My Stolen Flickr Photograph

Flickr Photograph

On 5 August 2006, I uploaded this photograph of my pet, Katy Blue and my stuffed Stieff cat to the Flickr site. It has always been prominently labeled as “copyright,” although I added the written notice on the actual photograph today, after realizing my copyright had been infringed.

That copyright notice did not stop the ICanHasCheezburger.com site from infringing my photograph and posting it at their site for their own commercial purposes. On 21 December, when another Flickr user reported to me that my photograph was posted at their site, ICanHasCheezburger.com added my Flickr name as credit to the picture. Then they wrote to tell me how proud I should be that my photograph is on the front of their site.

When I told them, as the owner, to remove my photograph, because I had never given them license to use it, they blatently refused until I provide written legal proof  that I am the owner of the photograph. This they demanded, even though they had already admitted in writing that the photograph belonged to me.

So, beware, if you upload your photographs to Flickr and allow said photographs to be publicly viewed. ICanHasCheezburger.com is a Flickr member, with Flickr groups, and seemingly has little regard that you label you images as copyrighted. Yahoo.com owns Flickr, and I have written Yahoo about this matter. If I hear from them, I will report here their actions on this matter.  It is already the case, that Flickr members like ICanHasCheezburger.com are allowed to operate on Flickr even though they are commercial sites, which Flickr Terms of Service forbid.

Yahoo Copyright Terms of Use

The image, Good Cat, Bad Cat, is copyright by Edna Barney posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin.

Now here is my own photo that I never authorized for publication, given a code to be used on other websites to garner advertising hits for the ICanHasCheezburger.com:
funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

I Can Has Cheezburger even has published a book of cat pictures. It is #150 as of today at Amazon: I Can Has Cheezburger?: A LOLcat Colleckshun This is their book blurb on Amazon:

http://www.icanhascheezburger.com was founded in January 2007 as a place to collect “LOLcats”—pictures of cats with funny captions. It has gone on to become a singular sensation, captivating millions and becoming one of the most visited blogs on the internet. For the book, the founders of the site have selected 200 of their favorite LOLcats from their archive of nearly one million, all of which are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud or wonder WTF?

UPDATE: Cheezburger Cats

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2 Responses to My Stolen Flickr Photograph

  1. kittykitty says:

    I am so sorry…. I for one will not be going back to the site. (And I normally check it several times a day, I just deleted it from my rss.) Your story breaks my heart. I have passed on your link to all my friends. It is just so sad. Please know that some of us do not think it is right in any way shape or form what they have done.

  2. neddy says:

    Update – I did contact Yahoo, the owner of Flickr, and they yawned with disinterest.

    The Copyright/IP Agent at Yahoo! Inc. referred me to the U.S. Copyright Office (www.loc.gov/copyright) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov) for information regarding intellectual property matters, and suggested that I hire an intellectual properties attorney.

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