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Needless to say, I'd like to sue these people, or at least force them to stop using my images. But they are based in Russia (it's a .ru site). What can I do?
that said where is it hosted ...just because you see .ru ..doesnt mean thats where it is ...
if it is hosted in Russia or a lot of similar areas you got to wait around another 10 years
Upload ONE graphic to your site, a plain black or white background with the words "YOU ARE A THIEF!" in the opposite color (get that transliterated into Russian too if you can!). Point all the previous links for the stolen graphics to that one. Move all of your "real" graphics to a different directory for the time being, and make sure your email is visible - anyone who is legit will probably email you to ask where the pics went. You might miss out some traffic for a while, but it shouldn't be long before you can reset back to your original links.
Seems like I've seen somewhere a "real" solution to hotlinking - think it involves apache mod_rewrite. Of course, if they've just downloaded your pics and then set up their own space, the above won't work....
is the site in English?
if it is, you might as well send them a cease and desist, you never know they might listen to reason.
otherwise check their host's terms of service, if it is a semi-decent host then they may have the content removed (normally, you will have to prove the infringement).
failing that, as Leosghost said you may have a problem getting your content removed.
hope this helps
DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, obviously you should seek proper legal advice.
They might not even know they're violating copyright. I mean, with Google's image search, they could be copying the images directly from the search results pages. I've known many people who thought images online can't be copyrighted; "after all, the Internet is supposed to be free . . . "
Who knows. But I counted again and they grabbed a total of 91 images from my site, so they can't have taken them from a cache. They must have accessed directly my site.
By the way, I've just emailed a Russian lawyer. Let's see what he tells me.
For example, if I take a picture of the White House in the USA, I can't stop anybody else from also showing a picture of the White House on their site. Even if I suspected that it was my picture that they were using, how would I prove this? They could have been standing in the same location that I was as the picture was taken.
Good luck Scooter24. Maybe you should contact the company/site before splashing out on lawyer fees. They are expensive.
That's absolute nonsense.
And, as far as proving it the angle, pixel locations, filenames (which he said they didn't bother to change) and so forth make it really easy. Lots of people have pics of the White House, but it's damn unlikely they'll have the same pixel data, even if taken at the same time in about the same location. Based upon the locations in question and the repeated nature of the copying it's undoubtedly damn obvious that copyright violations are the only explanation.
yes, but how would you prove that a particular photo of a place is yours? If you wanted to bring any legal action you would have to do this. If I take a standard photo of the White House, with no people in it, then how can you differentiate it from another standard photo of the White House with no people in it?
Overlap the images and if there is a pixel-by-pixel correspondence it means the images are the same ones.
I might add that these idiots were dumb enough not to rename the image files!
Also, how's the political/legal environment in Russia right now? Don't expect to find too much justice there.
sucks, but it's true
.... net is a free domain, and by posting such images or other copywrited material, you are in essence opening it up to public domain....
TOTALLY untrue. One owns one's copyrighted works, whether art, writing, programming, etc. no matter if it's on the net or not. Placing something online, while perhaps not "safe" does NOT automatically open it to "public domain".
You need to read up on copyright and public domain, and the actual liablility you are open to if you arbitrarily assume that others' copyrighted material is "free for the taking" because YOU found it on the net. And before you bite back, I DO know whereof I speak: I'm a writer, and I've done a fair amount of research on this subject.
Where do you get this crap ..?
Copyright can only be assigned specifically in writing from the copyright holder to another person or corparate entity..this doesn't matter where you are in the world ( there are currently only a handfull of countries who have not ratified the relevant conventions ...the level of ignorance and missinformation on this subject on these fora is frightening ..)....
I am a copyright specialist and have made numerous appearances in court (as "expert witness" )and no doubt will continue to have to do so whilst people like "smoove 3" continue to take their dreams for reality ...
The internet is not "public space " it is "publically accessible" space ....and if you don't understand the distinction ..don't go there ...
Rant over ( until the next stupid missinformed post on this subject ) ..........
Might want to talk to a US lawyer that knows Russian law in stead of a Russian lawyer.
I think you're missing the point that smoove3 and myself were trying to make. In theory, what you say is correct, but in the real world, you can have all the rights in the world, but if you have no way to enforce them, then you have no rights.
This seems to be the situation Scooter24 is in. There is no way he is going to get the Russian legal system to stop this site from taking his images. That's even if he can prove they are his.
in the real world, you can have all the rights in the world, but if you have no way to enforce them, then you have no rights.
So if I have the right to freedom of speech and I am constantly censored, I don't have the right to freedom of speech? What absolute rubbish.
Rights are inalienable. Even when you're prevented from exercising them.
Unfortunately practical measures are still limited in their capacity to prevent copyright violations on the web. chmod rewrite on an Apache server only stops direct linking to images. Anything else is ineffective.
I suppose you could subcontract some bright young hacker to err... change the Russian website?
I think you just made my point. Yes, if you are constantly censored then you do not have freedom of speech. How can you say you have freedom of speech if you are censored?
I think you need to re-read my post because you missed some of the logic.
I think you're missing the point that smoove3 and myself were trying to make.
wackal: I didn't see anything in your posts or smoove3's post which indicated you were "trying to make a point". You were both "throwing down a gauntlet" - you by sniping at Scooter24 in a rather snide way; and smoove3 by disseminating totally false information about copyright.
Besides, as regards copyright (and as mentioned in other posts on this thread), one DOES have recourse in most of the civilized world today. It's simply a matter of being persistent and ignoring people who would have one believe that one can do nothing....
....but if you have no way to enforce them, then you have no rights....
Of course you do. You ALWAYS retain the rights granted you by your own country's laws - even if you are not prepared to insist upon using them. True, you may NOT be able to recoup millions of dollars or even an apology - but YOU STILL HAVE THOSE RIGHTS. Some people might roll over and play dead when their rights are infringed upon (whether copyright or something else), but I'm not one who would do that, and perhaps Scooter24 isn't either.
The world is a remarkably small place today. If Scooter24 doesn't get some response from the lawyer he contacted, then maybe he will try someone else. He might, for instance, contact a Russian-&-English-speaking attorney in one of the large cities in the States - they DO abound in various parts of this country (Washington DC and LA spring to mind - as well as Toronto - all have many Russian immigrants....) and the easiest way to find the contact info for someone like that would be either online, or a simple long distance phone call to one of the 800 numbers of any one of the Russian embassies in large cities. A request for a list of Russian-&-English-speaking attorneys would not be taken amiss, I believe....
"Combating Copyright Infringement in Russia: A Comprehensive Approach for Western Plaintiffs"
It appears that also in Russia copyright laws exist and that the case isn't hopeless.
if you are constantly censored then you do not have freedom of speech
No, you're right, you don't. But you still have the _right_ to speak freely, even if your opponents are do everything to prevent you from exercising that right.
Having the right to do something and being able to do something are not the same.
A copyright which is violated innumerable times does not void the copyright and does not make the violations acceptable behaviour.
second... i am not saying it was right, but it happens and is true.
third... just out of curiosity... how many that are bashing me actually know how to copyright their work?
Just because you make something, doesn't make it copyrighted to you. Someone could go and take 1000's of images. Just because you make them, doesn't mean you copyrighted them.
I don't agree with such policies, I'm just saying you can't stop it.