Photo copyright

interista

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Apr 13, 2019
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47
If a user post a photo in a thread and I receive a photo copyright infringement note - what should I do?
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
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Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,751
Generally, remove the image. If the notice comes from the license compliance team of a company like Getty Images or Corbis Corp then you might have a costly problem to deal with but the advice remains the same, remove the image.
 

interista

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Apr 13, 2019
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47
Aren’t users responsible for what they post? Why should I pay for them?
 

zappaDPJ

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Aren’t users responsible for what they post? Why should I pay for them?

It's the site owner's responsibility to ensure that member's don't post illegal or copyrighted content.

Why should you pay them? I can't really answer that without knowing the full details. Personally I would do a reverse image search to see if they really do hold copyright. If they do and they are demanding damages as well as licensing fees you might want to consider pleading your case and paying the licensing fee or you might want to simply delete the image, ignore the notice and hope they go away.
 

interista

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Apr 13, 2019
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47
It's the site owner's responsibility to ensure that member's don't post illegal or copyrighted content.

Why should you pay them? I can't really answer that without knowing the full details. Personally I would do a reverse image search to see if they really do hold copyright. If they do and they are demanding damages as well as licensing fees you might want to consider pleading your case and paying the licensing fee or you might want to simply delete the image, ignore the notice and hope they go away.
I believe I am responsible for user’s content to a certain extent.
I mean with millions of messages posted on a forum, are owners really responsible for whatever it’s posted?
 

zappaDPJ

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I mean with millions of messages posted on a forum, are owners really responsible for whatever it’s posted?

Local laws and regulations may vary but in general most will see you as the site owner responsible for the content posted by your members. This is why it's so important to have a robust set of forum terms. They can help mitigate in these kind of situations.
 

we_are_borg

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Jan 25, 2011
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5,702
Soft delete the image so only admins can see it. If the give a bill you can try to negotiate for a lower price, if they sue you are in trouble because copyright is messed up. You will need to prove that you did not do anything against the law. At that point you will need a lawyer or even try to get advice what to do. If a user uploaded the image it will not matter the owner of the website is responsible you can try to shift this by saying i can give you all information so you can go to the source. But to be fair lawyer up for advice copyright is very hard to understand and deal with. If you are in the USA look at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChBJtu4BhT8b8t9Qe9R-EZg he is a copyright defense attorney he can help most likely even if its pointing in the right direction.
 

vbgamer45

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Sep 22, 2005
Messages
294
I wonder what happens if a user posts a Getty Images/Corbis on site like reddit. Do they go after reddit themselves or the user who posted?
 

Dubbed Navigator

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Jul 22, 2014
Messages
388
I think removing the image would probably be acceptable.
My forum is very heavily based on images, and I don't believe we have ever had a copyright notice. We have found a few photos that we KNOW are not the OPs and subsequently removed them ourselves after contact.

If I got one of these, and they started demanding money off me - I would likely ignore it.
 

Zelda

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Feb 25, 2021
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I want you to know that I am in no way a practicing lawyer, an officer of the court, or an authorized agent of the court or body of government. My comments to follow are only my personal opinion and viewpoint, limited that they are, which in no way should be seen as legal advice. If you are seeking authentic and creditable legal advice and opinion beyond the scope of an internet message board (forum), asking on an internet message board, in my opinion, is unwise.

My personal and unprofessional opinion is that I absolutely despise modern-day copyright law and patent laws, and I firmly believe they are often overly abused by patent trolls and copyright trolls. I recall some time ago, an argument (case) in the news of which a copyright troll had gone to the trouble of licensing and registering someone else's work as their own. They then processed to attempt to exploit the laws to collect monetary value from the original artist. If I recall correctly, the case was eventually settled for an unpublished sum.

As a matter of personal opinion, few things can protect you from unwarranted and unjust bad faith individuals from exploiting the laws, 'as is' surrounding copyright and patent laws. I also believe that while there are technically avenues available, most of them far exceeded the average individual's financial capabilities. For this reason, it is my opinion why many such matters are often settled, even when no actual wrong-doing have theoretically taken place. However, theoretically, there is a possible affordable preemptive protection method, which would be to register your community (website) as a 'safe harbor.' There is an interesting conversation concerning this topic on Ivision's website ( https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/457695-protect-your-forum-with-dmca-safe-harbor/ ). I do not believe registering as a 'safe harbor' is a guaranteed protection method (if there is such a thing, which I doubt). That said, I suggest seeking a creditable legal consultant instead of seeking the unprofessional and personal opinions found on an internet message board (forum).

There are few, if any, absolutes when it comes to justice. That includes both criminal and civil justice. Where you, your site, and the person of interest are located may vary on the type and level of justice available to all parties of interest. The court's interpreted intent of the actions you take and the other party takes and any resulting actions of either prior or after can matter and vary greatly. You may wish to seek authentic and creditable legal advice and opinion beyond the scope of an internet message board (forum).

That all said, personally, if faced with such a theoretical issue myself, I would personally comply with the requested take-down notice and consult with a creditable legal consultant.
 

zappaDPJ

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Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,751
I wonder what happens if a user posts a Getty Images/Corbis on site like reddit. Do they go after reddit themselves or the user who posted?

That's an interesting question and I don't know the answer but I do know Getty Images actually allow free use of millions of their images on other social platforms.
 

vbgamer45

Adherent
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Sep 22, 2005
Messages
294
Image rights are odd in terms of social sharing. Some images can be parts of multiple image right systems. I use https://unsplash.com/ and giphy in some projects as options for people to find images. Giphy i am not sure where free use stands as lots of content is based on other works tv/moviews/people.
 

NYCGuy76

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Jul 1, 2006
Messages
1,167
Just become DMCA compliant. You could hire a lawyer to be a designated agent and to take care of the copyright issues. That’s your smartest and safest best to protect you from legal action. I use this guy and my head is at ease. In all reality if your forum isn’t that busy and you can stay on top of things you probably don’t need this but regardless for the price it’s worth it. https://www.internetlegalattorney.com/dmca-agent-service/
 

interista

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
47
Just become DMCA compliant. You could hire a lawyer to be a designated agent and to take care of the copyright issues. That’s your smartest and safest best to protect you from legal action. I use this guy and my head is at ease. In all reality if your forum isn’t that busy and you can stay on top of things you probably don’t need this but regardless for the price it’s worth it. https://www.internetlegalattorney.com/dmca-agent-service/
Interesting tks
Do they act as per copyright infringement notice?
 

NYCGuy76

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Joined
Jul 1, 2006
Messages
1,167
Interesting tks
Do they act as per copyright infringement notice?
Basically they will be your middle man. He’ll give you a dmca notice with his contact information for al copyright take down requests. With a dmca policy on your page you will save your safe a lot of trouble. If there’s something that needs to be taken down he will let you know ASAP. No headaches for you and you’re protecting for myself for the most part.
 

interista

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 13, 2019
Messages
47
Basically they will be your middle man. He’ll give you a dmca notice with his contact information for al copyright take down requests. With a dmca policy on your page you will save your safe a lot of trouble. If there’s something that needs to be taken down he will let you know ASAP. No headaches for you and you’re protecting for myself for the most part.
Nice but my community is in Europe and it looks like they operate in US only
 

Ryan Ashbrook

IPS Developer
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Jan 26, 2004
Messages
3,547
I wonder what happens if a user posts a Getty Images/Corbis on site like reddit. Do they go after reddit themselves or the user who posted?
In most cases, the site owner is considered the "gatekeeper" of content posted by users, so DMCA requests would go directly to Reddit / the site owner themselves versus individual users. It is then up to the site owner to decide what to do - which in most cases, the appropriate thing to do is simply remove the content and let the user know. In this case, the user can then try to appeal by providing proof of ownership.

For Reddit specifically, a DMCA request is sent here: https://reddit.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=73465

Similar to YouTube - when reporting a video, you can choose Copyright or Trademark infringement: https://take.ms/6pz5G

YouTube themselves determine the appropriate course of action - not the user who posted.

This same logic would apply to forums - there is no real reliable way to send a DMCA to individual users, as they will not have any contact information public (for good reason) and they're probably not going to register on your site just to message them directly. Therefore, it goes to the site owner (who should have some sort of contact info or form posted, for things like this), who then determines the best course of action based on the evidence provided.

I believe I am responsible for user’s content to a certain extent.
I mean with millions of messages posted on a forum, are owners really responsible for whatever it’s posted?

One of my favorite analogies is that a website I own is like my house. While I ultimately set the rules on what can and cannot happen in it, at the end of the day I am ultimately responsible for what does happen, and need to take action accordingly when someone does something wrong (in this case, re-producing a copyrighted work).

I've dealt with many instances of this and almost all of them resulted in the user simply saying "Oh, okay, I'm sorry." and everyone moves on.

On larger sites, it's moderators that largely deal with things like this rather than the administrator, as most of the time these requests will go into some sort of queue rather than a direct message to the owner.
 

BartVB

Bokt.nl
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
729
Your legal position mostly depends on the jurisdiction you are in. If you are in the Netherlands then you are responsible for the content on your site that you are (made) aware of. If you could have known that the user didn't have the rights to post that image then you could be in trouble. If it's plausible that you were made aware of this infringement by the notice then you can probably get away with just a polite response and (soft)deleting the image and notifying the user that posted the image.
 

deslocotoco

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Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
197
As a lawyer, i can complement some of the great opinions and tips given by the fellow members of this community.

This case depends entirely by each country and their laws.

Usually, in my country (Brazil), photographers don't give a s**t about using their pictures. Is same with avatars, like characters from Marvel and stuff, for example.

We can have some problem if we don't credit the image, if we, as owners, post in the "blog" or the CMS of the page, because have some 'commercial' intention.

What i do in my blog/cms posts is given the photographer the proper credits. If they came to me and charge for the picture, i pay because they have the right to demand the payment in Justice. If i don't credit the author, they can charge the use of the picture, plus compensation for moral damage, so, that's a problem. My option is to credit all the photos that I, as a administrator, post in my articles and blog postings.

But users, members and etc., usually we do not have any responsibility for their actions, as we not editors since Forums, per say, is a kind of social network. The user have the responsability for their own actions, is like Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You just have to "collaborate" with the request, nothing more than that.

If we receive a notification from copyright infringement, i just remove the picture from public view, and the owner of the image turns satisfied after this, if goes beyond, like a judicial demand, i just have to comply with the Justice giving the IP address, access information by the Member and so on.

Never happened and never will. Why? Just imagine the judicial costs of any copyright owners to go after Twitter, Facebook and every user that share any meme. Is not worth it.

Brazil have some kind of "principle of low social damage" (i can't translate this principle to english), is something like "the damage done [sharing the photo] is so low for the society in general that the State cannot be moved against the so called criminal". And this apply to many crimes around here. Our law, unfurtunally, many times, protect real criminals based on this principle.

So, the general thumbs rule: if you receive a notification of copyright infringement, first things first: remove from the public view ASAP, informing that in act of good faith you did comply with the notification.

After that, ask for the documments that can prove the ownership. You can give then a little headcache too if you want.
 
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