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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Website using unauthorized photographs
Jacob Langston, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 2:17 PM on 02.24.10
->> Here is a nice email I received today from a website using my photographs without my or my company's permission. It was a reply to an email I sent them asking them to please remove my photos. The website used my photo and then "provided by Jacob Langston" as the credit. I was professional and courteous in my email to them.

Jacob Langston,

The photographs have been taken down from the article on our website. Our apologies for using them in an "unauthorized" manner. I would like to thank you for viewing our website. It is nice to see a major newspaper taking notes on our coverage abilities! I commend you on your excellent time management skills to be able to effectively work and track down the unauthorized uses of photographs taken by you.

Yes! The pictures were in fact taken down. However, our intentions weren't to "steal" your photographs. They were to get a talented youngster recognized by people that follow our website all over the country. Due to your selfishness, his picture is now off the website. Now people wont be able to "put a face to the name." Also, he wont be able to get as much exposure as he has worked so hard and is more than deserving.

Our mission at Michigan Sports Zone is to get these young student-athletes the recognition they deserve.

May I suggest an idea for future use: A watermark and disclaimer.

Your photographs were properly cited. You were given your due credit on the article. Your email to this company shows a disregard for professional courtesy and frankly shows your level of arrogance. Is it really that big of a deal? Come on sir, you were in fact, cited in the article!

We hope you are pleased about the removal of the highly unauthorized photographs. Please remember Sir, any information you use from our site must require our prior authorization first. I wouldn't want to have to spend my valuable time tracking down unauthorized uses of information. Of course if that were to occur then these student-athletes would be the ones who suffer and frankly that is not acceptable. Thank you for your time. Have a great day!


--
Michigan Sports Zone
http://michigansportszone.blogspot.com
michsportszone@gmail.com
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Max Lashin, Photographer, Assistant
Fort Lauderdale | FL | United States | Posted: 2:24 PM on 02.24.10
->> Sounds like this guy is off his meds..

You did what you had to do and you did it the right way, in a courteous/professional manner. This guy on the other hand is off in his own world..
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Robby Gallagher, Student/Intern, Photographer
Brookings | SD | USA | Posted: 2:25 PM on 02.24.10
->> That is ridiculous. I mean, I even made it a big deal when the school paper didn't site my photos. However, I am not technically paid for my work. In your case, you should have been notified and paid for your work. Siting the photo is nice and it is a HUGE deal when it is used with out your authorization. If the athlete deserves to get noticed he/she will get noticed. It's your job to take the photo and to be paid or notified of the use of that photo. So you had every right to react the way you did. I commend you on that.

Earlier this month the Fargo Forum wanted photos from me when I was shoot the SDSU vs NDSU doubleheader. I sent them the photos and kindly asked that I be paid for my work, because the Sioux Falls paper was paying me. They took that as a slap to the face. All I have to say about it is, it was a job I was doing. A job.
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Dominick Reuter, Photographer, Assistant
Boston | MA | USA | Posted: 2:33 PM on 02.24.10
->> i didn't know keith olbermann followed michigan youth sports... sir.
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Andrew Knapik, Photographer, Assistant
Lincoln Park | MI | USA | Posted: 2:36 PM on 02.24.10
->> Obviously the writer of this blog likes to work for free. I wonder how many other of his photos are being used improperly.
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Jamey Price, Student/Intern, Photographer
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 2:49 PM on 02.24.10
->> Favorite line...

"Is it really that big of a deal? Come on sir, you were in fact, cited in the article! "
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 2:50 PM on 02.24.10
->> @Andrew...I was wondering the same thing. I just browsed through a couple other pages on that site and see images from rivals.com (likely AP or other photos originally) and scout.com. anyone want to take odds on the bet to see if he has authorized use of these?
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Kevin Seale, Photographer
Crawfordsville | IN | United States | Posted: 2:58 PM on 02.24.10
->> Mike - Another interesting bet would be if rivals or scout had authorization to use them in the first place.
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Mike Janes, Photographer
Attica | NY | USA | Posted: 3:19 PM on 02.24.10
->> If anyone else sees their stolen photo I say send a bill with screen shot and print out of copyright laws! Gotta love trying to turn the photographer into the bad guy, like the kid needs the exposure of this blog when Michigan is covered heavily by news outlets.

Personally, not sure I wouldn't be able to hold back in sending a reply Jon Stewart style to the Keith rant.

@Kevin - VERY good point!
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Jacob Langston, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 3:31 PM on 02.24.10
->> A little update. Their second email reply was more rude than the first. I tried to keep it professional and courteous and point out the obvious and why they were in the wrong. After 4 or 5 emails they finally admitted they did wrong and apologized. I have no idea who runs the website, they would never sign their email with a name.
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington/Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 3:44 PM on 02.24.10
->> http://michigansportszone.blogspot.com/p/staff.html
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Jason Myers, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | | Posted: 3:51 PM on 02.24.10
->> Sounds like these dudes should lay off the juice. Apparently somebody needs a little less HGH at Michigan Sports Zone. Not sure who responded to your emails...maybe it was Heath Davis "Writing Specialist" or maybe Luke D'Mello "Facebook Specialist"

Poor misguided copyright infringers. Nice job Jacob...I'm sure Scout.com would be interested that several of their images are on the Michigan Sports Zone site also.
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Bryan Littel, Photographer
Oaklyn | NJ | USA | Posted: 3:54 PM on 02.24.10
->> Kevin - Rivals and Scout are owned by Yahoo and FOX, respectively, so there's a good chance their usage is legit.
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Kevin Seale, Photographer
Crawfordsville | IN | United States | Posted: 4:09 PM on 02.24.10
->> Bryan, Scout did not get very high marks here.

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=35329

I have not personally had any experience with either of them so can't comment either way. None of my local athletes are at that level of performance so they don't troll around here much.
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Jonathan Palmer, Photographer
Louisville | KY | United States | Posted: 4:29 PM on 02.24.10
->> I keep on trying to serve my wife "cited" soup and "credit" pie. We are still hungry! She doesn't understand how photogs are some of the only people that others are OK not paying for services.
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Jacob Langston, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 4:41 PM on 02.24.10
->> Wow. As if they weren't wrong int he first place now they have dug themselves even deeper into a hole. I just received another email from the Orlando staff person demanding I apologize for an email that someone else (possibly from here) sent them saying "This was a classless act and it is obvious who the sender was. Please apologize and we'll move on from here."

Wow.
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Paul Roberts, Photographer, Student/Intern
Cheltenham | UK | England | Posted: 4:41 PM on 02.24.10
->> Just ask these guys how they would react if any of these young talented players made it as pro's but weren't paid because they were 'cited' in the match day programme.
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Paul Roberts, Photographer, Student/Intern
Cheltenham | UK | England | Posted: 4:51 PM on 02.24.10
->> BTW Jacob, Just browsing your website folio, some great images there. I'll buy you a beer next time I'm back in Orlando.
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Jason Myers, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | | Posted: 4:57 PM on 02.24.10
->> Tell them to lay off the steroids and read up on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, 17 U.S.C. ยง 512 (c)

It's great reading for the uninformed companies/individuals who think because they can snag a file off the internet, it doesn't mean it's right or more importantly legal.
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Scott Dreslinski, Photographer
Rochester Hills | MI | US | Posted: 6:30 PM on 02.24.10
->> Apparently as of 5:10 PM this evening, they have really realized they are wrong as they are claiming they are taking photos down now, and apologize to all:

See here:
http://michigansportszone.blogspot.com/
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Mike Huffstatler, Photographer, Assistant
Rancho Cucamonga | Ca | United States | Posted: 6:53 PM on 02.24.10
->> That's interesting Scott. Funny still though because they feel like they are being picked on. Obviously he's just a fan site so he thinks everyone else should be too.

From the post: "Due to the Michigan Sports Zone being singled out as the only blog to not properly seek permission to use photos we are in the process of taking photos down. "

Apparently, nobody else is being told that this is wrong. Shame really that the lesson from all of this is being missed by the operator. :(
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 7:49 PM on 02.24.10
->> The Sentinel or yourself should invoice them.

That will get their attention.
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Bob Nichols, Photographer
Tipton | IN | USA | Posted: 8:47 PM on 02.24.10
->> Robby Gallagher, Student/Intern, Photographer

"In your case, you should have been notified and paid for your work."

Robby, that's NOT how it is supposed to work.

If someone wants to use a photo, they need to contact the photographer BEFORE using it and work out acceptable terms and payment. That is why everyone on this board talks about unauthorized use and why a photographer should be paid more for unauthorized use than normal usage.

And don't forget, the photographer can always deny usage - for too little payment or for any reason.

If you are a Republican and the Democrat Party in your town wanted to use one of your photos that made a Republican candidate look bad, you have the right to refuse their request. It's YOUR photograph.
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Joe Morahan, Photographer
Denver | Co | USA | Posted: 10:23 PM on 02.24.10
->> these guys are asses. Who writes an email like that to someone they just ripped off. I hope this company goes under and here is the proper place to complain-

michsportszone@gmail.com
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Rene Mireles, Photographer
Holland | MI | USA | Posted: 10:31 PM on 02.24.10
->> lol.. love the comment..

http://michigansportszone.blogspot.com/2010/02/message-from-msz-staff.html
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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 10:35 PM on 02.24.10
->> SEND THEM AN INVOICE!

I ran into an arrogant realtor who was using my photos illegally for over a year. He didn't take me or copyright laws seriously until I got his corporate big wigs involved. After a month of him mocking my profession and then insinuating I was a pedophile photographer (because I shoot lots of gymnastics), his corporate management finally convinced him he should pay up to avoid a lawsuit.
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Matt Kartozian, Photographer
Scottsdale | AZ | USA | Posted: 10:38 PM on 02.24.10
->> I catch people doing this with my photos from time to time. I just send a bill with a scary letter. Most of them pay quickly.
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Stew Milne, Photographer
Providence | RI | USA | Posted: 10:44 PM on 02.24.10
->> Matt: Can I have your scary letter?
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 11:12 PM on 02.24.10
->> Now you can not post comments. here was the comment I tried to post:
Seriuosly, Sir, do you take claases on being classless from your classless head football coach? He claims he does not know the NCAA rules, and you claim you do not know about copyright laws. Rules, regualtions, laws...not a big deal in big blue country. Have a good day, sir!
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Matt Kartozian, Photographer
Scottsdale | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:24 AM on 02.25.10
->> Stew, its nothing too complicated. I just explain they have violated my copyright, are liable for six figures, that they have a week or so to pay or I will turn it over to my lawyers where they will 100x what I am asking.
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 1:03 AM on 02.25.10
->> This from the michigansportszone blog post linked above:

"Bare with us as we hope to resolve this issue in the coming weeks."

How appropriate that they are feeling exposed...
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Rene Mireles, Photographer
Holland | MI | USA | Posted: 9:54 AM on 02.25.10
->> hmm, wonder if the Ann Arbor newspaper gave them permission, seems they still have there photos up.

http://michigansportszone.blogspot.com/2010/02/detroit-duo-lead-michigan-in...
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Peter Madia, Photographer, Assistant
Pittsburgh | PA | USA | Posted: 10:45 AM on 02.25.10
->> "Bare with us as we hope to resolve this issue in the coming weeks."

I think what they were trying to say is "bear" with us. For a "professional" site their spelling is sub-par.

It is very funny that they took down the comments feature on the site, apparently they can't take criticism.
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 10:58 AM on 02.25.10
->> Peter: Agreed, but what a perfectly Freudian 'error' as they reveal to the viewing public their current sense of nakedness.
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J.J. Alcantara, Student/Intern
Baton Rouge | LA | USA | Posted: 7:30 PM on 02.26.10
->> I have not had any big issues with Web sites using my photographs; but should it happen, I was wondering if there is a standard rate that many of you guys go by?

As I've never had experience in selling photos, so per Harlan Ellison's advice via
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=35530, I don't want to be "that guy."
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 9:50 PM on 02.26.10
->> http://www.fotoquote.com

The NPPA also has a rate estimator, but it's more targeted to day rates, etc.
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Jason Jump, Photographer
Humble | TX | USA | Posted: 5:29 PM on 03.02.10
->> I had one website tell me they got my image from the school, when I got the same press release and photos that the school sent out. And guess what my photo wasn't included in it. And I checked with three other publications that obviously received the press release and they did not use my action shot, but the actual head shot that was sent with the release.

Yes the arrogance of some of these folks that are clearly in the wrong is more than amazing.
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Thread Title: Website using unauthorized photographs
Thread Started By: Jacob Langston
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