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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Followup: Stolen pictures on SmugMug
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AuthorThread
06/14/2006 09:56:58 PM · #1
Hi All,

To all the DPCers that were following the original thread before it was locked, here's the update to the situation.

Andy has spoken with the smugmug site owner and as it was alluded to in the original thread by someone, he is in fact a teacher...art, history, etc.

He has been using his site as a resource to share examples with his class, so I guess the number of images that were there from DPC is a glowing testiment to the quality of photos here. He's happy to remove the DPC photos if the owners don't want the kids discussing them.

He didn't realise how to turn off printing, but it has been turned off now. Additionally, the entire site will remain password-protected with access only allowed to his students.

Best regards,

David

Message edited by author 2006-06-14 21:59:44.
06/14/2006 10:07:06 PM · #2
Doesn't he know that he can simply link to an existing image on his site instead of having to create a whole new archive of images? Might relieve quite a bit of animosity...
06/14/2006 10:09:42 PM · #3
Hi eug,

Sorry I can't comment on that, as I don't know.

I'm just relaying the situation.

Cheers,

david
06/14/2006 10:22:55 PM · #4
Originally posted by devbobo:

Hi All,

To all the DPCers that were following the original thread before it was locked, here's the update to the situation.

...

Best regards,

David

Thanks for taking the time to update us.

David
06/14/2006 10:24:21 PM · #5
Originally posted by devbobo:

Hi All,

To all the DPCers that were following the original thread before it was locked, here's the update to the situation.

Andy has spoken with the smugmug site owner and as it was alluded to in the original thread by someone, he is in fact a teacher...art, history, etc.

He has been using his site as a resource to share examples with his class, so I guess the number of images that were there from DPC is a glowing testiment to the quality of photos here. He's happy to remove the DPC photos if the owners don't want the kids discussing them.

He didn't realise how to turn off printing, but it has been turned off now. Additionally, the entire site will remain password-protected with access only allowed to his students.

Best regards,

David


That's better but still not really what we as photographers have a right to expect from an outfit that claims to respect the property rights of copyright owners. The teacher should be asking for permission before posting other people's images in his galleries, not taking them down after they are (perhaps) discovered and objected to. The purpose of education is legally served by refering the viewer to the place where the image is already on display, and where the owner still maintains control of it. Posting links would be better than taking images. It would mean a loss of revenue for smugmug but the right thing to do would be to delete every image that person has imported into his galleries. None of them belong to him or to smugmug.
06/14/2006 10:26:43 PM · #6
Looks like a sensible and honestly quite expected result...

I know some teachers who use DPC photos to talk with their kids... I have done so myself in the past... Mind you, these were just 6 year old kids who walked by when I was checking my UPDATE BUTTON, but the point is that DPC photos do look good. Shouldn't we be flattered?

Any news on whether any pictures sold or not? I'm betting not...

I personally can't be bothered mucking about with a lot of hassle setting up pictures for my students to view... If I have something like that, I will usually use Yahoo photos.
06/14/2006 10:27:35 PM · #7
So for future reference, it's ok to take other people's photos, download them, re-upload their copyrighted photos to smugmug, and let people view them in your gallery? Just curious.

--

And I'm not too sure why exactly you'd offer to remove dpc's photos and not the other photographers' copyrighted photos...of course, I don't think anyone should refer to more than one single person as a whole -- just because they're from dpc...obviously there are people from all different walks of life here, with totally different views on totally different things. As such, we bash heads quite often...

--

Anyway, you guys do what you gotta do...as long as the prints aren't for sale, and the guys stuff is password protected, and my photos aren't involved, I'm outta it.

Of course, the guy should personally ask each and every photographer's permission before uploading anything to any gallery, whether public or private.

Message edited by author 2006-06-14 22:28:20.
06/14/2006 10:34:24 PM · #8
Originally posted by deapee:

So for future reference, it's ok to take other people's photos, download them, re-upload their copyrighted photos to smugmug, and let people view them in your gallery? Just curious.

View, yes; print, no.

If it is specifically for educational purposes, then such use probably falls under the "fair use" doctrine of US Copyright law.

If I was running a photography class, I'd probably try to direct the students to a single gallery to view the assignment too, rather than sending them all over the web with a page full of links.

Message edited by author 2006-06-14 22:34:57.
06/14/2006 10:37:52 PM · #9
Originally posted by coolhar:


That's better but still not really what we as photographers have a right to expect from an outfit that claims to respect the property rights of copyright owners. The teacher should be asking for permission before posting other people's images in his galleries, not taking them down after they are (perhaps) discovered and objected to. The purpose of education is legally served by refering the viewer to the place where the image is already on display, and where the owner still maintains control of it. Posting links would be better than taking images. It would mean a loss of revenue for smugmug but the right thing to do would be to delete every image that person has imported into his galleries. None of them belong to him or to smugmug.


Uhm coolhar, hindsight really works well I see.

Perhaps you missed the point where beckstead DIDN'T KNOW that the pictures were for sale...

It's one thing to say that you SHOULD read the TOS before joining any site, but the facts tell us that the vast majority of people DO NOT. So it is reasonable to HOPE that people do, but NOT reasonable to ASSUME that people do.

Certainly, TOS has much more relevance to a photographer whose actual intent is to make money from a site.

In this case, beckstead does not appear to have been trying to make money from his picture project, so it gives even more credence to the fact that he probably simply never even thought about all the fine print...

And if it was just a project for his kids, I'm sure he didn't want to be messing around. Perhaps, as an ART/HISTORY teacher, he isn't 100% familiar with the technology.

I don't know if you are aware of this, but we actually don't live in a perfect world.

People do make mistakes.

People do dumb things without thinking.

For a person without any experience as a photographer, and probably little experience with the digital world, it's pretty reasonable that he sees little difference between putting up a link to another person's photo and putting a small collection together of actual photos.

I know that I certainly see little difference... It still gets displayed just the same in the browser window... Albeit with more delay in lag and greater possibility of dead links and other cross-network stuff that everyone deals with and is aware of, but often doesn't fully understand...

The only people who actually would see a difference would be people who are under the illusion that their photos as posted on the internet are in some way sacred and untouchable.

WRONG! You posted them, so people can view them. Don't like it? Don't post stuff online.

These are just the facts of net life.

Stop pretending that it is reasonable to assert your standards of perfection on people who aren't even aware of the issues.
06/14/2006 10:42:33 PM · #10
GeneralE alluded to it, but I know as a a teacher, there are clauses that allow for uses such as what he is talking about. The example I was given was that if I find a NEWSWEEK article that is about what I am teaching tomorrow, I can copy the article for that one time. I don't ahve to get permission simply because there isn't time.

Now, if I integrate it into a unit for next year, I would need to get permission to repring.

Called something like "inspirational clause" or something like.

Then, again, I'm not a copyright lawyer (though at times I wish I were), so YMMV.
06/14/2006 10:42:38 PM · #11
Look at you all trying to run to this thief's defense...

If you steal a car and drive it without the knowledge or the license to drive it (ie, this guy wasn't allowed to sell the photos, nor was he allowed to be displaying them), and you take this car for a joyride...but no one gets hurt and you return the car to the rightful owner without a scratch on it...and you deem that you were driving solely for educational purposes, what's the damn difference!

The guy stole the photos, displayed them, had them up for sale (ignorance is no excuse) and now you want to run to his defense, and commend smugmug on a job well done?

I say hogwash...If my photos were in that password protected gallery, I'd still be angry. That's CLEARLY not a site that's worried one single bit about photographers' rights. Even for free use, I think you have to prove that you at least *tried* to contact the photographer asking to use the photo before you just go and use the photo however you see fit, as long as someone's learning something...this is getting ridiculous...

-----

There was a reason that the first one was locked...I'm willing to bet this one won't be far behind.

Message edited by author 2006-06-14 22:43:25.
06/14/2006 10:49:17 PM · #12
Clearly this dude's eyeballs should be plucked out and the entirety of the SmugMug staff should be doused in kerosene and set on fire. For justice!
06/14/2006 10:51:52 PM · #13
Originally posted by deapee:



There was a reason that the first one was locked...I'm willing to bet this one won't be far behind.


Ya think????
06/14/2006 10:56:07 PM · #14
Originally posted by deapee:

Look at you all trying to run to this thief's defense...

If you steal a car and drive it without the knowledge or the license to drive it (ie, this guy wasn't allowed to sell the photos, nor was he allowed to be displaying them), and you take this car for a joyride...but no one gets hurt and you return the car to the rightful owner without a scratch on it...and you deem that you were driving solely for educational purposes, what's the damn difference!

The difference is the laws which govern the use and possession of physical property compared to intellectual property. Copyright law does not cover grand theft auto (except maybe the video game), copyright law does -- and it allows for certain exceptions to the the right of the copyright owner to control every single use of their IP. That's just the way it is ... this teacher may be careless and or ignorant, but is not a "thief."

Message edited by author 2006-06-14 22:56:33.
06/14/2006 10:57:35 PM · #15
Sorry folks, I disagree with some of you.

Nevertheless, the site owner was actually apologetic for ruffling any feathers, and quite nice, about the whole situation, and is willing to do anything to keep (some) of you from getting all twisted up over this situation.

Again: We care deeply, down to our bones about protecting photographer's rights. We are a family company, and all of us photographers, and regular guys. I'm also a working pro and part of my job is to represent photographer's rights.

I've shut access to the the site off, there's no printing, no prints for sale, NEVER a print sold, of any of the photos that some of you are questioning.

My advice: go shoot some more great photos, and move on :) Cheers,

Andy
SmugMug
06/14/2006 10:58:38 PM · #16
Interestingly, I actually had a car stolen, driven around for 200km, then returned with only minor damage.

The police refused to do anything about it, even though the thief was very likely in the building next to where the car was found...

Anyhow, using the example of a car is where you find your hogwash...

A car is a physical thing. It can't be copied. If someone takes it, you can't use it.

A digital photo is just a bunch of digital information. It can be copied ad nauseum, VERY easily. If someone takes it, you are little affected.

This is why there is SO little difference between posting his photos for VIEWING and posting links.

And as you SHOULD be already aware (seeing as it's been posted several times and hey, ignorance is no excuse... for anything... right?), educational use DOES allow for using other people's artwork without permission when money is not being made...

On the other hand, the law DOES make a differentiation between doing something while aware of it, or doing something wrong while not aware of it... and it's a pretty huge difference in many cases...

If you were angry about your photos being in a password protected, entry-restricted gallery with photos NO LONGER for sale, but available for viewing for educational purposes, then you would be OUT OF LINE.

What the hell do you lose for a bunch of students checking out your composition that is ANY different from them going to your DPC profile?

The law protects people to PREVENT LOSS. Not stroke their egos to the point that everything a person touches becomes some sort of special sacred property that people can't even look at.

If you don't want people to see your art, don't display it.

I'm NOT saying that beckstead is RIGHT. I'm saying he made a mistake and you should grow up and deal with it. I fail to see where people are defending him. He's not even here.

Just trying to slap some sense into those who have become so wildly over-offended about such a non-issue.

06/14/2006 11:05:13 PM · #17
Originally posted by eschelar:

WRONG! You posted them, so people can view them. Don't like it? Don't post stuff online.
Would you apply that thinking to the commercially published works that were stolen? I doubt if Time, Nat Geo or the estate of Norman Rockwell would accept that line of thought.

Originally posted by eschelar:

Stop pretending that it is reasonable to assert your standards of perfection on people who aren't even aware of the issues.
I am not so naieve as to expect perfection. Perfection would be that it was possible to make it impossible for someone to take an image that I posted on the net. But I think it is entirely reasonable to expect a merchant, especially one that claims to respect photographer's rights like smugmug does, to correct such an egregious error in a prompt and cooperative manner. No where but in internet commerce could someone try to pass off an action taken as much as 41 hours later as "immediate". Gimme a break.
06/14/2006 11:07:51 PM · #18
Originally posted by eschelar:


If you were angry about your photos being in a password protected, entry-restricted gallery with photos NO LONGER for sale, but available for viewing for educational purposes, then you would be OUT OF LINE.

What the hell do you lose for a bunch of students checking out your composition that is ANY different from them going to your DPC profile?


I'd be out of line, for saying where my photos are allowed to be displayed? Heck, if a teacher ASKED for useage, it wouldn't be an issue and I'd go along with it. Who the hell do you think YOU are to tell me I'd be out of line with anything that has to do with my copyrighted photos?

Furthermore, like I mentioned, the difference is, I PUT MY PHOTOS HERE. I PUT THEM HERE WITH MY PERMISSION. I don't think it's right if someones photos are being used in any way whatsoever without the photographer's permission...and if you think otherwise, YOU my friend, are the only one who's OUT OF LINE in my opinion.
06/14/2006 11:10:23 PM · #19
Just differentiate between what may be impolite and what's illegal. This situation may certainly be a case of the former, but if you classify it as the latter, then YOU are out of line, or at least legally wrong.
06/14/2006 11:14:28 PM · #20
Originally posted by awilliamsny:

... Nevertheless, the site owner was actually apologetic for ruffling any feathers, and quite nice, about the whole situation, and is willing to do anything to keep (some) of you from getting all twisted up over this situation.

Anything? Is he willing to change the default setting for selling prints to off? Even your buddy devobob said he was in favor of that change.

Originally posted by awilliamsway:

My advice: go shoot some more great photos, and move on :)
If smugmug is not willing to make that minor change my advice to you would be to just go on about your business of making millions of dollars and stop trying to pass yourselves off as careing about property rights of photographers, or as regular guys.
06/14/2006 11:14:39 PM · #21
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Just differentiate between what may be impolite and what's illegal. This situation may certainly be a case of the former, but if you classify it as the latter, then YOU are out of line, or at least legally wrong.


See whether something's legally wrong or not, I have no idea...I would use common sense and say that you can't just do what the guy is doing...you should have to legally ask for permission to use the photos...or at least be able to prove that you tried to contact the photographer.

I never pretended that I know the law...and anyone here that is saying they know the law and isn't a lawyer is doing just that, pretending. As mentioned, I can only apply common sense to the situation and base my reasoning off of that.
06/14/2006 11:18:05 PM · #22
For those that say he can't do what he's doing, you better read up on US copyright law before you get out your ropes and form a vigalantie gang to string him up. Any picture that is posted on the internet can be used for educational, news and a number of other things if someone wants to use them. All legally. That doesn't mean you can't go hire a $200 an hour IP lawyer and try to sue him if you want... after all, isn't America home of the Litagation lawyers?

I think it's so funny that many of you get so up in arms over someone using your images, legally or illegally but you won't take the time to get them registered so you can really protect yourself should someone use them without permission that you really can sue. Frankly, that's as bad as condemming all the virus creators out there but not using any virus protection on your own computer.

If you are going to display your images on the internet, take the time to find out what is and isn't legal that people can do with your images. It will save a lot of heartburn and soiling perfectly good rope. ;)

The Fair Use laws covers a lot of territory and are there for that very reason.

Mike

Message edited by author 2006-06-14 23:19:07.
06/14/2006 11:19:08 PM · #23
Originally posted by coolhar:

Originally posted by awilliamsny:

... Nevertheless, the site owner was actually apologetic for ruffling any feathers, and quite nice, about the whole situation, and is willing to do anything to keep (some) of you from getting all twisted up over this situation.

Anything? Is he willing to change the default setting for selling prints to off? Even your buddy devobob said he was in favor of that change.


I don't think the guy who apologized can change the default settings?

Message edited by author 2006-06-14 23:19:38.
06/14/2006 11:23:07 PM · #24
Originally posted by coolhar:

Originally posted by awilliamsny:

... Nevertheless, the site owner was actually apologetic for ruffling any feathers, and quite nice, about the whole situation, and is willing to do anything to keep (some) of you from getting all twisted up over this situation.

Anything? Is he willing to change the default setting for selling prints to off? Even your buddy devobob said he was in favor of that change.

Originally posted by awilliamsway:

My advice: go shoot some more great photos, and move on :)
If smugmug is not willing to make that minor change my advice to you would be to just go on about your business of making millions of dollars and stop trying to pass yourselves off as careing about property rights of photographers, or as regular guys.

Printing is off :)
06/14/2006 11:28:34 PM · #25
Originally posted by deapee:

See whether something's legally wrong or not, I have no idea...I would use common sense and say that you can't just do what the guy is doing...you should have to legally ask for permission to use the photos...or at least be able to prove that you tried to contact the photographer.

I never pretended that I know the law...and anyone here that is saying they know the law and isn't a lawyer is doing just that, pretending. As mentioned, I can only apply common sense to the situation and base my reasoning off of that.


You don't know the law, but you're calling this guy a "thief" without knowing for sure whether that's true. That is actually against the law (libel - a false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation), unlike the way that this person was using these photos in his class. That is actually protected by copyright law, and I support that law 100%.

I don't like to make personal statements on the forums, but I do wish that you would try to be less insulting in your posts. It would make this environment a lot nicer for everyone. We can discuss any topic here without resorting to accusations and unsubstantiated hyperbole.
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