BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
 

Justice prevailed


For those wondering what happened - Scott won! The two "borrowed" photos in question have been taken down. I have no idea how long before BP takes down this note - but I think trying to hide these issues under the rug is not helping anyone.


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4/16/2007 5:46:56 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
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  I too noticed the photos were gone. I'm glad the situation was resolved, but I knew it would be. Sometimes it just takes a little patience.


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4/16/2007 6:01:06 PM

 
Scott Cromwell   Thank you, Diane. I obviously feel better now that they're gone, but I don't feel like I've totally won as long as Shelly has a gallery on this site.


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4/16/2007 6:06:27 PM

 
Laura Clay-Ballard
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2005
  There are so many unanswered questions. The BP community of photographers want to know what happened, why it happened and how it is being resolved. Who is going to give us those answers?


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4/16/2007 6:06:36 PM

 
Laura Clay-Ballard
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2005
  so, did BP determine who is right and who is wrong? And, did BP have a direct hand in removal of the images?


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4/16/2007 6:07:47 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  I'm afraid Laura that BP wants to keep this under the rug and we'll never hear officially what happened. Just know that they've taken down the two "borrowed" shots.
It's too bad that in a wonderful supportive community such as this where photo theft is a big worry for everyone that we won't get the full story and we won't know what BP is willing to do for us if such a thing should happen to us.
I do know they'd rather keep everything hush hush - so I guess if you notice one of your pics being used by someone else - hit the contact button below and start yelling!


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4/16/2007 6:10:22 PM

 
Larry Lawhead
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2002
  What a sad situation. I wish I could say that I'm shocked and surprised, but I'm only disappointed.

I wonder what (if any) protections BP can add to the system, to help minimize the chances of this type of thing happening again (and again and again)??


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4/16/2007 6:28:32 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Well - the right click protect is on at BP now - and the theft was done in 2005 - and the photo was taken from another site (not BP)... So I guess there's not much to be done about it... Although allowing us more obvious copyright markings would help - just wouldn't want to be disqualified from the contest because of it.


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4/16/2007 6:31:55 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  I'm really happy for Scott....but I'm very disappointed that Jim has not made a statement and that they have allowed the alleged person's site to remain and she is allowed to still enter the contest. They did ask Scott not to comment til it was resolved, but I think that Jim needs to make a statement that this will not be allowed and people who steal other peoples photos will not be able to post or be a part of BP!!!!


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4/16/2007 6:55:45 PM

 
Tamera S. Phillips
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  I'm sad to see this happening but not surprised. I've read so many threads here where images have been taken. I guess that's the chance that we all take. I'm happy to see that Scott has received his due rights to the photo(s) in question. I do agree that BP should make a statement even if just in general about the policy. Should the person in question here still be allowed to enter the contest? If guilty then I say they have lost their chances here on BP.


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4/16/2007 7:08:22 PM

 
Margie Hurwich
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  I'm with Larry...what a sad situation...

I hope in the end, there is a statement made, even if a general one like Tamera mentions, and that this is all resolved so the BP community can feel a bit at ease.


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4/16/2007 7:56:49 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  if it were true legalities,scott would still not be able to comment.
why was the thread deleted?
new member scott makes an accusation of another member,which could be himself,gets another of his aliases to stand up for him as a friend,and sheep follow.
am I that far off slick?member dates,photos,bio.
of course I think you and w might rule.well...


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4/16/2007 8:52:27 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  You've become paranoid Sam. And to answer one of the questions, to keep that very same thing from spreading is probably why Jim Miotke wanted Scott Cromwell to resist any further comment until they look into everything. Along with some possible hysteria. They share your passion and disdain for things like this, but cooler heads are something they need to keep, and they can't be so reactionary. Which I'll admit is sometimes fun to do when you have somebody accepting all those "great shot" and handing out all the "thank you" in the discussions of those photos.(Still shaking my head on the one that said "great shot mom" and "thanks son" in a reply)
Yours and everyone else's photos are your babies, and like a parent coming to the school to say what somebody did to their child, the principal(that be Jim) can't just take your word, or your emotions, and lay down the hammer right then and there. What do they do? Listen to what the parent has to say, stay calm and look into it. But they also don't want to many people going thru the school saying who did what to who, even if it turns out that what happened actually did. You all know a situation where a complaint can turn into a rumor that can turn into panic.
So, Laura C., a person copied two photos from Scott Cromwell, did a litle photoshop stuff to it, and enter at least one in the contest on this site, and claimed the photo as their own. And led many people to believe it. It was discovered, the original picture creator(that be Scott) let some people know, others including myself let some people know in the discussion and q&A, and now the infringing pictures seem to be taken off.
That takes care of what happened and part of the resolution. As to why, envy, jealousy, frustration from not being able to do it herself(although and email asking could've helped with that), and mix in some shiestyness and you've got your perpetrator. Won't really know until you get her to say why, but don't wait for it, she's recovering from her anniversary party.
By the way, looking at the photos you could tell that they were copied and altered slightly.
As far as removing her from the site altogether, I don't agree with that. A repeat offender I'd say yes. But it's the internet age. You know that stuff like this has become easier. We never had traffic jams and knuckle heads driving while on the phone until we had cars and cell phones.


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4/16/2007 10:38:27 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Well guys and gals, I was pretty vocal on the other thread so why stop now. I agree with Greg that removing her from the site is not the thing to do. One, as many of the pranksters do on this site, all she would have to do is create another user, upload some pics, and she is back in business. And two, she now knows she is being watched and more than likely will not do it again.

I don't agree with the hush hush way of handling things. I, for one, commend Scott for bringing this to light. Candice made the comment that this shouldn't have been brought out in a public forum; but, as another poster stated, she chose the public forum. By copying the photo, uploading it to this site, claiming it as her own, and accepting praise and rewards for the photo under false pretense she created the public forum.

A couple of things I noticed that are the kinds of things that make you go hmmmmmmm are one, there were two photos in question yet 13 were taken out of the gallery. You've got to wonder how many of her pics were not her own. For that reason she has lost all credibility as a photographer as far as I'm concerned.

Two, her bio pic was a pic of her and her husband in his Army dress uniform and now it is a flower. Now, when I was in the Marine Corps, I can tell you, the top brass frowned upon Marine spouses getting into trouble as much as they did the Marines themselves. Mind you that was 20 plus years ago and the Army is a different branch; but, it does kind of make you go hmmmmmmm!

I think Jim does need to make a strong statement that this sort of thing will not be tolerated rather than trying to sweep it under the rug. We all realize there is no way for BP and the staff here to screen every uploaded photo to ensure the person uploading it is the person that owns the copyright to the photo; but, they can create strong policies and enforce those policies when a situation like this arises.

This is a very good website. Jim and his staff do a very good job here. IMHO, this is something that can't be tolerated and needs to be handled firmly and quite honestly, it doesn't appear to have been handled firmly.


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4/17/2007 6:26:09 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  I have been following this thread for the last week or so and, until now, refrained from adding my dubious two cents. However, in response to Sam’s post I am going to post this thought:

Anyone who has been here for more than a few months is well aware that we have, in our midst, people who engage in rather pathetic exchanges and arguments for their own purpose. These few folks try pretty hard to destroy this site, again for whatever purpose they alone can know. Most of us have become involved in one of these exchanges at some point. Being suspicious of a claim such as that made by Scott may be somewhat normal, considering the other things that have occurred here.

However, I want to make a strong argument in favor of being just a little more tolerant of new people. Lately I’ve noticed that when someone new appears and starts a thread on a controversial issue that many other posters turn to attack this new poster. This also happens whenever anyone posts a “stupid” question – meaning one that some, more experienced, members feel is so basic that it should be obvious to anyone. Folks, remember we all start at the same place: the beginning, knowing little. Can we, please, be just a little kind and tolerant? Can we accept people at face value, at least until they prove themselves unworthy of our respect? Can we keep the name calling, labeling and personal attacks off these threads, at least and until the other poster shows him/herself as deserving of our disdain? Bottom line: tolerance, respect and kindness go a very long way toward making newcomers and novices feel welcome and also do a lot to help each of us.

To Scott: I’m truly sorry that this happened to you, but I am glad that things have been somewhat settled. Also, since none of us have done so before now, welcome to BP and I hope that you now can actually enjoy being in this community. I, too, which that BP would make some public statement about this affair, but if they do not, they may know something we do not.

Irene


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4/17/2007 6:39:31 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Amen to you Todd.....I feel, also, that this has to be brought to the forefront by Jim, to make it very clear that this will not be tolerated on this site.


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4/17/2007 6:40:21 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Irene - you said a mouthful. We don't always put our best face forward to welcome newcomers, and that's a shame. We should all work harder at that.

That said, Greg's right, Sam - you're getting paranoid. Scott is not Justin/Slick. Scott can spell and uses correct grammar. Slick only does that when he cuts & pastes stuff that someone else wrote. Slick would never claim to use a Sony, either.

W. Smith is not Justin/Slick, either. He's stubborn, rude, and condescending, but he's also shown that he has some good knowledge of photography. He's also British - Slick can barely pretend to be Canadian.

"Justin Shane" is the current incarnation of Justin/Slick/Derek/Dr.Evil.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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4/17/2007 7:23:02 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Chris,

If you look up Brittish in the dictionary it says "stubborn, rude, and condescending." Just kidding W.


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4/17/2007 7:39:06 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I thought that was the definition for French waiters. ;-)

Actually, on my two visits to the UK, I found the people to be very friendly. But they don't keep their beer cold enough for my American tastes.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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4/17/2007 8:02:47 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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Sharon 's Gallery
  I WISH BP could/would make a statement.

By removing Shelly's photos we are to assume Shelly is guilty as charged and did indeed steal Scott's photo/s. Shelly has assured me in two separate emails that she did not steal the photos.

While normally her vows of innocence wouldn't carry much weight with me I have to wonder why BP did not ban her from the site in light of such flagrant dishonesty. Does anyone besides Sam think there's a possibility Shelly is NOT guilty as charged?

Now, don't go throwing the rotten tomatoes at me. I'm just relating things I've been told and observed. It seems to me BP would have banned her if they had concrete evidence she did indeed steal Scott's photos.

In all honesty I don't know what to believe.



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4/17/2007 8:10:09 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Sharon,

Did she show you any proof that the photos were hers? Did she provide you with the EXIF data?


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4/17/2007 8:24:36 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  No, but the thing I don't understand is why didn't BP revoke her membership if she is guilty. It seems to me that would have been appropriate. I would also like to hear from Shelly on this. If it were me, and whether or not I could prove my innocence you all would hear from me...LOUDLY LOL.


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4/17/2007 8:30:57 AM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  Okay, I found two cents and thought I'd put them in.

First penny for my thought - I looked at some of Shelly's other photos and found a few with the flag/water drop effect. I even found on Flickr where someone had posted one of those (with Shelly's name) in HIS folder, along with photos of several other artists. (I've already reported this to Flickr). I question whether it is possible that Shelly saw Scott's photo and took one of her own in an attempt to reproduce and effect that she liked. Again, not probable, but possible.

Second penny for my thoughts - Shelly may be under the same constraints as Scott was under in not being able comment. However, now that Scott seems free to comment, it could be that she will be able to. We will see. I do question that she has not defended herself to her friends in her other photo groups. That seems to be a little telling.

Final summation, the jury is still looking for more testimony and I have no sense left.


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4/17/2007 9:13:18 AM

 
Colby 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2006
  I do not often participate in discussions like this one, and if I have something to say to involved parties, I do so privately. First, the “Where’s Waldo’ thing keeps running through my head. Where is Jim in all of this? It is obvious that the administration would rather not deal with this publicly as evidenced by his silence and the removal of the huge thread that first appeared. I am very disappointed. Everyone has questioned why the involved individual has not been banned. I think the real question is, if as it now appears that she did take someone else’s photo, why has she not left one her own?
Just wondering.
Colby


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4/17/2007 9:16:38 AM

 
Colby 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2006
  This is one of those times that I wished this site had edit capabilities. ‘Why has she not left one her own?’ should read ‘why has she not left on her own?’ Sorry for the error.
Colby


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4/17/2007 9:34:40 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Innocent until proven guilty - don't we still live by that in this country? I hate these witch hunts. I don't know who's telling the truth or who's lying, but I'm not going to judge based on any of these threads. Yikes, what kind of people are we turning into?


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4/17/2007 9:39:49 AM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
This site is not Yahoo/Flickr, but this incident is happening so close to home and it’s so disturbing to many folks. Image theft is a major concern to many photographers.

Removing the original thread, the entries in the discussion pages, and the images that were allegedly stolen do not help to know and understand the truth. It only keeps people in the dark and thus speculations…There are too many unanswered questions.
The official statement from the site as to what has happened, is going on, and what action may be taken re. image theft seem due…


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4/17/2007 10:26:50 AM

 
Scott Cromwell   This is close enough to proof that anyone but BP will ever get. I know it still won't be enough for some of you.


http://images22.fotki.com/v762/fileABxP/682fb/1/1133934/4841974/sampleproof.jpg


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4/17/2007 10:31:34 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Excellent Nobi.


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4/17/2007 10:33:10 AM

 
Scott Cromwell   BTW - I do want to thank each one of my supporters. It does mean a lot to me.


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4/17/2007 10:49:45 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  YOu are very welcome Scott!!! You have proven yourself.....
Now it would be nice if Jim could clear this all up so the BP members would know that these kind of actions will not be tolerated!!!!


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4/17/2007 10:55:46 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Deb James and Diana C., you might not have seen the photos we're talking about but this isn't a witch hunt, or even a which hunt which picture belongs to which person.
You do get similar effects of the upside down reflection of whatever is behind the water when you do take a picture like that. Just look at all the flower underneath the glass with water drops on it pictures that people enter into the contest.
But you can see with each internal reflections, the pixelations around cloned parts, and also the duplications of exact angles on the reflections. Plus the exact duplications of minute shapes and creases of the drops as the form the peak that comes up. You'll have to take my word for it that at least I came to the clear result based on many things you could clearly see.
That was not an attempt at the same type of photo.
I questioned another in her gallery, but that was based on what she listed as the settings she used. But I left that in the discussion.
Just watch out for that hysteria I mentioned.


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4/17/2007 10:56:18 AM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  Greg, I agree that the photos are far to similar to be a coincidence. Like I said, possible but not probable. Just playing devil's advocate (I'm good at that.) To further play devil's advocate, Scott I do agree that showing the EXIF information is good (and I'm not doubting it's validity) I would like to point out that you could have pulled up the information for a different photo. There is nothing to show that the file name is the same as the picture behind the info. (I tested it myself to see if I could get the info from one photo to show up while I had the second photo displayed in the background). However, I'm sure that BP is happy with whatever you provided them. Otherwise it would be your photo pulled and not the other way around. Ergo, BP must be convinced that your photo is the original, therefore I will abide by their decision and say... GREAT SHOT!!!


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4/17/2007 11:12:02 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  "That was not an attempt at the same type of photo."

They were the same photo. Anyone wanting to argue that needs glasses.

I've probably mentioned this previously. I'm old and forgetful, but I tried the water splash thing some time ago. I took over 1,000 shots in a single session. I had probably less than 10 keepers and none with perfect shafts like the one captured in this discussion. Not one. Using the camera in the same position for many of them not even my backgrounds were identical due to the movement of the water in the dish as it splashed, thus disturbing the surface of the water causing different distortions in the background. Whew! There's no way two exact same photos of water splashes exist. Period.

I might be naive and I might want to believe a person when they tell me something but two identical water splash photos by two different photographers (even had they been in the same room using the same camera), sorry but that I will not believe.


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4/17/2007 11:40:24 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  The greatest harm that Justin/Slick/Dr. Evil/et al does to BP and to all of us semi-sane people (on a good day I’m semi-sane) is to make us suspicious of every new member and every person who posts any topic that is remotely controversial. Sam may be paranoid in this instance, but I doubt if he is alone.

Beyond figuring out who actually made the images in question – and personally, I believe Scott since he is the only one posting actual info and his story has the ring of truth to my jaded ears – the bottom line is that BP as a company needs to make a strong statement concerning ethics in posting here or anywhere else. That’s the thing about ethics – they can seem so straight forward and obvious, until you encounter the hard to figure incident. Imitating another photographer’s style and technique can be a good tool for learning. Taking another photographer’s image and claiming it as your own, even if you make some changes, is such a violation of ethics I have a hard time finding any legitimate excuse.


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4/17/2007 12:53:56 PM

 
Colby 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2006
  If a thief can’t be banned on this site, there is no hope of getting rid of the likes of Slick. I have heard that on other sites you can be banned for something as simple as ‘bad words.’ What does it take here? Not only has Shelly not been banned, she is still posting, her latest today is ‘Basket of Love.’ Shelly does not appear to have any remorse regarding her actions. I’m having trouble getting my head around that.
Colby


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4/17/2007 12:59:16 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  I also think BP needs to say something about this. It's a darn shame that somebody won't stand up for what is right. If they don't want to kick them completely off the site, at least they should be banned from the contest. We all work very hard to present our work as well as we can and I'm very disappointed that there aren't any consequences for such behavior.


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4/17/2007 2:07:12 PM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  BP is probably being very prudent in not commenting. If they can't definitively prove who's right and who's wrong, then legally they should probably not say anything.

I think the subject should be dropped unless further information is provided. Let's stop condemning this person. Maybe she did what she's accused of doing. Okay fine...it's done.

Maybe when you all go to church on Sunday you'll be reminded about forgiveness. I'm an atheist and even I believe in forgive and forget.

Let's all get over it and go take some pictures. :)


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4/17/2007 2:30:21 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Well Deb J,

You know what? You can forgive this person if you want! BUT; you better keep an eye on your stuff because you may be next.

Do you make your living off photography? From what I have read in your bio, NO! I don't either. Scott may not either.

Have you ever had a photo stolen? Obviously you don't know because your attitude is too lackadaisical to even think anyone would steal from you.

Why do you think the recording industry is making such a big deal about the peer to peer sharing programs available over the internet? It is called C O P Y R I G H T! These rights are protected by law. If you don't stand up for yourself, nobody, I repeat nobody else will.

"I think the subject should be dropped unless further information is provided."

If you don't like the music on a particular radio station what do you do? You change the channel! Well by all means change the channel and don't read this thread any more. Some of us are concerned not only about Scott getting robbed; but, ourselves getting robbed.

All the evidence points to this lady stealing a photo. Adjusting it in Photoshop or some other program and then posting it as if she were the one that OWNED THE COPYRIGHT! It's not a witch hunt! It's not some trumped up charge (concidering the evidence given).

"Maybe she did what she's accused of doing. Okay fine...it's done."

No it's not done. If she did it once she'll do it again. Please refer to the paragraph above about COPYRIGHT. Why when there were only 2 photos in question did she remove 13?

"BP is probably being very prudent in not commenting."

Wrong again. If they don't address this issue they will only see more and more threads like this one and they will probably see a lot of people leave. They have got to do something to protect the photographer.

Deb, sit on your laurels if you want to. That's cool. Just don't waste your time on this thread!


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4/17/2007 6:46:00 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Oh man - what have I missed out on, what is going on? Where are the two photos so I can have a sticky beak....


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4/17/2007 6:57:42 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Actually she hid more like 50 photos that day.


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4/17/2007 6:58:14 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Natalie,

They are removed now. It's a mess.


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4/17/2007 6:58:58 PM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Geez, Todd. Don't bust a gut on my account. My primary income is not from photography, but I do have income from photography. So yes I have an interest in not having images stolen and I understand all about copyright. So sorry my bio is out of date. I've been busy working on creating that income rather than playing here on BP.

I've seen these threads get out of control before so all I'm saying is let's all calm down until something is proven one way or another. I don't know either of these people personally and I doubt many here (if any) do.

I'm not sure what laurels you refer to. I wasn't bragging. I just said I believe in forgive and forget. I also believe in innocent until proven guilty.

All I'm saying is nothing has been proven either way so I'm not going to judge one way or the other. You do whatever makes you feel good about yourself and allows you to sleep at night. Just remember things aren't always as they seem.

Just because I don't agree with the majority on this thread doesn't mean I should "change the channel" and disappear. I have a right to have my say too. Everyone has a right to their opinion including those of us with a minority viewpoint.

Have a glass of wine and chill my friend. :)


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4/17/2007 7:03:31 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  ok - talk to me like i'm a 2 year old........he he

what happened, this is the first I have heard of anything.

Did someone steal photos of BP? Who, when, and how many?

What scandal......


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4/17/2007 7:07:36 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  I'll have a glass of wine please! LOL


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4/17/2007 7:08:26 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  I think they serve wine in the Cocktails and Chocolates Q&A, Natalie ;). Where have you been?? If you don't mind I'll let someone else fill you in. I've been accused of abusing people around here the past few days. I'm trying to live that down now.


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4/17/2007 7:10:56 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  My father always said photography in one way or another is a cut throat business. He did it as a career for 40 years, he knows what he is talking about. This is about as sad as it gets. First the fact that someone would want to have a photo so bad that they would use it under the pretense of it being there own, and second the person who felt they were his, going after someone to this degree. Funny how things like this will drive people to do things not normally in their nature. I don't know who was involved, nor does it matter. I see no justice one way or another. Hope someone isn't crying themselves to sleep at night because even if it is true the nature of all this has become so negative there is no way anyone could say they were sorry now, was a bad judgment call. I have many photos of others that they have sent me and maybe when I first started I would have not of known anything about copyright but even at that I wouldn't have thought of using someone else photos as mine. I don't think removing the photo was an admission of BP that anything was a copied or stolen, I think it was the easiest way to resolve a questionable issue. I have seen so many copy cat photos on this site that I am totally suprized there isn't more of this and there may be. Have a great week all! (there has to be better things to worry about)


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4/17/2007 7:21:17 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Hi Sharon

Well - I've been a busy bee, and I am not the type of person to sit on a forum all day (please no one take offense - it just isn't me). I did 3 weddings in March and a Charity event, so been flat out editing photos, losts of client orders for portraits etc, so the last thing I want to do is sit on the computer in my spare time.

So yep - no idea what people are talking about - sounds juicy though!


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4/17/2007 7:37:18 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  Yep, forums are for the old and tired with nothing better to do ;)! Hey, if the shoe fits :o)!


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4/17/2007 7:57:53 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  LOL Sharon!!!!!


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4/17/2007 8:02:37 PM

 
Deborah Liperote
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2006
  Natalie,
Long story made very short.... Scott
C. just joined BP and after he did he stumbled across a photo he created awhile ago someone else (Shelly) hijacked it and said it was hers. She won an award with it which btw is also a monetary award as well. Scott turned the accused in on "public forum" a couple of days ago and that thread was removed. This one is obviously the continuation.
I just want to add my penny as well. It's a shame what's going on here. If Shelly is guilty, something should be done but the problem is what do you do?
I had a major run in with W.Smith and all of his aliases a while back and it got alittle crazy. I had no clue if the others on the thread where just other identities of his or if they were truly individual people. I reported the thread and I think some else did too. I asked BP why they can't get rid of him and they did close his account and all the other ones that went with his ISP address. He was irritated with me for a minute but had created a new personality no less than 15 mins later as Jesus Christ.
They said they couldn't do much more than that. So the same is here with Shelly, if she is guilty and obnoxiuos she will be back on with another name. Or eventually the same name. I do think she should make restitution for getting her gallery free for the month that she won. or whatever she recieved for her award.
I'm sorry, but with having so many run ins with W.S., when I started reading the thread last week, I really thought it may have the smell of W.S. because he would have loved to cause this controversy and pit everyone against each other like is going on here now.
So If Scott is genuinly real and you have suffered an injustice please know you have my bestg wishes and if Shelly really did this than SHAME Girl SHAME!
But to everyone else, don't let this divide the genuine folks here at BP. Don't turn against eachother.


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4/18/2007 4:24:18 AM

 
Lola M.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/29/2005
Contact Lola
Lola's Gallery
  Thought some of you might be interested in viewing this site of very beautiful photographs. http://www.photo.net/photos/cromwell

Scott - your images are amazing!!!


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4/18/2007 6:37:19 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Yes, Scott is an amazing photographer!!
Too bad his first experience on BP wasnt the best, but hopefully, from here on in he will rise to the top!!!


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4/18/2007 6:42:53 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Deb,

It's obvious you haven't seen the photos in question. Correct me if I am wrong on that. There are several people responding to this thread, including myself, that have seen them. And if I'm not mistaken, they all came to the same or similar conclusion.

The odds of her creating the exact same size and shape splash and the exact same swirl pattern of color in the water, the exact same placement of stars in the reflection, are astronomical.

When I referred to "sitting back on your laurels" I was referring to just sitting back and doing nothing. Watching the world go by and thinking everything is just peachy. It has nothing to do with bragging.

As far as "busting a gut" and "have a glass of wine and chill," well, I simply can't stand a thief. In my opinion she stole the photos.

The one thing that I think would put an end to this would be for Jim and his staff to comment on this situation. I'm not asking for them to tell us who is right and who is wrong. I think most of us here know that answer. All they simply need to do is make a statement that this kind of thing will not be tolerated. Come up with some type policy, as I stated before, and strongly enforce that policy. Put that policy in the statement. List what is required as proof of an allegation of this type. List the repercussions of such an act. Reassure the rest of the photogs on this site that they do care about Copyright Infringement and protecting the photog's rights. I don't think that is too much to ask.

It is obvious the little disclaimer on the upload page is worthless. That disclaimer assumes that everybody is ethical, honest, and has integrity and you know what assuming does.


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4/18/2007 7:21:19 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  Todd,

Yes, I've seen the photos and I fully admit it looks very bad for Shelly. I just don't care for these "lynch mob" type threads. If Shelly took the images from Scott, she's wrong, but it's not the end of the world. And yes, BP probably should make some kind of comment to reassure it's members. They can do that without assigning blame therefore protecting themselves from a potential lawsuit.


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4/18/2007 8:00:18 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Deb,

I believe we found some common ground, LOL. No it's not the end of the world. Neither is someone breaking into my house while I'm not at home and stealing my stuff. That is why I have insurance. Now, if I am home, that's a different story. I am just glad Scott was at home on this one.


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4/18/2007 8:07:55 AM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  I don't think it's the end of the world, but I am glad that Scott brought it to an open forum. I think we have a right to know when photos are in question. Many people here sell their photos on microstock sites. Having a stolen photo out there could cause legal ramifications should a photographer decide to sell exclusive rights. It was pointed out to me recently that someone on Shutterstock had stolen photos from Flickr and was sell them as their own. It's a serious problem and there needs to be significant ramifications for the perpetrators.


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4/18/2007 9:18:33 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  boy,some one is really good with computers.my post from last night is missing.
ok.


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4/18/2007 7:49:44 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  hmmmmmmmm Sam. Dunno! I've had trouble in the past with gremlins. Maybe they finally left my machine and moved to yours.


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4/19/2007 5:19:46 AM

 
Bobby R. Strange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2006
  Not sure if anyone else has seen this, but I thought it was interesting considering the topic of this thread. Just goes to show what can happen if you claim someone elses work as your own...

----------------------------------------

PARIS (Reuters) - Fashion designer John Galliano was ordered to pay 200,000 euros ($271,800) in damages to renowned U.S. photographer
William Klein for unauthorized use of his atmospheric imagery in an advertising campaign.
ADVERTISEMENT

The photographer, who lives in France said he was "furious" at Galliano's use of some of his half-painted photographs of street scenes in advertisements in several fashion magazines.

Klein's giant versions of contact sheets showing a series of photographs, painted over in colored enamel to highlight particular images, were a popular feature of a recent exhibition at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The court of first instance in Paris said Klein's "painted contacts" were a hallmark of his work and Galliano's use of imagery was clearly illegal in the absence of authorization from the photographer.

It ordered the designer to pay 150,000 euros to compensate for abuse of Klein's rights as author and 50,000 euros in damages to the image of the work that resulted from the poor quality of the reproductions.

Klein told the daily Le Monde he had first become aware of the campaign when a friend asked him why he had authorized the use of his pictures in an advertisement.

He called the reproductions of his work "gross plagiary" and said: "I am insulted and furious."

Galliano was appointed designer at Givenchy in 1995 before switching to Christian Dior the following year. He also has a label that bears his name.

Klein said he was particularly offended because Dior has led a relentless campaign against illegal reproductions of its own creations.


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4/19/2007 7:12:34 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  yeah,smells like a duck and types like a duck.boy,walks?writes?
just funnin.
I hope ya'll ain't waitain on an answer.


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4/19/2007 7:56:47 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  I quit holding my breath a few days ago.


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4/20/2007 10:06:46 AM

 
Cheryl E. Molennor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2006
  OMG I am so dissapointed to hear of all of this. This is supposed to be a place where we all display and share our artistic views and comments, Not steal from each other what is so precious to us all. It makes me sad that people feel the need to carry out such actions to make themselves feel better. I will continue to post on BP and I ask those who may : PLEASE Don't even think about it.


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5/9/2007 8:56:11 PM

 
Colleen Farrell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2004
  Just came to this thread after learning that one great photographer is leaving BP as a result of all this.

Really, the whole thing makes me queasy. I feel so naive, as I never expect people to do such things. And I'm no spring chicken. ;)


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5/13/2007 10:46:49 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I don't mean to make light of this serious subject, but I just had to share this comic strip.

What the Duck has a strip that might make you smile.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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5/14/2007 5:54:44 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Too funny Chris!


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5/14/2007 6:01:33 AM

 
Glenn E. Urquhart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2006
  LOL!!!! Excellent Chris! Now I know I am safe!!! Cheers, Glenn.


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5/14/2007 6:20:43 AM

 
Deborah Liperote
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/8/2006
  Me too... I was never concerned! (for myself I mean


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5/14/2007 6:46:38 AM

 
Husain Akhtar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2006
  I found the following message interesting (the gallery of the BP member identified here is still there! Well done BP!

{Message starts:
http://www.eyefetch.com/forums.aspx?thread=70010

(to access this members only link one can sign up the free membership)

{Paradigm
Silicon Valley, CA
7/27/2006 3:05:17 AM Folks -

It has come to our attention that a member of this community has stolen a number of images from our members and posted them as her own on another site. While only a single image was in question at first, it has become clear very quickly that a number of images from other members were also stolen.

We highly encourage all members to review images on the following site to see any of their images were stolen as well! If this is the case, please contact me via private message, as well as the other site with this information!

To review the full gallery of all images in question:
1. Click here
2. Then click the "pattyn" link in the upper righthand corner of the screen.
3. Review all images. If you see any of your images in her gallery, message me and immediately contact Soapphoto.com to report the infringement.

We have also found the member to have a portfolio on Betterphoto. Please also review this gallery for any infringements:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/free/gallery.asp?mem=136281 }
Message ends}


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5/14/2007 11:46:07 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Husain,

Thanks for the post. It appears there is another one among us. I read on down through the post and in the case you reference, one of the websites disquallified her from their contests and removed her pics. IMHO, something like that should be done here. That's not to say that people can't create a new user and start over again; but, it would help. They would be starting from scratch and may think twice before doing it again.


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5/14/2007 12:10:14 PM

 
ThatsNews2Me 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2006
  Please allow me to address this to Mr. Sammy Possibly Paranoid Smith, himself. I didn't have time to read EVERY WORD here, but I didn't see ANY response to your specific allegation about Scott . . .
"new member scott makes an accusation of another member,which could be himself,gets another of his aliases to stand up for him as a friend,and sheep follow.am I that far off slick?"

Do you still think He could be She?
-June News


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5/14/2007 1:05:07 PM

 
Scott Cromwell   I see BP finally made a word on this subject, http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/discussionDetail.asp?threadID=651463 , albeit pretty worthless. She just repeats what Richard said in the caption of his photo. They do absolutely nothing but remove the stolen image. However serious they say they take the allegations, obviously if someone here is found to have stolen images, they are allowed to continue to post more stolen images one after the other with no consequences other than having the pictures removed after proven they're not theirs. But get this...I have made a couple simple remarks on Shelly's recent uploads stating, "Here's an interesting read about Shelly. http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/discussionDetail.asp?threadID=651463 " The comments were deleted in a few hours, my password was changed by BP, and I was warned by BP if I make any further derogatory comments on Shelly's images that all of my comments and images will be deleted. Let me add, that at the same time my so called "derogatory" comments were deleted, Shelly's son's comment in one of the same posts stating "Scott Cromwell, get a life man", was aloud to stay. Don't anyone tell me BP is not protecting the guilty, just as Richard states in the reason why he is leaving.


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5/14/2007 2:23:39 PM

 
Husain Akhtar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2006
  Scott, these actions/ inactions and shortcomings can only be addressed within a meaningful policy and well established practices to safeguard intellectual property and deal with stolen goods as well as the offenders! I don't see that BP has or will have any of these!


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5/14/2007 3:15:47 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  I think this whole thing stinks to high heaven and I think its time Scott visited an attorney againest the said person, maybe that way she will learn.

As far as BP actions, I believe they could be held somewhat accountable also for allowing her to keep posting contest photos once there has been proof of her taking them in violation of copy right infringements. They wouldn't have removed said photo if they had not also believed it was not hers. That alone is enough to suggest they felt she was guilty. She is just going to do it again, she obviously doesn't feel any guilt about it (pathetic and sad as that is)Some of her "friends" on this site have admitted to me that it is clear she took the photos as her own. I can't for the life of me wonder why it was handled so the way it was. Seems very cut and dry.

BP, Don't allow her to enter contest photos anymore, let her post but make sure she is warned if she posts anyone elses photos again she will be bannded. It has not been and is not fair to those that honestly work hard at the images they care about. Scott should have a gold on his photo, a statement from BP about it removing the award from her and giving it to the rightful owner and move on.


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5/14/2007 4:44:47 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  If BP was going to do something about the situation, they would have done it already.


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5/14/2007 4:57:20 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  really close parrable as to why the U.S. is in irag.the reports were,the evidence was,yet for some reason saddam is dead and quickley.i hope you all believe that.go ahead and scream that the leaked video showed it..baaaaa.
anyway,i say so what.i believe in all your opinions.but,we are or can be jim's/bp's jury.but it means accounting for our selves,a mistake or just wanting to be something else.maybe to show off or impress.lack of faith in ability,maybe unsupportive of yourself,lack of confidence.
a few posted photos of the moon last year from nasa.it was easy to have them see.well,after a post.
never lick your wounds unless you see victory,take a side if it is your own and no other,even in agreement with another,please be fair.
if we shave her head.
make her sterile?
cut a finger off?
the idea to kick her off the site,bp,which may be her passion,will prove what?


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5/14/2007 7:49:24 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  really close parrable as to why the U.S. is in irag.the reports were,the evidence was,yet for some reason saddam is dead and quickley.i hope you all believe that.go ahead and scream that the leaked video showed it..baaaaa.
anyway,i say so what.i believe in all your opinions.but,we are or can be jim's/bp's jury.but it means accounting for our selves,a mistake or just wanting to be something else.maybe to show off or impress.lack of faith in ability,maybe unsupportive of yourself,lack of confidence.
a few posted photos of the moon last year from nasa.it was easy to have them see.well,after a post.
never lick your wounds unless you see victory,take a side if it is your own and no other,even in agreement with another,please be fair.
if we shave her head.
make her sterile?
cut a finger off?
the idea to kick her off the site,bp,which may be her passion,will prove what?
tanya ford


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5/14/2007 7:50:18 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Sammy,

Take your meds.

That post made even less sense than usual. ;-)


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5/14/2007 8:18:10 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Maybe that's the Iraq analogy he's been looking for for so long.


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5/14/2007 10:18:17 PM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  I guess there is only one solution for us. Leave BP and find another site that is more interested in the consumer. If those of us who pay for our galleries don't get the protection and voice we are paying for, then perhaps it's time to find a site that is willing to serve that purpose. In other words, stay and complain or go and don't worry about it anymore. Vive Le Revolution!!


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5/15/2007 5:31:26 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Good point Diana.

Sam,

You have the right to your own opinion too; and I respect that. But trying to make "excuses" as to why this was done to explain the behavior is completely ludicrous.

First off, she lied. Plain and simple! In a nut shell, the agreement that each one of us agrees to every time we upload a photo, is that the photo is ours, meaning we hold the copyright to that photo. She didn't and that my friend, is a lie. I don't care if it was a lack of judgement, self esteem, morals, or whatever; it's a bold face lie.

Secondly, by committing this act she stole something of someone elses. Now, you may live in some place like Utopia where there is no crime; but, in most regions of the world, theft is a crime. And that includes intellectual property too.

Oh, and the cut off her finger comment; in some parts of the world they will cut your hand off for taking something that isn't yours.

Kicking her off the site isn't the answer either. As in Husain's post, if you take the time to read it, they banned the offending person from entering contests and removed all her photos. Why not here? I guess BP thinks if they ignore it, it will go away. And besides, as I have said before, all she has to do is create another screen name, upload some photos, and she is back in business.

From day one of Scott's original post about this I have called for three things. 1) I asked for BP to do something to help prevent this type of thing from happening again. They have done nothing! 2) I asked for them to make a statement regarding the theft of photos. I wasn't asking for them to comment on this particular incident, just on theft in general to let people know it will not be tollerated. And 3) To create policies or strenthen current policies regarding this type of thing and enforce them. Hasn't happened yet that I am aware of.

Sam, maybe you need get a dictionary or go to this site:

http://www.m-w.com/

I am sure you can find the definition of liar and theif in either place. Heck, you might even be able to help Bill Clinton figure out what the definition of "is" is.


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5/15/2007 6:06:20 AM

 
Cheryl E. Molennor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2006
  I hesitated to respond again and keep this all going but Todd is right. What if it happened to you? What if your most prize photo closest to your heart was "stolen" ?(which is the actual word needed here) How would you feel? I know I'd be pretty upset and I would want that thief removed from the site. That's fair and that is justice at least as far as justice could be made in this case. I would like to see BP step up to the plate and serve the proper justice myself but it is not my call. If it was, anybody caught stealing would be forever banned from my place of business. End of story.


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5/15/2007 7:10:49 AM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  Let me state first and foremost, I am not commenting of guilt or innocence of the offense. Like anyone else, I think stealing is wrong.

Some of you want/demand BP make a statement or take a certain action. If someone shoplifts at Sears, Walmart or any other business, unless there is a criminal complaint and it becomes public record, they don't tell the public or other customers what actions they have taken. Silence does not necessarily equal inaction.


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5/15/2007 7:29:50 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Diana C. said ". . . there is only one solution for us. Leave BP and find another site . . ."

Actually, there is another solution: We can accept that things are not usually as simple as we would like them to be.

FIRST and FOREMOST: I am NOT defending anyone who takes someone else's image and claims it as their own. This is WRONG and there is NO excuse for it.

I am defending BetterPhoto, though, because I like this site. This is where I choose to socialize online with others interested in photography. I enjoy it here, most of the time. I don't work for or represent BP officially, and everything I post here is my opinion.

Just because a thief has been tried and convicted in OUR court of public opinion doesn't mean that BP is free to punish them in whatever way WE see fit. When you set up a business and charge people for a service, you have to be very careful about how you provide that service, and you can't always pick and choose to whom you would like to provide that service.

In today's litigious society, a business needs to operate under the "Do No Harm" philosophy. They must try to avoid doing anything that will expose them to legal action. Which do you think is easier to prove? "You did this to me and caused me harm." OR "You didn't do something to someone else when I wanted you to do it, and that has somehow caused me harm."

For example: The coffee shop where I sometimes buy donuts has a sign hanging that says "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." But would that sign really protect them if they chose not to serve someone? If I come in and say, "Don't sell donuts to that guy because he cut me off and took my parking place." If they choose to throw the guy out, they may be opening themselves up to any number of discrimination lawsuits. If they choose to do nothing, have they really injured me in any way?

As terrible as we may find an image thief to be, we need to remember that this person is still a customer to BP. I'm not saying BP has to keep them around so they can get their 20 bucks a year. I'm saying that punishing this person may expose them to more risk than doing nothing will.

Their hands aren't completely tied. There are some things that BP can do and has done. They can remove images from the site that they feel don't adhere to their policies, and they've done this. Removing images doesn't hurt anyone. If someone posts something that could be interpreted as offensive or libelous to someone else and BP leaves it on the site, could BP be held responsible? Maybe. It sure seems possible. If they use their judgement and delete something that is questionable, have they injured anyone? I doubt it.

No one ever wants to be the target of a lawsuit, no matter how good you think your defense would be. The best way to win any lawsuit against you is to not be involved in the first place.

BP has policies about the images that are posted here. If it is brought to their attention that an image violates those policies, they will take it down. Do they then have the responsibility or authority to go after that person and punish them in some way? No, I don't think they do. Could they somehow get in any trouble for not banning someone from their site? No, I doubt it.

Yes, stealing someone else's image is a crime, but BP is only responsible for enforcing their policies, not for enforcing the law and punishing criminals.

They have added a feature to the image uploader making it easier to add your copyright watermark to your image. They are trying to make this a better place for everyone, but there is only so much that they can do.

A mostly happy customer,
Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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5/15/2007 7:47:55 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Dennis, you have a point, albeit comparing apples to oranges. You go to WalMart and get caught shoplifting, you will be arrested, go to jail, post a bond, receive a court date and more than likely get convicted. In this case, it's fairly cut and dried what Walmart will and should do. They also have video to back up their claim.

This is intellectual property and the process is much more costly and that cost is on the person taking action until he can prove what has taken place and wins. That person is probably suing to recover the money he has paid for the attorney and court fees. This isn't as cut and dried.

As I said (see my post before this one:

"I asked for them to make a statement regarding the theft of photos. I wasn't asking for them to comment on this particular incident, just on theft in general to let people know it will not be tollerated." That along with the other reqests is not too much to ask.

This is not assigning guilt. It is simply showing the photogs on this site that they are helping to look out for their interests.

Read the thread from Husain's post. See what they did to that person.

"Silence does not necessarily equal inaction."

IMO it means lack of backbone and the guts to confront.


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5/15/2007 7:49:03 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Chris,

I too like this site. I've learned a lot here. I value your opinion. I've learned from your postings, maybe not from you replying directly to a question I had; but, reading through posts you have made on other threads. I have tried some of your tips and suggestions and they have helped. I do, however, disagree with you on this.

Are we getting so afraid of law suits that we can't stand up for what's right? If somebody is going to take you to court, they will find a way; but, as with the business I am in, we've been threatened so many times with "I'll see you in court," it sounds like a broken record.

When we start pulling out our attorneys they have always backed off. We aren't talking about a couple of photos here. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on what people think is going to be their dream home.

Other sites have stronger policies. Why not here? What's the deal? Can't the people in the right get some help and protection rather than running because they are afraid the people in the wrong will take them to court? Tell me if you don't see something wrong with this picture. (pardon the pun)


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5/15/2007 8:07:12 AM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  Bottom line, Scott needs to take care of this if he there is an issue, he can't expect BP to do that for him, BP needs to cover their butts and do what they need to do, I would hope make a stronger policy.

I don't see a policy created or action that did that. The law is there for a reason when normal course of action failed.


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5/15/2007 8:14:36 AM

 
Cheryl E. Molennor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2006
  Chris you do have a point. I understand that BP has to do what is right for them and "legal" so to speak... and this is not their fault. This whole thing is just a big shame. I would think the guilty would be so ashamed they would never want to come back. I love this site and get alot of pleasure getting to know all of you and sharing our special talents and ideas. I'd hate to think that one person and there lack of respect for others could ruin all that for us. Do Unto Others isn't that how it goes?


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5/15/2007 8:37:45 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  Well, if they don't HAVE a policy, they sure as hell need to get one. I also love this site and don't want to go anywhere else, but in this case silence DOES equal inaction.
I'm also a little miffed at them on another subject which I'm not going to bring up here. They know what I'm talking about.


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5/15/2007 9:15:03 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Hi Carolyn,

We do have a policy as I have spelled out on a previous post:

According to our terms and conditions: All images must be originals and must belong to the person uploading; all rights in the photo must be the property of the person uploading the photo. If there is an assumption of image theft brought to our attention, we promptly contact the photographer, asking them to immediately respond, attaching a copy of the original file.

If they are unable to provide the original large-resolution file, or otherwise indicate that they are the photographer, we remove the image from the site.

We take these allegations seriously and do not condone stealing images in anyway.

Thank You-
Heather Young
Director of Operations
Heather@betterphoto.com


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5/15/2007 10:34:15 AM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  I have followed this discussion from the outset and looked at all the evidence prior to it being deleted. Taken together, it is overwhelming proof of theft (people are executed for murder on far flimsier evidence.) Yet there has been no adequate response by BP.

The impact of this situation goes far beyond Scott, although the injustice he has experienced should be sufficient reason for action. And to add insult to his injury he has apparently been treated as a troublemaker for standing up for his rights. Beyond that. there is a poisonous change in attitude that will occur if this situation remains unaddressed. There is an assumption of trust that is in jeopardy. I suspect that many members are beginning to look at some images with a sense of doubt as to their origins, rather than a sense of wonder at the accomplishment . Finally, there is a feeling that basic fairness has been waived by BP for whatever reason.

To date the only statement from BP was made yesterday by Heather on another thread. All it said is that BP has rules and that they are enforced. I can only wish that cops who stop me for speeding would say and do to me what BP has apparently done! But just what can be done? There are likely mitigating circumstances that we can not know about. And I have no need to know what led to such pathetic behavior. However, justice must be "seen" to be done. In this case it seems to have been denied. As a community we need a clearer statement from BP about what it has done and for what reasons. It may lack details, but it must go well beyond a recital of the site rules.

Forgiveness can only be achieved following admission and contrition. And perhaps the genie is out of the bottle and we can never return to what we were only a month ago. But we should try! This site and the wonderful friends I have met here are important to me. I hope BP will have the moxie to address this situation more substantially. It ain't going away.

I have an idea of what could done to prompt some action, but I'm going to withhold it for now and see where things go from here.


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5/15/2007 11:10:39 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Excellent Steve. I agree 100%.


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5/15/2007 11:13:53 AM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  It's stated very clearly in Heather's post above. They take theft seriously. "If they are unable to provide the original large-resolution file, or otherwise indicate that they are the photographer, we remove the image from the site." With that, anyone can take whatever they want and not worry about anything but having one image removed when and if discovered. I'm not particularly worried about my work being taken because to be honest, it's not great to begin with. I'm going to have to think long and hard though over the next couple of days. Is the product worth the $$? Do I really want to pay for services that, IMHO I may not be receiving the full benefit of? I truly doubt BP would miss my few measly dollars and I doubt even more that I would miss having to worry about the less than strict policies.


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5/15/2007 11:45:28 AM

 
Husain Akhtar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2006
  My interest in this scenario is that I can’t see any problems in BP reassuring through a clear statement of what happened in this case and stating that they will review their policy and practice to effectively safeguard intellectual property of its members as well as to deal with stolen items and the offenders, in line with many other and similar photo sites.

The respectable sites on the internet have a clear position: thieves along with their ISP address will be banned from their site!

'Take it or leave it' is most unhelpful and totally unacceptable in any civilised and democratic society!!


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5/15/2007 11:50:24 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  We can all "scream loudly", and ask for some input from Jim, but I don't think JIm will stand up to the plate on this subject.
This is an injustice for Scott and the accused is getting away with it.
Names don't have to be mentioned, but BP has some responsiblity in clearing all this up. Make it clear that "stealing" will NOT be tolerated!!!
The accused should not be allowed to post any more!!!!
This thread has been going on for quite some time now, and still no response from Jim.


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5/15/2007 12:04:47 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  They actually have stated their policy, and you can see what they have done based on what they said.
What you guys want is for Shelly Van Camp to be kicked to the curb. What they did was check the two pictures in question. Could Shelley Van Camp provide the original high-res file? No. They took those two pictures off the site. Not her whole gallery, because there hasn't been a claim made against any other photos. I've called into question another of the photos that were in her gallery. But has another person made a claim that "this is my photo you have in your gallery"? Not that I know.
That's BP's policy. It's the issue with the particular photos in question. It's what they did. Told her take the photo off, or they took it off themselves.
Yes, I would like somebody who takes another's photo and passes it off as their own to be cast out like yesterday's toe nail clippings. It'd even be fun load up her discussions.
But the issue was with Scott and his photos. They are now gone. So unless there is another of Scott's photos in Van Camp's gallery, if he puts a comment in her gallery somewhere that reads like, "hey everybody, look what she did so don't be so quick to give her credit" that can be seen personal. Because his issue with his photo is said to be resolved. At least to BP.
Are there others that I think she stole, yes. Because like I told Scott, there were pictures that show an understanding of using light well to showcase a subject. And then there are lots of other ones that were basic, plain snapshot type. And you don't flip flop like that if they're all yours and you know how to take pictures.
I do think everyone who's answered in this thread, and anyone who's only just read it should check her gallery to see if they recognize their own or anyone else's photos.


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5/15/2007 12:37:24 PM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  It is purely an assumption that BP deleted the stolen image. She may have done so to cover her tracks. I have looked at the image you refer to, Gregory, and drawn the same conclusion you did. Further, I owned the same camera, a Kodak DX6490, that she allegedly used. Unless I am even more incompetent than I thought I was, that camera will not capture some of the claimed images. And if it magically did capture some of them, it certainly did not do it at the settings that are claimed.


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5/15/2007 12:48:06 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Heather,

Let me start by saying this is in no way a personal attack and as I have stated here and in other posts, I really and truly do like this website. I have learned a lot here. I can't stress that enough.

I also realize you guys have a business to run. You have to make business decisions every day as to how to run this website and what is best for this site; but, I can't for the life of me understand why all you folks want to do is put a tiny little band aid on a gaping wound. I know you folks are watching this thread, otherwise you would not have responded.

Your customers are calling for you guys, just as I have from the very beginning, to review and adjust your policy to help try to prevent this from happening again. This thing is festering and only getting bigger with every new post. If you look at the posts, the overwhelming majority is calling for more action. Somebody up there needs to wake up and smell the coffee!

If it's legal action you are afraid of for doing what is right and protecting photographers copyrights, I would suggest you consider the legal action from a photographer that loses a great deal of money because of your inaction on a matter such as this and basically allowing it to happen again. Think it couldn't happen? Remember the lady at McDonalds that sued because the coffee was too hot? You can sue for just about anything these days and win.

I have been very vocal in this thread and Scott's original post; but, I am not trying to be a trouble maker or a rabble rouser. I am simply lobbying to get help for myself and the others on this site with protecting what is rightfully ours. What appears to have been done is akin to a simple slap on the wrist and telling the person not to do it again.

I have to admit that your action is in accordance with your policy. However, I feel, and it appears many other do, that this policy is flawed and is probably nothing more than a legal disclosure to cover your collective butts.

Do I think Shelly should be banned from the site? NO! Do I think she should be banned from participating in contests? YES! Do I think BP should do more? YES! So do many others.

P.S. This post may get me kicked; but, if that's the way it has to be, that's the way it has to be.


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5/15/2007 12:52:39 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Yes you are right, it is an assumption that BP did the deleting. They very well may not have gotten to the her gallery while Scott's pictures were still there. Van Camp may have deleted before that.
Is everyone wanting BP to say "we took Scott's pictures out of Shelley Van Camps gallery"? Their policy and what they'll do should be clear. Joe Jackson finds his photo in another gallery. He makes a thread about it, contacts BP. BP goes to the gallery and ask they provide a high res file. Joe Jackson has his, this other person can't. BP will either say remove the photo, or they'll dig in the server and take it off. But the gallery will still be there.
That's their policy and course of action.


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5/15/2007 12:58:53 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Hi Todd,

I will try to address this issue without being as reactive as the members posting on this thread. My goal in commenting any further on this thread other than stating our policies is to get some closure on this issue.

Betterphoto.com operates with a very small staff that works diligently every day to be the most responsive team to customer needs. We answer hundreds of emails a day and strive to put our efforts and energies into what we believe in most: "making our site a community of members for photographers that want to have fun, be inspired and find resources and education in photography." On one of the administrative pages we use every day, we have rotating banners to remind us of our goals, such as: "How can we inspire better today than we did yesterday? ". This issue of "stolen images" only takes us away from the job of helping others and helping Betterphoto grow.

With that said, I will stick to the facts:

Original files were unable to be found-this does not indict the member as having stolen any images, it only states that an original was not able to be found. Betterphoto.com removed the images.

We will not tolerate harassment towards any member and will remove any such posts regardless of the issue at hand. We will not handle such issues publicly on the site and are available via email for responses and solutions.

We do not own any of the images uploaded to this site, they are copyrighted to the individual photographer. We would not pursue any legal action on behalf of a member as we are not the photographer or copyrighted owner of the individual image.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Heather Young
heather@betterphoto.com


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5/15/2007 1:28:18 PM

 
Scott Cromwell   What happened to the original files I sent you? You replied to the email so I know you got them. You mean to tell me that's not proof enough for you that Shelly stole them...I come up with the full size original files and she doesn't? Wow!! Well heck, why even bother deleting the images in question then, since it hasn't been proven she stole them? I love how seriously you say you take image theft.


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5/15/2007 2:09:41 PM

 
Peter Saint   Interesting thread. I sure hope none of you "outraged" people have ever burned a copywrited CD, or used a copied computer program like photoshop, downloaded copywrited music files or for those old enough to remember vinyl, recorded them on cassette to listen to in your auto.

Cheers

BP looks to have hundreds if not thousands of members Todd. So where did you come up with your "vast majority"? Does this thread constitute a majority?


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5/15/2007 2:45:38 PM

 
Husain Akhtar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2006
  Heather

No doubt the images by members are copyrighted to the individual photographer but they are uploaded in trust at BP site and by implications are under BP protection!

It remains BP’s responsibility to safeguard the copyrights unless BP clearly warns ‘authors, display images at BP at your own risk – the images might be stolen’!

If challenged, BP has to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that it has taken all possible steps to safeguard members’ interest including their copyright!


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5/15/2007 2:49:50 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  Anyone nervous of online photo theft should put a BIG FAT COPYRIGHT on them. If you put them on the net they are there for anyone to steal and use however they wish. I do not expect BP to "protect" my images.

I do feel if sufficient evidence is provided that proves a BP member is involved in stealing photos they should be banned from the site. IF it were my site and there were legal consequences to banning a member I wouldn't do it either so in the end it's still up to participating members to protect their own images.

A few months ago I saw a cute kitty finalist. It had a huge copyright across the front of the photo. While I would rather view photos without the watermark I can certainly understand anyone using one in light or all the theft going on. Not just here but all over the internet.

Anyone ever wonder where all the cute photos come from that circulate around in emails? I imagine they are all screen shots just pasted into an email. Anyone can do it. At the risk of being completely redundant you all need to protect your own work. Period.


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5/15/2007 3:27:14 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  I think the point here is being missed......
One of our fellow BP members stole a picture from another. We're all members of a club....suppose to be friends and fellow photogrpahers......BP cannot protect all of our images, but when a stolen photo shows up in a contest and it does not belong to that person, and that person wins an award, then BP should make it very clear, on the contest page, that it won't be tolerated by anyone.
I don't understand how the alleged guilty person and they know who they are, could have the guts to even keep submitting and thanking all their friends for standing by them!!!!!!!!


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5/15/2007 3:46:54 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  I think the point here is being missed......
One of our fellow BP members stole a picture from another. We're all members of a club....suppose to be friends and fellow photogrpahers......BP cannot protect all of our images, but when a stolen photo shows up in a contest and it does not belong to that person, and that person wins an award, then BP should make it very clear, on the contest page, that it won't be tolerated by anyone.
I don't understand how the alleged guilty person and they know who they are, could have the guts to even keep submitting and thanking all their friends for standing by them!!!!!!!!


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5/15/2007 3:46:56 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Well Peter,

Since you are NEW, acccording to your "Member Since" date, I will go light on you. If you could read and understand English as it is written, you would see that I was referring to the majority of the people on the thread. I never once mentioned that it was the majority of BP users, only that it was the majority of people that had responded and are concerned about copyrights and the protection of those rights.

I don't know who you are. Don't care! I do know that most people new to a site such as this wouldn't come in and make remarks such as yours. And they surely wouldn't point fingers at a specific person.


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5/15/2007 4:11:13 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Thank you BP for removing my last remark from that post. I'll not waste any more time on Peter.


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5/15/2007 4:44:31 PM

 
Judyann Plante
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2005
  Hi Everyone,

I have read this thread with interest, waiting to see how this would be handled, but have not commented until now. But there is something I think should be said.

There are a lot of comments here about BP not being willing or able to protect our photos and members stealing from one another. I realize some participants came upon this thread a little later on and are understandably upset about what they are reading. However, and please correct me if I am wrong, it was my understanding that the photos in question were lifted from ANOTHER site by a BP member and posted here as her own. Later, the original photographer joined BP and discovered two of his images had arrived well before he did under someone else's name.
It was never a matter of one member stealing from another, at least not in this particular case. ( not that I am aware of any others - just covering myself)
That being said, I think Heather has covered BP's policies on this issue very well. One photographer could not prove ownership. The photos in question have been removed. It might have given some of the members more satisfaction if BP had posted a reminder that this type of behavior will not be tolerated without going into the specifics of this case, although I realize that there are those who would not be satisfied by this and it may have raised unnecessary concerns for others.

Scott, you are a great photographer! I am very sorry this happened to you. I can't imagine why someone would do something like this, or why they would stick around after being discovered. However, I believe BP has stated their policies and have followed through on them to the best of their ability. Photo comes into question, ownership cannot be proven, photo goes. It really is not up to them to play judge and jury. Maybe you should consider legal action yourself.


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5/15/2007 5:19:19 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  I will be the first to admit I enjoy BP, even the controversy. Nothing wrong with discussions. Just have to take it all into persepctive. I was being slightly sarcastic earlier but when I read it this afternoon didn't read that way so I need to apologize. I am quite a smart ass but doesn't always come across.

Scott, it is obvious what happened, picture is down, let it go. You can't make people more what who they are inside good or bad. There will always be someone out there that wants to do things like this, just have to learn to avoid them and quit taking such great pics :) Thats a compliment big time. If she could take pics like that, she wouldn't want to take yours.
Being mad at BP won't help. They were just caught in the middle, not sure anyone could handle it right to make all parties satisfied. Just an ugly ugly situation. Doesn't help commenting on her stuff, just brings you down to a lower level you don't need or want to go. I'm sure your a nice person. Time to rise to the top.

Consider that person has serious issues and be done with it. For some reason she can't understand what she did was wrong or why there is an issue. Protect your photos from now on and be careful where you post them.

This was also a learning experience for BP, I am sure they will review how to handle this in the future.


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5/15/2007 6:53:32 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  I have a question if any of the staff are still listening in. Will a photo with a rather large copyright be viewed favorably as an eligible contest entry? While I have always hated large copyrights on a photo due to the fact the judges can not avoid looking at them I am no longer comfortable with entering photos without a copyright notice, the larger the better. I know in times past it's been stated to keep them unobtrusive, but an unobtrusive copyright notice is easily cloned off. Just curious how this would affect contest entries. Thanks!


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5/15/2007 7:20:44 PM

 
Scott Cromwell   I have met a lot of nice people in the short time I've been on this site and I thank the ones that have given me support with this matter. This will be my last post on this site and I am also deleting all of my photos. goodbye


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5/15/2007 7:27:08 PM

 
Cheryl E. Molennor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2006
  Very sorry to see you go Scott. You are a great artist and your photos are proof of that. I'm sorry that the lack of honesty of one member has caused a "TRUE ARTIST' to have to leave our wonderful sight. Have I learned anything from all this? Well, My parents raised me right with wonderful morals and an honest heart, unfortunately not everyone else in this world gets it. Big Shame. Goodbye Scott. Visit anytime


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5/15/2007 7:33:02 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  I am also sorry Scott.....
You are a wonderful photographer and your work will go to bigger and better things. It is unfortunate,that even the owner of this site, could not contribute something to this thread.
Personally,Jim, and I don't mean to be rude,but I am disappointed.
I hope you have read this thread and will realize that a lot of your customers/clients, are also disappointed. Sometimes silence is not the way to go.
Just give Scott the thumbs up, that he proved the photos are his.


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5/15/2007 7:36:41 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Is it 114 now?
Legalease and legalities and technical terms are what's keeping anybody affiliated with BP from saying "the photos were stolen". They see photos that appear to be the same, ask to show original files, and it appears that they are. They approach and see this through the eyes of business morays and business laws. So with the official copyright office certification they're never be the official stolen photo announcement.
Scott is understandably looking for some form of validation that unfortunately won't come from where he'd like it to come from.
Don't be so quick to say commenting brings you down to their level. Actually it can be quite cathartic.
And if you put something on your photo, put your name.
The contest shouldn't be what keeps somebody from marking their own photos.


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5/15/2007 8:05:27 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  "The contest shouldn't be what keeps somebody from marking their own photos."

I agree, Gregory. I just always liked the idea of the entries being anonymous to the judges. It doesn't sound like this sorry business is over if you can believe some of the previous posts and I have no reason to doubt them. If I value my photography I guess I should start putting the copyright notice on my entries.


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5/15/2007 9:09:10 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  thanks chris,
you and irene have a calming effect on me.
but yet one country says this and another country says that and a war starts.not similar?like this thread?
people/other countries take sides?
pompous,righteous dignataries,with say clout rally the troops/supportors?
frankenstein must die.
jim/better photo didn't create a monstor.society might have been the culprit.
tomorrow is kiss a neighbor day,hope yours are a bit pleasant,sammy


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5/15/2007 9:33:19 PM

 
Dot K.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/11/2006
  I think it's a shame whenever someone steals someone elses work and claims it as their own. Yet that is a risk we take anytime we upload a photo anywhere online. I think BP is better than most other sites when it comes to protecting our images.

BP cannot possibly look at all the photos here and determin what ones have been stolen from another site. And the rules are pretty clear on how they handle a stolen photo.

At least one person who stole and posted has been removed from the site, who knows maybe the next is soon to follow.

I can't see any good it would do to make a public posting about those who cheat and steal. I do think if someone is caught stealing they should be banned from the contest.

BP has removed the images, it's up to the photographer who owns the copyright to the image to press charges against the person who stole their image. If more photographers pressed charges against those who steal their images, there would be fewer people stealing images in the first place.


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5/15/2007 10:18:05 PM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  My concern is not so much that images have been stolen from BP (although many BP images have inexplicably shown up in Flickr by other users that were posted in BP first by the original photographers). My concern is that BP does nothing to deter theft even though the photo is taken from another site. No matter what the situation, the ONLY repercussion is the removal of the photo. And for the record, several photos were removed before the inquiries. There is no way at this point of knowing WHOSE photos they originally belonged to. At least two were purportedly Scott's. I just think BP should strengthen their policy with more solid deterrents than. "Oh well, just take it off your site and it's all good." As for the "Saint" who related this to music theft, etc. I for one don't copy music and I agree that it is wrong. Even with that said, I doubt those who do copy music proclaim to one and all that they wrote the lyrics, or in the case of software, wrote the program.


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5/16/2007 4:44:53 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  "Even with that said, I doubt those who do copy music proclaim to one and all that they wrote the lyrics, or in the case of software, wrote the program."

No kidding!


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5/16/2007 5:38:18 AM

 
Sherry Sturgis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/30/2006
  Hi there, I'll just add a quick F.Y.I. to perhaps ease the tension of images being stolen and used by other parties without permission... it's a program called Digi-Marc! Which means, you embed a digital watermark on your image, if it is stolen or misused by someone else, you can track AND locate it anywhere on the web. The watermark is invisible to the eye but readable by a computer. It's just another way to protect and secure your images online. Also, you can determine the strength of the watermark so it doesn't compromise the visual integrity of the image. Believe it or not, this is not new to the internet, it happens more often than we'd like to realize. There are many digimarc programs available, just do an internet search and find the one that best suits you. Unfortunately, it happens, but taking an extra step to secure our images, will eventually deter the guilty from stealing them. (we can only hope) :)


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5/16/2007 7:29:10 AM

 
Husain Akhtar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2006
  Diana

Reading some of the messages here, it appears that in trying to defend an indefensible position you have been harassed! It is bad!

The responses from BP side suggest that the victim(s) are not only the problem but also the cause of the problem! There seems to be hardly any real indications that BP can, is able to or will effectively address the concerns expressed so far!! The notion that authors upload images at their own risk is absurd unless BP clearly says so when and where the upload is made!


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5/16/2007 8:19:58 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Meant to cancel the underline after emphasizing a few words, not the rest of the response.
The risk associated with internetting your photos should be common knowledge. The disable right click and the recently added watermarking feature are pretty much the extent a web hosting company can do. Easy to use programs can easily save an image that's displayed on a screen. So unless you expect a web host to not display the images at all, it's futile to keep demanding that BP do more to protect the images. No matter what BP can do, if your image can be displayed on my monitor, I can save a copy of it.


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5/16/2007 2:42:18 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I agree completely Gregory.

The "up-in-arms", "something has got to be done about this" mob attitude here has gotten out of hand.

In over 120 posts, no one has acknowledged the fact that these pictures are really just for show. Yes, I know they are intellectual property. Yes, I know that stealing them is very wrong. But in the end, what damage is really done?

These images are small, low-resolution images that are only suitable for viewing on a screen. A thief can show them off on a website, and maybe enter them into a contest. Beyond that, there is no market for them.

I sell prints of my images. If BP were storing full-resolution copies of my images in an unsecured way on their server, where people could download them and print them instead of buying prints from me - THEN there would be a problem.

If someone swiped one of my images from BP and showed it off as their own, sure it would hurt, and I would be mad. But I wouldn't lose any money over it.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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5/16/2007 3:31:14 PM

 
Glenn E. Urquhart
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/3/2006
  Very well put Gregory and Chris. Enough of the witch trials! We all know what can happen and if this is your biggest problem in your life... You all are very lucky!! BP can only go so far and if you are afraid of theft, NEVER post an image on any website!!! End this, let us get back to what we all do best... Photography!!!


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5/16/2007 3:42:31 PM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  Discussing methods of contoling theft is irrelevant to the central question of this thread. That is: what should BP do when they know theft has occured.

Arguing that there is no significant harm done if there is no money lost is an unacceptable proposition to me. There is a long list of things that have no financial value that I cherish and want to protect.


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5/16/2007 4:24:22 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  "But in the end, what damage is really done?"

Chris, IF a photographer is offering their photos to stock sites as Rights Managed and IF even one of those images are entered in a contest or placed in your website or gallery and is stolen then the photo is compromised and you as a photographer would be compromised as well. I'm not involved in RM sales but if I were I would not be entering the photos in contests or putting them in a gallery or website where they could be stolen. I don't think stealing photos is exactly a harmless activity :o).


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5/16/2007 4:48:08 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  It wasn't just a photo, it was a "prize" winning photo that was displayed for months under false pretense of being Shelleys winning photo. Scott got no recongition for his photo accomplishment nor an apology. She probably still has a free gallery for a year because of it. If it was a first place, she won more than that. You can slight it off as insignificant as much as you would like but its the integrity and lack there of about this. It is not always easy to do the right thing. Easier to take the low road. BP can not "fix" it but they can do the right thing by thier customers. They don't need to boot Shelley nor do I think they should but distrust and honesty violations in their own "honest" contest should be upheld and be banned from entering or it appears the contest is not a honest one. Who wants to compete with a cheater in any contest for any reason? For that matter, who wants to win a contest with someone elses photo? :) I don't know too many contests that would allow it. Not much of a contest if honestly means nothing. I honestly enter my own work, my own editing, my own effort and I expect the same of the results of the contest, fair, unpartial judging with only the best photos in mind. If someone that lies to get a winner is allowed to keep entering, what is the point? It only puts a black eye on the whole thing. Harrassement is not allowed buy lying and cheating is...go figure


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5/16/2007 4:57:19 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Vicky, Sharon, Steve,

I've been one of the most vocal on this thread. Thank you for saying what I would have said.


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5/16/2007 5:12:32 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Scott had been asked not to make any more statements on this thread,until BP could get all the information they needed to make a decision, or see who the photo really belonged to.
Scott sent BP the information they had requested and was asked to remain silent,so not to stir up any more conversation on this subject.
Scott did just that and up until now, has never been given the recognition on his photo.
I know BP can't protect our photos,but Scott still deserved the courtesy of a response and he never received that.
And so the alleged guilty one is still on this site,entering the contest daily, and Scott has left,without even getting an acknowlegment,that was deserved. Shouldnt it have been the other way around???????


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5/16/2007 7:14:35 PM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  Scott left on his own accord.


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5/16/2007 7:21:32 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  oh it's me.
I think,opinion coming here,many of you should stay away from sharp objects for a while.the inflated ego's,the I have won this,my/or this photo was a finalist or winner.
so if it was a crappy photo stolen,the punishment should be less severe?
seems if you enter more than one photo per month,yer playing the odds and it's not photography.it's playing the odds.i will enter one a day and i'm bound to get a winner or finalist.
I still say something ain't right in river city.
leave jim alone,he may have given us the ingredients for gunpowder,but surely,not a bomb or the frenzy of a kill.
me,well i,as a photographer,could'nt shoot the moon naked.
now i'm sure you all know buckwheat changed his name,kareem of wheat...
hate me forever and sunday church is a wash.


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5/16/2007 7:49:49 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  Not sure why just because this is a just a photo, that it is justified. My photos are part of who I am, the way I think and feel and mostly my property. There was an uproar about someone on Flicker posting photos not theirs from this site and a bunch of people demanded from that site they remove them, they did. I was suprised to see so many from this site cry foul there but remain totally silent on this. And it was not a contest they posted on, just pictures I am sure she thought was cool. Sometimes I wonder if this issue is trying to be made a non issue because of who it is. Maybe I feel differently because I don't know either of them. It is just the internet. I am here for photos.
I can't blame Scott for leaving but it was his decision.

Last post for me, Scott I hope you find peace, Shelley, karma, BP carry on! I still love the site, even with this blimps. I still hope Shelley and Scott work it out somehow. Have a great rest of the week all! Life is good


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5/16/2007 8:00:12 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Sam,

Buddy, you need to learn to use the space key and type in intelligible English. Your diatribe is nothing more than ramblings of who knows what. Please, please, please, if you are going to respond to threads, take the time to make a complete sentence and complete one thought before going on to another. Most people write sentences in paragraphs. You, my friend, ramble in a way I have never seen before!


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5/16/2007 8:09:02 PM

 
Debra Booth
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/2/2004
  Thanks for the info about DigiMarc. It's one of the filters in my PSCS2, so I will check it out.

Also, I found a strongly worded copyright statement on another photographer's Web site that I thought I'd share. (Hope I'm not infringing on his copyright to his copyright!) Trying to understand BP's position in this, I do believe we have to be prepared to defend our own copyrights if it becomes necessary. Maybe stating that we are willing to do so in our galleries will help send that message.

---------
Copyright Notice

All photographs on this website are the property of ________________. No form of reproduction - including downloading, copying, or saving of digital image files, or the alteration or manipulation of said image files - is permitted. Any unauthorized use is a Federal offense and will be prosecuted to the full extent of federal copyright laws, with penalties of up to $150,000.


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5/17/2007 6:47:07 AM

 
Cheryl E. Molennor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/16/2006
  This whole thread has become quite comical which really isn't funny at all. Doesn't matter what the property was ie photo,car,stereo...Doesn't matter! The fact is someone stole property from another. Wrong wrong wrong . No other way to say it. Discusting and wrong. I saw the evidence and it was quite clear to me that it was the same photo. I think it is a disgrace and I would like all of BP to know about it. I think if the whole community was aware of a thief in their presence they would stop praising the thief and she would leave on her own. Sad that we live in a world where we have to worry about protecting our property as such but so the world goes on and on. And to the comment about it being an odds game... If you submit winning photos you are bound to win. Doesnt matter how many photos . I personally like to shoot alot and I have fun with it and enjoy the inneraction amongst my peers here at BP. We seem to be fighting amongst eachother here. Why? It all comes down to the fact that someone violated another and something should be said about it as Vicki has said. Also thankyou for the tip Debra. It should be helpful. Carry on my friends but remember to have respect for one another and give Love.


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5/17/2007 7:42:02 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Todd - one thing you & I definitely agree on is that we don't understand Sam. ;-)

Vicki - I never said that taking the photo was justified. I said it was wrong. I don't know Shelley. I don't know Scott.

My point was that it is silly to keep going on and on about how BP is somehow at fault here. People are trying to say that BP is somehow negligent for not adequately protecting our images from theft, or not doing their duty by punishing the guilty party. I think these people are wrong.

BP protects the images that we choose to upload by ensuring that only small low-res images are displayed. The right-click feature is not really a deterrent, but an added reminder that images are the property of their owners. There is nothing more that BP can realistically do to prevent displayed images from being taken.

The image in question was not taken from BP. Shelley apparently got it from some other website. When Scott challenged that the image was not hers, BP asked both to provide large versions of the image. Scott did and Shelley didn't, so Shelley's image was taken down. At this point the only thing that BP can prove is that Scott provided a large version of the file and Shelley didn't. It is not their job to investigate further to prove any crime or to punish the apparently guilty.

They have a policy that you are only allowed to post images that are your property. The policy was there before, it's still there, and they've restated it. The idea of them punishing a person by banning them from the site or the contest is not part of their policy. If they were to add it to their policy, they would be taking on a much larger burden of proof.

That wouldn't make the site a better or safer place.

This issue has been beaten to death. Get on with your lives, please.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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5/17/2007 8:24:16 AM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Thank you Debra on the copyright phrase....it is now on my website.


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5/17/2007 8:30:59 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  "This issue has been beaten to death. Get on with your lives, please."

Bravo, Chris. Well said.


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5/17/2007 8:34:59 AM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  Chris - If you want everyone to stop beating this issue to death, then you should stop being one of the major floggers. You have now introduced spurious, quasi legal concepts of proof and burden of proof into the issue.

We are a community that is confronted by an ethical issue. The question, and it is an important one, is how should this community resolve the problem. All organizations establish policies, eg. about relationships between employees, about internet use on company time, about pursuit of organiztional goals, etc. In most cases, those policies do not specify in minute detail what consequences offenders will face. In fact, that would be impossible and if attempted would handcuff the group to a less than nuanced response to situations.

By your logic, if I post a No Tresspassing sign and then have someone enter my property and then leave, I can do nothing unless I have written down in detail what my response will be.


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5/17/2007 10:04:59 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Press charges, pay a fine if the court says so.
If your community entails signed up BP members, or concerned individuals in general, regarding this site, your question about how the problem is going to be resolved, should it happen again, has been answered. And Chris was one of those people.
Maybe it's something else that you would like to have, as Scott was looking for a rep from BP to validate that yes, Van Camp had taken his photos. But the resolution is going to be if you see a photo of yours that somebody stole and used under false pretenses on this site, contact BP. If they see evidence that they are the same, they'll ask for each to show possession of a high res file. If one can't show proof of possession, that person will have that photo removed.
Chris said that, Heather Young said that.
If your question is what can you and other members do who are not directly involved because it was not one of your photos involved, then what you can do is notify the photographer who you feel has had their photo taken. Or notify both photographers and let them pursue resolution. If you wonder if you should contact BP, I'm sure you can, but their course of action would probably be to reserve any action until the two photographers actually take the step and contact BP.
If there's any other questions you feel haven't been addressed, then you'll just have to spell it out besides saying what should this community do.
Watermarking has even been talked about. There's nothing else left.


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5/17/2007 10:26:58 AM

 
Steve M. Harrington
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/28/2005
  I don't know exactly how this question should be resolved. I do know that discussion is an important part of resolving ethical issues. And I believe that when specious claims are made during that discussion they should be challenged. I feel pretty confident that you do approve of discussion.


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5/17/2007 10:53:46 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Well if you don't know by now, it's forever in limbo.


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5/17/2007 3:20:25 PM

 
KV Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2005
  Only going to respond to Chris's comment "Get on with your lives, please"(which I think is a very immature comment on a open forum)
So let me get this right, If I disagree with you about an issue such as this, I should just "Get on with my life" Wow, seems Chris, you have been having just as much input as anyone else so now that you feel you should tell everyone not in agreement with you to "Get on with your lives, please" feel free to email me so I can tell you very clearly exactly what you can do. :)

This isn't about 40 people having different opinions and trying to "win". There are different view about this and a "forum" is for that purpose, to comment on a situation or topic that you feel strongly about. I am not trying to sway your opinion, I would never tell you to "get on with your life" if you don't agree.

One sure way for this thread to disappear for you, quit reading it.


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5/17/2007 5:18:38 PM

 
Colleen Farrell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/13/2004
  About copyrights and how to protect your work--Mark Feldstein has written at length about this issue in other threads, and it's worth searching on the topic to find his comments. It was quite a reality check for me.


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5/17/2007 5:52:24 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  ah todd,
without knowing you have helped me in so many ways.great posts and good info.i learned.thanks.
my iq is fine.
but now the finger pointing goes to chris who is very level headed and is trying to have a calming effect and is accused of what?
I suppose when the fog clears,so many of your opinions will only be agreed upon by some.i am hoping your groups do fine.but don't select an individual to throw stones at.
most of you could'nt take a photo without photoshop.i always liked the box of 64 craoyla crayons.
I am laughing so hard.
have a nice night c.guess my cryptic warnings weren't enough.
buford


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5/17/2007 6:12:43 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Ahh Sam, I think what confused Todd was that your writings, although incomplete and many times require a second and third read, are in fact poetic. I like it! Don’t change. It’s refreshing to hear from a photo purist as yourself. Your dead on about the Photoshop comment!

Ray


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5/17/2007 6:23:53 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i got tears in my eyes ray.

I hope all are well tonight,and that opinions are as such.
I am humbled.
out of nowhere,hmm
geeee.


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5/17/2007 7:11:23 PM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  Sam, I don't think that Chris was trying to have a "calming effect". If so, he would have worded his post differently. He is fully and completely entitled to his opinion and I respect him for voicing it, even if I disagree with some of what he said regarding what BP should do regarding this situation. I do think that throwing in the "get a life" comment was uncalled for. I will also agree that some of your comments are...cryptic. However I'm one of those that use as little editing as possible. Occasional cropping, and the "autofix" in MS Photo Manager and that's about it. I agree that Photoshop is WAY overused. I often wonder how many entries BP would get if no one was allowed any type of editing at all. THAT would be a neat contest. Of course how could you prove that you didn't do any editing?


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5/18/2007 4:21:31 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Well Ray,

I don't know if you saw my post responding to your claim that I am confused before the "Powers That Be at BP" deleted it; but, I am certainly not confused. Far from it. Lets just say that this response is the "Readers Digest Condensed Version." I will add that this is a phototgraphy forum and not a poetry forum. I am sure there are plenty of poetry sites out there though.


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5/18/2007 5:29:45 AM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Yeah I saw it Todd and I responded with an off color remark that basically ended with something to the effect of your mouth and what you could put in it. Anyhow for that I apologize. I was tired last night and reacted in a manner that I should have known better.

That being said, Sam has been out here for a long time and most of us know and have accepted his style of writing. Don't insult me be stating this is a photography forum as if I'm some kind of an idiot. If Sam and anyone else for that matter want to communicate here, then let them in their own way. Sam has helped out many members out here and for that he gets a tip of my hat.

Ray


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5/18/2007 6:13:29 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Ray,

That's cool. Sam may be a good photog and he may have helped a lot of people; but, honestly I have not seen but one post that he has made that I have truly understood. And I have done the two, three and even four reads and I still can't make any sense of it. I do have a habit of calling things as I see them and it does tend to make a few people mad; but, that is just me. I don't hold grudges (well except for the one with a guy I work with over an incident that would have sent one of us to the hospital and the other one to jail). I can get in an arguement with some one and sit down an hour later and have a beer with them.


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5/18/2007 6:34:39 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  oops, truely.


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5/18/2007 6:36:04 AM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Understood, and I appreciate your follow up thoughts.

Ray


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5/18/2007 6:42:42 AM

 
Deb James
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/29/2006
  This thread sure has taken a turn. Now instead of discussing the original issue we're sniping at each other.

Sam, I actually understand you for a change and agree with most of what you've said! A breakthrough! (I think...lol)

Have a great day and weekend everyone. Go shoot some pictures! :)


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5/18/2007 7:04:02 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  After claiming this whole situation was borne from Justin/Slick/Craig Paulsen/etc... creating yet another name and making a claim against himself, and answering to himself, Sam has now become a poet and philosopher of reason and understanding?
Now that is a threshold moment.
Maybe photoshop is the reason why we're in Iraq?


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5/18/2007 1:04:46 PM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  LOL!!!!! Photoshop is why we are in Iraq!!! That must be it. I can see it all now. Somewhere, there is a photo of a huge pile of tic-tacs made to look like little missiles. That's what started it all (please don't think I'm making light of the war, it's serious, but I could just see that photo in my mind)... Anyway, back to snipe hunting.


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5/18/2007 1:11:09 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Greg,

I can assure you that Scott is not one of the imposters you mentioned. And in case you are wondering neither am I.


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5/18/2007 1:16:39 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Well aware of that. It's Sam's original theory.


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5/18/2007 1:54:23 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Sorry Greg. A little brain dead today. I didn't read what you said correctly. Color me stupid; but, only for a moment.


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5/18/2007 1:57:18 PM

 
Diana Child
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2006
  Can we safely say then that the original discussion is now closed with a "no reasonable resolution can be achieved" status? Most agree that BP should stiffen the retribution for stealing policy. Most agree that the actual theft had nothing to do with BP or it's policies. Most agree that BP can't or won't do much more than it's doing because of legal issues. All agree that the theft was wrong. Since the discussion has not had any real affect on the accused (she still gets tons of "Great Shot", etc. comments on her recent postings) and it will no longer have any affect on the victim (he has left BP as I think I would in his shoes). We've all had sufficient time to examine the issue. BP knows how we feel. I'd say we've done all we can do.
Anyone want to borrow the soapbox?


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5/18/2007 2:00:27 PM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  As far as discussing it here it is probably dead. I have emailed Jim stating my concerns and have had no reply for what is now the third day.


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5/18/2007 2:04:14 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Diana,
If my post upset you, I apologize. I didn't actually say "get a life", I said "get on with your lives". And what I meant was exactly what you just said. We've done all we can here, let's move on.

Vicki,
I don't think you understood my meaning or my intended tone. Sorry if I was unclear. It's been a very long time since anyone called me immature. If you think my comment was "immature for an open forum", you should hang around here more. Trust me, I'm Ghandi compared to some around here. ;-)

I wasn't trying to shut down the discussion because people disagreed with me. I was pointing out that people kept complaining that BP hadn't responded and hadn't handled the situation appropriately, and I felt these people were incorrect. BP had responded, and had handled the situation according to their policy, and complaining that it wasn't enough wasn't really accomplishing anything.

Chris Vedros


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5/18/2007 2:34:23 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  well,i'm staying even without the contest.
posts are taken as we percieve them,personal attacks are assumed,sometimes we think stupidity is implied.even done unintentionaly I suppose it still..hurts.oops,kinda puts retaliation in gear.
the little kid at the fair that drops a snow cone and is accused of being stupid,fair?just beat the parent up and buy the kid another snow cone.tempting.
skeleton walks into a bar and asks for a beer and a mop.
you can never take anything back,so how are you/we/i at accepting forgiveness?never say ,well if such and such had'nt said...
and sure,it's always my fault,sam.


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5/19/2007 10:58:55 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Well - I started the discussion and now that it's gone around the block (several times) I think it's time for it to stop. We've gone so far off the original topic it's not even funny. I'm sorry Scott has left - but honestly don't blame him.
Anyhow - everyone go out and shoot someone (with your camera of course!)


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5/21/2007 12:08:02 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i'm still lost diane,who did scott come here to help?
maybe I missed the shared knowledge.
it,s possible without the supposed theft he would have been a plus.
do we try to coax scott back after leaving when a shot is fired?dumps all of us as if we were part of it?
fer sure.
you draw the line diane,you tell us he's not a quitter.tell us he would have made a great impact.
if your listening scott,it sure ain't personal.but if you could explain your brief existance here as to a goal,i'll listen.well as others should.but a meager,bye.
so I get usurped trying to help the fledghlings/sp.
I guess your scorecard on the humorous side of this reads a bit different than mine,sam


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5/21/2007 7:13:37 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
 


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5/21/2007 11:00:06 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Sam - it's time to move on to another thread.
Thanks Greg for understanding.


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5/22/2007 3:14:51 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Hey Sam,

I've spoken to Scott via email several times. I believe his main goals for coming here were to a) bring out the fact that there was a theif among us, b) to get BP to do something about it, and c) check out what BP was all about in the event he liked it and wanted to hang around.

The reason he left is because BP took the high road and did little more than a slap on the wrist as punishment.

In the "for what it's worth department," I sent an email to Miotke a week ago and still no reply.


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5/22/2007 7:49:39 AM

 
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