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23-02-2015
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So without permission from the photographer (which I assume average TFS user does not have), the safest thing is to not post pictures at all? It's a real shame,if anything they are getting more publicity by having their work shared.

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23-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokobombon View Post
^ it could be that Walker's agency didnt want his pics posted?
Could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benn98 View Post
So if the magazine consents and we post images, could these be removed because the photographer insist they be removed?
Yep.

Therein lies the problem of making a list of sources not to post from.

It's a complete crapshoot.

And sometimes they are okay with it, other times they aren't.

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23-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KateTheGreatest View Post
So without permission from the photographer (which I assume average TFS user does not have), the safest thing is to not post pictures at all? It's a real shame,if anything they are getting more publicity by having their work shared.
I should think so too Kate! I doubt it will be easy to secure consent from a photographer's agency. Without a doubt they'll demand remuneration for the image, which just doesn't make sense for us. I understand the artist point of view, but we clearly do not use the images with malicious intent, or to replicate it somehow. Plus the credits are always in place, even for lesser known photographers. Of course I'm only referring to the Magazine and Ad Campaign thread - cannot vouch for the rest.

But what I really want to know how sites like Pinterest still stay afloat. I mean Tim Walker's agency will have a field day with the amount of pins people have of his work over there.


Last edited by Benn98; 23-02-2015 at 08:03 AM.
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23-02-2015
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Here is a unofficial and partial (not legal advice, since I am not an attorney) run down of how it usually works:

1. The photographer owns all copyrights, when he takes the photos. This is his work ... and he makes a living by selling the photos or the rights to use them to someone else.

2. A signed contract can transfer all of the copyrights to someone else, who becomes the new owner of the images and the also the right to control them. This is usually done for and exchange of a lot of money. And this usually happens with magazines ... they sign a contract that the magazine will become the legal copyright holder in exchange for his fee.

3. Or the photographer can sell or grant "usage" rights ... which means the person or company that gets usage rights, can use the photos as they see fit, but they do not "own" the copyrights and cannot grant usage to anyone else. The photographer still owns the copyrights ... and can continue to sell usage rights again and again.

4. When our legal dept. is contacted with a "takedown" notice pursuant to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998), they will respond to either the copyright holder or anyone who has be authorized by the legal copyright holder ... such as an agency/manager, an attorney or a service paid by the copyright holder. Even Legal does not know who this might be, until they get a sworn statement that the claimant is the copyright owner or has been authorized by the copyright holder to act. You can read about it in our Terms & Conditions, #12 DMCA.



Side Note: Here's a good site, if you are interested in learning more about copyrights and how it all works ... seems to have some good information: https://www.chillingeffects.org/topics/5



Quote:
Originally Posted by Benn98 View Post
The way I understand it both the photographer and magazine own the images at the end of the day, right? So if the magazine consents and we post images, could these be removed because the photographer insist they be removed? Must we seek consent from both parties? It's quite exasperating. I wonder whether this also affect other image-based sites and not just us.
So, to answer your questions:

Because we (the general public) are not privy to these contracts, we really can't know who is legal copyright holder.

And who to ask, if you want permission to post a photo? I would say both, and they can advise you if they own the copyrights or not and whether or not they will grant you "usage rights". And, to protect yourself, get it in writing so that if you ever get sued by a copyright holder, you have some evidence that you had permission.

And yes ...this is affecting every photo driven site, having exactly the same impact ... photos removed, members warned, and termination of accounts. You can see some instances reported in this very thread. But, we are the only one I know of that has discussed it openly with it's members.

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01-03-2015
  50
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i have no idea what's going on around here and it feels great...
ignorance is bliss!

...

omg- did you hear that JC PENNEY is bringing back the PRINT catalog as well!?
*it's the END of the internet...

.........

*just kidding...

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Last edited by softgrey; 01-03-2015 at 02:25 AM.
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01-03-2015
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I had no idea what was happening either until I found out more some days ago and even though it hasn't really affected my interest in posting, probably because I'm not that interested to begin with, I did feel super disappointed to learn people had been banned over this, especially key contributors that were for many of us the reason why I still bothered to visit certain areas, such as Visualizing Fashion. It was an action based on our terms and conditions of course, but to know our terms and conditions favor pleasing outsiders and not keeping our community together, and that we would prefer to see them go instead of negotiating those terms and removing AND never allowing certain content on the site again (regardless if it's just this month's tantrum over criticized pictures and not meant to last).... it feels like it's been forever since we functioned as an actual community and weren't just servants to a company that's done nothing for us, except milk our traffic to build an embarrassing homepage (and fb and pinterest accounts) and occasionally endorse actions that only fragment the forums more.

It's distressing too that anything can be added to our Terms & Conditions, such as banning over quoting a tweet, and you can face the consequences of something you did not agree with at any point and without notice, because in my case, I signed up in 2004, no tweets!. But maybe making people press agree or disagree when things are updated, when logging in after that update, is too much of a technical investment that might as well be used for another article on hair extensions..

All of this makes tFS kind of unsafe to me, not that I plan to contribute again any time soon (mostly because I don't have the time and am still computerless!), but the idea of posting material here the way I once did seems a little daunting now. Ignorance is bliss until you post something and come back the next day only to find your account disabled.

Thankfully it's the internet and things can go in any direction any time so even though it's all a few weeks old, I hope a few suggestions are still welcomed..

- Keep members updated and make it a priority. It shouldn't take so long to bring to their attention what's happening and what's suddenly putting all memberships in jeopardy, you don't have to disclose names (of publications or banned members), but opening up dialogue shouldn't be considered some kind of favor or exception, especially when the owners of this site know nothing about forums and nobody knows anything about the owners either and it all comes down to two representatives, who might as well absorb several standpoints and be completely aware of members' concerns in order to (hopefully) stick up for them. Many forums these days do this, be it music or films forums, they are very open about what's going on and act as a whole.. just leading the community to what might help preserve it, and most of them actually let people know what the companies are and where the bullet's coming from, so it's really not a big deal, it's unusual for us but nothing's going to happen.

- Consider permanently censoring the work of certain people or magazines. Whoever threatens legal action, let's get rid of their stuff but for good, no more of the apologetic "when will Vogue UK be kind of enough to let us have a thread for their wonderful new issue?" crap. You subject memberships to whatever a publishing house feels like doing some month and it's not fair and we know who they are anyway, it's usually the same people. There can be a pinned thread informing members (without sending infractions) while still allowing discussion either through links to other site or whatever's possible (Pirelli style). This may seem unfathomable for some but ancient me remembers vividly the day Tim Walker's thread was started and the time before that was just fine, so we will be fine without specific images and just discussion and of course monthly attention to their internet antics and fear of criticism (because this is what it comes down to- no copyright notice followed praise, it always happened after mockery and harsh commentary).

- Open up more areas of discussion in Magazines. This would help encourage contributors and discussion and also distribute better the attention greedy publications like British Vogue get every month. Right now everything that's not mainstream and B&N-friendly is dumped into one big general thread. It sure worked at some point but it's obsolete now and we need to move on. We are a smaller community now and we can handle individual threads, at least the Miscellaneous ones.

- Consider offering 'forum amnesty' in a near future, aka reinstalling membership privileges should we agree to something in the points above. It's unusual too but also common in other communities. It's technically possible and it might as well open up a new chapter for tFS and soften up a system that at a time worked perfectly to get rid of trolls and keep some behaviors under line, but that's now reached to actual contributors and is playing against us.


Last edited by MulletProof; 01-03-2015 at 09:44 PM.
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02-03-2015
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people have been banned?!
sheesh...
that seems extreme...

you know...
most every site is far more transparent than tFS has been since atomiconline took over...
it's sort of standard business practice to take an interest in what your customers need and want from the service you provide...
to consider feedback and make improvements acoordingly...
it's not rocket science and it's proven to be the best way to grow any business...
whether it's a restaurant or a car service or an app...
you gotta give the people what they want or they will simply go elsewhere...

i really don't understand the thinking of atomiconline...
i don't think any of us do, really...

regarding changing guidelines...
i get an email from any site where i am registered informing me when they have updated their guidelines...
or, at the very least- a pop up msg when i sign in...

how do they expect people to know about things if they don't tell them...
maybe they simply don't think of us as people...?
just numbers and stats?

i don't know...
it doesn't seem like very good business to me...
...


*not my problem!

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03-03-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MulletProof View Post
Thankfully it's the internet and things can go in any direction any time so even though it's all a few weeks old, I hope a few suggestions are still welcomed..

- Keep members updated and make it a priority. It shouldn't take so long to bring to their attention what's happening and what's suddenly putting all memberships in jeopardy, ....
As soon as the new rules were laid out to us by the attorneys at the legal dept. and they allowed us to make it public, the moderator team discussed it in detail, and decided to share what we know about it with the membership. We posted an Announcement for all to see.

We (the "two representatives" that you mentioned) are not directly informed about where the complaints are coming from ... the legal department is handling it all at their end. The company's legal dept. emails all the warnings directly to the members ... at the email addresses that are on file in the members' profiles. All they instruct us to do is to delete the posts and when appropriate, ban the members when they have reached a "third strike". Therefore, there is really nothing to report to the general membership.

We have done what we can to "stick up" for the members, regarding various issues and concerns that we anticipated and also regarding warnings sent to some members for some extremely old posts. However, we were told that because it's a serious legal matter, there are no options here. We must follow their instructions to the "T".


Quote:
- Consider permanently censoring the work of certain people or magazines. Whoever threatens legal action, let's get rid of their stuff but for good, no more of the apologetic "when will Vogue UK be kind of enough to let us have a thread for their wonderful new issue?" crap. You subject memberships to whatever a publishing house feels like doing some month and it's not fair and we know who they are anyway, it's usually the same people. There can be a pinned thread informing members (without sending infractions) while still allowing discussion either through links to other site or whatever's possible (Pirelli style).
It is not usually the actual magazines/publishing houses (eg: Conde Naste) or one specific company (eg: Pirelli) that seem to be hitting us the most hard now. Also, it is not coming "from the same people" anymore. it's coming from everywhere ...it's very, very random. The only way to censure the complainants .... is to shut down the forums .....


The change is because of the new automated software (photo recognition bots)that can instantly recognize any photo and report it ... the software will report every thing it finds to anyone who hires the service.

Based on our discussions with legal, the companies that seem to be hiring this service are often photo agencies, huge paparazzi companies, photographer's agents, etc. These companies rep thousands of copyright holders .. so they hire the service to find pictures from all of their clients. Therefore, the "takedown requests" come in huge groups each time, but the photos are from very random places and numerous copyright holders.


Quote:
- Open up more areas of discussion in Magazines. This would help encourage contributors and discussion and also distribute better the attention greedy publications like British Vogue get every month. Right now everything that's not mainstream and B&N-friendly is dumped into one big general thread. It sure worked at some point but it's obsolete now and we need to move on. We are a smaller community now and we can handle individual threads, at least the Miscellaneous ones.
Something for the mod team ... I'll throw the idea out for them to discuss. Thank you.

Quote:
- Consider offering 'forum amnesty' in a near future, aka reinstalling membership privileges should we agree to something in the points above. It's unusual too but also common in other communities. It's technically possible and it might as well open up a new chapter for tFS and soften up a system that at a time worked perfectly to get rid of trolls and keep some behaviors under line, but that's now reached to actual contributors and is playing against us.
We have discussed this, but it's a no go. We are not allowed to undo what legal has done ... reinstate banned members. But, are you talking about reinstating members who were banned for reasons other than copyright infringement? That is definitely something that the moderators are allowed to do ... if they decide it's in the best interest of the forums. And not a bad idea ....

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03-03-2015
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I used to post lots of magazine digital images but now the only "loophole" I found (that so far I think itīs allowed by tFS) is to post them in other forums and link them on the threads. The only downside is that members donīt usually click on the links and then discuss, if the images are not posted as thumbnails then thereīs no discussion.

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03-03-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey View Post
it's sort of standard business practice to take an interest in what your customers need and want from the service you provide...
to consider feedback and make improvements acoordingly...
it's not rocket science and it's proven to be the best way to grow any business...
True .... it's good business to bend to the needs of your customer. But one point you are missing here is that the forum members are not the paying customer here ... the advertisers are the paying clients.

The company clearly cares about the liability/bottom line of the company (which is nor "Atomic On Line" any more ... it's been merged into "Totally Her", which is a subsidiary of Evolve Media, LLC, just so you know) and that is why legal has taken over the handling of the copyright complaints.

Quote:
regarding changing guidelines...
i get an email from any site where i am registered informing me when they have updated their guidelines...
or, at the very least- a pop up msg when i sign in...

how do they expect people to know about things if they don't tell them...
No, they did not send emails out nor add a pop up, and that would have been a good idea.

However ... I know the Community Rules did not change ... and I do not believe the Terms of Service changed, either.



What has changed is the following:

1: The number if complaints has increased from a trickle to a deluge due to new technology.
2. Legal (instead of us) is now enforcing this part of the same old rules. They have adopted a policy of "no exceptions" and warn every time, now. (It's always been in our rules to be able to warn then ban a member for repeated copyright violations ... and we've have the three strikes rule in effect for about 10 years I think. We just didn't warn on really old stuff.)


...

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03-03-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokobombon View Post
I used to post lots of magazine digital images but now the only "loophole" I found (that so far I think itīs allowed by tFS) is to post them in other forums and link them on the threads. The only downside is that members donīt usually click on the links and then discuss, if the images are not posted as thumbnails then thereīs no discussion.
As long as the photos (or even thumbnails) don't actually appear on our site, I think you are fine. We discouraged this in the past ... for the reason you said. But I think that we will have to loosen up on that.

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03-03-2015
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It totally depends on where this is going. Maybe it blows over, but I can't imagine that. If it's getting bigger then kokobombon's strategy is going to be adopted or even be forced to be used by all members. But indeed it makes it less attractive to participate. The number of members will go down and therefore also the amount of advertisements? So tfs is heading towards a unsure future.
I just discovered that google images has a search option concerning usage rights... So copyright issues seems expanding.

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03-03-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetteT View Post
We (the "two representatives" that you mentioned) are not directly informed about where the complaints are coming from ... the legal department is handling it all at their end. The company's legal dept. emails all the warnings directly to the members ... at the email addresses that are on file in the members' profiles. All they instruct us to do is to delete the posts and when appropriate, ban the members when they have reached a "third strike". Therefore, there is really nothing to report to the general membership.

We have done what we can to "stick up" for the members, regarding various issues and concerns that we anticipated and also regarding warnings sent to some members for some extremely old posts. However, we were told that because it's a serious legal matter, there are no options here. We must follow their instructions to the "T".


It is not usually the actual magazines/publishing houses (eg: Conde Naste) or one specific company (eg: Pirelli) that seem to be hitting us the most hard now. Also, it is not coming "from the same people" anymore. it's coming from everywhere ...it's very, very random. The only way to censure the complainants .... is to shut down the forums .....

Based on our discussions with legal, the companies that seem to be hiring this service are often photo agencies, huge paparazzi companies, photographer's agents, etc. These companies rep thousands of copyright holders .. so they hire the service to find pictures from all of their clients. Therefore, the "takedown requests" come in huge groups each time, but the photos are from very random places and numerous copyright holders.

We have discussed this, but it's a no go. We are not allowed to undo what legal has done ... reinstate banned members. But, are you talking about reinstating members who were banned for reasons other than copyright infringement? That is definitely something that the moderators are allowed to do ... if they decide it's in the best interest of the forums. And not a bad idea ....
No, I was talking about people that were banned for copyright infringement. I don't think it's worth discussing whether to bring back trolls or people that were banned for stupid behavior.

I'm sorry, I know you're acknowledging that it's all super random but the way it's being handled sounds super obscure, nothing against your explanation (I'm very thankful for that and for your time to handle every concern in this thread), but the whole "it's coming from everywhere" "we know nothing" "only the legal department [no one knows anything about] knows" "it's a system that tracks down all pictures" "the only option.. is to shut down the forums!"... it's too vague.

I'm concluding you guys stopped representing the forums then? (at Atomic you used to do meetings no?), and the mod team is basically just doing technical work now?. And since no evident effort has been made by the legal department to negotiate or find any solution, it may or may not be even be true... they might as well just want to shut down the forums. Good luck to them with that, because if they think people will continue to come to this s*itty site without the forums... they obviously don't have a clue of their own business. And by the way the main reason advertisers bother is the traffic IN the forums... no forums, no traffic... no traffic, no advertisers.. no advertisers, no money, if anything they should be handling with extra care the running of the forums, not the friggin' advertisers..

Argh, these people just keep getting worse and worse (nothing against you, Bette.. again, I'm just venting here), I pray for the day someone with a technical clue will just migrate us all somewhere else, to a new forum and same format.. maybe to an app. This is so decadent, starting (and ending too) with the owners.


Oh and the Terms did change. I never agreed to most of what's currently included there, that's for sure. Up until 2012, you couldn't even disable your account on your own...

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03-03-2015
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bette- you clearly don't get it... even after all these years...
...
you keep repeating that same line... for years now...

we are the users...the audience...the target market for the advertisers...
it's a standard business model now - especially online, for sites like pinterest and facebook...
and on and on...
they get advertisers by having loads of users and they have loads of users (who get the service FREE) because they give the users a service they enjoy using...
they are friendly and regularly communicate with the users in order to keep them enthusiastic about the site and to keep them coming back...

clearly- that works...
and just as clearly...this doesn't...

done.

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16-03-2015
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I find this all really sad. I remember when I first started and the community and atmosphere was so happy and free.
I have to say this legal nonsense has soured my visits and seeing so many long standing members be banned is truly biting the hand that feeds. 99% of photos were posted from those members and the forum wouldn't be where it is without them.

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