget to gie me a call when you have a need for imagery you can't fill that way. It's the way of the world these days. And it works for all of us.
    Paul
     
  104. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Paul, I'm the same way. I don't even bother watermarking. And I think of our selves as lucky, compared to our musician cousins...
     
  105. Interesting stuff for sure, great advertising however.
    <P>So, 36 of my images are on that site, all taken from Photo.net. Not one of the photos on flickr are showing up, better security?
     
  106. No. I can take all of your pics off flickr if I want them. But it will take longer, because it's a slow site.
    Paul
     
  107. Sadly, my images are apparently not even worthy of being stolen.
     
  108. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "So, 36 of my images are on that site, all taken from Photo.net. Not one of the photos on flickr are showing up, better security?"

    "No. I can take all of your pics off flickr if I want them. But it will take longer, because it's a slow site. Paul"

    That's not what Dave asked. Anything on a monitor can be taken. Is it easier at PN than flickr? Yes.
     
  109. Gordon,
    Had to go to your pages and take a look. You have some excellent photos posted. I will alert my art directors, who will undoubtedly steal some of them for comps:) Seriously, your work is very nice.

    By the way, Flickr is a favorite source of the art directors I work with. They take more from that site than they do from photo.net. I'm always telling them that they're missing out on a good thing. I think the work here is generally better.
    paul
     
  110. Joshua,
    Typing your name is your electronic signature.
     
  111. Anything anywhere on the internet can be taken. The only way to guarantee that your images will not show up on someone else's website is to not put any of them on the internet.
     
  112. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "By the way, Flickr is a favorite source of the art directors I work with. They take more from that site than they do from photo.net. I'm always telling them that they're missing out on a good thing. I think the work here is generally better. paul"

    i agree, the work here is better. but they use flickr because of more content and better usability via search with tags like stock photo sites. want a dog photo? type in 'dog' in the tag search. want a 'white dog' type that in. Graphic designers can't do that here.
     
  113. They have four of my images, one of which is a very dear one. They used my name above
    each image though, I guess it's good publicity for me as long as they don't use a different
    name...
     
  114. "better usability via search with tags like stock photo sites"
    I don't want to de-rail the conversation. But this is a feature that is coming to photo.net. And yes, it's long overdue.
     
  115. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    that's great news, Josh? What else wink, wink? (you don't derail, btw...i did) I have a few 'peeves' about PN if you wish to hear them, behind the scenes or start a "What would you add to PN if you could?" thread?
     
  116. Eric, for ease of conversation I would much prefer if you emailed me.
     
  117. The other issue I just noticed is given the same photo, placed on both PN and Flickr, it's the photo on PN that is getting the hits. There's no way an average photo of mine gets 9000 hits on PN and 36 on flickr. I had been wondering what was going on.
     
  118. That'a a good thing, Josh. Finding what you want is a plus. Yes, it might lead to more extensive use of photo.net for comp searches. That can lead to sales. Art directors frequently try to buy high res versions of the low res pics they rip off for comps. And the rewards are sometimes substantial. A site that works better is a plus for everyone. It might even be a good idea to promote comp use. Something along the lines of this:
    Please feel free to use images on this site for non-published comp work. But we would also hope that you would consider purcasing the high-res versions of the images you use to sell the work.
    Paul
     
  119. Please everyone, while I'm happy to discuss the site (see my responses on almost every Site Feedback forum thread), let's not get sidetracked. This thread is about the unauthorized usage issue with palycomet/bitcomet.
     
  120. I obscured the visibility of my folders in the options and watermarked the last uploads that appear on my member page. Do you guys think the visibility set to off will prevent them from stealing the images or can they accesss the database?
     
  121. Until this matter won't be clarified I will keep all my images obscured and I posted this pic on my portfolio. If we won't find a solution quick, I will cancel my membership, make all my friends do the same and they will do the same with their friends and bye bye photo.net.
    00ON8V-41651784.jpg
     
  122. Antonio,
    I think no one cares. If you post on the internet,your photos will be pilfered here and there. If you don't post on the internet, they will be unseen for the most part. Do as you will. The problem won't be resoled. And in many ways, it's not a problem. Bye bye Antonio.
     
  123. Antonio Bassi says:..."Until this matter won't be clarified I will keep all my images
    obscured and I posted this pic on my portfolio. If we won't find a solution quick, I will
    cancel my membership, make all my friends do the same and they will do the same with
    their friends and bye bye photo.net."



    ***** My Reply:



    Bwaaaaaahahahahahahahahahaaaahah



    Folks, you just gotta love Pnetters like Antonio....

    : )
     
  124. it

    it

    Exactly. If someone would use your picture from there, they would use it from here. There is no difference whatsoever.
    You are credited, all it is is more eyeballs for your photos. The reaction around here is bizarre....
     
  125. "Do you guys think the visibility set to off will prevent them from stealing the images or can they accesss the database?"
    It may make it slightly harder. But you are also making it significantly harder for normal people to see your images. Which essentially defeats the purpose of having images online.
    Keep in mind that clicking "hide this folder from my portfolio view" does not hide your images from ever being seen. It just hides them from your main portfolio view. The can still be reached via google searches and other links from the site.
    As has been said multiple times on this thread, the only way to be sure that your images won't be swiped from one website and used on another is to not put images online at all.
     
  126. Paul

    I became photonet member to share experiences with other photographers, not to sell my images, I already have who buys my photos and they are private collectors. Now that I realized that most of you guys are just searching for visibility and don't care much about other people's work I am convinced to cancel my membership and bring my friends with me. If no one cares, what do I care? Bye bye Paul.
     
  127. "If no one cares, what do I care?"
    Yes, nobody cares. You have figured me out. That's why I have wasted hours reading and posting to this thread on my weekend.
    Gosh, imagine what I could get done if I did actually care about photo.net! [/sarcasm]
     
  128. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Some of us won't be upset about what has happened, others will be furious; we should all have the right to decide for ourselves how we feel about this wihout anyone deprecating our individual points of view. For myself, I am PO'd but I realize that it ain't PhotoNet's fault and I believe that they are trying to resolve the problem. Come Monday, more should be known.

    I am bothered by the image theft, but I also realize that there probably will not be any personal financial impact from it, good or bad. Nevertheless, it is my intention to pursue this matter as well as I can. I am not going to lose any sleep over it but I am also not going to just ignore it.

    Joshua Szulecki, concerning the elctronic signature requirement of GoDaddy, I am assuming that it is the typical Digital Signature that one would apply to any PDF in Adobe Acrobat. It is simply a method of digitally signing your name to the document. Regards.
     
  129. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Josh, be cool, we care buddy. Regards.
     
  130. "Josh, be cool, we care buddy. Regards."
    I know, I know.
    That's just me getting a little hot under the collar. I'm human like everyone else here. My apologies.
     
  131. Josh - we love you and appreciate your work. Well, at least I appreciate your work. I definitely know you care about photo.net.

    I typically don't get into these rows ... but, Antonio, really? You are going to MAKE all of your friends cancel their memberships and they are going to MAKE all of their friends cancel their memberships? I have never had an acquaintance who I could MAKE do anything ... I'm super-impressed at the power you have over people. Your personality must be extremely charismatic. I'm jealous.

    I'm really calm about this (I wasn't at first....) They picked a couple of my favorite photos. So now they have 800px versions of a couple of my favorite photos. So what? I put them here to share and discuss and learn ... so now hopefully someone else is appreciating them. And if I'm credited and they find me, great!

    By the way, Antonio - how wonderful that you have your work in private collections and don't need to advertise at all. I'm even more impressed.
     
  132. A real stupid question.... has anyone heard from Google or BitComet? I know I haven't<p>Yeah, I know, stupid question, but just fishin'
     
  133. We are all very impressed with Antonio's work. Very few of us can claim such exalted credentials. But I'm much more impressed with Josh's work here. He has been a tireless proponent of our work; Many thanks are due.
    Paul
     
  134. Okay, I have another comment already. This time without the sarcasm. Like I said, I don't usually get involved in these things. Maybe I should have just continued to follow the conversation without making the other comment. But now that I've started, I need to finish.

    Josh - you'll probably need to delete this comment because it is "off topic". At least the subscribers to the thread will be able to read it...

    I used to try to loosely follow the conversation and site admin forums, just to keep informed. But the frequent bickering really wasn't worth my time, and the constant jabs at the admin really got to me. Are we all adults here?

    I understand that some of you are bothered by your work appearing elsewhere from here. How tough a concept is this: your work on the internet is thus a free-for-all. I apologize that I am not also bent out of shape about my work being copied onto another site.

    But anyone who feels the need to keep insisting that this site is lacking in quality hasn't been reading the forums for very long. Let's look at the facts to keep in mind. Photo.net was started in 1993 with then-current coding and technology.

    That was 15 years ago. How many of these other photo sites have been around and so widely used for 15 years. It has been stated (over and over again, by the way!) that one of the reason that they don't simply do an all-encompassing software overhaul is because they want to find a way to do so while maintaining everyone's images, file structures, comments and ratings (etc.) that were received over FIFTEEN years. Perhaps Mr. Bassi does not value the comments/ratings/portfolio that he has developed over the past seven months. I know that he's an old timer.

    On the otherhand, I have been a member of photo.net for five years and three months. And yet, I don't feel like I've been around long enough to be SO CRITICAL of the management. All I DO know is that I HIGHLY value the comments, critiques, and (gasp!) ratings that I have received on my photos. This is a portfolio into which I have put MUCH work and have learned many, many invaluable lessons.

    My images may not be shown in private collections. I guess that I'll have to stop advertising for that to happen. (oops - sarcasm again, sorry!) But if you're going to complain, why don't you follow the forum rules which clearly state that you should start by searching for the topic of your forum post to see if it's already been discussed. These conversations have happened before ... it has merely been different websites.

    Okay, yeah, it would be nice if they eventually came up with better protection for our photos. But if you think that you're going to put your photos anywhere (by the way, I have found several of my photos that were only on Flickr stolen!) on the internet and think that they're not susceptible to copying, then you know a LOT more than I do.

    Rrrrrr ... before I slip into the sarcasm again, I'll stop. No more Lou Ann in this thread.
     
  135. The got one of mine (heck, I've only got one up here!). I'm just glad the left my name on it; for me, it is basically free advertising, and the photo is not that large anyway (it would make a lousy print for anyone).
     
  136. They have 7 of my pix on the site. Like many others, i'm neither happy nor distressed about it, just a bit miffed i guess because i didnt' give authorisation for this publication (however flatering). At least they give me credit for my pictures. Just on principle i would like to register my objection with Google or GoDady but i have no idea how to proceed about this can anyone clue me in pls. thanks
    PS> I want to commend PN for all action taken so far. Great work Josh and Bob
     
  137. Michel: For Google follow Bobs instructions in this thread. Look for the post above marked Bob Atkins Feb 09, 2008; 01:56 p.m.

    For GoDaddy:
    File a DMCA at CopyrightClaims@godaddy.com. It should include the following. Replace capitals with your info.

    NAME ADDRESS DATE.

    GoDaddy.com, Inc
    14455 N. Hayden Rd.
    Suite 219
    Scottsdale, AZ 85260

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    1. The copyrighted work at issue is the photo that appears on http://pic.playcomet.com/EXACT ADDRESS

    2. A public WHOIS resolves playcomet.com to be hosted at GoDaddy.com as shown at http://who.godaddy.com/WhoIsVerify.aspx?domain=playcomet.com&prog_id=godaddy

    3. My Contact Information: YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

    4. Infringer?s Contact Information:
    Administrative Contact:
    Private, Registration PLAYCOMET.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States
    (480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2599


    5. I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

    6. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

    Sincerely,

    YOUR NAME

    NAME EMAIL ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER

    Email that and you are done.
     
  138. Thanks Barry. I already posted a notice in my own clunky way, but I will do it again in this manner.
    Paul
     
  139. yep, got one of mine.
     
  140. God, they've even got two of mine - they must really be scraping the barrel! I shall put it on my resume!
     
  141. Yep, they have 5 of mine, and 10 of a friends. No accounting for taste. Being in the furniture business, which has literally been destroyed by the Chinese, I am unfortunately used to it. We haven't been able to stop it in furniture design. A sad state of the times.
     
  142. They have a few of mine, but interestingly, they have one of the shots I took of the Dalai Lama. AFAIK, the Chinese govt bans Dalai Lama photos and has pretty strict penalties, so does anyone have a contact in the Chinese govt?
     
  143. I did get an e-mail from another PN member, about this, (otherwise I would have never know about this), I did try to read everything on site feed back, as Josh did say: ALL THE WAY THROUGH, but that is too much, poof.....
    But okay, they put about 18 pictures of me and I don't like it, but also it is not a realy BIG thing for me, and it is funny also a little bit because of my nick name... I never find photos when I google "someone else" photography ;D, I get endless pages hahahaha

    Els from the Netherlands
     
  144. To Antonio Bassi ...

    This theft by GoDaddy was not directed at you personally; they didn't single you out
    among all the wonderful photographers in the universe and steal your pictures. You were
    part of a sweep where they took good, bad and indifferent. I have shots from other sites
    that were also lifted and placed on display, some without credit. It is a fact of internet life.
    Any image can be taken from any site. Period. If you posted some precious photo that
    you didn't ever want to have stolen, but allowed it to be displayed in a public forum, YOU
    made the wrong move, not PhotoNet.

    And now you somehow have decided that I, along with other photographers on this site,
    am only interested in "visibility" and not other people's photos. Aside from the clear insult
    intended by this statement, you are completely wrong. I AM interested in visibility. Why
    else would I, or you (an attention-grabber if ever there was one on this site with your
    "provocative" forum posts) post otherwise? However, one of the reasons that I can learn
    on this site (which is my other reason for participating) is that I get to see the work of
    other photographers ... some horrible, some average, and some superb. Not to mention
    an incredible amount of real commentary and criticism. Not just "Great job" or "I like it",
    but thoughtful stuff from people who care enough to invest the time in my work.

    Grow up, Antonio, and do something helpful. Send the letter to Google and to GoDaddy.
    Protect your own work if necessary (though they ignore copyright notices and
    watermarks). God help me but this is the first attacking post I've done in 18 months of
    PN; to the rest of the PN gang, I apologise. And to Antonio and his friends who will blindly
    follow his lead and leave PN, it is your loss.
     
  145. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "This theft by GoDaddy..."

    Godaddy is no more responsible for this than PN is, Dennis.
     
  146. FYI, I got a reply from Google Adsense asking me to file a DMCA by fax or by mail, not by email. The draft I put above of a DMCA fulfills their criteria.

    Send the written communication to the following address:

    Google, Inc.
    Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
    Mountain View CA 94043

    OR Fax to:

    (650) 618-8507, Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints
     
  147. I tried to file a copyright claim with GoDaddy via e-mail. I tried to follow their instructions, but probably didn't get it quite right. I received this reply today:

    Dear Paul Stenquist,

    Thank you for contacting GoDaddy.com. We do not allow content on our site to infringe on copyrighted materials. We work regularly with both the courts and law enforcement to ensure that this abuse is curtailed.

    In harmony with the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), we have created a Copyright and Trademark dispute policy to help get this matter resolved. Please review GoDaddy's Trademark and Copyright Policy found at http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/legal_agreements/show_doc.asp?se=%2B&pageid=TRADMARK%5FCOPY

    In order to process a copyright infringement complaint, you will need to submit your copyright claim to the
    following address.


    CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com


    Please provide all information as described in this document under Copyright Disputes in your email. It would also be very helpful, although it is not necessary, if you include the Copyright Registration Number that is being violated. (This information can be looked up via the Library of Congress at http://www.copyright.gov/records/cohm.html ). This information will enable us to confirm who, if anyone has the copyright. Content that is not registered with the Library of Congress, or the equivalent body in your area, as a copyrighted work is often highly subjective, and may need to be determined by a court of law.

    If you have any further questions, please let us know.

    Regards,


    Copyright Department
    GoDaddy.com
    CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com
     
  148. Barry, thanks for this, I sent my complaint to both to Google by fax and GoDaddy by email.
     
  149. As of 11:15am on Monday, it appears that Playcomet.com and its affiliated link
    pic.playcomet.com are not online. I received a message that the server has stopped
    responding.
     
  150. I did as suggested above and have just recieved this reply..

    Thank you for contacting Go Daddy. We have suspended the site in question pending a resolution. Please allow up to 30 minutes for these changes to take effect.

    Please be aware that we are not a court, nor are we required to determine who, if anyone, actually owns the content in question. We have provided the specifics of your infringement claim to the owner of the site, along with your contact information, since the most efficient resolution of this situation comes through mutual communication between the 2 parties involved.

    If the site owner indicates they are ready to remove the infringing content, we will re-activate the hosting account in order to allow that to happen. If they complete a counter-notification on the work(s) in question, according to the Copyright Dispute Policy, a copy of the notification will be sent to you. The site will then be re-activated 10 days following receipt of the counter-notification by us unless we receive official notice that you have initiated court proceedings. If we do receive such official notice, the website will remain down according to the request of the court(s) at that time.

    If you have specific questions about the actions we have taken, please let us know.

    Thank you,

    Copyright Claims Department GoDaddy.com CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com

    I'm sure they'll just move the site elsewhere though!
     
  151. Photo.net user Paul Marbs made a post in this thread that would indicate godaddy suspended playcomet's hosting account:

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00OM9C
     
  152. Also:
    ***Please try to keep all discussion on the playcomet/bitcomet issue in this thread. It's an important enough issue that we should attempt to keep the info all in one place if possible.***
    Thanks everyone for all their efforts so far.
     
  153. I've only had 8 snaffled so at least I'm not John G's most despised member. piracy will always exist and at least we are getting the credit for our work albeit not financially but I don't post for financial reasons just in the hope that folks will enjoy looking at my piccies.
    Why not stroll into ypor local friendly CIA office and inform them that the dastardly Chinese have hijacked photos that might contain information of strategic value :)
     
  154. As it stands right now, I cannot connect to their servers. Maybe you all managed to shut it down?
     
  155. From the other thread, it looks as if GoDaddy has shut them off. It looks like concerted
    action did some good here, at least for the day. They'll be back and we'll go after them
    again, I suspect.
     
  156. Here is the response I got from AdSense:
    Hello, Thank you for your note. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (thetext of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website:http://www.copyright.gov/) and other applicable intellectual property laws. In this case, this means that if we receive proper notice of infringement, we will forward that notice to the responsible web site publisher. To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may beliable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs andattorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item whenyou in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first contact an attorney. To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following format (including section numbers): 1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon. For example, "The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on http://www.legal.com/legal_page.html." 2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing upon the copyrighted work listed in item #1 above. You must identify each page that allegedly contains infringing material by providing its URL. 3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred). 4. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that useof the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing webpages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law." 5. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury,that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of anexclusive right that is allegedly infringed." 6. Sign the paper. 7. Send the written communication to the following address: Google, Inc.Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CA 94043 OR Fax to: (650) 618-8507, Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints Regards, The Google AdSense Team

    Evidently it's writing to Go.Daddy that gets us the desired results, as evidenced by the letter Paul M. received. Thanks, again, Paul!
    Should we all keep writing in to Go.Daddy?
     
  157. Lori, I was only doing as I was told using Barry Goggin's draft! But yes it looks as if it stirred enough of us into action to send emails and provoke action.
     
  158. I just want to say to all of you who worked so hard over the weekend on this issue; 'Thank you!' It looks like the concerted and cooperative effort was successful; at least, for the time being. I am a pragmatist, and realize that any image I've posted here or on any other site could potentially end up anywhere anytime. Fortunately, for me, I ain't quittin' my day-job anytime soon; and my fairly mundane photography is just an extraordinarily satisfying hobby. What makes PN so worth it for me is the interaction I have with all of you regarding my work, your work, and the techniques we utilize. Losing my images periodically to nefarious scoundrels is well worth the price of admission. In closing; Josh, a big 'atta-boy' to you for all the time you put in on this. Now, let us all get back to doin' what we all enjoy so much! Cheers! Chris
     
  159. I'm sure the FBI and the CIA are doing a good job on servers,either Chinese or not.Let us be more careful in future.
    <p>Two months ago,I've been telling Josh,that a lot are downloading our job here to serve their clients, make CDs and DVDs for tour operators and the like and asked him not to allow right click on our images.
    He answered that this useless and that HE can download any image where right click is not allowed.I can't.And this is where communication stops.Period(quoting Dennis).
     
  160. I received the exact same reply as Paul M. from GoDaddy. And i cannot access the site anymnore so i assume it's been shut down at least temporarily.
     
  161. I also received the notice of suspension of the site from GoDaddy. Hopefully people understand the steps that can be taken. It wont always be successful but sometimes it is. You have to decide if it is worth the effort.
    Prevention of theft is another story and one that does not have a good remedy. Disabling right click affects critiques and the odd copy made by people who do not know better but it wont stop people like we encountered here at all.
    You can reduce the size of the photo you up load but often this doesn't dissuade thieves unless they are printing your material.
    Watermarking can help you trace your image but it doesn't stop people copying. I believe someone said their watermarked photo was copied along with the rest here.
    Registering with the Library of Congress allows you to claim major damages. If you are a pro or have valuable photos, registering them allows you to pursue the offenders for damages in court.
    In summary you can take action if you like against blatant violators as seen here. In the end though, it shouldn't stop you enjoying your hobby or profession.
     
  162. "He answered that this useless and that HE can download any image where right click is not allowed.I can't."
    If you can't download an image from a site that disables right-click, that just means you don't know how. The scammers do know how. Many of the methods have been discussed in this thread: disable Javascript, use "page info" in Firefox, screen capture, etc.
    As I have said, it is worth looking into ways to make it harder for places like playcomet to download images off of photo.net. But I am not going to waste site resources, slow site performance, or spend programmer time on "solutions" that do not do anything to stop this kind of theft. That is a waste of time and I will just have to keep answering the same questions when the efforts aren't successful.
    I keep saying this, but I'll say it again. The only way to guarantee that your images won't end up on another website is to not put them on the web anywhere. Not on photo.net. Not on Flickr. Not on your own website. If your images are online, they can be stolen if someone wants them badly enough. If they are not online they cannot. Each photographer needs to look at the risk and reward of having images online and decide if the reward is worth the risk.
     
  163. That last paragraph should be a part of the new user sign-up page. It's very well said, Josh.

    Thanks to everyone for their efforts on this, b.t.w. I wish I had seen the thread earlier to see if any of my images were "honored" like this. But it's good to know the site is down. Hopefully now it will be for good.
     
  164. Just curious, but has anyone sent them a bill for use of the pix?

    It's probably useless, but the might get the message if we all did that!

    Larry
     
  165. Josh...something that would be really useful.....
    A lot of us have uploaded images that do not have any watermark on them (most of us probably). We can add watermarks in post processing, but what about images we have uploaded already? Well, you know that you have some wonderful software engineers...and they did this wonderful thing whereby we can reorganise photos and folders. Well, is there any way that we could add a personalised watermark to out already uploaded images? That would be so cool - click a button to add a watermark to them all at once!
     
  166. I don't think anyone has done this yet, and I've been following this thread from the beginning. Paul, you started a phenominal thread here...may be the, or one of the longest and most read threads ever! More importantly, it affected and concerned so many of us here. Our numbers alone may have been what got GoDaddy to shut down the pilferring website. I commend you for being so aware and caring enough about all of our collective works, to post this alert. Thank You very kindly, from all of us Paul.
     
  167. A good friend of mine emailed me about this issue and sure enough, they had some images there. Following the thread and good information, I wrote an email to Go Daddy to remove my copyright images from their site. Ive copied their response below.

    On another note, I do care if they illegally use my images. I don?t want them to use my images for many reasons including others already expressed. I think Josh and Bob responded to this thread quickly and appropriately.

    I support photo.net as a subscriber and long-term member. I also support any effort they put forth to stop the unauthorized taking of images from the photo.net site.

    Josh/Bob, has photo.net contacted the Go Daddy site owner on behalf of the photo.net membership? I would like to know what photo.net is doing to protect the members who don?t want their images used by others, like myself. Has photo.net sent a letter/email to Google or the Go Daddy owners regarding this issue? Also, thanks for your help and attention to this issue. I know it frustrates you as well. ?

    Here is the Go Daddy response to my email to them:

    Thank you for contacting Go Daddy. We have suspended the site in question pending a resolution. Please allow up to 30 minutes for these changes to take effect.

    Please be aware that we are not a court, nor are we required to determine who, if anyone, actually owns the content in question. We have provided the specifics of your infringement claim to the owner of the site, along with your contact information, since the most efficient resolution of this situation comes through mutual communication between the 2 parties involved.

    If the site owner indicates they are ready to remove the infringing content, we will re-activate the hosting account in order to allow that to happen. If they complete a counter-notification on the work(s) in question, according to the Copyright Dispute Policy, a copy of the notification will be sent to you. The site will then be re-activated 10 days following receipt of the counter-notification by us unless we receive official notice that you have initiated court proceedings. If we do receive such official notice, the website will remain down according to the request of the court(s) at that time.

    If you have specific questions about the actions we have taken, please let us know.

    Thank you,


    Copyright Claims Department
    GoDaddy.com
    CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com
     
  168. Yes - many thanks to Paul for alerting us!
     
  169. "Has photo.net sent a letter/email to Google or the Go Daddy owners regarding this issue?"
    Our lawyer knows about the issue. However, it turns out that we had a company-wide meeting that took up most of the afternoon. So I was unable to make phone contact with her to find out what action she was able to take.
    Photo.net does not want to support image-theft any more than any of you do. (the multiple responses from Bob and myself on this thread should make that fairly clear).
     
  170. I don't know if photo.net has/will take any official action or what that action might be. Josh can probably answer that better.

    However I can comment that only the copyright owner can file a DMCA complaint as far as I know. To file an official complaint you must own the rights to the image. Photo.net doesn't own the rights to the images, the photographer does, so I think it really has to be the photographer (copyright owner) who files any DMCA complaint.

    Photo.net can certainly make it's views known of course, but I'm not sure how much legal standing it has in this case. Stealing images off photo.net violates the photo.net terms of use, but that's probably not as actionable as a copyright violation is.


    I'm pretty sure the action so far will mean that the stolen images will be removed if the site comes back on line, but each photographer might have to contact the company to get that done. I think the basic liability is to remove images about which there have been complaints.

    Of course if they just shift the server to somewhere in Russia, then it would be hard to force them to do anything. I'm not quite sure what the situation would be with a server in China. I think they exectute people for intenet pornography there, but I'd guess the punishment for copyright violation is somewhat less severe! Russia seems to have little, if any, regulation of websites.
     
  171. I have tried three times this evening to log on to their site but nothing happens
     
  172. I am "new" to PN (actually have joined way back when, but I think my login was removed due to inactivity plus I don't remember what login/email I used back then...long time ago when Phil started the site) so have never posted any images, but I have images on snapfish.com.

    So, reading through this thread has me wondering:
    a) were they able to poach from sites like snapfish that requires authentication to view shared images? - I can't verify this since the site has been suspended

    b) perhaps PN, through the collective brain power of this site and possible access to the brain power of MIT (since Phil is/was affiliated with that fine institution), figure out ways to make it more difficult to poach. This may be involve slight inconveniences such as access authentication, etc. I don't think that there will be a single solution, but a combo of techniques that could be use to make it more difficult (I highly doubt we can make it bullet proof depending on what the community requirements and site mission are). Just my 2 cents.
     
  173. LT, I appreciate your idea ... your 2 cents, but for my 2 cents, I have to add that I would be very upset if PN began to require some sort of authentication in order to view my photos. I use my photo.net portfolio folders as "galleries" and link to them from my own personal websites. I have even gotten a couple of image sales from people who link through from my other websites. Requiring them to authenticate would be somewhat of a problem for me.
     
  174. I agree with Lou Ann. If the Photo.net galleries aren't easily accessible they would be of little value to many of us. Photos are meant to be seen.

    I wouldn't even want to lose the right click download capability. I've exchanged post processing ideas with many PN members via work on each others desktops. That could, of course, be handled bia e-mail, but it would involve extra steps. I like things the way they are now. No one suffered from the display of their photos on that obscure site. And it's unlikely that they ever would.
    Paul
     
  175. I agree with Paul I love the ability to be able to post process/crop etc and have other members do the same for me. As for me, I've leanred a very valuable lesson and will watermark from now on.
     
  176. I don't know if this means anything or not, but I've tried accessing that website today and the site is down.
     
  177. It won't come up for me, either.
     
  178. It wont come up for me either... rats, I'm curious, too
     
  179. I understand being curious ... but I have to add that if the site were up, it would probably NOT HELP our cause to keep clicking through to it. The more hits that site gets, specifically the more hits one of our tagged photos/groups of photos gets, will likely only serve to prove that they're not some rogue upstart of a wannabe company. (Right?)
     
  180. The site is down because photo.net members served them notice of violation of copyright. GoDaddy took the site down. I know it is a long thread but all the info is there.
    As for the website, it has about 38,000 page views a month so they probably were making some money from our photos.
     
  181. I don't think were out of the woods yet. As of 7:45 PM MST the site is still up. I have been able to find 25 of my images so far at this link:

    http://pic1.playcomet.com/search.aspx?q=kent%20b

    Some of these images have been sold and published by legitimate patrons.

    I would like to thank everyone for all the focused attention to this matter.

    Kent b
     
  182. Yup.....the site is STILL up! Just found every photo that was taken...
     
  183. Please keep in mind that there may be nothing we can do. Any success we have had so far was based upon a US host shutting their account down. If the website is moved to another server that is outside of the US, there is likely nothing that can be done.
     
  184. It's not STILL up. It's up again. It was down for a day or more. Apparently, they found a new server or GoDaddy decided there wasn't reason enough to take it down. If people care enought, they'll have to get after them again. Some of my pics are back up, but I'm not terribly worried about it.
     
  185. they changed IP. I filed another DMCA since it only takes 2 seconds. The better way longer term is to fax a complaint to google adsense as above. Then they cant make money from our photos no matter what their ip.
     
  186. I just tried it moments ago and it's down. 7:39 PST http://www.playcomet.com/ & http://www.pic.playcomet.com/
     
  187. Lavern, it was moved to pic1.playcomet.com. By moving ip however they are now out of the search engines so they should be hurting for traffic.
     
  188. I recently read an article in Popular Photography, February 2008 issue titled Grand Theft Photo. It goes into detail about protecting your photos. The main point is if the photos aren't copyrighted then you really have no recourse. It's not too difficult to do if you already have your workflow organized. go to http://www.copyright.gov/register/visual.html to see how it's done.

    You can actual copyright thousands of photos pretty easy.

    The article written by Neal Matthews points out that not only should professionals copyright their work, but amatures as well. Obviously you never know who is going to steal from you. Check out the article. It is worth a few minutes. Here's the link.

    http://www.popphoto.com/popularphotographyfeatures/5001/grand-theft-photo.html
     
  189. There is a contact page at

    http://www.bitcomet.com/index.htm

    I also filed another DMCA.
     
  190. Thanks Barry. I just checked it and they have 12 of mine. I would almost feel honored that someone wants my photos, if they weren't stolen. Does anybody here know how to launch a DNS attack? :)-{)} Kidding. I wouldn't do that....
     
  191. As I suspected they would do, they've shifted the server to china. A tracert on pic1.playcomet.com ends up at IP 222.73.227.218.

    Records don't indicate exactly who that is:

    Details:
    ns.sta.net.cn. (an authoritative nameserver for 73.222.in-addr.arpa., which is in charge of the reverse DNS for 222.73.227.218)
    says that there are no PTR records for 222.73.227.218.

    To get reverse DNS set up for 222.73.227.218, you need to speak to your Internet provider. You could also
    check with root@ns.sta.net.cn., who is in charge of the 73.222.in-addr.arpa. zone.

    At this point complaints to Google might be the most effective solution, though that won't shut the site down, it will just stop their Adsense advertsising (assuming Google ever do anything speed to complaints though.

    BTW pic.playcomet.com is now back on line too. The final IP in the tracert ends up at 72.167.47.6, which corresponds again to secureserver.net. As indicated above (somewhere) , that tracks to Wild West Domains, which looks like it's GoDaddy.com again.

    If I was playcomet.com, I'd just shift the DNS severs for the pic.playcomet.com domain to the Chinese servers. That way I'd keep all the search engine rankings I had. Maybe that's what they are doing and the pic.playcomet.com site may just be up while they do that. Who knows.
     
  192. Here's the full trace. As you can see, the last few hops are all in China.
    00OOzS-41699284.jpg
     
  193. Damn, they got 10 of mine. I too added to the growing number of voices.
     
  194. jOSH...THANKS, ONCE MORE, FOR ALL THE TIME YOU'VE PUT IN ON THIS TOPIC. WHEN DO YOU SLEEP--OR EAT, FOR THAT MATTER?!?

    HAVE YOU HEARD FROM THE LAWYER YET? DID SHE HAVE ANYTHING TO ADD TO WHAT WE'VE ALREADY DONE AND THINK WE CAN DO? which, now that they're in China, looks like we won't be able to much of anything. Still curious as to her input, tho.

    Bob, I'd like to thank you, too, for all the work you've DONE since this happened. I don't know how you do all that finite research, but I'm impressed, and I for, one appreciate your doing all of it for us.

    I'm calling it a night, folks....sleep well, my friends
     
  195. I just found 50 of mine on this site. Why all the fuss,they are credited with the correct names,so your work is being spread around.
     
  196. it

    it

    Maybe if you all throw in 40 bucks each you can send someone over there to yell at them.
     
  197. Interesting. pic.playcomet.com is back up and ip is 72.167.47.67 which is GoDaddy again. GoDaddy is not allowed to put back up the website till a counterclaim is made and then only 10 days after the counterclaim. I will follow up with them tomorrow when i have time out of interest.
    pic1.playcomet.com as Bob pointed out is hosted in china but is very slow. pic1 is not indexed by the major search engines which is why they want pic.playcomet.com back.

    For pic1 i get
    % [whois.apnic.net node-1]
    % Whois data copyright terms http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html

    inetnum: 222.64.0.0 - 222.73.255.255
    netname: CHINANET-SH
    descr: CHINANET shanghai province network
    descr: China Telecom
    descr: No1,jin-rong Street
    descr: Beijing 100032
    country: CN
    admin-c: CH93-AP
    tech-c: XI5-AP
    changed: **********@apnic.net 20031024
    mnt-by: APNIC-HM
    mnt-lower: MAINT-CHINANET-SH
    mnt-routes: MAINT-CHINANET-SH
    remarks: This object can only modify by APNIC hostmaster
    remarks: If you wish to modify this object details please
    remarks: send email to **********@apnic.net with your
    remarks: organisation account name in the subject line.
    status: ALLOCATED PORTABLE
    source: APNIC

    person: Chinanet Hostmaster
    nic-hdl: CH93-AP
    e-mail: *********@ns.chinanet.cn.net
    address: No.31 ,jingrong street,beijing
    address: 100032
    phone: +86-10-58501724
    fax-no: +86-10-58501724
    country: CN
    changed: ******@cndata.com 20070416
    mnt-by: MAINT-CHINANET
    source: APNIC

    person: Wu Xiao Li
    address: Room 805,61 North Si Chuan Road,Shanghai,200085,PRC
    country: CN
    phone: +86-21-63630562
    fax-no: +86-21-63630566
    e-mail: ********@mail.online.sh.cn
    nic-hdl: XI5-AP
    mnt-by: MAINT-CHINANET-SH
    changed: ********@mail.online.sh.cn 20010510
    source: APNIC

    If they move everything to the chinese server, good for them because its very slow. Keeping them off US servers and canceling their adsense account would keep me happy. then they are not making money off our photos.
     
  198. Oh i forgot one other reason godaddy might have reactivated their account, from GoDaddy:

    If the site owner indicates they are ready to remove the infringing content, we will re-activate the hosting account in order to allow that to happen.

    We will see
     
  199. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Hi Birte, it's just a hypothetical, but what if you had just sold the exclusive rights of one of those ripped images to someone? You can delete it from PhotoNet but not from playcomet. And they are really not giving proper credits, not the way I see it. A proper credit would have precise contact information so that anyone interested in legitimately acquiring the image would know exactly where to go.

    Has anyone tried to download any particular image group from playcomet? When I try using Mozilla I get an error. Using IE I get a message that tells me I need to install an Active-X plug-in. I'm curious what size/quality the downloaded image file would be. Regards.
     
  200. I tried to download an image or just clicked it and it brings you to a window that wants to download some of their software on your computer. It gave me a very scammy feel. When I tried to close the window, the browser went into regeneration fits and opened about 20 explore browsers before I could shut down everything. A virus scan came up clean...
     
  201. "Has anyone tried to download any particular image group from playcomet? "

    Downloading an image group requires the installation of Bitcomet. I'm assuming that is some kind of peer to peer software similar to Bit Torrent. I'm not going to install it to find out in any event. I assume it is the sameI can right click on any of my individual images and save them using Firefox. The images are the same size as they were when I uploaded them on Photonet.
     
  202. 64 of mine. Booyah! =P They give me full credit for them all. Free advertising rocks!

    Thanks Chas for pointing me to this thread.
     
  203. Law 2121/1993 states that the creator and owner of any intellectual product holds the copyright of his work. No more verification is required in my country.
    For everyone:Room 805,in a Shanghai road?High enough to make a mustard?
     
  204. New contact from GoDaddy:
    Dear Barry Goggin,

    We are not hosting this site. We are the domain name registrar only. We have no access to, nor jurisdiction over the content on this site. The hosting provider is the company responsible for the registered name servers available from a WHOIS lookup. Please submit your complaint to them based on their AUP. The name server information is listed below for your convenience.


    Name Server: DNS.BIZCN.COM
    Name Server: DNS.CNMSN.NET



    Thank you for contacting Go Daddy.


    Copyright Claims Department
    GoDaddy.com
    CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com

    On the good side:
    Hello Barry,

    We have received your DMCA complaint dated February 13, 2008. We are
    currently reviewing the complaint and will contact you when we have
    completed processing the request.

    We appreciate your patience during this time.

    Regards,
    The Google AdSense Team

    Let it ride and see how it goes.
     
  205. Update from the photo.net side:

    We are talking with our contacts at Google and are getting the issue directed to the correct person. Keep in mind that our contacts are advertising people (as we deal with them on that end often). So we have to get connected with the group that deals with this sort of stuff.
     
  206. Josh, Bob, and Barry.... THANKS for the work.<p>
    Jody...full credit means that some one can contact you to buy or use your work. I glad they did more than put your name on a folder like they did the rest of us...
     
  207. As I suggested yesterday, what they've done is now to point both pic.playcomet.com and pic1.playcomet.com to the same server (yesterday "pic" was still pointing to a US server administered bu GoDaddy).

    The server in question is 222.73.227.218, which is located somewhere in china and can be contacted via the address I gave WAY up at the top of this thread, namely:

    Administrative Contact:
    Bizcn Bizcn postmaster@bizcn.com
    +86.5922577888 fax: +86.5922577111
    <1F - 4F>, Software Technology Service Builing, Xiamen Software Park Xiamen Fujian 361005, cn

    I suspect that it will be a waste of electons trying to reach them with any sort of complaint, but I guess it's worth a try. It's possible that someone there can read English and I suppose it's possible they might be receptive to copyright complaints, but I certainly wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them to act.

    In the meantime, I'd suggest that those upset by this file a complaint with Google for every page on which one of their copyrighted images appear. One complaint might not result in much action. 100 complaints might get their attention, especially if photo.net can get their AdSense rep to push the matter (I'm sure photo.net has a dedicated AdSense rep).

    If people want to give their images away in return for "free publicity", let me know and I'll start up a site using their images...and give them full credit (but no money).
     
  208. Five of mine. Surely they jest? What abominable taste they have. WHERE ARE THE REST? (Sorry. Humor seems the only response at this point.)

    I posted the following 'comment' on each.

    "The egg-roll eating vermin who run this execrable site have stolen my image."

    The hilarious thing is that they require me to fill out an anti-bot text box which requires an image to be read by a human. The NERVE!
     
  209. Here's anothet possible avenue of complaint. If you do a Google search on your name and your images on playcomet.com turn up, there's a link at the bottom of the page to click on if you are dissatisfied with the results of your seach. That brings up a text box which allows you to tell Google what you think about the search results.

    While you may think this is "free publicity" for your images, it's not. They don't link to you or your website or provide any way to get in touch with you. They're simply ripping you off. Photo.net provides MUCH better publicity for you!

    I went through a whole bunch of their images and the ones with names attached were ALL stolen from photo.net. Every single one.

    If Google get enough compliants about the search results, it's possible they may take some action regarding the ranking of links from playcomet.com, at least until they stop wholesale copyright violation as their business model!

    Just a thought.
     
  210. ".....If Google get enough compliants about the search results, it's possible they may take some action regarding the ranking of links from playcomet.com, at least until they stop wholesale copyright violation as their business model! ...."


    Bob,
    I agree. Perhaps then, photo.net can communicate to its membership the issue at hand. I would not have know about this unless someone emailed me the link. I think that the other photo.net members should be made aware of this and your recommendations. Is there a way photo.net can do this?
     
  211. I'll leave that one up to Josh to answer. He's more keyed into what's going on behind the scenes with all this than I am. I'm sure if he thinks action by members is needed, he'll make sure everyone knows about it.
     
  212. I would like to remind everyone here that The USA has been a party to the Berne Convention since 1989 (and must thus obey the internationally accepted practises stated in Berne convention). Registration of photos is not a must as long as fatherhood can be proven definitely. pic. playcomet states the photographer in question and that already is sufficient proof of fatherhood.
    - Berne convention at Wikipedia
     
  213. I hate to bring something new in here ... when I did a search on my name as suggested above, I came on this site:
    http://plfoto.info/
    It looks like photo.net, but has different URL's.... Josh - is this something official, or what?
     
  214. By the way - that plfoto.info site has my most recent images, posted last night.
     
  215. Strange one that plfoto.info as it's registered and hosted in Poland:

    Domain ID:D6395019-LRMS
    Domain Name:pLFOTO.INFO
    Created On:15-Sep-2004 13:33:35 UTC
    Last Updated On:07-Sep-2007 06:41:33 UTC
    Expiration Date:15-Sep-2008 13:33:35 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com (R263-LRMS)
    Status:CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED
    Status:CLIENT RENEW PROHIBITED
    Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
    Status:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
    Registrant ID:dsite-797690
    Registrant Name:Szambo Nurek
    Registrant Organization:Full Wypas Edition
    Registrant Street1:Grzybna 31/337
    Registrant Street2:
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Chuj Wielki
    Registrant State/Province:WM
    Registrant Postal Code:31337
    Registrant Country:pL
    Registrant Phone:+263.666437456
    Registrant Phone Ext.:
    Registrant FAX:
    Registrant FAX Ext.:
    Registrant Email:
    Admin ID:dsite-797691
    Admin Name:Szambo Nurek
    Admin Organization:Full Wypas Edition
    Admin Street1:Grzybna 31/337
    Admin Street2:
    Admin Street3:
    Admin City:Chuj Wielki
    Admin State/Province:WM
    Admin Postal Code:31337
    Admin Country:pL
    Admin Phone:+263.666437456
    Admin Phone Ext.:
    Admin FAX:
    Admin FAX Ext.:
    Admin Email:
    Billing ID:dsite-797693
    Billing Name:Szambo Nurek
    Billing Organization:Full Wypas Edition
    Billing Street1:Grzybna 31/337
    Billing Street2:
    Billing Street3:
    Billing City:Chuj Wielki
    Billing State/Province:WM
    Billing Postal Code:31337
    Billing Country:pL
    Billing Phone:+263.666437456
    Billing Phone Ext.:
    Billing FAX:
    Billing FAX Ext.:
    Billing Email:
    Tech ID:dsite-797692
    Tech Name:Szambo Nurek
    Tech Organization:Full Wypas Edition
    Tech Street1:Grzybna 31/337
    Tech Street2:
    Tech Street3:
    Tech City:Chuj Wielki
    Tech State/Province:WM
    Tech Postal Code:31337
    Tech Country:pL
    Tech Phone:+263.666437456
    Tech Phone Ext.:
    Tech FAX:
    Tech FAX Ext.:
    Tech Email:
    Name Server:FNS1.SGH.WAW.PL
    Name Server:FNS2.SGH.WAW.PL

    Looks like a copy until you start moving through the menus then it reverts back to photo.net..
     
  216. Yes, the 'plfoto' thing is a set of links to Photo.Net. More evil. Literally hijacks the whole site.
     
  217. I got this reply:<p>
    Dear Juha Kivekas,<p>

    We are not hosting this site. We are the domain name registrar only. We have no access to, nor jurisdiction over the content on this site. The hosting provider is the company responsible for the registered name servers available from a WHOIS lookup. Please submit your complaint to them based on their AUP. The name server information is listed below for your convenience.<p>


    Name Server: DNS.BIZCN.COM<br>
    Name Server: DNS.CNMSN.NET<p>



    Thank you for contacting Go Daddy.<p>


    Copyright Claims Department<br>
    GoDaddy.com<br>
    CopyrightClaims@GoDaddy.com<br>
     
  218. "It looks like photo.net, but has different URL's.... Josh - is this something official, or what?"
    No, not at all.
    this happens from time to time. People try to swipe the whole site and insert their own ads and what not. They are usually easy to block. If you'll notice, there don't seem to be any photos that have made it through, Jin probably blocked them already.
     
  219. Why all the fuss?You can even sign up and move to your own page in a very slow,smooth,almost sexual way,when you start with plfoto.info.Well this is ridiculous,intolerable, and makes me feel more sick than the previous days."Paradise lost"is my most recent submission(?),on Feb 12th.You can a leave a comment there.I just can't stand anymore sitting here and reading all that happens.
     
  220. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    that's an old problem that was noted just about exactly one year ago in this thread by me. That site was deemed as not being too serious an issue because it was just a mirror of the original site, unlike the scum-bag site in China that has actually ripped us all off.

    Josh, it's your call, but I'm all for contacting as many of our members as possible that are affected by the playcomet incident. Regards, and Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
     
  221. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "...but I'm all for contacting as many of our members as possible that are affected by the playcomet incident."

    this would be a lot of work and isn't something I'd expect from PN (or any portal hole to the net) just because the images were harvested from here.

    It is however worth putting this as a sticky on every forum front page and not just the current two as I imagine there are a great deal of users that skip past these two forums.
     
  222. OK, this is really disturbing.

    I don't see any of mine on there yet so I would like my entire portfolio on here temporarily
    shut off from public view until this can be resolved. If I can't have this done, then I have to
    delete all my images from P.Net, period.

    When I started a high end rights managed stock agency 4 years ago, I went totally private
    with it, two passwords just to get to the thumbnails and my name is not on the site
    anywhere so it can not be linked. So maybe I lost some sales that would have happened if
    my site were visible, but this kind of thing will not happen.

    I'm afraid that If I can't get my portfolio blocked for the time being on P.Net, I need to
    kindly bow out. This is my livelihood here.
     
  223. I am not a professional Photographer, they have stolen about 20 of my photos, because photos is not a business for me, If I ma disappointed for their behaviour I am proud that some of my photos has been selected. I am very sorry for professional photographer and I hope that being China in WTO something can be done, I have the same problem in my business Chines copied evrything without any rispect and somebody should stop them.
     
  224. http://www.sumabout.com/about/fishing+net. Also in this website they stolen my photos.
     
  225. Josh,

    The question regarding whether photo.net would notify its membership regarding this copyright violation and how to contact google (Bob's instructions) was never answered. Being that it wasn't answered, does that mean it will not? I think that it would be very responsible on your (photo.net) part to come forward with it, which could be a part of the "safe harbor" recommendations that have come out of this thread; such as, recommendations for low res posting, water mark copyright (develop a standard photo.net layout so for posting the critiques and rating forum), etc.

    If photo.net is unwilling to post, do you mind if the thread link is posted on multiple forums to alert members?

    Im inclined to agree with Daniel Baker on this. Photo.net should be able to offer some protection, such as hidden folders that do not display new uploads.

    Thank you for your consideration of these suggestions, and/or perhaps photo.net can offer up some recommendations for a "safe harbor".
     
  226. Hi I've only just joined and they have taken 2 of mine from here and I recognise quite a lot of recent images from here too.

    Dorcas
     
  227. I've deleted hundreds of images , hidden most of my marketable folders and reduced the size and dpi(up to 3dpi) on what remains here.
    <p>KEEP WALKING.
     
  228. I'm somewhat surprised at the paranoia here. People deleting their images. Making them thumbnail size. Even an image 900 pixels tall is useless for any commercial use. The only downside I saw to these images being posted on the China website was that the environment there was somewhat sleazy. Other than that, exposure is good. I work in the advertising business, and we frequently swipe pics from a variety of sites for comping. And more and more, we end up buying a high res version of the comp image we took from the web. But if the pics too small, it won't be used. If it's not here, it gets no exposure.

    I've sold a number of photos through photo.net exposure. I have photos on stock house sites that are duplicated here. More exposure is good. No exposure is bad.

    A hidden stock house that requires passwords? Doesn't sound like a profitable enterprise to me.
     
  229. Daniel Bayer,

    My opinion, of your photo related opinions, just went into the dumpster.

    I'd rather people not copy my images, and post for other purposes in other places either.

    But it happens all the time. And guess what, this is my livelihood too. But for some
    strange reason (though it happens all the time) it has not hurt my livelihood ONE BIT. And
    hard to believe, but quite the opposite has been the case. I have made tens of thousands
    of dollars in stock sales because of posting images on Photo.net. Even though a few less
    scrupulous ones have done the theft thingy many times. I also sell with an agency, and
    have my own agency.


    Now, as mentioned far above, one fine chap decided to SELL my fine art images, with HIS
    name on them, on a very large and popular art selling website. But because I post publicly,
    somebody else let me know about it. And when I stuck it to him, he had the balls to say I
    stole his images and that he would take ME to court. After providing photos of the original
    slides and giving this guy a thorough public spanking, he eventually apologized and was
    deleted from the site altogether. Now THAT is a case worth going after.

    A local real estate company used one of my images to promote the island without getting
    consent. We checked out a few details about how long they had been doing this, sent
    them a bill for $500 and was paid promptly. Once again, that is another cause worth
    fighting for IMO. And others similar.

    I respect anybody's rights to do what they want if they find their images have been illegally
    used. But in my opinion, some of you folks are flat out Over-Reacting here. These are very
    small J-pegs, they have our name credit on the photos that I have seen and you can leave
    a comment on the photos if you wish. Folks, you can steal images right off of Corbiss,
    Getty, Pacific Stock etc websites right now, if you wish. Yet, amazingly these largest of
    stock companies today still post publicly and are still rolling in the cash. Go after these
    folks the best way you can. But to threaten removal altogether is only hurting yourselves
    in the end.


    I'd prefer that people not steal my images either. But it happens from time to time. That is
    life, folks.


    But this situation here is not worth taking everything down altogether. Is like throwing the
    proverbial baby out with the bath water. What's the point of taking images at all?
    Obviously you wanted them to be seen publicly which is why you posted them here to
    begin with.

    Here's an idea then; Why not just keep all these wonderful images under your bed for the
    rest of your lives. That should be a safe enough place. Then you no longer have to worry
    about people using your images without your permission. Problems solved.
     
  230. Vincent, When I first came to this site, I was still working at a paper while I built up stock
    and my reputation. Now my reputation is very well known where I am at and I do not
    under any circumstances want it related to an image theft. This alone looks unprofessional
    on my part.

    I get very little business inroads from being on here as over 90% of my work is not publicly visible. The latter makes it easy to engage in exclusive rights purchases as the images are
    truly not up for grabs. Most on here will be fine in keeping there work up, I am pretty
    much leaning towards re-loading it as really small or just nixing most of it and calling it
    good.

    Photo.net is a great place, but Tony Stone it is not, so I am going to be fine if I have only a
    handful of images on here..

    You should never fault anyone for taking the measures they feel that are needed to
    protect work, ever.
     
  231. Thanks for the reply Daniel. As I said above:

    "I respect anybody's rights to do what they want if they find their images have been
    illegally used. But in my opinion, some of you folks are flat out Over-Reacting here. These
    are very small J-pegs, they have our name credit on the photos that I have seen and you
    can leave a comment on the photos if you wish. Folks, you can steal images right off of
    Corbiss, Getty, Pacific Stock etc websites right now, if you wish. Yet, amazingly these
    largest of stock companies today still post publicly and are still rolling in the cash. Go
    after these folks the best way you can. But to threaten removal altogether is only hurting
    yourselves in the end."


    So then, like stated above, I respect your right to do whatever you want as well as
    everybody else here. Your images are not my images. If you sincerely believe you need to
    remove your entire portfolio because one website is using them without authorization,
    then my opinion is that this would be an over-reaction. (Though I believe you mentioned
    yours have not been used at this time).


    Either way, I certainly respect your right to disagree with my opinion and do what you
    want... of course. I have simply shared just why I believe entire removal is unnecessary and
    an over-reaction under these specific circumstances.

    I too have experience. And getting other educated viewpoints, even if disagreeing with
    yours, is usually a good thing.

    Have a good one Daniel. You do have some nice work btw. Would be a bit of a shame,
    IMO, to see it all taken down. But that's not my call to make. I can just somewhat disagree.
    As I have already done. Take care.

    All the best,

    Vince
     
  232. I sell picture on my website (www.printroom.com/pro/e2photo) and I have tried all common
    ways to lift the pictures from the site and have not be able to do so. Based on that
    experience there seems to be technology available that would make thief of images more
    difficult and I wonder whether PN would be willing to evoke such technologies.

    If someone can lift an image from that site, I would great appreciate knowing that it is
    possible. Steven
     
  233. Steven - it was very easy to get this image from your site ... with a screen capture. And I'm not very good with computers...
    00OUer-41829384.jpg
     

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