Found your work online used by someone without your permission? There are few way to deal with it: get angry and blame a theft or be wise and … check out this series of articles from Alex Stepanov about image theft:
Now folks, I am sure you have heard a good deal of those horrific stories where the images taken by say, photographer in Calgary all of a sudden turn up on the billboards in Turkey or when some enterprising “overnight pro” wannabies compile their “portfolios” by ripping off other photographer’s Intenet portfolios… Worse yet, you might be one of the unlucky souls whose work was blatantly ripped off without as much as a “thank-you” note.
Those stories seem to multiply by hour with everyone and their friend piling up their versions on top of the already gigantic heap. In this cacophony of angry voices, everything is mixed up and it is very hard to discern what is what so we decided to attempt to dissect this messy blob known as “unauthorized image use” and look into the most basic ways to minimize the impact of it or, sometimes even turn it to your advantage.
But first things first – let’s agree on terms
When we say “image theft”, we specifically mean “unauthorized use for commercial purposes”. This is a very important distinction, both from the legal and practical points of view. A college kid who downloads your image to use in the class presentation, sets a very regrettable example but he is hardly making any profits off of it so let’s leave him alone for a moment… It is those who make money by using your image without your permission – those are the people we are after so let’s try to figure who they are.
Who steals your images: a group portrait
Read the rest of the story .. HERE.. Make sure you read all parts