Using a copyrighted image without permission

by 37 comments
Someone sent me a message through the contact form at my Squidoo account, telling me that:

“To whom it may concern, You are using my copyrighted work/image (here he explains which image it is) on your squidoo account without any permeation* or credit. You may still use the image with a credit link back to its original source at http://www.hiswebsite. Otherwise please remove the image from your websites/social channels. Thank you,”

* I guess he meant ‘permission’.

I found this image at Google images in 2009 and I used it in a Squidoo lens at that period of time.

I don't believe that the person who sent me this message today is the real owner of this image.

On the other hand, I saw the image of one of my ebook covers at Google images being exposed as a free image, while I had paid for it in 2008 with the intention to have it exclusively for my ebook cover.

I think that there is nothing you can do about this matter.

I believe that the person who sent me this message is only trying to promote his site by saying that he is the owner of this image and obliging those who are using it to link back to his site.

What do you think about that?


Editing: As a coincidence, exactly when I was writing this message here I received another message from the same person, after answering his message and saying that I don't believe that he is the real owner of this image:


“I will not prove it to you if I am the owner of that image or not. I will simply contact Squidoo and open a DMCA case. I first sent you a friendly email. Looks like it did not help. Next move is taking actions.”










#main internet marketing discussion forum #copyrighted #image #permission
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

    * I guess he meant ‘permission’.
    Undoubtedly.

    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

    I found this image at Google images in 2009

    Why? If you don't own the copyright, someone else does? It's not ok to take photos from "Google Images" unless permission (or, in his case, permeation) is granted.

    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

    I don't believe that the person who sent me this message today is the real owner of this image.

    Why not? You're not the copyright owner, so why shouldn't he be?

    I've seen posts from people who've actually been sued for doing this, and had to pay damages and legal costs. Please excuse my possibly sounding "unsympathetic" (not my intention!) but taking and using random images from Google Images, which don't specify that you can, is very risky, and clearly not lawful.

    You were also breaking Squidoo's TOS, but that's another matter.

    You can ask him to prove he owns the copyright, if you want to, but I wouldn't take on a chance on it changing his attitude adversely, myself: I'd just immediately give him the credit he asks for, and think I'd been lucky that the copyright didn't turn out to belong to Getty Images or somone whose correspondence with you might have started off with a bill for $5,000. Yes, that really does happen.

    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

    On the other hand, I saw the image of one of my ebook covers at Google images being exposed as a free image, while I had paid for it in 2008 with the intention to have it exclusively for my ebook cover.
    This is another matter altogether, but doesn't make it ok for you to have taken a photo from Google Images.

    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

    I think that there is nothing you can do about this matter.

    I can't advise you about your own image, which you paid for in 2008, but I promise you that if you take random photos from Google Images and just use them without the copyright owner's permission, you can get into real trouble.
  • Profile picture of the author konakid
    Hm, he may or may not be the actual owner, but it probably isn't worth getting into DMCA problems if he actually is. It's not a huge deal to link back to his site and give him credit though.

    You could try doing a reverse image lookup using something like tineye to find out where the image originally came from.
  • Profile picture of the author angela99
    clever7, if you don't own the image, and don't know who does, why not remove it?

    You said: "I found this image at Google images in 2009 and I used it in a Squidoo lens at that period of time."

    Did you use an image without knowing who owned the rights? If it wasn't tagged Creative Commons, or public domain, just using an image without making sure that you have the rights to do so is dangerous, because sooner or later it will catch up with you.

    Re your own image; if you own the rights, you can ask anyone who's using it without your permission to remove it.

    Most images on Google Images are copyrighted. If you want images which you can use, do a Flickr search for Creative Commons images, or use an image search tool like Photo Pin : Free Photos for Bloggers via Creative Commons

    Good luck with your problem...

    Cheers

    Angela
  • Profile picture of the author RobinInTexas
    No question remove the image yesterday if not sooner and save yourself more grief than you can afford.

    If you can't establish beyond a preponderance of evidence your right to use it you will lose.
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Thank you for your answers!

    I don’t have time or interest to care about who is the image’s owner. I just believed that I was a victim of someone who tried to use the false claim that he is the owner of the image I’m using only to make me post a link back to his site. I believed it was a dirty marketing trick.

    So, I should simply link back to his website without caring for justice because in the end I can get into trouble?

    How interesting…

    I didn't know I shouldn't use Google images. They were suggested by many Warriors in various threads in the past.

    There are numerous places to find free images online.

    I can simply remove the picture, which is what I will do. I will use another, better picture.

    This is the best solution, I guess.

    Where do you think I can find the best free images without problems? I have a long list of sites… where should I begin?


    I will try Angela’s suggestion, thank you!
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I removed this image.

    I found better images in the end.

  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    Bzzzt! Wrong. Thanks for playing, though.
    Love it.

    To the OP...

    I owned a photography studio for 38 years, and copying image has always been a problem. Fortunately several professional photography trade associations, have teams of lawyers who help go after infringers. You would not believe the amounts of money they settle for. It has put infringers completely out of business.

    Do not use an image you don't own, or have purchased from someone other than the maker of the image or the stock agency with with the maker has place the image for sale.

    :-Don
  • Profile picture of the author Karena Benjamin
    If you don't want all kinds of threats and problems, just add a reference tab somewhere small at the bottom of your website (or wherever).

    You can include all references to images, articles.

    I use it and hardly anyone checks it out but it allows me to use other peoples images and articles legally.

    Believe me If I thought that even 1% of visitors actually checked in the reference section, I would be shocked..
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Thanks for your explanations!

    I have no intention to use anyone’s images without having the right to do so.

    I would gladly post a link to the complainer’s website if I was not afraid that he is merely using this trick to make everyone post his link under interesting images that don’t belong to him.

    Everyone here seems to be interested only on the copyright issue.

    However, there are certain details that make me believe that we should suspect of this website owner.

    Why didn't he try to prove that he is the real owner of this image but he threatened me?

    He probably believed that I would be afraid of Squidoo’s rules and simply post his link, without verifying if he really is the real owner of this image.

    He also misspelled the word ‘permission’.

    He doesn’t look like a serious person who is saying the truth.



  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Claiming to own the copyrights to an image that he does not really own the copyrights to could get him in trouble. I suppose there are people foolish enough to do that IF they thought of it, but it seems unlikely. More likely is that you just got off easy.


    As I can see I ignored many important truths about using images online.

    I had no idea that I was in such dangerous position.

    Many people use Google images in their Squidoo lenses as I verified many times. I have seen the same images being used in various lenses.

    I use images from different countries, not from American websites.

    I don’t know if the protection of images works better than the protection of content online.

    I’ve seen many people using my articles and posting their links under them, as if they were the authors… I cannot pursue all content thieves. I simply close my eyes when I see someone using one of my articles without a link back to my website, and even worse, distorting my content with their words…

    I have already written so many articles. I cannot even count. I never thought that I should waste my time pursuing content thieves.

    It seems that image owners are more protected than content producers online.



  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    clever7 - Just to make sure I was clear...I wasn't talking about you when I said there may be some foolish enough to claim to own an image when they didn't. The difference between using an image you don't have the rights to out of ignorance of copyright laws, as you apparently did, and claiming you own the copyrights to an image you don't own, as you thought the guy who wrote to you might be doing, is huge.

    In the first case, a person just doesn't know he's doing wrong. In the latter case, the person knows he's lying and making a false claim.
  • Profile picture of the author debra leroy
    I think this is serious issue.
    You think he is not the owner, but what if he IS?? Are you ready to take your chances?
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    clever7 - Just to make sure I was clear...I wasn't talking about you when I said there may be some foolish enough to claim to own an image when they didn't. The difference between using an image you don't have the rights to out of ignorance of copyright laws, as you apparently did, and claiming you own the copyrights to an image you don't own, as you thought the guy who wrote to you might be doing, is huge.

    In the first case, a person just doesn't know he's doing wrong. In the latter case, the person knows he's lying and making a false claim.


    I understood what you said, and I was comparing the fact that it is ‘so serious’ to make a false claim that you own an image even though you are not the real owner of this image with the fact that many people pretend that they are the authors of many of the articles that I have written while they are not.

    I’m sure that nothing will happen to them if I will pursue these content thieves, while the image owners seem to be in real trouble if they will make a false claim.

    I couldn't imagine that it is so dangerous to pretend to be the owner of a certain image you don’t own, if I see so many people online pretending to be the authors of articles that somebody else wrote as if they had the right to do so.

    This is why I concluded that this website owner is an impostor. He is not the real owner of this old picture, which I used in 2009 to create one of my first lenses. He is simply pretending to be the owner of this image to spread his links online. He does the same with many other images.

    Many people make false claims online without any problem until someone may attack them for some reason and uncover the truth, or they do it forever without being found.





  • Profile picture of the author RogueOne
    I figured out a long time ago that the surest way to get rid of a whole category of problem offers is to nuke one or two, and then open a conversation with the sellers. They'll find the rest for you, under the mistaken assumption that you won't shut down all those other paying advertisers, so you'll have to give them their ad back.
    Classic.

    Then again, some folks are just amoral sociopaths...
    Say it isn't so, John!

    I’m sure that nothing will happen to them if I will pursue these content thieves
    Nonsense! I've had DMCA take-downs occur in less then 24 hours. You just want to whine vs being a conscientious professional.
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I believe that if he was an honest image owner he would prove that he owns the rights of this image.

    However, he tried to intimidate me, without proving anything.

    He probably saw how cruel Squidoo is with their recent measures, so he is using the fear of having a lens locked because of a copyrighted image, and making many lensmasters simply post his link, without verifying if he really is the owner of the images he claims to belong to him.

    Would you simply believe that someone is the owner of an image and pay him with a link back to his website without knowing if he really is saying the truth?

    Quote:
    I’m sure that nothing will happen to them if I will pursue these content thieves
    Nonsense! I've had DMCA take-downs occur in less then 24 hours. You just want to whine vs being a conscientious professional.



    In the beginning of my online adventures I tried to prevent content thieves to use my content in their websites, but I found a chaotic situation. I had to do many things to prove that I really was the content producer; so many things that in the end I abandoned the idea to pursue these content thieves.

    How can someone simply declare that he is the owner of an image and make me easily pay him to use this image, without proving that this picture really belongs to him? Why should I believe him?





  • Profile picture of the author Joe Thio
    Just remove the image. If he chooses to do a DMCA takedown then your host will have no choice but to take down your website. Sure, you can do a counter-DMCA notice, but that would only be if you are absolutely sure he is not the copyright owner. Though I'm not a lawyer; so you might not be able to even do a counter-DMCA unless you have the rights, even if the person who submitted the take-down isn't the owner.
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    What happened helped me understand how dangerous it is to just use images that seem to be free while they are not.

    If I had the time I would use my digital camera and take my pictures myself. This would be the ideal solution.

    I have no time to take pictures and I’m not a talented photographer, but I have many friends who love taking pictures as a hobby. I will ask them to let me use their pictures. This is a very good idea.

    However, how am I going to prove that these pictures are really mine because i.e. my best friend’s daughter keeps taking pictures all the time and I’m sure she won't mind to let me use these pictures at my pages? How can I prove to someone who may claim that he is the owner of a certain picture I’m using in one of my pages that I’m the real owner?

    It seems that there is no way to prove that you are an image’s real owner if you didn't i.e. upload it in a website to show to the public that you took this picture yourself, or someone you know gave you the right to use their picture.

    This is a strange problem.

    So, if you are not the real owner of a certain image you found online, this means that anyone can declare that this image belongs to them, without having to prove anything?

    This situation opens many doors for many people who have the intention to manipulate others.





  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Just a couple of links about people getting into trouble using images.

    The real cost of being sued by Getty | Copyright Action

    Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don't Own on Your Blog | BlogHer

    I used to have another one. Somebody used a $10 Getty image on their site, and Getty collected more than $4000 from them. Can't find the link now.

    Use an image you don't own and you can make yourself a victim of image extortion by companies that have legal muscle, and do this as a job. (with a work work work attitude)
  • Profile picture of the author RogueOne
    So, if you are not the real owner of a certain image you found online, this means that anyone can declare that this image belongs to them, without having to prove anything?
    This means you shouldn't be using the image without permission. Google images states very clearly "this image may be subject to copyright."

    This situation opens many doors for many people who have the intention to manipulate others.
    "Others" who are breaking the law? "Oh gee Your Honor, Billy didn't pay me for the dope he bought, that's why I shot him."
  • Profile picture of the author WPMaker
    [DELETED]

Next Topics on Trending Feed