Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?

Started Jun 29, 2011 | Discussions
Holton F.
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Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
Jun 29, 2011

Hi,

I shoot with a Canon 7d and sell pics online of local events, dance recitals & sporting events mostly. At dance recitals I may take roughly 3000 to 4000 pics. I usually cut this down in post process and post about half of that to my website. So there is a lot of time involved in shooting, postprocessing and website management.

I used to print pics from one night and take them to the next night's performance as a display and for sale. Obviously I could not print nearly as many pictures as what I post online plus the opportunity for sales was a very small window.

Moving to online image sales was supposed to enable me to offer more and sell more.

Interestingly, the amount of $$$ sold is not much different and in fact has been declining the last couple of years. There are a few parents that have become to "regulars" and buy photos each year.

Unfortunately I see more and more of my photos appearing on the Facebook pages. These are dancers and other parents (not the regular customers - the regulars are very good at asking permission to do this) that have copied photos directly from my site - sometimes using their iphones to capture the image!

They apparently don't see anything wrong with this - they even display my copyright info that I emboss at the bottom of the image. The most recent case, a dance had displayed 30+ images of mine from various shows - copyright was shown in everyone.

Usually if someone buys photos from me, and then ask if they can post something on their Facebook page, I'm please to let them do it. But this particular dancer has not purchased any photos ever.

I'm of mixed feelings about this - on one hand I'm glad they like the images and I don't want to come down on them too hard (I guess I keep hoping they'll want to buy something sometime). But on the other hand, I'm getting the distinct feeling that more and more people are perfectly happy with online photos and don't want printed copies - and this is contributing to the decline in sales.

I've always been opposed to large copyrights or "proof" text appearing over the center of the image, I feel this detracts greatly from the image and viewing pleasure of the potential buyer but I am considering taking my images down and adding this to each of them before re-uploading.

Should I approach this dancer about taking photos from my site?
Am I overreacting?
How do others protect themselves from users copying photos?

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Holton F.

hBill
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

Some photohosting web sites " encourage " you to display images at a much reduced - small - size and maintain the original images ( also on site but not visible to public ) solely for printing from. They'll also provide other safeguards.

I have a motto - treat others like you want to be treated - but you have to be comfortable with how you deal with it.

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mcbridebr
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to hBill, Jun 29, 2011

On my site - http://www.mcbridephotog.com - I right lick protect my content. No way they can right click and save as.

I know there are ways around that via using firefox dev tools and the likes but the average person doesnt know how to do that. They could also always take a screenshot of the page and select and paste the image. But like I said the average person doesnt think about that.

I would encourage you to set your page up so viewers can not right click and save image. That is what is happening. I also watermark my stuff.
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victorian squid
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It's a pervasive problem
In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

We deal with that in our company all the time. Not just photography but rendered images, schematics and such. We do some things like make sure that images are in flash, so people can't easily just do a "right click" but it's still easy enough to take a screen cap or use flash capture utilities.

As mentioned above, smaller images (thumbnails) are one way to reduce the desirability of an image. For you, another consideration would be a briskly moving slide show. If the images are whisking by, it makes it far more difficult to take a screen capture or (an iphone? You've GOT to be kidding!) grab it by other means.

I take great offense from people taking intellectual property or images in any form, I've been in visual communications all my life. But, recently society has been bred to think of anything online as being free. From music to photos to downloading content of entire pages.

I wish I could say just go after whoever is a chronic offender - but that's a call you'd have to make personally. In one sense it's somebody you're making money on - a model you might say. God knows I've signed enough modeling contracts! On another level they're your images.

Perhaps working out something with the dancer - giving them some images for pimping them in return? The more places other people see "buy these images from Holton F." the more inclined they might be to actually do it!

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Tom McElvy
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

This is a problem that we all face today. the average consumer thinks they own the pics if they "buy" prints from you, and most people have no issue with stealing images from the net.

I have taken to making the images 72dpi, 640x480 resolution. At least, they are NOT printable. I also make sure there is certain EXIF data in the images, so I can (try) to find them if someone steals them.

As far as the dancer you are having an issue with, I would simply send them an invoice for the photos they are using. You will probably get a phone call, and you can explain things to them. Otherwise, ask FB for a DMCA takedown of the images.
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kimvette
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

No, I do not think you are overreacting.

While there is fair use, you are more justified than the RIAA/MPAA regarding your concerns. Why more justified? The RIAA/MPAA is trying to get Fair Use and First Sale Doctrine rights stricken from law and get pay-per-play into place, while you are concerned just to protect your living, and aren't trying to push for pay-per-peek at your photos.

They make a big stink about copyright, but what they don't tell you is that every creative work ANYONE produces within the USA is protected by Copyright Law from the moment of creation; as soon as you write it, record it, photograph/film it, carve it, etc. it enjoys full copyright protection. So, any rules regarding "no posting copyrighted works" is a bit ridiculous, since everything of substance is copyrighted - including our posts here, and this post I am typing right now. This post is copyrighted. So, this means according to many messageboards' rules, I can't even make a post without breaking their acceptable use agreements! The rule should be "no posting copyrighted works for which you do not have permission from the copyright holder, outside the scope of Fair Use defense guidelines."

Here is what I recommend: you extend a compromise to them. Allow them to post thumbnails which link back to your original image (which gives them what they want while protecting your rights to your work), and if they don't, file DMCA complaints which will get their accounts shut down until they comply.

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Holton F.
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Re: It's a pervasive problem
In reply to victorian squid, Jun 29, 2011

Yes, I should have mentioned I already have the right click disabled on my site. People are definitely still getting to the images - some are screen capturing and as I mentioned the one with 30+ images, looks like she captured them with an iphone pointed at the screen.

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RedFox88
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internet photos are free...
In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

The things is, most kids think that any photo on the internet is free and they can do with them as they wish. Ask a teen about photo copyright and you'll probably get a very blank stare.

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RedFox88
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to mcbridebr, Jun 29, 2011

mcbridebr wrote:

On my site - http://www.mcbridephotog.com - I right lick protect my content. No way they can right click and save as.

I know there are ways around that via using firefox dev tools and the likes but the average person doesnt know how to do that. They could also always take a screenshot of the page and select and paste the image. But like I said the average person doesnt think about that.

I would encourage you to set your page up so viewers can not right click and save image. That is what is happening. I also watermark my stuff.

Yet those things won't prevent people from taking a photo of your image from your site with their iphone like the OP stated he's seen done!

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RedFox88
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to Tom McElvy, Jun 29, 2011

Tom McElvy wrote:

This is a problem that we all face today. the average consumer thinks they own the pics if they "buy" prints from you, and most people have no issue with stealing images from the net.

I have taken to making the images 72dpi, 640x480 resolution. At least, they are NOT printable. I also make sure there is certain EXIF data in the images, so I can (try) to find them if someone steals them.

I was just reading another post, maybe on another forum, about high school seniors getting 400x600 size images from their photographer, meant for online sharing use, and having 4x6's printed from them at Walmart. 400x600 pixels would be a 100 ppi 4x6 print which isn't horrible so your resolution is bigger. Don't say it's NOT printable until you try it. Remember that what you think is an acceptable print and what the average person thinks is a acceptable print are probably very different!

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Tom McElvy
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to RedFox88, Jun 29, 2011

Good point. I guess it is all in the eye of the viewer. Sounds like HUGE watermarks are going to become necessary!
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Tom McElvy
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Tom McElvy
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Re: internet photos are free...
In reply to RedFox88, Jun 29, 2011

Amen to that! It is a shame that "civics" as in LAW is not a part of high school; I would love to offer up myself as a speaker to those classes about intellectual property rights. Not that many would learn, but.... it could be a start!
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garmon
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to RedFox88, Jun 29, 2011

ha ha you beat me to the punch. not very secure site. I was able to download this. example..... Request to remove if desired.

Anyway to the OP I'm finding the same problem with my pictures. They end up in FB, since I do this as a hobby I'm not too concerned. But the reality this generation is not willing to pay when they find using a iphone just as good. Most will never print. Using a ipad or a digital picture frame is replacing hard copies of photos.
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mcbridebr
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to garmon, Jun 29, 2011

TAKE IT DOWN!!!!

I dont care really. Im proud of that one. How did you get that one off?
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hs4816
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

I had a related question I posted on the pro forum but didnt get alot of responses.

for those of you who choose to sell copies of your digital files, how do you deal with the issue of social networking sites in your contract/release??

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akin_t
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In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

People don't want prints. Sorry that's just the way it goes.

But no you are not overreacting. Sadly it has become too easy for people to copy images these days.

I don't know if you do this for a living but ... People just don't appreciate photography, until it's time to tie the knot or some equally significant event; to me it's a hobby, that's all it ever will be.

Sorry but this is the world we live in.

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garmon
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to mcbridebr, Jun 29, 2011

Well, you were able to block the picture already, that was quick on your behalf. Longer for me to download your photo. I do find that shot quite pretty. Anyway I Just wanted to show you how easy it was for me and most kids that use non traditional browers to skirt around security protocols. I never post hires shots too risky. Anyway I will delete your picture from my gallery. You have a knack with your camera. Excellent work.
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Holton F.
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to RedFox88, Jun 29, 2011

Don't say it's NOT printable until you try it.

Yes, boy that is the truth. I gave someone what I thought was a small copy (800x600) and next time I saw them, they had it printed out 8x10 from their laser printer and posted on their office door.

I think regarding the people copying my images for FB, its a new mindset that their generation has - keep their pics online and why bother with prints.

With this new mindset, Assuming I put a big watermark on the images on my website so they are less desirable, I'm wondering if they would be more inclined to buy a small digital version without the watermark? I could add that option to the website. If they are like my kids, they think nothing of spending a buck or two on a new song for their ipod, maybe a buck or two would be reasonable for them to buy a small digital image.

Thanks for all the comments & advice everyone.

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Holton F.

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steve88
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I'd Approach the Dancer Who Took 30
In reply to Holton F., Jun 29, 2011

I think I would definitely approach the dancer who took the 30 images. That's just way too many in my book. For someone who takes one image, it might not be worth your while to chase them down but 30 is too much. Even though it's posted all over your website that they are copyrighted, they may just be a moron and not thinking. Then again, they might have just said to themselves, "Forget about it, I'm taking 'em!". Most likely, it's the latter.

I would just ask them if they knew they are copyrighted and see if they'd be willing to work out some sort of payment with you. Maybe you could give them a good deal since they are providing some advertising for you by having that many of your photos on their FB page. I'm not really sure what to suggest as I'm new to all of this and don't really know if anyone is stealing my images from Flickr. I'm sure they are, though.

Holton F. wrote:

Hi,

I shoot with a Canon 7d and sell pics online of local events, dance recitals & sporting events mostly. At dance recitals I may take roughly 3000 to 4000 pics. I usually cut this down in post process and post about half of that to my website. So there is a lot of time involved in shooting, postprocessing and website management.

I used to print pics from one night and take them to the next night's performance as a display and for sale. Obviously I could not print nearly as many pictures as what I post online plus the opportunity for sales was a very small window.

Moving to online image sales was supposed to enable me to offer more and sell more.

Interestingly, the amount of $$$ sold is not much different and in fact has been declining the last couple of years. There are a few parents that have become to "regulars" and buy photos each year.

Unfortunately I see more and more of my photos appearing on the Facebook pages. These are dancers and other parents (not the regular customers - the regulars are very good at asking permission to do this) that have copied photos directly from my site - sometimes using their iphones to capture the image!

They apparently don't see anything wrong with this - they even display my copyright info that I emboss at the bottom of the image. The most recent case, a dance had displayed 30+ images of mine from various shows - copyright was shown in everyone.

Usually if someone buys photos from me, and then ask if they can post something on their Facebook page, I'm please to let them do it. But this particular dancer has not purchased any photos ever.

I'm of mixed feelings about this - on one hand I'm glad they like the images and I don't want to come down on them too hard (I guess I keep hoping they'll want to buy something sometime). But on the other hand, I'm getting the distinct feeling that more and more people are perfectly happy with online photos and don't want printed copies - and this is contributing to the decline in sales.

I've always been opposed to large copyrights or "proof" text appearing over the center of the image, I feel this detracts greatly from the image and viewing pleasure of the potential buyer but I am considering taking my images down and adding this to each of them before re-uploading.

Should I approach this dancer about taking photos from my site?
Am I overreacting?
How do others protect themselves from users copying photos?

-- hide signature --

Holton F.

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mcbridebr
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Re: Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?
In reply to garmon, Jun 29, 2011

lol thanks.

I didnt do anything to the photo or its gallery....

What browser did you use?
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