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Thread: Copyright Infringement?!?!?

  1. #1
    mass's Avatar
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    Copyright Infringement?!?!?

    I've got a question for the smart people out there. Take a look at this web page:

    The domain name is currently expired, but if you do a google search on massmorels (mywebsite and obvious online name), you'll see in the forth row from the top.. my logo with that identical pic:,cf.osb&cad=b I designed that logo. Took the photo, created the font, and made the logo.. all on my own. I am.. massmorels.

    The photograph on that page is MINE. I took that photo.. it's even used in the logo on my website.
    They did not ask permission to use it. Nor did they note me as the photographer. My question is this.. is it still copyright infringement if my domain has expired? The photos there cannot be viewed at this time. Which means they saved the photo, and reused it PRIOR to the site's expiration. And I do have a copyright logo and this on my frontpage,"The photos on this site are copyright protected and cannot be used without my permission."
    Can't this land me a nice paying lawsuit?

    I know I need to get the domain renewed in order to get to those pics and my logo. I'd obviously then have the proof I need. But I want to make sure this is even a big deal before following through with anything.
    Thanks for any help you knowledgeable people can offer.
    Last edited by mass; 12-23-2011 at 03:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    Honestly I don't have an answer to your question, but I do wonder why it matters?

    I could care less if any of my photos get used by other people, I'd probably just be flattered. Once you put them on the web to be viewed there are so many multitudes of ways that they can be recreated and tampered with. It would seem helpless to try and keep them your own.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist:

  3. #3
    jesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexenthes View Post
    but I do wonder why it matters?
    If you could get a payment of let's say 200 USD per photo per month per website that uses the photo, would that matter for you as the copyright owner?

  4. #4
    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    I dont really know a lot about this stuff but did you copyright the photo?

  5. #5
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    For works created in the US or by a US Citizen you cannot file a copyright infringement suit in US courts unless the works have been registered with the US Copyright Office before the infringement or within 3 months of the publication of the work. Nor can you collect any attorney fees or damages unless the works were registered.

    Note to Photobucket users according to their TOS:

    • If you make your Content public, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to copy, distribute, publicly perform (e.g., stream it), publicly display (e.g., post it elsewhere), reproduce and create derivative works from it (meaning things based on it), anywhere, whether in print or any kind of electronic version that exists now or later developed, for any purpose, including a commercial purpose.
    • You are also giving other Users the right to copy, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and create derivative works from it via the Site or third party websites or applications (for example, via services allowing Users to order prints of Content or t-shirts and similar items containing Content, and via social media websites).
    Last edited by Not a Number; 12-23-2011 at 06:54 AM.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  6. #6
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    From the
    "Copyrightable works
    include the following categories:
    1 literary works
    2 musical works, including any accompanying words
    3 dramatic works, including any accompanying music
    4 pantomimes and choreographic works
    5 pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
    6 motion pictures and other audiovisual works
    7 sound recordings
    8 architectural works
    These categories should be viewed broadly"

    "Copyright Secured Automatically upon Creation
    The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently
    misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action
    in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. See the
    following note. There are, however, certain definite advantages
    to registration. See Copyright Registration on page 7."

    Page 7 -
    "In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended
    to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright.
    However, registration is not a condition of copyright
    protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for
    protection, the copyright law provides several inducements
    or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration.
    Among these advantages are the following:
    • Registration establishes a public record of the copyright
    • Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration
    is necessary for works of U. S. origin.
    • If made before or within five years of publication, registration
    will establish prima facie evidence in court of
    the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in
    the certificate.
    • If registration is made within three months after publication
    of the work or prior to an infringement of the work,
    statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to
    the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an
    award of actual damages and profits is available to the
    copyright owner.
    • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record
    the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection
    against the importation of infringing copies. For
    additional information, go to the U. S. Customs and
    Border Protection website at
    Registration may be made at any time within the life of
    the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a work has
    been registered in unpublished form, it is not necessary to
    make another registration when the work becomes published,
    although the copyright owner may register the published
    edition, if desired."

    From another site because the goverment one doesn't really address internet law...
    "Wait, don't I have to send a form to the government too?
    That is voluntary. The Copyright Office will catalogue your site if you want them to. It'll cost 20 bucks plus some shipping. No, this is not required in order to be able to bring a civil suit against someone else for copyright infringement. You may go after damages to recover losses. However, you may only attempt to get punitive damages (punishment money) if you are registered with the Copyright Office. "
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  7. #7
    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    mass: first of all, the photo is afforded copyright protection by law, simply by your authorship of it, it's not something you have to "apply" for.
    And yes, you have every right to enforce copyright when someone takes your photo(s) and uses them without obtaining your permission.
    Next item, lawsuits: pointless for a single copyright infringement. Your costs would exceed your reward. All you can sue for is lost revenue, and it would be difficult to persuade anyone that you experienced "lost revenue" if you don't actually make a living selling your photos.
    What you can do is file DMCA to force a take-down of the photo. (see link provided) That is if you want to go straight to legal action without first contacting the infringer and asking for removal of the photo. (would you feel better about it if they provided attribution? Maybe just having your name on it would suffice? It's unlikely they will offer to pay for usage rights but you can ask. A one time usage fee of something in the vicinity of fifty bux would not be unreasonable.) If you don't care to negotiate usage terms with the infringer, then go straight to filing DMCA to force removal.

    This is an issue I have to deal with annually, often several times a year. It used to be eBay was the worst offender, but for some reason it rarely happens there now. Usually it is some online nursery that steals my work. I always contact them first and request a usage fee, but that almost always fails. In that case, I ask them to take the photo off their web site. Many claim it was ignorance of copyright or "an error their web designer made", and agree to remove it. Once in a while I get a really snotty response that suggests the infringer feels entitled to take whatever they want from the web and use it as they please. Those people find themselves forced to remove stolen content via DMCA.

    Having your work stolen and misused is never flattering, it's just theft. Period.

  8. #8
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Now mass, you cant really complain when you are using someone else's original artwork for your avatar...

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