Using a copyrighted image without permission

Profile picture of the author clever7 by clever7 Posted: 04/27/2013
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.”










#copyrighted #image #permission

  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 JohnMcCabe
    JohnMcCabe
    I'd just pull the image and (mentally, under my breath) tell him where to stick it.

    If you're worried about the link out, just tag it as rel=noindex,nofollow. If someone wants to see the page you're linking to, make it open in a new tab or window.

    Peronally, I'd just change the image and be done with it.
  • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
    wordwizard
    Actually, Google DOES include images that you can use - but you need to look for images that can specifically be used on your website, and you'll discover the number of them shrinks shockingly if you do.

    Personally, I like to just buy my images. It's safer, and I have proof that they're legit.

    My favorite place to purchase them (because they have great terms of service and pretty much the best prices around) is Fotalia.com

    Just make sure you check the rights for the images you buy - get the ones that have the normal rights and stay away from "editorial" rights. Most of them are the normal kind. Can't think of the official term right now.

    And yes, I agree with everyone else here... remove that other photo or link to the guy's website. THEN you can investigate if you wish...
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Paul Myers
    I didn't know I shouldn't use Google images. They were suggested by many Warriors in various threads in the past.
    The number of people using - and advising the use of - randomly copied images is shocking. This is the biggest copyright-related reason for us shutting down sales offers here, in fact. It's not all that unusual for folks to offer graphics packages that include photos they don't have the rights to use at all, and even including "resale rights" licenses for them.

    (Bad seller. Mama nuke.)

    And, of course, the "sellers" (read: pirates) whine when someone calls them on it. On the plus side, they're a lot like spammers when that happens. They go digging around the forum looking for people whose offers haven't been reported yet, and come to us with comments that sound a lot like, "That's unfair. Johnny's doing it!"

    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.

    Bzzzt! Wrong. Thanks for playing, though.

    Anyway... back to the original point: Do not believe anything you read about copyright in a forum where many of the posters have a vested interest in slack enforcement of same. Go to more authoritative sites, like copyright.gov, or read the Berne Convention, and work your way up from there.

    While you're at it, be very careful about buying anything with resale rights unless you're getting them straight from the original creators and have strong reason to believe they're the original creators. I've seen many sites over the years selling rights to products I know with certainty they do not have any legal basis for selling.


    Paul
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    clever7
    I removed this image.

    I found better images in the end.

  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    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 AmandaT
    AmandaT
    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post
    I removed this image.

    I found better images in the end.
    That was a good choice. They don't need to prove they are the owner to file a DMCA to Squidoo and Squidoo would have locked your lens without asking any questions. That's their policy when it comes to copyrighted images.
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    WillR
    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post
    [FONT=Verdana]I don’t have time or interest to care about who is the image’s owner.
    Well if you are using that image on your website then you had better take the time to find out who the owner of that image is... and if the answer is not 'you' then it shouldn't be on your website -- unless ofcourse you have asked the correct owner for permission.

    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post
    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
    You are using an image and you do not know who owns that image. You are not the victim here. The person whose image you used (without asking) is the victim.
  • Profile picture of the author Karena Benjamin
    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 Paul Myers
    Paul Myers
    Ummm... As given, this is really, really bad advice.

    Giving credit is NOT a substitute for getting permission.
    Originally Posted by Rue Celts View Post
    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
    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 Dennis Gaskill
    Dennis Gaskill
    Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

    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.

    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.
  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    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
    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 Alexa Smith
    Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by Rue Celts View Post
    just add a reference tab somewhere small at the bottom of your website (or wherever).
    Originally Posted by Rue Celts View Post
    it allows me to use other peoples images and articles legally.
    Images and articles, now?! This is so wrong. It isn't a defense to a DMCA site take-down notice served on your host, and it isn't a defense to a lawsuit for damages, either. Why do so many people think it's somehow ok to steal copyright content if they "attribute"/"credit"/"link to" the original?!
  • Profile picture of the author debra leroy
    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?

Related discussions