Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Our work is being illegally used

82 Comments

Some of us have had work stolen. 😦 Thank you to David Pasillas for bringing this to our attention!

iPhone Photographer | David Pasillas

I think I always knew this was going to happen. In fact, I caught someone a few years ago that had stolen one of my iphone photos and was distributing it to people that wanted to create composites. I wasn’t too upset about that because it wasn’t a great photo, and it probably wouldn’t have been used for anything since it was heavily edited. At any rate, a simple cease and desist worked.

This recent discovery is much more upsetting. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole that myself and other artists have been delving into the last few days. At first it looked like another poster website selling photographs that didn’t belong to them. A bit of research has lead us to believe its much worse.

I actually found some of your work on their site too. I’ll mention the names in a minute, but I honestly don’t want…

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Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

82 thoughts on “Our work is being illegally used

  1. Thank you for sharing Laura. It’s a shame this happens 😦
    One of the many challenges that all creative people face… 😦

    • Oops I replied but I think it went to the general replies instead of under your comment. Yes, unfortunately what you said is true. Maybe some day it will be solved but it’s something we have to deal with right now. Thanks for your comment.

  2. You’re welcome. I should’ve titled this “don’t go to Wallpart’s blog!”

  3. How did you find your photos – they claim to have a gazillion of them, it must be like finding a needle in a haystack? So sorry you had this happen, it is very upsetting when people abuse the internet like this.

    • I’m not sure. David found mine along with others here. 😦

    • It was pretty easy. I just used their search bar to look up my name and other people that I know. As I was putting together my post last night, I decided to look up other wordpress people, since they’d be the ones reading the blogpost anyways.

      • I never put my name on my photos; however, the dpi is so low (150) that I don’t think it would look good on posters. Am I safe or am I deluding myself?

        • 72dpi is a better resolution for web, if you’re worried about theft. I just looked at one of your photos in photoshop (its too easy to lift images from wordpress,) and yours would be pretty easy to make a decent print at 4×6, if someone wanted to create postcards or something.

        • You know, I see your point about not putting your name on there but then it is not copyrighted is it? I mean I’m clear of the intention of use for my photos with a copyright on, but are you still protected without a name? At this point it seems like no matter which direction we choose, it’s an issue. 😦

  4. I noticed something strange about my posts this week. It’s most likely I made some sort of error when I was making changes to my website ( I’ve altered a lot this past week ) but somewhere floating around it looks like I have a strange language around my login box. When I copied and pasted it I was told it was Mongolian! Now I’m paranoid. As I said, probably my fault but how do I know, I hope this gets resolved for you soon, and also for anybody else involved.

  5. L…I know your feelings right now. We want to believe that people are good hearted and will not take what is not theirs. It is a delicate balance as we want to share our work yet protect from copyright theft.
    I have actually had a couple of characters that called or emailed me wanting to know how they could remove the © symbol. Amazing! But the ones we have to worry about are those that know full well what they are doing and how to clone it out.
    Wish I knew a foolproof solution……..monos en theos….james

    • It’s sort of like what the music industry has dealt with since the introduction of mp3’s. Only it’s worse because we are just average little people with no one behind us. Wow, I can’t believe someone asked to remove the copyright symbol! I guess the good news is at least they asked. 🙂 Polite thieves! 😉

  6. im so sorry this happened!!!!

  7. Not good having your creative work stolen like that! My sympathies to all the victims of this crime. Hopefully there’s a way to protect yourselves in the future from this kind of thing happening again. I have quite a few personal photos on my wordpress sites. I’ve never even thought they could be stolen, but how do you know if they are? And what can be done about it?

  8. I am in the Sam boat. But the only solution as I see it is to stop posting photographs until WordPress puts in the kind of security you find sites like smugmug. Imitation used to be the finest form of flattery in the digital it may be theft.

    • You know what? That’s a good idea Victor. Are you going to stop posting? I feel like it’s some sort of addiction! Right now I don’t have many new photos anyway since my camera is being repaired and my computer is also in for repair.

      • No I will not stop the blog is an incentive to do more and better. If our work was bad would anyone steal it?

        • That’s true although I think the issue with this is that they stole photos to place on their blog so when you click on the images it steals information as to what sites you’ve visited so that it can send you advertisements. So no matter where we post, the same thing will happen. Hopefully you deleted the cookies if you clicked on that link.

  9. So worrying for so many people. Hope this is resolved somehow.

  10. Thanks for sharing the information Laura. I found a few of mine on their site. 😦 I’ll talk to my Lawyer and see if he will send them a take down notice. I’ve reblogged your post, and I’ve signed the petition. I hope it works to get the site taken down.

  11. Thanks, Laura, for sharing this information. I also found a few of mine on the site. I’ve signed the petition, left a comment on one of my images (we’ll see if it actually shows up), and I’ll re log the post. This just stinks!

    • I hope you deleted the cookies as David suggested after you went to that site. I believe they’re fishing for info to send advertisements. This really sucks the big one!

  12. Thanks for sharing this, Laura

  13. Thanks for this Laura – they have some of mine also 🙂

  14. Darn it! Meant to put a sad face – not a smiley one 😦
    Clearly a stressful day!

  15. Wow, that’s NASTY!!!! 😦

  16. How awful! I hope this issue can be resolved.

  17. Since I’m only a rank amateur, it doesn’t affect me as much as some of you far more talented people, but I still have no use for any low-life who takes a wonderful invention like the computer with all its endless potential, and can only come up with such a pathetic use for it.

  18. I read an article on this earlier today.

    As a more practical matter, it is better to limit the image size particularly on a blog site or a photo-sharing site – no larger than 875px along the longest edge. If you’re operating a store, it depends how much of the html code you can directly manage and whether your retailer can disable right clicks and “Save as” command. This is where the “however” point rears it’s head: with modern web browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, etc.), you are able to download an entire web page with whatever image that is displayed. Flickr and 500px, for example, cite this capability as the user set their permissions on sharing, an entire webpage along with the image can be saved regardless of disabling the right-click. Having WP.com disable the right-click would be nice, but you sacrifice that ability for the free cost and limited paid upgrades. Using WP.org allows for better management of right-clicks but also depends how much time you’re willing to spend on managing a blog site. Another alternative is to digitally watermark every image you plan to post to a blog or make available for resale. Of course, that’s an added expense. While we can be outraged by the theft that occurs, everything on the internet is the big public square where anything goes (unfortunately).

    • I didn’t know about the longest side no greater than 875px. I’ll change my LR parameters accordingly. Thanks for all this information! I’m afraid to even convert to WP.org. I know someone who converted and lost all their followers but I guess there could be worse things. Thank you David.

      • Reducing the image size helps for blogging and if you do Flickr also. Someone who steals would be unable to enlarge too much since that makes the image more pixelated and blurry. Since you sell also, most retailers do a good job of preventing image theft. Most of the time the image is too small and very blurry. I’ve experimented on my own Flickr site long ago. I think the more you know about your software and tech and where you post, you’re better able to protect your content. I hate to see someone make money off other people’s work. If they download to keep on their own machine only, you don’t mind it too much. But when they begin to republish or try sell, that’s crossing the line. Hope this helps.

        • Thanks! I usually reduce the size to 1000 px but I didn’t realize that 875 was a better number so I truly appreciate that information! In this day and age, we have to do whatever it takes to protect ourselves. And yes about the last couple sentences of what you said.

  19. Thanks for the information. It looks like the website steals images from wordpress bloggers. I wish there is trace and track in every digital image so we can check where they about..

    • You’re welcome Indah. I think there is a way to search for your images on the web via google by image name (file name). Unfortunately right now I’m unable to provide that link. I’m without my computer atm. 😦 Yes, even that is now in for repair! lol

  20. It is sad, but has happened to me on numerous occasions. The watermark can be removed, a screenshot taken if right click is disabled, so many ways to get around it. The real problem is when they steal the smaller images and use them to promote themselves as the photographer. Wedding photographers have this problem most often.

  21. This is so maddening and frustrating. And it seems to be rampant. Sorry it happened to you, Laura, and many other of my blogging friends it seems. I hope one day something like a code can be embedded in images that will make it impossible to use without permission. Hope floats 🙂

  22. it’s so sad to see this happening….

  23. So sorry to hear this happened to you and others Laura…has happened to me with my poems and photos that people have used without any credit and it is a very disheartening thing to face when you cannot do much about it…But I do hope that the hosts of the site is caught and advertised for the cheats they are ! Makes me mad when I hear of people plagiarizing art …big hugs to you my friend 🙂

    • Ohh…sorry to hear it’s happened to you as well. This is awful! So many people have had this happen. I guess I had no idea it was this bad. Thank you for the hugs and compassion. Right back atcha!

      • Thank you my friend yes I found my poetry on twitter! It was posted just like it was their own and another blogger here at wordpress just used my photo without any acknowledgement…did not do anything about it even after I had pointed it out :/ but I guess with the internet we are still learning how to protect our ideas as our own…

  24. it’s happened to me, as well: my humble pix and some texts… unfortunately, we can’t do much about it!!! 😦 I already know it’s gonna happen again and again… I believe that virtual thieves do steal in real life, too!!!
    * * *
    bon courage, my very best and positive vibes… friendly thoughts, Mélanie

    • Laura, I’ve just recalled the text a friend of mine added 2 years ago, fed-up with virtual thieves:
      http://ahermin.deviantart.com/journal/

      Everything in my account is for free! You may use any of my creations in any way or form you wish. You may modify them, use them in your blogs, websites, projects, for CD/books covers, whatever. You may pretend they are yours. You may sell them or whatever. I couldn’t care less. You have my permission for everything you can think of regarding my work. Every file is downloadable in original size. No link-backs, credit or copyright notes, mentioning of my name or nickname are required.

    • Thank you so much Melanie! Love those vibes. :))

  25. Wow. You can’t be too careful. Even resizing/watermarking does not work. Sorry it happened to you

  26. I actually found a couple of my photos on the site. Funny thing is one of the photos was of my broken camera. I guess they don’t have good quality control. What I’m guessing they did was create a program to pull photos from sites then place them into their site for sale. Best thing is to make people aware and eventually they will be paying more to keep the site up than they are making forcing them to take it down. Some people will try anything to make money these days.

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