please empty your brain below

I agree. This practice is not nice. Cartier-Bresson's picnic pics weren't nicked.

I used to chortle at people getting miffy about their pics gettting lifted. It usually seemed to be those with tripey pics whinged loudest (or in capitals). And I couldn't understand why anyone would want their stuff and why they thought anyone wanted their stuff. Did they have padlocks on their dustbins?

And just why would anyone own up and splash their name with a (c)copyright across the middle of a pants image of "Malcolm and Audrey in the Trattoria, just before they ordered the frascati."

In the old days we took a pair of scissors to a Beano, lobbed on some letraset and slammed the result through a copier. "Presto" we were away... printing posters for uni bands and archi soc events (We immatured into photocopying naughty cartoons and faxing them to our clients.)

But it seems decent stuff from decent folk gets lifted too. BY FOLK WOT SHOULD KNOW BETTER !!!

Have you thought of adding a frame to your pics old fruit? And then popping your name on the frame? That may deter the laziest turnips.

If you're not happy about what Walk London and Jonathan did, then you need to change your Creative Commons license to something more restrictive, because at present you're telling people that it's absolutely fine if they use your pictures in this kind of way.

So it's OK to ignore the line "For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work" is it?

Or maybe you could add a kind of lolgeezer clause - I can haz capshuns?

As the Flickr discussion thread notes, the Wickes site was built for them by an external agency (probably at vast cost), and they're the scumbag cheapskates you should be pointing the finger at.

I'm sorry, but, I have absolutely no sympathy.

It's like leaving your front foor open and moaning when you come home to find the place has been turned over, even though you left a note saying, "Please don't steal!"

People who put images into the public domain using Flickr and similar (often free at some entry level) websites are actually eroding the living of professional photographers.

In which case I'd better delete all my photos from Flickr before anyone else loses their job.

And then delete my blog, to prevent text theft.


Virgin Mobile Australia got into an awful lot of trouble a few years ago after reusuing a Creative Commons photo without accrediting the photographer (or the person in the photo).

It drives me slightly irate that a facility exists to allow people to reuse photos for free, subject to accreditation - and some media firms can't even do that correctly.

I have only ever had 4 photos nicked. All by the same people, whose site designer then claimed copyright for all images on the page. It took ages for them to remove the photos when asked, which is doubly galling because all my images on picasa are all rights reserved.

Nobody should be stealing your photos DG, and people like the BBC and Walk London (who take a fortune off us through TV tax and Council tax should be charged a large fee if they do.

Sorry, DG, but BW is right, why are you surprised if you put your photos on Flickr and people nick them? Of course you have the right of redress, but come on, how long have you been on the Internet?

Ultimately it is your choice what you do with your intellectual property. You can either keep it to yourself, or share it with the world and suffer the combined pain and pleasure when it is re-used.

Personally, I am resigned to the images I put on the web finding their way into the wider wide world, although when it does for money (
qid=1237366689&sr=8-5) I'm even happier.

(and I should add, I limit the large size of photos to 1100 pixels, never give a picture a descriptive name or embed a description into the HTML tag and add a frame and copyright message.)

I've a question about the 'non-commercial' aspect of the CC license DG uses (and I also use) on Flickr. What exactly do we understand by 'commercial'. Clearly, directly selling on the photo for profit would be a contravention, and presumably publicaiton in a newspaper or other 'for-sale' product would also be against the terms. But what about more non-direct commercial use? Say, on a blog that carries advertising (many blogs have Google Ads, for example) but doesn't make money directly from the image? Is their a clear dividing line about what constitutes commercial use, or is it all a bit fuzzy and open to interpretation? I've always wondered. Anyone know?

I've recently put photos on to a Flickr site but I have fully reserved my rights rather than use the Creative Commons licence. I'm not yet aware that anyone has nicked any of the images. If someone did do so and did not then comply with any requests from me then the Flickr site would simply be closed down. I don't believe for one second that any of my photos have deprived a professional photographer of a penny but I also don't see why I should be required, by virtue of using a website, to waive my own rights.

I'm sorry, but, I have absolutely no sympathy with professional photographers. People who take photographs for profit have eroded the living of talented professional portrait and landscape artists who have taken years to learn their highly-skilled art form.

I'm a pro, thank you DG for flagging this issue. People who put up large files and think that copyrighting will stop mis-use must be mad. If media in UK are doing this, what do you think happens in China,India....Love Flickr it's a great melting pot of ideas and plenty to inspire and learn from in there. I almost expect a few web copy and paste thefts. But they'll get a bill when I find them. As a friend once said to me, so long as they put my credit on the cheque, I'm happy. Mike.

Hmmm. This is actually light... almost makes you proud to be a Londoner.
I was talking to a mate who does a blog up in Liverpool, and he reckons it's usually about ten minutes before his pictures get nicked, torched or covered in graffiti.
He can't even get insurance on them anymore

I embed a copyright thing with contact details in the exif data on the photo. I know its not foolproof, but its another layer.

Hmm, I have a feeling (I could be wrong) that it might have been DG's Olympic stadium photo in one of the London freesheets last night - will double check though, as maybe, just maybe, others could have taken identical photos from that particular spot with the yellow digger in the exact same position...

Just checked the stadium shot in last night's "London Paper". Same angle, different pic.

I'm using Flickr a lot, and have been writing a lot about it recently, both on my company blog and in my portfolio blog (not the one I'm mentioning here). I might have missed this... do you not use Photo Stats in Flickr? For this is how you can usually discover if your photos have been used elsewhere, and pursue it accordingly.

Check out more here:

Hope this helps, otherwise please feel free to drop me a line.

I've occasionally come across people using my photos without credit or passing them off as their own, but it's not usually much of a problem given most of my photos are so irreducibly prosaic and not very good at that (if they threaten the work of any professional photographers, then the professionals can't be doing their job). Perhaps it's naive of me to just have a CC-BY licence -- it's a bit of a leap of trust -- but I like to maintain a naive faith in people's politeness in asking and crediting where they're using my photos.

Hm, it sounds like you prefer to be asked even when the user is complying with the terms of the licence? I use a lot of photos of tube stations that have been CC-licensed, and never ask - it seems a bit rude to bother people about it given that they've already explicitly said it's okay. When I see people asking in Flickr comments it always seems a bit transparently self-promoting: "hey, I know you've said it's okay to use your photos, but I just thought I'd check that it's okay for me to use them on my TERRIBLY EXCITING WEBSITE which is HERE."

I know of several bloggers who've had their work nicked. Not sure there is a solution to the problem. We've just witnessed how morally corrupt the entire banking industry is. Not exactly a great example to motivate the corporate world to be honest is it.

Take them for every penny you can get, especially Wickes and the Daily Mail. They are making money out of your clearly copyrighted images and there is no earthly reason why you as an artist shouldn't get royalties the same as any other artist. The fact that people breach the law in this respect is entirely their problem and it is only just that we catch up with them and take a percentage of what they earn through what is nothing more than theft. For the non-profit ones, all they had to do was follow the rules and most of them did, but the others that didn't are costing you as well, because they should be directing traffic back to your image store and they are not. No quarter. And damn the begrudgers.

Not pics, but I've had my words nicked (London Lite, you know who you are). Other bloggers have responded by sending an invoice for the copied works and they will apparently pay up. I can tell you that sending increasingly irate emails does not work...

I have to disagree with Blue Witch et al - it's no different from ripping off a photo in a magazine or book - they're in the public domain too.

I am glad to be IT challenged.

Now where is my quill pen

"...and people like the BBC and Walk London (who take a fortune off us through TV tax and Council tax should be charged a large fee if they do."

How do you think the BBC or Council will pay for these fees??

Just because something is in the public domain does not mean it is Public Domain which has a specific meaning.

If somebody is making money of your work then invoice them.

p.s. I am quoting from an earlier comment not DG

I suspect that very deep down you`re feeling just that little bit smug that your photos are good enough to pinch

I'm not so bothered about people stealing my pics off Flickr, but it pisses me off when they're used in a stupid way, like when pictures from Germany are used for an article on Lyxembourg. I mean, how careless and thoughtless can you be?!

is the point that people should be more honest about these things... not whether DG puts them up for others people enjoyment (but not use)...

ps - i do like the hoover building photo... ...

Earlier, Mike Scott wrote:

"If you're not happy about what Walk London and Jonathan did, then you need to change your Creative Commons license to something more restrictive, because at present you're telling people that it's absolutely fine if they use your pictures in this kind of way."

Preface: My knowledge is of U.S. copyright law, not U.K. copyright law, but I can't imagine they differ on this point.

DG's Creative Commons license says, in relevant part: "No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work." Using DG's photo as part of a pamphlet, as Walk London did, or appending a funny caption, as Jonathan did, both pretty clearly, in my eyes, constitute the creation of a derivative work. I think DG is well within his rights to believe that the terms of the license have been violated.

Now, whether DG should've been prepared for this possibility, as Blue Witch suggests, is a separate issue, and that's a fair point, but I don't think it absolves Walk London (etc.) of wrongdoing. Sure, if I leave my apartment door open and someone walks in and steals my television, I'll feel like it was all my fault and my friends will all have a good laugh at my expense when I explain to them why I don't have a TV. But that doesn't make the person who stole it any less of a thief.

I am really intrigued by how those of you whose photos have been illegally (ab)used know this is happening? Surely there's no other way than by chance sightings?

Also, I am aware that corporate PowerPoint presentations are frequently populated by images 'stolen' from t'inter. This is surely totally untraceable use?

It certainly doesn't seem very professional for other websites to reuse your photos without your consent. After all, you own the copyright to your pictures, and by stealing them they leave themselves open to litigation, should you of course decide to go down that route.

I'm no expert on copyright matters, but surely if your Creative Commons license mentions that anyone wanting to use your photos should give you credit or ask your permission, then surely it would be in their interest to do so? After all, a quick credit line (© Diamond Geezer) or e-mail won't take long to write, will it?

I wonder what the Daily Mail would say if you stole one of their photos to use on your blog? They're fortunate you only decided to make an angry phone call when you noticed your Ikea photo on their website.

Several ways of finding copies, depends how lazy they are. If your image is being ripped off, the chances are they found it quite easily because, say, you had it on flickr tagged descriptivly. They probably only did a google image search. Do the same and look.

If it is a wholesale ripoff, even if it is not your blog, a search can throw up yours, for example, this search shows way over a hundred ripped off blogs by the same person (quite a lot of City Daily Photo sites)

Text ripoff is straightforward, search for a phrase.

As far as I can see, there are two things going on here - the first is the decision to share or not, the second is what the unscrupulous will do with them. The one follows the other as night follows day.

Never mind powerpoint photos, what about people who simply download and save photos to their computer for later perusal?

@Pedantic: Sir, I rejoice in your perspicacity

BW - use in the ppt context will also depend on the licensing arrangement attached to the image used. I give a lot of presentations in-house and externally, and either I use my own images, or I engage a professional photographer(and establish the IP rights up front) before going public. Otherwise it's not very professional, is it.

I had a photo used by Pravda. Someone emailed me from the US to draw my attention. I wouldn't know how to start getting stroppy with Pravda

There are lots of Flickr contributors who take pictures that include infrastructure developments in London whilst they themselves are more interested in the local geography, history or even just the visual image.There are for example a whole group of people taking pictures of the Olympic site, in which Stratford Station features prominently, or the reconstruction of Dalston and Shoreditch. I write regularly for London Reconnections We never knowingly violate copyright. However,in the interests of best practice we would like to use the correct form of acknowlegement for those Flickr providers kind enough to allow their pictures to be used under the Commons licence. What is the right form of words.

The username and a link to the flickr page is enough, same as any other picture credit. You can optionally add "under Creative Commons" or some such, but because the linked page has the license info on it, you don't really need to.

Have a look at Londonist, who take almost all their images from Flickr. They also routinely put a comment on the flickr page about having used the image.

@ Bowroaduk - a bit late but thanks for checking out that incorrect freesheet photo hunch.

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