Why does the FBI rail about music piracy, but ignore piracy of photographs?
Isn’t it interesting that the FBI and everyone else is so uptight about copyright violation of music? Yet almost no one anywhere has respect for the “© All Rights Reserved” labeled photographs we amateur photographers upload to Flickr and elsewhere. I have found my © photographs taken from my Flickr photo-stream and used commercially without my permission, nor even credit given, at Ancestry.com (The Generations Network, Inc.) and Icanhascheezburger.com (LOLCATS).
Amateur photographers such as myself upload photographs to share with others. We do not charge anything for you to view our photographs. We are not in the photography business; we just enjoy taking photographs and sharing them. We do not enjoy having those photographs stolen and used commercially by Internet businesses.
Even though it is against copyright law to download our copyrighted photographs and then to pass them on to others as your own, with no credit to the original creator, it is rampant on the Internet. Sites such as Ancestry.com and Icanhascheezburger.com profit monetarily from our photographs that we never offered for sale. Those sites allow derivative products to be made from them, and then they claim ownership of our photographs and post warnings that it is illegal to steal “their” photographs, as both Ancestry.com (The Generations Network, Inc.) and Icanhascheezburger.com (LOLCATS) do at their sites.
Ancestry.com (The Generations Network, Inc.) operates behind an expensive subscription wall, so that most Flickr members will never find their photographs that have been illegally uploaded there. While Flickr members allow their photographs to be viewed for free, when they appear on the Ancestry.com site, one must pay a subscription fee to view them. The Generations Network has contacted me and given me a link with instructions on contacting them about copyright violations: http://www.myfamilyinc.com/default.aspx?html=copyright .
After performing all of the legal requirements that Icanhascheezburger.com (LOLCATS) required before they would remove my photograph from their commericial site, someone has advised me that they continue to brazenly store my photograph at their WordPress.com server. (I have since contacted WordPress and WordPress promptly removed the following photo.) http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/funny-pictures-cat-has-hired-a-substitute.jpg . Someone else has it stored at the Photobucket site.
What is distasteful is that buried in fine print, those sister sites all claim to own as their property any photos you upload to them for your family information! Ugh….