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Thread: Copyright / my account to photobucket

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Duesseldorf/Germany
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    465

    Copyright / my account to photobucket

    Within their terms of service
    http://photobucket.com/terms
    the following statement appears:
    (look chapter 3)

    "However, by posting or making User Content available through the Site or via the Services, you hereby grant to Photobucket a nonexclusive, royalty-free, transferable, worldwide license to use, copy, modify, prepare derivative works from, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform "

    What do these terms mean?!

    I put this question in context to my observation yesterday.
    Someone took 4 of my pictures of Amaryllis belladonna, edited/resized them and used them in his web page:
    (Excluding The FIRST picture which I found in wikipedia)

    http://www.amaryllis-liebhaber.de/am...lladonna.shtml

    Can photobucket "sell" my pictures?! What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SE Michigan (zone 5-6)
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    Hans,

    I had a photography business now. The photography law is so complicated (well, perhaps all laws are), but in short I don't think Photobucket can sell your photo. If they do that (or cover that in the agreement), I don't think many people will use it.

    What I think happened is this user copied your pictures (either he found it from Photobucket if you keep your album public or from a your posting somewhere else). Either way it is considered "distributed" by Photobucket. That's why Photobucket needs to put that in the license agreement.

    Unfortunately there probably isn't much you can do beside contacting that person asking him not to use your picture. I have seen your posts about this somewhere (maybe on this forum). The person seemed to have ignored you or gave some answer and then disregarded your request.

    To get into something legally, you have to prove that the use of your picture aided his selling (which is probably not too difficult to prove because people do make decision on buying a plant based on pictures). Then you have to prove how much you have lost (in a compatible situation where you would sell a picture for another person to sell a plant), and then if you win the lawsuit, you will get compensated for the loss.

    Now unless it is a big corporation using your picture for a brochure of sales site, the trouble of getting the legal stuff is probably much more than what you will get.

    If it is a repeated offense, and you are really bothered by that, then you probably want to considered adding the watermark (a copyright statement over your picture). That still doesn't prevent stealing, but most people feel less comfortable editing the copyright information out and then use it. They feel more threatened by the law that way.
    Dave

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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    Duesseldorf/Germany
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    Thank you Dave!

    Fortunately I was able to retrieve the responsible webdesigner, and I already know his address, and two e mail addresses of his also, and I have already sent him a polite request to remove the 4 pictures. Finally, I stated that "I can prove that the pictures are my property because I possess the full-sized original versions" (which I, fortunately, did/do NEVER upload anywhere)

    The particular term by Photobucket mentioned above can seemingly not be understood by Germans. In fact, the opinion has come into existence that, by agreeing to the terms we allow Photobucket to trade with the pictures we upload there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Duesseldorf/Germany
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    I have seen your posts about this somewhere (maybe on this forum). The person seemed to have ignored you or gave some answer and then disregarded your request.


    For explanation:
    This was the previous incident. A trader on EBAY had used 2 pictures of my cybister hybrids for his advertisements. Yes, nothing happened despite my numerous mails. The EBAY user would not remove these, and EBAY themselves were not capable of doing anything either. Then the auction was over after one day, but still nothing happened.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SE Michigan (zone 5-6)
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    809
    Hans,

    It is good to know that things end up better than last time.

    If it gets directly to Photobucket, then things became more vague. It is not very clear from their statements whether they can sell your pictures, but in general they probably won't try to do that. They will get into too much lawsuits. Whether they win or not, their reputation will be hurt and people will leave.

    It is clear, however, that if they want to make brochures, web sites, etc. promoting Photobucket, they can use your image.

    But other users, including users of Photobucket, should not be able to use your images without permission, especially for commercial purposes.
    Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    I don't think that photobucket will misuse your rights in any way, but they must protect themselves by making this agreement with you.

    They do need the right to choose photos for advertisement, and that is understandable since you are paying nothing for this service.

    However, when it comes to proprietory rights to your photos, I think that once you make them public by giving access to your account, it is your battle, not theirs.

    This is sad that this happens, and I think it is why Davesgarden.com puts a stamp on all photos that are attached.

    The internet is wonderful, but once your photo is public, it seems that all feel that it is free to use. The same applies to my main pages. I see people republishing my ideas, my trials and hard work and they publish them as if they were their own, not giving any credit to me. There is nothing that I can do about that accept to appreciate the fact that the reader of my ideas and what works for me is relayed to someone else in a positive manner.

    YES! I agree that using your photos to sale is WRONG, and it is up to you as to whether you wish to pursue the battle.

    In the case of my stolen work, I choose to let it be. I do not wish to battle. So what if some person other than me benefits from it?!! Is that really a problem? Not for me...
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Duesseldorf/Germany
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    465
    Thank you Ann and Dave!

    In fact the idea that Photobucket must maintain certain self protection makes sense.
    If, on the other hand, it came to light that photobucket did trade the pictures of their customers then I should already have found "rumors" about that on the web. I did not.

    I would not mind to find a photo of mine applied for "promotion" of my Bilder-Hoster. Presently I perceive that selected photos are "presented" on the main page and offered for being included in own albums. I would even not mind if I detected one photo of mine uploaded to another webspace. However I would ask myself for what purpose then But when my photo appears "anonymously" on a public web site that is not okay.

    BTW a contact with the "amaryllis webmaster" is already established. I was asked how I could prove that I am the owner of the photos. I responded that I could send him slices (!) of the original photos No, I shall never upload original photos in toto anywhere

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