The joys and dangers of photos on Flickr - stolen photos

>> Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Flickr is certainly an important player in the world of both amateur and professional photography today.

For a photographer it can be a great tool to show his photos, although I have not really started using it for that yet. Have so far only done some experiments.

On the other hand it can also be a place where people do copyright infringements.

I recently happened to find a set of photos that I did of Alpha Estate Wine in northern Greece on Flickr.

Someone, a dishonest person using the Flickr pseudonym blackpr_tim, has published my photos in his "photo stream" (his picture pages on flickr).

It was quite easy to find since the file name contain our business name (bkwine). Otherwise it would not have been so easy since, I understand, Flickr strips out embedded metadata from the images. (Incredibly silly.)

Here's how it looked on this guy's photo stream, with BKWine's pictures on it (link to screen shot).

What to do?

First step: I contact, through Flickr messaging, blackpr_tim and ask that he remove the images. No answer. I wait. Still no answer.

I would certainly like to know who this "blackpr_tim" is! How can anyone with a straight face, just steal images like that? The pseudonym makes you think that it is someone working in PR (is there a Greek company called "Black PR"?). If he does work in PR he would deserve to be fired. A person working in PR and who does not understand copyright is in the wrong business.

So, having no response from blackpr_tim, what to do?

Look in the footer on the Flickr pages. There's a link called "report abuse". Well, I certainly thought this was abuse. But that's the wrong place to go.

There's another link that says "Copyright / IP Policy". That's the right place. Not quite obvious but not difficult to find either.

It gives you detailed instructions on what to do.

You have to follow their instructions to the exact detail and use the exact working requested, otherwise it won't work. It follows a legal proceeding called DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) that obliges contents hosters to remove material that is infringing, provided the correct procedure is followed.

So I wrote an email, taking care to use the correct wording and giving the exact locations of the images.

A few hours later I get a response back and the images have been removed. (They missed one but I am sure they'll fix that too.)

I'm impressed. Quite easy and very quick response.

But don't do things like this frivolously. If you are wrong (e.g. if it's not your images or if the person does have permission to post them) it may cost you dearly.

Problem solved!

I just wonder who this guy blackpr_tim is?

Don't know if Flickr will suspend his account or just remove my images. Somehow hope they do. At least it will cause him a bit more work to reestablish his Flickr presence...

Greece Alpha Estate Winery stock photography samples - Images by Per Karlsson

Alpha Estate Winery, Greece, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

THIS IS ONLY A SELECTION OF SAMPLES. Use the image SEARCH function to find more relevant photos.

Alpha Estate Winery (Ktima Alpha) is located in the village Agios Panteleimon, Amyndeon, north western Greece, viticultural appellation region Florina. The name of the appellation and wine region is Amyndeon. Alpha was one of the first private vineyards in the Amyndeon area in northern Macedonia in Greece established with a quality wine focus. It was founded by Angelos Iatridis, winemaker, and Makis Mavridis.

The main grape variety is xinomavro, with both classic vinification and carbonic maceration. Other grape varieties: syrah, making more international style wines, sauvignon blanc giving typical varietal character. Alpha also makes a sweet white wine based on malagousia and gewurztraminer.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


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