About the Gretsch Pages

The things I have to deal with.

1

Some months ago, someone here posted a completely innocent post, in which they happened to link to an image they found on the internet.

Today, the photographer who took that image is making all kinds of ridiculous threatening noises because their image appeared here.

I've explained that the image is not hosted here. I've explained I have no legal liability for what you post here. I've explained that if the photographer wants the image taken down from the internet, they should probably talk to the people who actually put it up on the internet.

All to no avail. People suck sometimes.

2

File under: No good deed goes unpunished.

We hope our good Deed doesn't ever!

3

...sigh...

Hang in there. This too shall pass.

4

Tell us which picture it was so that we can ridicule the guy and say what a lousy picture it was in the first place, and that any third grader could have done a much more professional job.

5

Sorry to hear your going through a struggle Bax.

Some people just have way to high an opinion of themselves and their accomplishments.

I like Bobs idea for letting the clown know what we think of him / her.

6

I wonder if he's ever downloaded a song from the Internet without paying for it ... nah, couldn't be! That NEVER happens!

7

I'm all about doing the right thing and disclaimers and all, but I'm getting to the point where I have less and less time for it. Modify the post, unlink the picture and call it day.

Life is too short for those kinds of headaches.

8

You are saint for even taking the time to explain to this ignoramus how things work on the web. Human binding rot is ugly.

9

Is there an obligation for a photographer, who publishes his or her work on the internet, to either (1) protect it against the ability to download it or (2) at least place a copyright notice on the photograph along with a disclaimer that the photo cannot be reproduced or used by anyone else?

Where is Gretschman36, who knows IT law really well, when we need him?

10

You rang, Ric12?

Bax: No worries. Pursuant to the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA), which is part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the act creates a conditional safe harbor for you by shielding you from potential secondary liability for the infringing acts of others, especially since there's no evidence of contributory infringement by you.

All you need to do is remove the image to avoid financial liability by following the "notice and takedown" provisions set forth in the act.

SEE NOTICE-AND-TAKEDOWN HERE: USPTO Link

  • So you do not have to read the entire Notice-and-Takedown or DMCA, I pulled some relevant info for you:

DMCA: Storing and Linking to Copyrighted Content: Sections 512(c) and (d)

There are two safe-harbor provisions that potentially apply to your online publishing activities.

The first safe-harbor provision relates to materials posted to your blog or website at the direction of a user. This could include a file (e.g., a photograph, a film clip, an audio file) that a user posts to a comment section on your site or to a forum thread. This safe-harbor provision is found in section 512(c), and it states that, as the administrator of a website or other service, you will not be held liable for money damages for infringing content posted "at the direction of a user," as long as you:

a) do not have actual knowledge that there is infringing content on your servers, or know any surrounding facts that would make the infringing use apparent;

b) do not receive any financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity if you have the ability to control such activity; and

c) act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the infringing material upon obtaining knowledge or awareness that the material is infringing or upon receiving a properly drafted notice of infringement.

The second safe-harbor provision relates to links posted to other online material located elsewhere. This safe-harbor provision is found in section 512(d), and it states that an online service provider will not be held liable for money damages "for infringement of copyright by reason of the provider referring or linking users to an online location containing infringing material or infringing activity, by using information location tools, including a directory, index, reference, pointer, or hypertext link." If a user linked to material without knowing that it infringed copyright, the language of this section appears to relieve you of liability, as long as you:

a) do not have actual knowledge that the material youlinked to is infringing, or know any surrounding facts that would make the infringement apparent;

b) do not receive any financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity if you have the ability to control such activity; and

c) act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the infringing material (such as by taking away the link) upon obtaining knowledge or awareness that the material is infringing or upon receiving a properly drafted notice of infringement.

Like I said, if you want detailed info, which as the site owner I encourage, read the full PDF doc from the USPTO site linked to above and the entire DMCA: DOWNLOAD LINK

In two words: No worries...

EDIT: Ric12 - Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation. Literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, too.

11

I knew you were probably out there lurking, Gman36! I figured that you would eventually find my post and elucidate.

My point was shouldn't there be some requirement that someone who posts one of their photographs on the internet (and you have said that there is copyright protection from the moment of creation) alert other potential secondary users that the image is copyright protected and should not be reproduced or republished (such as by linking to it in a forum or blog post)? There are many people in the public who wouldn't have a clue that a republication of someone's photograph could be violating a copyright. Better to let them know as soon as the photo is first published with a warning that accompanies the photo wherever it goes. Even the use of a copyright symbol ( © ) embedded into a corner of the photograph would help.

12

Well, since a copyright notice is a statutorily prescribed form, all I can suggest is to use the copyright symbol, year first published and the name of the copyright holder. Use of the notice informs the public that a work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication. That's about it.

NOTE: US law no longer requires the use of a copyright notice, although placing it on a work does confer certain benefits to the copyright holder. Prior law did, however, require a notice, and the use of a notice is still relevant to the copyright status of older works.

FYI: A digital watermark that is embedded into the image and traceable via software over the Internet is always the best practice. Removes any doubt as to ownership. Could be how the copyright owner discovered the image link related to this site ( the image broadcasts a beacon across the net to the owner's DB with the IP address and related data of where the unauthorized link and protected image appears).

That said, the DMCA inherently provides protection for guys like Bax, so no, but one can take steps to set policy pursuant to the act and post it on their respective sites as further CYA.

EDIT: I have used this language for certain works in specific situations before (as a further deterrent against infringement): " You are strictly prohibited from any unauthorized use, publishing, distributing, altering, manipulating, broadcasting, web site posting, hyperlinking to, saving to disk or otherwise using this image in any manner whatsoever ".

While not required, it does provide specific notice, huh?

Notice notwithstanding, Bax is still in the clear under the DMCA and like protections.

And, don't get me started on fair use or overstating ownership rights.

13

I do wonder if the site that did post the image paid for it. It is a very well known site, that has a budget for such things, so it'd be pretty sorry if they didn't.

14

Good info, Bax, but as you know, none of this is on you. I'm sure you removed the link/image, so... Sucks to deal with the hassle.

15

gretschman36: wow -- can't say I really understood all of that, but it impressed the hell out of me! Nice one.

16

Thanks, Dave. No question, those of us that create need to better understand how to protect and defend our rights across traditional and modern platforms. Knowledge is power, right?

18

...sigh...

Hang in there. This too shall pass.

– Kevin Frye

Grandma used to say this about her kidney stones.

19

This thread does give some food for thought on what we share here, too. I guess we need to be a little more aware.


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