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Illegal use of copyright images on WordPress.com

  1. Thanks to Google Image Search I have found that one of my images has been used in multiple blogs on WordPress.com without my permission. It was probably lifted from my FlickR account. WordPress is very clear about protecting your blog content and what to do if it is used illegally, but I couldn't see anything about when bloggers steal my content.

    I'm based in the UK. If I have to go down the formal DMCA route I will but I would prefer not to use that process.

    I'm looking for suggestions on how to tackle this?

    Mike

    The blog I need help with is mikehardisty.wordpress.com.

  2. You can request that a blog remove a picture (leave a comment or contact them if they have a contact form) - man bloggers are stupid about copyright stuff and the permissions required and think if they can find it they can steal it. Some are good about the problem and will remove the image.

    When logged in visit the site - you will see the site name on the top nav bar on the left side - click on it and report the blog as Spam - be sure and include links to the offending Post and Image in the problem blog as well as a link back to your site. WordPress.COM does seem to take copyright issues seriously.

  3. I try very hard not to use something illegally and probably end up doing so. Would remove if asked.

    I use "free images" as well as my own. I have, seen some of my pictures offered on the "free image" pages although if published even on a blog the material is considered protected. I was astounded to learn that you should not use even one line of a song or a poem without permission.

    I have a trade mark that has been violated and can only do something about it by paying big bucks to a lawyer. The person did not stop using it when I pointed out I held a trademark to those words.

    Life goes on and I generally try to philosophical and see violations of my stuff as increasing my audience. If I find a blatent example, I do ask the person to remove.

    Life goes on. Good luck

  4. auxclass has provided good advice. Have you noted this Content Theft – What to Do information?
    http://automattic.com/dmca/

  5. And if someone post your stuff giving you full credits I mean back links then this will be considered as violation of copyright too?
    I saw many blogs and even commercial websites using my content providing my links. I thought it to be fair. Is this so?

  6. @iphonist1 - Timethief has some great stuff on copyright on her site - generally if someone only takes a few words (numbers vary but some people grant 75 to 125 words can be copied) - always with a link back to the original site -

    I am featured on one site and I sat down with them (they are in the same town) and they ask for permission to put links to my site on their front page - they use a picture and a few lines from the start of my Post - so now I need to be extra careful with my first two sentences to grab viewers. My raw RSS feed also shows up on one of their inside pages (that is part of how they watch for new content)

    After being featured and getting more links I revised my content and moved some general content to another site so I would not dilute the boating safety branding of my main site.

  7. Thank you all for the advice. At one time i used to be quite relaxed about using my images as it was maybe one or two blogs over the year who would illegally. However that all changed at the beginning of this year when I found several commercial companies using images without my permission. Appropriate action has been taken in all cases. Now I actively target illegal use. However if someone asks to use an image I'm usually pretty agreeable as long as they acknowledge that I am the creator and provide a link back in some way.

    My first step will be to contact the blog owners that have a contact button and ask them to remove the image within 48 hours. Those that don't I will go straight to DMCA action. At the moment I am still debating whether or not to ask for payment, which I am entitled to do no matter which country the blogger lives in, for the illegal use of the image. I suspect I probably won't but the option is open to me if I think it necessary.

    Mike

  8. mannerofspeaking
    Member

    Hi Mike,

    It occurred to me that one thing you can do is put a Creative Commons license widget on your blog. If you go to mine you will see it in the right hand widget bar at the bottom. I looked at your site (nice site) and see that you have the link to the Photographers' RIghts Group, but that is a group and some people might not notice it as much as a CC license.

    I always tell people about http://compfight.com - a great tool to search Flickr by license and a great way to get good photos legally. I think that linking back and (if necessary) getting permission is only right. Even if a photographer has made the photo available asking only for attribution, I will try to contact them when it is up to let them know. They are always most appreciative.

    If I see a great photo with all rights reserved, I will sometimes try to contact the photographer and ask to use it with link backs. With one exception, the answer has been a grateful yes. We both win: I get a great photo and they get credit and, with luck, some traffic back to their sites.

    Anyway, good luck with it. I might be contacting you in the future to get permission to use one of yours - they're great.

    Cheers!

    John

  9. So should I report someone who is giving credits to me too? I can report by direct contact to support but this is only for wordpress.com blogs. Can I claim the content theft to those big commercial sites and warn them of doing this?

  10. @iphonist - generally if they are giving you credit it is a good thing; these are backlinks (judging from your earlier response). Content theft is when they are using your content and not giving you attribution.

    Granted I am speaking as a person who misunderstood copyright and had to remove all my photos and replace them with new ones. I finally gave up with free photos and just but the bargain photos from i-stock or use my own.

    Agree with auxclass - timethief has great resources regarding copyright.

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