copyright and copying question

  mco 09:11 19 Mar 2006

What's the legal position if you have a gallery of photos and people post your photos in forums elswehere in cyberspace without your permission for nefarious purposes? IS there any legal position, or is the argument that, as they are publicly available in a gallery,anyone can copy them? 10:44 19 Mar 2006

if you don't want it copied, don't make it available to strangers.

There are loads of things you can do to make it awkward, but they can all be overcome. The only surefire way is to make the quality so bad that no one will want to copy it.

As for the copyright laws, they do exist, but it's up to you to make sure they are enforced, and that can be both time and money consuming provided you know who is doing the copying!

  Forum Editor 11:27 19 Mar 2006

I'm not sure what images could be used for that, but is right. You can try to protect your images as much as you like, but if someone is determined to have them they will, regardless of the ways in which to try to stop them.

If you have evidence of copyright infringement there is action you can take, but it's a question of weighing th pros and cons. Copyright actions can be expensive and time-consuming, and in the first instance you might decide to send a 'cease and desist' notice to the webmaster of the site concerned, warning hime/her of the infringement, and saying that unless it ceases within 7 days you will take immediate and vigorous action to protect your copyright. Such notices are often effective, but a determined copyright thief will simply ignore it, effectively saying "go ahead, sue me". In that situation you must either litigate or forget it.

If your images are being used in connection with illegal activities the situation's different of course. Then you can report the misuse to the Computer crime unit at Scotland yard. They'll take action if they see criminal activity.

  mco 11:40 19 Mar 2006

thanks both!

  quack 21:11 19 Mar 2006

If you are worried that someone might be passing off your photographic work as their own. Why not put a watermark on every image? This won't stop them copying them but it will stop any further use of the image for 'nefarious purposes'

  mco 22:32 19 Mar 2006

They are posting the actual photos and making crude remarks about the people on them (including my daughter) I'm not convinced a watermark would stop them; maybe I should email the moderators of the forum as you say forummember, but I was wondering whether I had any rights to ask for them to be removed or if they are 'fair game'.It's happening too often for me to keep up with changing the image names.

  Forum Editor 23:18 19 Mar 2006

in other words, if you are the copyright holder then you have every right to demand that they be removed from a publication. A web site is a publication, in the same way that a newspaper is, and it's a breach of copyright to publish an image without the owner's consent.

Email the moderator of the forum concerned, and ask politely but firmly for your image(s) to be removed. Say that you would like this to happen within 7 days, and state that unless it does you will begin an immediate legal action for damages for the distress their publication is causing. Threaten these people - if they have any sense they'll react immediately.

There's no such thing as 'fair game' when it comes to causing distress in this way.

  cycoze 23:41 19 Mar 2006

As above, also, you say "It's happening too often for me to keep up with changing the image names." which implies they are hotlinking/leeching directly to the images, if this is the case there are mods you can put in place to prevent hotlinking.

Have a read of click here , click here , click here and finally if you use one of the anti=leeching methods test it at click here .

unfortunately none of the above will stop people copying your images and uploading them elsewhere, "no right click" scripts are of little use, a flash gallery is one idea but images can still be screen grabbed.

If images are really sensitive then can only suggest you put them on a member only password protected area of your site.

  mco 00:08 20 Mar 2006

much appreciated.

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