What to do when one of your photos show up at another location?


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There is always concern about photos that are posted to any web site. These days, even when precautions are taken, it is pretty easy for someone else to take a photos from any web site and post it to another site, print it out or use it in a manner that you had not intended. For this reason I am writing this FAQ on what one should do when this happens. I'll start by reminding everyone that on the home page for SNAZAROO we state...

"Text and photographic images copyright Snazaroo and may not be copied or used without written permission. All photos use on this web site are used with permission of the artist. You may not post them to another web site unless you have the written permission of the noted painter. Neither may any print out of these images be used for commercial purposes. It is acceptable for you to print out these images for your personal use.  "

There are also several other related FAQ (frequently asked questions) on this topic. You might also refer to them for related issues...

1) http://www.snazaroo.us/faqcopyright.htm Can we paint copyrighted faces?
2) http://www.snazaroo.us/faqpermission.htm  Getting permission to post a photo of a child that you paint.
3) http://www.snazaroo.us/faqphotos.htm What are the rules for submitting photos?

Keep in mind... when you submit a photo to the SNAZAROO web site you are openly giving permission for others to print out the photos for their personal use. Generally this means they might copy and paste your design to a page that they might print out to put in their personal photo binder. They then use it for children to select their faces from. No doubt, this is the most used form. They also take ideas that they like and repaint them as they seem fit, for their personal face painting. After all, this site is created for the sharing of ideas and there is no greater resource for face painters.

What they can not do, is use these photos for commercial purposes. Allow me to define "commercial purposes". This means they can not post this to any other website without permission. It also means that they may not use your image in any format where they can charge for your photo. Examples of this would be printing the image to paper or a disk and then selling the disk or printed article.

When you submit a photo to the SNAZAROO site you are saying that we can use your photo on our web site as long as we want. Regardless of this, you still technically "OWN" the photo. You, of course, can use your photo in anyway you want. You can even sell your image to others. We are even willing to later remove or change the information on your photo as long as you pay the administrative fees as agreed (see http://www.snazaroo.us/faqcharge.htm ).

We get ongoing requests for people to use your photos and we ATTEMPT to connect those that wish to use your photos, with the artist. This is helped when you add your e-mail or web link. Since it is YOUR photo we can not give someone the right to use your photo. If we can not get in contact with you, we simply tell the individual or company that they may not use the photo without your written permission.

If you have your image posted on your web site or on another web site (with permission), make sure it clearly notes... "these photo images are protected by copyright and may NOT be used with out the written permission of the artist in any way, shape or form."

Even with all of that said... people both with innocent intentions, as well as those with devious intentions, take photos from your site, as well as this site, without permission. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the internet. With all of this said, there are things that can be done to regain control over these images. THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY TO FIGHT THESE ISSUES IS THE OWNER OF THE PHOTO. I guess the good news is through the discussion list for face painters ( see http://www.snazaroo.us/email.htm ) this is spotted and via the network and individuals at SNAZAROO the owner is alerted. When this happens, YOU have a legal right to ask them to remove the image from their site. We suggest you start off being nice and move toward the aggressive if necessary. Here are some suggestions on what to do, in order, when you spot your images, on another web site.

1) Identify specifically the image and keep notes. For example... right click on the image on the site and see what they are naming the photo. Write down their full URL (web link). Print out their web site where your photo is posted.
2) Identify a contact point from their website. This generally is in the form of a e-mail contact or webmaster link. If there is a name make sure you write it down.
3) Identify were on your website or the SNAZAROO site the image is located as well as the notice of copyright. Note each specifically.
4) Write an e-mail to the individual. Tell them specifically that you are the owner of the image. Give them contact information so the person can reach you. Give them a realistic time period for them to remove the images. MAKE SURE THEY REMOVE THE IMAGE FROM THEIR WEBSITE AS WELL AS THEIR WEB PAGE. Ask them nicely to remove the image. Here is a suggested e-mail letter...

"To whom it may concern:

On your website at http://www.theirsite.com/pagethree.htm you have a image of a butterfly identified as image butterfly040211.jpg that is my photo. I own the sole rights to that photo as it is a copyrighted image. You can see it posted on my website at http://www.mywebsite.com identified as image butterfly.jpg. You can also see it on the SNAZAROO commercial site posted at http://www.snazaroo.us/butterflies/butterfly040211.jpg . The photo is posted to the SNAZAROO web site with my permission. You will note at both locations the text that states clearly that the image is protected by copyright and may not be used without the owner's written permission. You are in violation of that  copyright. That copyright is protected worldwide.

At this point I am asking you nicely to remove MY IMAGE from your site (in all forms) in the next 72 hour period. Again, you are in violation of copyright laws. I will check back on your site in 72 hours to see that this is done. When the image is removed I would appreciate an e-mail notice that the image has been removed.

Best regards,
Your Name

Almost always this works. Again, make sure you are very specific or you will have to go back and forth to secure the fact that the image is really yours.
5) If the image has not been removed then send an e-mail that states something like this...

"To whom it may concern:

I asked you on ENTER THE DATE by the attached e-mail to remove my copyrighted images from your site. I asked you to remove these in the nicest manner. You are in violation of copyright laws. The 72 hour period has passed. Either give me a reason why they have not been removed, tell me when they will be removed or remove them immediately. This is my formal second request which is being documented should I have to take legal action. Failure to comply can result in all of the following... 1) your website can be shut down due to copyright theft, 2) I can take you to court, 3) or both. Please respond to this e-mail before further action is taken."
6) If the image has not been taken down in another three days (72 hours). Then I suggest you send a third e-mail with the wording of your choice.
7) If no action has been taken then send all of your previous e-mails to the SNAZAROO list moderator. They will make several attempts on your behalf. Be patient. They have to work this into their schedule. You might not be their top priority.
8) If after two weeks nothing happens then my suggestion is the moderator tell the list of the breach. Then the list unitedly e-mail the individual asking for the images to be removed. Surprisingly this often works as they take down the e-mail just to shut everybody up. Laugh if you want, but this does work. It boils down to the "squeaky wheel theory".
9) If after another two weeks nothing happens, then send it on to me and I'll address it. I will tend to be more forceful. Even this does not guarantee anything. Since we do not own the photo it can get sticky. None-the-less so far we have a track record of 100% success. Val Lampkin who was the "photo queen" was a master on this. In my opinion, once they know you are serious, they tend to take it down. Sometimes it does have to get nasty. We have successfully shut down sites of those that violated the copyright law. We know people in the industry where this is their specialty. In addition we have won financial judgments on individuals and companies where they took photos from the SNAZAROO site and printed them in books illegally. So far, so good. I do think we can help but in the end, the primary responsibility is that of the owner of the photos. If it ends up that a decision has to be made to take the issue through the court system this will be the decision of the owner of the photo and not SNAZAROO. We can not go to court and fight every photo theft. We need to be realistic here. We will help but the PRIMARY BURDEN is yours.

For the record... this is the letter that we send to them on our first attempt...

"It has been brought to my attention that you have posted photos to your web site that come from http://www.snazaroo.us . Please note these photos are proprietary and are protected by international copyright laws. It clearly says on the web pages at http://www.snazaroo.us and http://www.snazaroo.us/photos.htm

"Text and photographic images copyright (c) Snazaroo and may not be copied or used without written permission. All photos used on this web site are used with permission of the artist. You may not post them to another web site unless you have the written permission of the noted painter. Neither may any print out of these images be used for commercial purposes. It is acceptable for you to print out these images for your personal use."
This is our first attempt to contact you. Please know at this point we are asking you in the nicest way to do one of the following....
1) please remove these photos within the next 72 hour period
2) or immediately provide us proof that you have legitimately received permission from the artist to use these photos
3) or contact each of the artists immediately to receive permission. You need to copy us on each and every e-mail. Documented proof on rights to use the photo must be received for each photo within one week or you must remove the photo until you have secured permission.
We will check your site again to ensure the images have been removed.
As an alternative, we have one more suggestion. You are welcome to take these same designs, you have posted and re-paint them on other children and then retake the photos. This way the images are yours and you are not in violation of international copyright laws. If you do not have a digital camera or a computer scanner you can even take photos, send them to us and we will scan them for you. We will do this and e-mail the images to you AT NO CHARGE. In the meantime you need to remove the current photos.
Please respond to this e-mail within twenty-four hours to prevent further action.
We try to handle copyright breaches in a friendly manner. In the past we have taken abusers of copyright to our attorneys, shut down their web sites and even won financial judgments. We are not saying this to be threatening. We are only saying this because we want you to understand that we are very serious about protecting the copyrights of those who so generously share their free photos to the free SNAZAROO web site.
The SNAZAROO web site, the photo pages, the frequently asked questions and the "discussion list for face painters, beginner to professional to discuss the art and craft of face painting" truly offer the WORLD'S BEST FREE RESOURCE FOR FACE PAINTERS. Please work with us to keep this site up and free for the world by not abusing international copyright laws.
Best regards,
Gary Cole

This is a nice approach in our opinion. It seems to work. We get more aggressive from there. Lets just hope that between you the owner of the image and the resources noted above... that we can retain our 100% success rate. I hope we can do this in a friendly manner. Like I said at the start, some people take photos fairly innocently thinking they are open for the public domain. Many images are.

Gary Cole



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