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The Photography Thief Among Us

To Whom It May Concern,
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 I received the following “canned” e-mail correspondence from the “Redbubble Content Team”,
Dear Terri,
We are contacting you in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy and as a result of having received a complaint in relation to the following content:
Who dat’
As you will be aware from our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, Redbubble requires a certain amount of information before it acts on such a complaint, including that:
• the relevant content is specifically named;
• the complaint came from the owner of the respective rights (or someone authorized to act on their behalf); and
• they have a good faith belief that the use of the relevant content is not authorized by content owner, its agent or the law.
On the basis of that information and in accordance with our User Agreement and IP/Publicity Rights Policy, we’ve removed the above-mentioned content from Redbubble.
In return, simply put, my first response was nothing more than disbelieving and horrified mumbo-jumbo since the title alone wasn’t enough to automatically identify the image while my head was rotating 360 degrees on my shoulders, and the link attached to the picture when clicked took me to a RedBubble screen that only indicated that the picture was no longer public, Nerdspeak: 403 Forbidden.

If that isn’t enough to make one panic, the other “solution” or “contact link” is a website “.pdf” whose http name reads www.chillingeffects.org. Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to click on a link (.pdf file no less) that contains the words “chilling effects” for a solution to having just been told that someone thinks I’m stealing their image, OF MY DAM CAT?

Yes, MY DAM CAT! You see, that was why, despite my sudden rise in blood pressure, and inability to make my fingers type as fast as my brain was working in my original response to RedBubble, I knew there had to be something evil and underhanded going on because I have two accounts on Red Bubble, and the one that SOMEONE chose to pick on is the account dedicated to MY PETS, and the pets of my family whose photographs have ALL been taken by myself with the one exception of my newest work, which features the image of a family members black lab, which I was asked to memorialize by the family and was given the picture of the dog only, to use in the memorial. Everything else about that picture is MINE! This is also an account that has been left pretty dormant of late.

Once I had collected myself I responded to RedBubble again, bombarding their e-mail with more than a dozen photos of the same DAM CAT at various life stages and in various poses as it lazed in our yard near our garage, where it lived.

I don’t know if the individual that filed the “complaint” will read this, but if you are, let me make myself perfectly clear and easy to understand………….BRING IT ON! I NEED YOUR MONEY and can’t wait to find a good lawyer to sue not only you, but RedBubble for making it WAY to easy for some sub-human as yourself to charge me, first of all, with such a grievous thing, which has such instant action, “guilt before being able to prove my innocence”, and second that you, “sub-human” had the audacity to attempt to claim the rights to one of MY photos, of MY DAM CAT!

I am a very mild mannered and loving individual by nature UNTIL you pick on my family and the thing that is MOST special and close to my heart and that is MY DEFENSELESS and LOVING PETS! Those DAM CATS (that’s right there was more than one) were born in or around our garage to a FERAL stray cat that chose a long, long time ago to make our garage her home. Actually, I think in all honesty the mother of these kittens came with our house back when we bought it in 1991. Since then the only time she came around and stayed put for any length of time was when she had a kitten or two in tow.

Fast forward to the month of May, 2009 when I first began taking pictures of the PAIR, how stupid can one person be to attempt to call me a “thief”, when I could bombard this journal with photographs of the cat in question, from “Kitten-hood” to “Young-Adult.

From May, 2009 until March of 2010 this “FERAL” cat, much to our dismay and delight fancied our property as his home until one day my husband and I just stopped seeing him around. What became of him we haven’t a clue. Why didn’t we attempt to capture him, and make him our own? Because from the day we moved into this neighborhood we were taken back by the number of “homeless, stray, and at best, “semi-feral” cats that were being allowed to mass reproduce under our noses, and those of our neighbors without our city officials having any RESPONSIBLE means of dealing with the situation.

Since 1991 my husband and myself ALONE and with assistance from a VERY generous and kind veterinarian, have rescued, trapped, and in some cases adopted, and PAID FOR the initial care and spay or neuter of upwards of some 30+ cats. While I was employed by our veterinarian I assisted in having one very large, and very sickly litter of kittens humanely put to sleep because there were virtually no other choices available. The mother was A FERAL STRAY, who not in the best of health herself, was found in our garage one day seeking shelter along with her kittens, but by the time I found them and got them to the vet, all the kittens were either on their way out of this world, or had very little chance of surviving. To say that myself and my vet weren’t devastated by what we had to do that day is putting it mildly. I NEVER forgot and I have never forgiven the un-named human beings who have so callously and coldly moved in and out of this neighborhood, or any neighborhood in our small rural town, and DUMPED their intact male and female cats out on the street to become a statistic and reason why our Humane Shelters and Foster Homes are FILLED TO OVERFLOWING with unloved, unwanted and in some cases, unadoptable cats and kittens.

Whomever this “sub-human” is, (that I hope is reading this) who thinks that they are attempting to STEAL A PHOTO from me, that they know they have no rights to, YOU AREN’T JUST STEALING A PHOTO, your attempting to steal MY RIGHT to MY MEMORIES of a precious, and innocent feline that was NOT asked to be born into this cruel HUMAN world, that at least for a short while found shelter, food and love in MY WORLD where it was at the very least, watched over, PHOTOGRAPHED and LOVED for the amount of time that WE were blessed to have earned his trust enough for him to hang around.

The longer it takes for RedBubble to get it in gear and put my photograph back in my portfolio where it rightly belongs, the longer I have to become more disbelieving, and appalled by the random acts of EVIL that has infested humans on this planet. For what reason? Was the photograph of MY DAM CAT REALLY THAT good that you have to accuse me, the photographer of being a thief in order to use it?

Take my writing down too RedBubble, because I won’t back down from your “secret complainer”! These are my pictures, all of them, that I have every right to share or sell any place on the world wide web that I choose. If my actions result in having BOTH my accounts taken down in total, than so be it, but a truly heartfelt thanks and love to all those “friends” that I have made since 2008, here at RedBubble. I can’t fathom the idea that someone would do such a thing to a “nobody” like me. To those who I’ve come to know and love, you can find me on FaceBook because while I am NOT in the habit of bragging about anything I’ve ever done for these lost babies, I WILL NOT run like a scared school girl AWAY from them, knowing full well that if it hadn’t been for my husband and I, their lives would have been NOTHING!

Highest Regards to those who deserve it, Terri Chandler (DwCCreations and DanceswithCats)

UPDATE: You have to be kidding me! I just got a response from RB that reads:
Hi Terri,
Thanks for being a valued member of our artist community.
Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, as it was specifically named in a complaint received from WhoDat, Inc.
We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe copyright or registered trademark, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

The TITLE that I put on that picture, before it was so stupidly removed, said “Who dat’” …. And who IS THAT? Well, of all things they are a company as far removed from me as it comes! I did a “Google” on the company and the explanation can be found in a Wikipedia document on them. A FOOTBALL organization? I don’t follow football and since when does a cat resemble or have anything to do with a football organization? I should also like to point out that the last line in that Wiki Text reads, "According to one attorney and restaurant owner who had been a party to the case, “The net effect of the settlement is that nobody owns Who Dat”. This is insane!!! If this is about a TITLE, why wasn’t RB specific to that end? This is beyond reproach. RB removes a photograph of mine and YES THEY ACCUSE ME of stealing a PHOTOGRPAH with NO MENTION of a “Title” issue involved. I don’t know who or what this company is…….but I will kindly refrain from telling them what they can do. And I still demand that my photo be put back in my profile. I don’t care what I name the photograph BUT had RB been SPECIFIC as to the issue, instead of being so quick to send out CANNED NOTICES that accused me of being a thief, then I would have gladly changed the title without further ado. I’m just going to go cry now. ~Terri

Comments

  • Ellen Cotton
    Ellen Cotton10 months ago

    I’m so sorry you are dealing with this difficult situation, Terri. I have been seeing your beautiful cats and loving posts about them since I first joined RB in 2009. I guess this kind of thing is a risk on any public site, but it is galling. Should not the person making such an accusation have to bear some burden of proof? My sympathies. I hope RB and sort this out, but I’m losing faith in their customer service these days.

  • Terri Chandler
    Terri Chandler10 months ago

    You have to be kidding me! I just got a response from RB that reads:

    Hi Terri,
    Thanks for being a valued member of our artist community.
    Redbubble has moderated the content that was reported in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy, as it was specifically named in a complaint received from WhoDat, Inc.

    We have not explicitly said that the work does or does not infringe copyright or registered trademark, but we have a legal obligation to act on reports filed in accordance with our IP/Publicity Rights Policy where the content is specifically named.

    The TITLE that I put on that picture, before it was so stupidly removed, said “Who dat’” …. And who IS THAT? Well, of all things they are a company as far removed from me as it comes! I did a “Google” on the company and the explanation can be found in a Wikipedia document on them. A FOOTBALL organization? I don’t follow football and since when does a cat resemble or have anything to do with a football organization? I should also like to point out that the last line in that Wiki Text reads, "According to one attorney and restaurant owner who had been a party to the case, “The net effect of the settlement is that nobody owns Who Dat”. This is insane!!! If this is about a TITLE, why wasn’t RB specific to that end? This is beyond reproach. RB removes a photograph of mine and YES THEY ACCUSE ME of stealing a PHOTOGRPAH with NO MENTION of a “Title” issue involved. I don’t know who or what this company is…….but I will kindly refrain from telling them what they can do. And I still demand that my photo be put back in my profile. I don’t care what I name the photograph BUT had RB been SPECIFIC as to the issue, instead of being so quick to send out CANNED NOTICES that accused me of being a thief, then I would have gladly changed the title without further ado. I’m just going to go cry now. ~Terri

  • JolanteHesse
    JolanteHesse10 months ago

    If this was not so ridiculous, it would be hilarious!
    Sorry about the issue; I can only sympathise with your feeling of ‘invasion of your privacy’ etc. especially if they dare touch your furry family.
    If anyone tried to do this to me, I’d react the same way.

  • GardenTripod
    GardenTripod10 months ago

    Why on earth could this silly company not just send you a little note asking if you could re title your image …
    We live in a crazy world now !

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackel10 months ago

    I replied on your other journal about the same thing. But I’ll recap here. Could be a bogus takedown, likely sent by a paid service, which are notorious for making mistakes, I explained more there, but for the benefit of other readers who may not see it over there, redbubble member BYRON has several journals about takedowns & copyright and explains how to do a counter notice and hopefully get work restored if the takedown was not valid. http://www.redbubble.com/people/byron/journal/8... Also for anyone’s interest, chilling effects is a legit site concerned w/free speech, so that’s why they track bogus takedowns…takedowns can be abused to silence free speech. Good luck getting it sorted out, who knew that Who Dat may be a protected phrase. Hmmm…

  • kalaryder
    kalaryder10 months ago

    The polite thing that the Red Bubble staff should have done was to make you aware in the first place that the picture was being question – they also remove done of mine – I have NO IDEA what it was except for the little bit of blurb saying who had requested it removed. I feel it is totally unfair and arrogant that we are not allowed to contribute to a request to remove an image from the RB site. I have not put up anymore of the series.

    Good luck with getting your photo uploaded again and keeping it on the site. Put the shot up again with a different title and see what the reaction is perhaps? Maybe RB would like to comment to you on that first?????

  • ValeriesGallery
    ValeriesGallery10 months ago

    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this situation. It seems that copyright/trademark bullying is getting out of hand. Hopefully this works out for you.

  • Terri Chandler
    Terri Chandler10 months ago

    Thank you all for your kind comments and most helpful suggestions! In the end I think it’s also kind of ironic that this happened over a “Title”, since that and a “description” are what generally slows me down every time I choose to upload something to my portfolio. It’s the part of all this that I dislike the most and everyone does “it” better than me. LOL! So I haven’t heard anymore from the powers that be about this, but if it’s the title they are upset about, I will take the advice given so kindly below, and upload it again when I can think of a title to give it that is a little more catchy than “Cat”. This probably shouldn’t have bothered me so much, but the “word police” thing is out of control. Have a good week everyone! Hugs ~Terri