Copyright Infringement

Posted: December 7, 2016 in Uncategorized
After my post yesterday talking about how I don’t like to clutter up my images with a watermark, and that a watermark is not a guarantee that it will stop someone from stealing my image, there was some discussion on the theft of images and copyright infringement.
Photographers get very upset when someone uses their image without permision.  Copyright infringement is not only happening to you and me, it happens in the music business, the movie business, and knock offs of products sold on the street of major cities.
Let’s get real, we all have, or know of someone that has rented a movie and made a copy for themselves to view later for free. Made copies of a music CD and passed it on to friends or family members.  Napster gave away millions and millions of free music downloads right out in the open for everyone to see, and it took the music industry tons of money and lawsuits to finally stop it.
My wife told me of knock offs of high end purses and watches being sold right out in the open on the streets in New York when she visited there a few years ago.
This is all copyright infringement, but yet good honest people doing the infringements don’t really think they are doing anything wrong.  So why should we be surprised when someone uses one of our images, this kind of stuff has been going on forever.
I would bet that some of the photographers that are so upset by someone using one of their images, has committed one of these infringements I just mentioned, and didn’t think it was hurting anyone.
I know that some of the people that buy my e-books or videos will make a copy and pass it on to their photo buddies, it’s going to happen the same as it happens to all artists, musicians, movie makers, product makers, it’s reality.
So I know this stuff goes on and someone somewhere may use one of my images, and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, it’s just part of being and artist, musician, movie makes, product maker.


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  1. Well said Mike – there are far worse things in this world to worry about ….

  2. Mike Moats says:

    Yes indeed Eileen.

  3. Roxana Whitt says:

    The amount of money, time and energy it would take to go after someone even when your image is watermarked is fairly prohibitive. I wish anyone good luck with that notion. And I agree a lot of watermarks aren’t very attractive. Nevertheless, I often put a small signature in the corner of mine when I’m sharing just on social media, because If that image is shared by someone else I’m proud to have my name go with it. I appreciate the thoughts on both sides of that personal choice. But having said that, I can understand why someone might be a bit unhappy to see their stolen image making a lot of money for a foreign corporation somewhere. I’m not saying it happens, but I can’t say it doesn’t. I’m just not convinced a watermark would protect against that.

    • Mike Moats says:

      Roxana, you are right as in most situations it’s not worth the time, energy, or money, to sue someone for copyright infringement if there was no monetary gain. I’ve talked about this issue with many attorneys that have attended my workshops and everyone of them said with most cases it would cost more in lawyer’s fees then you could recoup. If someone steals your image an is using it online, you can always contact the server that the person is posting it on and tell them there is a copyright infringement and they will remove the image.

  4. says:

    Well said Mike. I build ship models and fabricate model parts. I also know that many of my parts have been copied as I see them on several models and I know I only sold one of each, but to a certain degree I don’t lose any sleep and credit it with their thinking my parts are good enough to copy. Jerry Julian Olympia WA

    • Mike Moats says:

      Jerry, yes sometimes you just got to let that stuff go and not stress over it, to hard in most cases to fight it.

  5. I had an image stolen on FB by someone I added as a “friend” for a game I play. She was using it as her profile picture. Knowing that this happens all the time (and I know I’ve done it), I did explain that it was copyright infringement, that I would have prefered she asked for permission or at least credited me when she used my image. She said she had no idea I had made the image and apologized. She never removed the image, but commented on her page that I was the creator. I must admit I felt like something had been stolen from me a little bit, but really it doesn’t matter. My files are too small for anyone to do must in print form, but I kind of like the thought that some of my images might be floating around the internet highway. It doesn’t matter to me if not everyone with know I made the image. I make images for people to enjoy and that’s what she did. 🙂

    • Mike Moats says:

      Sue, I feel that way, if one of my images gets out there without my name on it, it’s not that big of a deal if people see it and don’t know who took it, and it’s not like I’m gonna make any money off of it, as I haven’t sold one image this year from my website or from any of the social media sites I’m on.

  6. Jeri Mearns, Mill Valley, CA says:

    I agree, at least for now. I don’t know if any of my images have been stolen, and like you, I don’t lose any sleep over it. I guess if I found out someone was making a lot of money off something I created, I might think differently, but how likely is that? LOL.

    Thanks, Mike.

    • Mike Moats says:

      Jeri, yes if some large company stole an image and used it in some major advertisement campaign, I suppose you would go after them, but if you don’t have your image register with the library of congress than your settlement money would be way less, so then it may not even be worth going after if your image is not registered, and how many people actually have their images registered, very few people do.

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