Saturday, May 18, 2013

Copyright Infringement Becomes Too Burdensome

In Cindy Schnackel's RedBubble blog entry Big Changes, the artist explains how rampant copyright infringement is affecting the way she publishes her work on the internet:
One of the biggest changes[...] is to cease selling many, (or any), reprints on Red Bubble.

[...]Changes to search engines give away images instead of drive traffic to us now. Social and sharing sites have become infringement cesspools. Scraper sites link our work to porn and ads and hide behind secretive web hosts.
How has Pinterest and search engines displaying full-size images instead of just thumbnails affected the way you publish your work on the internet?


Leslie Hawes said...

I have completely transferred "Leslie's Drawing A Day" blogger, my sales blog with 240 Followers, over to my blog (to which I control the database).

I resized and reloaded all my images to 'start fresh' on the Wordpress blog. Leslie Hawes Art Blog. Over 400 images...that was a lot of work.

I am more obviously and obnoxiously marking all my work with the (C) symbol and stating copyright warnings in the sidebar (I used to not be so aggressive with my copyright notifications).

I have removed all images from Facebook , and no longer post images, but just word notices of new art.

I stopped participating in Fine Art America, a print on demand site that turned up all my images in Google Image Search pages, from which they were being pinned to Pinterest.

I have removed all my photographs from Flickr Groups. Scraper sites would pluck them from the groups, even though my Photostream was not available to third parties. Not being able to participate in Groups defeats the purpose of Flickr as a 'photo sharing' site.

I have completely removed one blog 'Black Dog Diaries' of all my hundreds of dog park photos, and have just left a few photos posted for DMCA 'proof'.

I have stopped participating in Virtual Paintout and have had the blog admin remove all my art. That one really hurts.

And now that I have written this, I am going to do a blog post about it. I have changed so much about the way I use the internet to promote my artwork that it deserves an entire blog post.

G said...

I've added a large (c) My Name watermark in the middle of all my photos on my website. Then re-added all my photos to my website. That was a lot of work.

Even though I'm a Canuck, I contacted a US copyright lawyer for advice on how to register all my website-published photos with the US Copyright Office. Then registered them all in separate batches by publish year. Just did this last year. Going forward I anticipate registering photos once or twice a year.

Learned a great deal about DMCA takedowns - the how and the whom to submit a DMCA takedown. (Submitted 150 to US ISPs, a few hundred to pinterest).

Added the pinterest nopin code to several hundred webpages (and recently read with dismay that Bing's pin it button circumvents the damn thing grrr).

In summary, I had a one time big effort to reduce copyright infringement of my photos. But going forward, thank goodness, I haven't really added any extra work to my workflow for my website.

Leslie Hawes said...

And down goes Flickr...

The new 'improved' Flickr will encourage pinning.

JafaBrit's Art said...

Pinterest is like the whispering game, by the time the image has been passed around people have no idea who the artwork belongs too. They download and use as they wish. In my case I have had some major copyright thefts by record companies and others I have listed on my blog. I am glad I found your blog.

Cindy Schnackel said...

Seems like a lot of artists, who formerly didn't worry too much about infringement, are taking it more seriously now. For many, the last straw, or the thing that really got their attention was proposed 'orphan works' legislation. That would've done it for me, too, had I not already concluded it was time to change the way I do things.

JafaBrit's Art said...

I always cared and tried to track it but regular searches did nit find was only when I discovered reverse image search that I found my work in ob
scure locations :(

Leslie Hawes said...

Something new about pinterest:

Postcards from Wildwood said...

For some time now I have been checking Pinterest for copyright infringements of my work. As soon as I see a new pin I get on it straight away. Since I have a blog I have been unable to insert the meta tag to prevent pinning and have had to resort to sidebar notices, which it seems pinners are unable to see. Because of this I have now been forced to abandon that blog and start again with a new self-hosted (therefore costing me money) blog.

Today I checked Pinterest after a gap of a few days, and found 45 images, plus repins, that weren't there last time. Pinterest have got a new look and in reorganising their website seem to have reinstated several of the images that were previously removed following my copyright notices.

I thought I would mention that here because it may have happened to others. I have now sent a letter to using the 'template' outlined here:

Hope this is helpful, and would appreciate some feedback if it is a widespread situation following the revamp on Pinterest.


G said...


Hi. I noticed a few days ago (after pinterest launched its new look) that I had 10 pins appear of my photographs. The pins were all 40+ weeks old.

What I had assumed was that the 'new look / changed' pinterest had changed its search algorithm, too, and dredged up these pins that had been hidden from me on prior searches for the last 6 months

e.g. search =

Had not considered pinterest may have reinstated old pins.

I've issued 300? takedowns to pinterest I can't remember one from another, and so don't know if I had issued takedowns before for these.

Leslie Hawes said...

I had a dozen or so repins the other day, all many months old.

In addition, there was a 'source' page for a blog, 'pretty-zoo', that showed one of my images. Because it did not have it's own URL, the pinterest DMCA form would not work for that. I had to send an email with a takedown request.
thanks for the info, Wildwood. Always good to know other people's experiences as they arise.

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Thanks Leslie, interesting to know this has happened to at least one other person, and I'm sure more.

As I said in my last comment, I sent a letter asking Pinterest to take responsibility, and to remove all the images with reference to my 'source' page on their website. They have refused to do this. They expect me to resubmit 45 take down notices. Two of the pins have my comments on, so I know these were removed following an earlier Notice, but the pin codes have changed - I have kept the email notifications from them, and the images are of course identified only by number, so if the numbers have now changed I can't insist they reinstate the existing notice.

A copy of the email I received is attached below.

Hi Janice,

You recently notified Pinterest of a belief that copyrighted material was being made available through without authorization. We confirm that we have removed such material. While most content is removed immediately, it may take up to 24 hours to be removed from all servers.

In regards to your request, "Please ensure that any images obtained from any of the above-mentioned websites - and pinned to your website - are removed completely from your site within the next seven days" , please know that in order to remove pins, we require a notification that provides all of the information specified by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), including the specific location where the pin may be found, such as a link to the pin you are complaining about. For example:

We require this information so there is no misunderstanding about the material to be removed, and to confirm the complaining party is, in fact, the owner of the copyrights in the allegedly infringed material, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner.

Your notification is incomplete because it does not provide a link to the pins you are complaining about, or other information sufficient to identify them. I removed the specific pin you wrote in about, but for the other instances you refer to, please provide a complete DMCA notification using this form:

If you don't want to use the form, our website lists the specific information we need you to submit and provides instructions for submitting it. (See items (1) - (5) at the link below.)

If you send us a complete DMCA notification that identifies the specific pins you’re complaining about, we'll review it right away and take the appropriate action.

Very truly yours,

Jana | Community Specialist

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Hi G,
Sorry - didn't notice the comment from you too. I think you're right - it's a combination of some pins not previously showing against our 'source' pages and also the reappearance of some previously removed pins. It definitely includes some of the latter, because two of mine have comments from me attached. I KNOW these pins were previously removed following specific takedown notices from me.

PS - Have now changed name of blog on my google account, so was Postcards from Wildwood, now Dancing with Sunflowers. Sorry if this has confused anyone!

Janice / Dancing with Sunflowers said...

Sorry - I'm a bit confused. I previously left a comment that has now disappeared. Just to say that Pinterest have refused to accept my general Take Down Notice and expect me to lodge 45 more Take Down Notices for each individual pin. Bearing in mind that at least some of these are reappearances, I just can't commit to doing that.

G said...

After reading your posts Janice, I realized it's unlikely my 10 new pins have been re-added by pinterest because I always leave a comment for the pinhead.

None of these 10 new pins had a comment from me.

By the way, 10 new pins was a huge jump in the number I see in my weekly pinterest search - I usually see only 1 or none at all. Normally I see only new pins, added within the last couple of weeks. So it was strange for me to suddenly see 10 pins all from 40 weeks or a year old.

A watermark in the middle of my photo, and the nopin tag have almost elminated pinning of my photos (for the time being at least).

A Glass Artist said...

To Janice,

I just noticed the same thing, images that I had removed a year ago suddenly returned... larger than ever!