Stolen Work

We’ve all heard about it and many of us have experienced it first hand like I have. Pinterest is an annoying bug bear but so far they removed everything of mine that I’ve asked them to. I’ve placed a copyright notice on my RB profile and in the short bio which can be seen when the description option is chosen and I’ve updated this to specifically mention Pinterest but it doesn’t make a difference and it probably never will.

I’ve find my work on an Indian dating site that scraped images from all over. They too responded and did as asked. So did the Slovenian chat site once I used Google Translate so that I could locate the appropriate option for the Contact Us bit.

Now on my latest check I’ve found 2 flower images in Pinterest, several of my Classic Adelaide car images on www.carcabin.com, a gorilla image on animal-globe.com and a sunrise over Golden Bay in NZ on a Chinese Travel website that then has the gall to claim copyright over everything on their site.

Both the carcabin and Chines site have nowhere on the site where you can send a direct message about the abuse. I’ll be sending the DMCA notice to the email account that is identified in the registration – though that is not an email address of the company responsible. I’m not expecting much luck with the Chinese site as China has a reputation for not enforcing copyright even though they are a signatory to the International convention.

The animal-globe site takes comments on its articles, so since it too doesn’t have contact details I’ve taken the liberty to post a comment re my copyright. It’s still awaiting moderation and may not achieve its goal but hey it’s worth a shot and I can always resort to contacting the registrar as with the other two. Incidentally the registrar is the same as the one for carcabin. Coincidence? I think not.

So what is the result of all this annoyance and frustration? Well I’ve finally decided to sign up to Digimarc. It won’t stop people from doing what they are but it should make finding my work easier. It works by embedding a digital id into each and every work that is unique to me and cannot be seen to the naked eye. So it won’t spoil the image but the most important thing is that it can’t be removed either. Digimarc then troll through the internet and report on wherever they find my id back to me. I’ll still need to issue the DMCA notices but hopefully it’ll save a little time.

They also provide the code for placing a button on your webpage so that you can alert others to Digimarc’s presence and hopefully this will act as a deterrent. Is the button code compatible with RB’s pages? I don’t know yet. Hopefully it is.

Anyway I’ve just downloaded the plug-in for Photoshop (it works with Elements as well) and paid my annual subscription. It starts for as little as 49USD a year depending on features and the number of images you expect to use it for. I’ve gone for the 99USD version that provides the reporting services as well. I’ll see how I go and whether it makes a darn bit of difference and let you all know my conclusions.

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