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Sep 14, 2011 22:18:18   #
josoIII
 
people posting images here, and are concerned about what is known as intellectual property, the possession of your images, have you ever found out how to delete them from this site?

you may want to consider things like that, more than how to put water marks and what are copyright laws.

Beware.


Terms of Use

OWNERSHIP OF WEBSITE OR RIGHT TO USE, SELL, PUBLISH CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE

The website and its contents are owned or licensed by the website. Material contained on the website must be presumed to be proprietary and copyrighted. Visitors have no rights whatsoever in the site content. Use of website content for any reason is unlawful unless it is done with express contract or permission of the website.

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Sep 14, 2011 23:07:58   #
josoIII
 
you would not have caught the fish if he kept his mouth closed...
the early bird gets the worm, the second mouse gets the cheese...

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Sep 15, 2011 07:54:42   #
josoIII
 
33 people have looked at this "0" response, is anyone here really a photographer? or are most of you online source collectors for the news media and product research advocates?

If I am the only one who is curious about this issue, that you do not allow posters to delete their own photos, hmmmm.

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Sep 15, 2011 08:07:03   #
emmyweez Loc: Niceville, Florida
 
Ok, saw your post and have been clicking all the links to see if there are any that will let you delete your photos and I am not seeing any!! I don't think this site is out to use anyone's photos but that being said you have made a good point. Maybe you should contact admin about it and see what they say? Your post does get the mind thinking though!!

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Sep 15, 2011 08:21:04   #
JimH Loc: Western South Jersey, USA
 
josoIII wrote:
people posting images here, and are concerned about what is known as intellectual property, the possession of your images, have you ever found out how to delete them from this site?

you may want to consider things like that, more than how to put water marks and what are copyright laws.

Beware.

Those are fairly boiler-plate terms of use on any website such as UH that uses forum software. It is really interpreted to to mean that you can not use the website operational software without permission, nor any other 'content'. Since some of the content on this site is actually linked in from outside sites, it should cover them too.

Most intellectual property law protects the ORIGINATOR of a piece of work, regardless of where s/he may display it, UNLESS that originator has expressly released his/her ownership on a piece-by-piece basis. I do not believe the owners of the UH would have a firm legal footing to take an image that was uploaded to the site for review and comment, and claim ownership rights. I'm not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV. If you are overly concerned, contact competent legal assistance yourself.

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Sep 15, 2011 09:28:49   #
josoIII
 
JimH wrote:
josoIII wrote:
people posting images here, and are concerned about what is known as intellectual property, the possession of your images, have you ever found out how to delete them from this site?

you may want to consider things like that, more than how to put water marks and what are copyright laws.

Beware.

Those are fairly boiler-plate terms of use on any website such as UH that uses forum software. It is really interpreted to to mean that you can not use the website operational software without permission, nor any other 'content'. Since some of the content on this site is actually linked in from outside sites, it should cover them too.

Most intellectual property law protects the ORIGINATOR of a piece of work, regardless of where s/he may display it, UNLESS that originator has expressly released his/her ownership on a piece-by-piece basis. I do not believe the owners of the UH would have a firm legal footing to take an image that was uploaded to the site for review and comment, and claim ownership rights. I'm not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV. If you are overly concerned, contact competent legal assistance yourself.
quote=josoIII people posting images here, and are... (show quote)


Somewhat reassuring you believe they will not use your images for their benefit, I still find it odd, they take possession of your files and links, and you have no option to remove them.

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Sep 15, 2011 09:48:16   #
emmyweez Loc: Niceville, Florida
 
I too, find it a little odd. Most sites do allow you the option to delete all/any content posted. This site seems to be very friendly though.

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Sep 15, 2011 09:52:24   #
arphot Loc: Massachusetts
 
The files on this site are of low resolution and couldn't be used for much. I think most of us keep our originals backed up (for proof of ownership if need be) and are willing to take the chance of one of the snapshots here being used for someone elses purposes. This is the entire internet. You're right to add caution and get people thinking. We have some newbies afloat here on the SSUH and they are absorbing all sorts of information. Thanks for bringing an important subject to light.

However . . . if you hotlink them from say Flickr . . . you should be able to delete them. ;)

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Sep 15, 2011 11:26:02   #
Admin
 
JimH is right. None of the worst-case scenarios one might imagine reading those disclaimers are enforceable in court.

Quote:
The website and its contents are owned or licensed by the website.


This is a 100% factually correct statement. Every single piece of content here is either owned by me or licensed to me by you for the purpose of displaying it here.

There is an even "scarier" statement shown on the registration page:

Quote:
By posting on this website, you grant the administration and the owners of this site a worldwide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licenseable and transferable license to use in any way, reproduce and distribute your posts and prepare derivative works of your posts without any express permission or compensation.


Which basically means I can resize images, compile the digest and produce other kinds of derivative works.

This protects me from someone posting a picture, and then suing me while claiming that I owe them money for displaying their work in a way in which they didn't think it would be displayed; such as in reduced size or shown to browsers from Indiana, or some other ridiculous claim like that.

So the disclaimer is intentionally broad to cove me.

At the same time, I wouldn't be able to take your picture and sell or "sub-license" it to be printed in some magazine as if it were my own, because there isn't a judge out there who would support it.

Quote:
Most sites do allow you the option to delete all/any content posted.


That's not really true. Most forums don't allow removing your own posts or even editing them after some interval (like 10 minutes, or one hour on UHH).

This is a forum, so it needs to be run like a forum.

It's true that most image collection/portfolio/etc. sites allow you to manage your content (it would be weird if they didn't), but not forums. And I have no intention of turning this website into a portfolio management platform.

On a forum, if you delete one user's topic, you also end up deleting a bunch of replies posted by the other users. So every time a large number of topics is removed because of a "please delete everything I posted here" request made by one person, you end up deleting posts made by hundreds of other people.

And then, a lot of those people contact you to ask why their post counts are down or why they can no longer find an answer they've "spent so much time researching and writing."

So it becomes customer service nightmare.

My official position, if you will, is this: if you don't want it shown here indefinitely, then don't post it here in the first place. And the disclaimers are there specifically to support it.

It might sound harsh, but I've been running forums for a long time. And I came to the conclusion that it's better to do things this way for a multitude of long-term reasons. With this being a new forum, some of the reasons might not make sense yet, but I don't expect it to be any different from what I've managed before.

Of course, in cases when there is a legitimate reason for deletion, I usually delete the content. Most of the time, it means deleting just one or two posts.

But if a user wants me to delete "everything" because he is having a bad day or just out of spite, then it will depend solely on how much time and patience I have to deal with the fallout at that particular point it time.

Sometimes, I might delete the content right away. Other times, I would delete it within a week or when time permits. Yet, in some instances, I would say I won't do it unless he/she files a complaint in federal court and gets an injunction compelling me to delete the content.

I know how it sounds, but that's how it is.

There is another way to look at it.

In an abstract form, there is an unspoken deal being made between a user and a forum owner. It's true for every forum out there. The deal is: the user supplies the content while the forum owner supplies the audience.

It's a one-to-one relationship extrapolated to all users.

People are social creatures. And as such, we all want our work to be seen, judged, and commended on, our ideas heard, and our opinions voiced.

(Heck, I set this forum up just so that I can talk to others about using my newly bought 7D.)

That's what a forum provides -- an opportunity for any given user to reach others.

At the same time, forums wouldn't exist if nobody posted anything. So a forum gets content, which in turn, helps attract more users, which in turn provides an even greater audience for each individual user's posts.

So if a user posts something, I run it in the digest, host it on the site, and try to give his/her post as much exposure as I can in the normal course of running the forum. I perform my end of the deal.

But if later on (when the post has faded away) the user wants me to remove the content for which I already supplied the audience, I feel like he/she isn't keeping up with his/her end of the deal. I can't undo all the eyeballs I've sent to that user's content, can I? And if I had a choice, I would much rather send people to some other user's posts, but there is no way to change the past. That's why I keep the content most of the time. It's more of an emotional thing that logical.

Besides, there are two ways to handle copyright issues. The right way and the wrong way. I'll post about it next, and will explain why all the talk about keeping or deleting content is purely emotional.

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Sep 15, 2011 11:42:39   #
josoIII
 
Thank you for the sincere response. you made some very valid points.

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Sep 15, 2011 11:50:32   #
emmyweez Loc: Niceville, Florida
 
Can I just say, and no offense intended or not trying to sound harsh myself but before you sign up for this site it does say if you do not agree to the terms or policies then do not use the site. If you feel your images were to be harmed or misused in any way then do not agree to the terms or post your images. Like I said, I am not trying to sound harsh, just don't know of another way to say it. I am a newbie on here and I love this place, you join because you want honest opinions and hope that you can learn new things along the way. Yet, like I said before, it was a good point to bring to light as some people may be a little worried about it.

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Sep 15, 2011 12:02:53   #
Admin
 
I'll talk about copyright in the US, as I don't know how it's done elsewhere.

But there is one important point to keep in mind:

While your work is protected the moment it's created, you can't really do anything substantial with that protection until you register your work with the Copyright Office by storing a copy at LOC.

Most people really don't realize it, but you can't actually sue anyone until you've filed for a registration.

Let's say you take a picture, post it online, and someone else grabs it and uses it in a poster which they later sell.

You want to sue, right? Great. But federal judges won't accept your complaint unless it's accompanied by a receipt from the Copyright office. That's in addition to proof that the work is yours.

So in order to sue, you would have to register your work even if it's at a later time, long after you've published it.

Let me repeat that again. You are protected the moment you take a picture. But you can't actually exercise that protection until you've registered your work with the Copyright Office.

For some reason, many people have a hard time grasping it. They either think that unless they register they aren't protected, or they think they can sue without registering. Both of those are false assumptions.

Since you have to register your work anyway (to sue), then you might as well register it while it's still unpublished.

Registering unpublished work has one major benefit aside from statutory damages. Registration of unpublished work is in itself proof of your ownership.

If you register your picture on, say, May 1, 2011, and the other party can't prove that they were in the possession of that picture prior to that date, then the judge would side with you. You won't need any additional proof to accompany the registration receipt.

So if you register your unpublished work, you can safely spread around not just thumbnails, but even original RAW files and not care about them being stolen. (As a matter of fact, you might hope they would get stolen and used by someone, preferably in a commercial way for a large company.)

I haven't filed any registrations in a long time, and when I did, I did it using postal service. But it is my understanding that the Copyright office accepts online registrations, and you can register thousands of images at once. So it's not that expensive.

This is the right way to deal with copyright. Now, let's briefly talk about the wrong way.

Embedding watermarks, EXIF data, printing and mailing envelopes to yourself via certified mail, getting affidavits from relatives, Flickr timestamps, etc. won't help you get your case accepted by a judge. It will be thrown out.

All of those things are nothing more than supporting evidence of your claim that the image is yours. And you will need them only if you register your work as published work at a later time just so that you can proceed with a lawsuit. But if you register your unpublished work, that's your evidence. And it is the strongest evidence a court would consider.

Additionally, if you don't register your work, but post it online, and later decide to sue someone over using it, then the most you could hope for is actual damages. And the burden of proving the amount would be on you. And the attorney fees aren't likely to be awarded. And... well it's as if you didn't really have any copyright protection at all.

Do you know why the cases where photographers get large compensations (with unregistered works) are so widely discussed? That's because they are so rare. Most of the time, authors/photographers don't get anything. And all their watermarks and EXIF data, and whatever else aren't of any help.

So in the context of forums and photography, if you post something that you've already registered with the Copyright office, then you don't need to worry about anyone stealing your pictures. Be glad if they do. But if you didn't register, then you aren't losing anything because, frankly, you didn't have anything to begin with.

I know this is a downer, but that's the reality. Not many people (especially forum owners, especially in the photography niche) would lay it out like that, but that's the honest truth of how things are.

My personal take on this is not to bother with registrations. I simply post my photos. If something gets stolen, I'll be sad about that person/company ripping me off. But that's life.

So everyone needs to make a personal decision whether to register or not. Stick with it. And based on that decision, maintain the attitude towards image theft or even the forum posts.

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Sep 15, 2011 13:38:22   #
arphot Loc: Massachusetts
 
At the end of the day . . . we had fun didn't we? Admin, my response above mentions the use of hot links; does that count as the same as "posting to this site"? Do you/your site have reservations or issues about hot linking?

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Sep 15, 2011 14:35:33   #
josoIII
 
emmyweez wrote:
Can I just say, and no offense intended or not trying to sound harsh myself but before you sign up for this site it does say if you do not agree to the terms or policies then do not use the site. If you feel your images were to be harmed or misused in any way then do not agree to the terms or post your images. Like I said, I am not trying to sound harsh, just don't know of another way to say it. I am a newbie on here and I love this place, you join because you want honest opinions and hope that you can learn new things along the way. Yet, like I said before, it was a good point to bring to light as some people may be a little worried about it.
Can I just say, and no offense intended or not try... (show quote)


You joined this mans Army, deal with it...lol...

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Sep 15, 2011 14:50:46   #
sinatraman Loc: Vero Beach Florida, Earth,alpha quaudrant
 
first off admin I want to personaly thank you for responding to the concerns of your loyal members. Having come from Popphoto.com where even a direct act of God couldn't get Stan H the online editor to visit his own website, it is refreasghing to see a site administrator actively involved with his site. It is encouraging to know you (whose name we don't know, I shall call you number 6) a reference to fans of the prisoner. and Tim Walker over at Photograpycorner.com care enough about their websites to listen to their people and be involved. I cant stress enough how rare that is and how much morale building that does. Now to the important question that only you can answer number 6, WHAT'S WITH THE NAME UGLY HEDGEHOG? what do you have against those cute furry creatures? Did a hedgehog steal your lunch money. I represent the hedgehog anti defamation league and we demand answers 8-) :thumbup:

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