View Full Version : List postings and copyright

D. Kevin Gibson
29-Jul-2004, 18:59
Recently a couple of us have come across posts from the list copied to others weblogs and other sites. I know from discussions (my own posts don't happen to be in this example) that there are some who are unhappy and uncomforatble with this, but don't want to make a fuss.

One example in case is the weblog of LF list member Frank Petronio - example below:


Personally I have two problems with this

First, it is expressely against the List Rules :

"Terms and Conditions of Use Intellectual Property Rights By submitting materials to this site, you you are representing that are you are the owner, or are authorized by the owner to do so. As a consequence, all the material posted in this site is assumed copyrighted by their respective authors, and shouldn't be reproduced without permission and proper credit by any means, including framing. The site doesn't claim copyright to any material submitted by readers. However, by submitting materials to this site, you grant a revocable royalty-free licence to the maintainers of this site to publish that material on the largeformatphotography.info site. No other rights are granted, and this licence might be terminated at any time by written request of the owner. The site will not use your materials without proper attribution to you, nor will it edit them in a way that would misrepresent your intent."

No permission seems to have been sought for such use.

Secondly, I note Petronio lists on the portfolio part of his site that all images are copyright 2003 Frank Petronio. Well, he and others (especially those who are photographers) should be well aware that a persons written words are also copyright protected. It matters not if they are written in a public forum, newspaper article or letter - they have the same level of portection as his photogorpahs do. As such, he and others, if they wish to quote someones post wholesale, need to seek permission to do so.

This is additionally laid out as the case in the terms and conditions of use of this LF list

Jorge Gasteazoro
29-Jul-2004, 19:13
I am one of the participants in that thread and I absolutely have no objection about him copying my post. It was a funny thread and I see no problem with him posting it. Besides this is a photo.net thread not a LF thread. You can tell by the way the names are placed. I do not reveal any trade secrets, sensitive information or chemical formulas on how to make nitroglycerin in these forums, so what ever I post here or anywhere else can be copied without my consent since it has little relevance other than to pass the time and see what other photographers are doing.

Sal Santamaura
29-Jul-2004, 19:17
I have frequently been appalled at the casual way in which some photographers copy and post the writings of others, be they other bulletin board postings or newspaper/magazine/book articles, on these boards. One can often read concerns about image copyright on the same boards. The connection seems to escape such copyright violators.

My usual response has been to privately (via email) notify the maintainer/moderator of whatever bulletin board hosts a violation that a bit of thread editing is in order.

Henry Ambrose
29-Jul-2004, 19:54
Kevin, I'd say that if you are injured you should seek satisfaction from the scoundrel who committed the offense, on the field of honor. Large caliber pistols at seven paces is my suggestion.

Seriously -- if someone quotes you and you object why not write them directly? If that fails then contact the server owner regarding any illegal use of your creation. Those would seem to be the first steps to take, would they not?

I know I'm quoted on several sites around the web and unless they were using my words commercially, or changing my words or not attributing it to me properly, or causing me harm, I guess I don't mind. It seems that if I'm willing to write something on a public forum it might get spread around and certainly might get read by just about anyone.

On the other hand, if I had spent considerable time or effort creating something (like an article or ad copy or a photo or such) that was stolen I'd surely pursue the copyright violators -and I would have satisfaction.

In your example I can't imagine anyone objecting, and if they did, it seems to me they should take it up with Frank. I didn't see your name there. Are you posting this for some shy third party? Maybe I don't "get" why you're posting this?

Frank Petronio
29-Jul-2004, 20:15
Kevin, you had to do some serious lurking about my site to find that old page, which only a dozen or so friends have ever hit on purpose. It is so buried, I've forgotten where it is. And, yes, I am guilty of publishing copyrighted material from photo.net from a thread that I started. Most people, at least those with a sense of humor, found it funny. If Brian Mottershead of photo.net has a problem with it, I'll remove it. And I suspect that you'll be sending him an email to tattle on me...

What bothers me is that fact that you went on a personal witchhunt after I dared to challenge your opinions in a civil and polite manner on this forum (with no bad language, no personal insults, I laid my POV out quite simply.) If you're looking to "get even" with me by snooping around and investigating me, it's a free world. But I do not like this invasion of my privacy - frankly, it gives me the creeps. And, what's more, it's lame. I can't stop you from from stalking me, but this is petty. Get a life.

I'd greatly appreciate it if you would please leave me alone.

If the moderator would please kill this thread I'd also appreciate it.

tim atherton
29-Jul-2004, 21:31

It isn't hard to find - someone else had recently pointed it out to me - you only have to be google searching for certain LF stuff and it comes up very easily (and surprisingly) - no digging needed.

In this instance I wasn't personally to concerned - short phrases aren't copyrightable and that's all I had in there. But I know at least two other people who are somewhat concerned by this kind of action.

I find a surprising number of photographers who are cavalier and somewhat hypocritical in this area - they will scream blue murder on protection of the copyright of their own images - but don't seem to bother about with someone else's words. It is wrong, it is copyright violation - don't cry about it - just don't do it.

I assume Frank would have absolutely not problem with me posting some of his image son a few websites without asking him about it?

actually Kevin, you managed to quote the LF T&C, not the photo.net T&C. These are what were violated in this case (and I think you kinda posted it to the wrong forum - but hey, maybe there's other stuff from here on the weblog...) - it doosn't really matter which of the two lists - you still violated the terms of use:

"Prohibited Usage of the Site The content and materials available through the Site are the property of photo.net or its licensors (the users), and most of the materials are protected by copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws. Furthermore, photo.net has expended its resources to gather these materials and to publish them or to make them available to its users. You agree not to reproduce or distribute, or cause to be reproduced or distributed, any material that you retrieved from the Site, without the express prior permission of both photo.net and, in the case of copyrighted materials, the copyright owner, except for such reproduction as occurs in the normal course of reading or viewing the materials using a Web browser. Requests for permission to reproduce or distribute materials retrieved from the the Site should be sent both to photo.net and the original author of those materials. You acknowledge that photo.net and the copyright holders will be significantly damaged by Your violation of this section in a manner that would require immediate injunctive relief. You are not relieved of your duties under this section because material was posted anonymously or under a pseudonym, because you cannot locate the copyright holder, because the materials are in the public domain, because the materials are available on any other web site or in some other form, or because you have the permission of either the copyright holder or photo.net, but not both. "

Paul Kierstead
29-Jul-2004, 23:37
Hell, I remember that thread. Damn funny stuff.

Easily solved "problem", Frank, just link to http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=006Ivu

instead where it resides in full view, under the category of Space Cadet Threads :D



30-Jul-2004, 01:05
For God's sake anyone who has a problem with reproduction of THAT needs to seriously lighten up. With a billion serious/interesting/important things in the world, why waste time worrying about that? How utterly ridiculous.

Jean-Louis Llech
30-Jul-2004, 02:05
Mr D. Kevin Gibson,
are you a lawyer, a lawyer or maybe a lawyer ?
You write the "List Rules" as if it was the Holy Bible !

You are maybe right about what you wrote. But IMO that's not the question.
The topic was funny, everybody answered in the same way, and nobody was insulted. I was also quoted in this thread, nobody asked me the permission to use what I wrote, and I don't care !
The thread was integrally quoted, and no answers were used in another meaning than the original one. No "wordjacking" !
Do you consider that you have been injured, and that you are a victim of a word robbery ?
Don't you have anything more interesting to do than waisting a lot of time inventing such quibbles ?

Paul Kierstead
30-Jul-2004, 03:32
Curious. The following names all have 'cross over' on email address:

(1) Mark Gatehouse (2) Donal Taylor (3) D. Kevin Gibson

Where (1) and (2) have used the same e-mail and (2) and (3) have used the same email at the minimum. There may be other connections.

Now, in the photo.net version of this, Mark Gatehouse replies to the thread that Mr. Gibson starts.

Naturally there could be a data error here or any one of these people could have appropriated the email address, but this apparent deception seems serious enough to warrant pointing out.

Henry Ambrose
30-Jul-2004, 05:16
(1) Mark Gatehouse (2) Donal Taylor (3) D. Kevin Gibson

Are these all the same person posting under different names? Who is this guy?

David Van Gosen
30-Jul-2004, 06:25
You're quoting that thread as an example of copyright violation? Please. It's a lame joke, not a technical breakthrough or an artistic statement.

You're gonna have to try harder than that if you want to pick on Frank.

Paul Butzi
30-Jul-2004, 07:35
I don't see a whole lot of harm, here. Yes, it's a copyright violation, but it would be tough to prove damages. As a policy I'd suggest that Frank should choose another path in the future, but it's hard to see this as worth getting anyone's knickers in a knot.

That said, Frank writes "But I do not like this invasion of my privacy - frankly, it gives me the creeps."

Anyone who claims that pointing out to the world something you've published on your own website, on the WWW, is an 'invasion of privacy' is being a little unrealistic. If there's a more public place than the WWW, it's awfully tough to imagine. And putting the page in some backwater, difficult to navigate to place in your web site structure makes absolutely no difference at all to any search engine - if there's a link to the page anywhere on the WWW, the search engines will eventually find it, they don't care how buried the link is, nor do they care how old the page is.

If you don't want people looking at stuff on your website, I suggest you stop putting stuff in publicly readable pages there.

Dave Schneider
30-Jul-2004, 08:33
Invasion of Privacy? It disturbs me how corrupt our language has become. I don't see how viewing something posted on a web page and telling others about that web page is an invasion of privacy. Unless, Frank, you are claiming that someone broke through a firewall or in some way hacked into your computer. Invasion of privacy is a term, like censorship, that has no meaning anymore, because it is applied indiscriminately.

tim atherton
30-Jul-2004, 08:45
and then someone posts this over on photo.net

"Alfonse Deluer is an alias of Frank Petronio himself. I'm sure he would be too shy to disclose that by himself."

Alfonse Deluer was the initial poster in the lifted thread in question... curiouser and curiouser - maybe Frank is discussing it with himself?

Annie M.
30-Jul-2004, 09:41
Yikes!..... What the heck is going on..... I have received a sequence of notices from the photo.net robots that people are requesting my e-mail address from that site... I assume that it relates to this posting as I am one of the ever so clever people that has a guest appearance in Frank's weblog... and as such I am now perhaps suspect as being the shy off-forum sniveller that has been in 'discussions' with Mr. Gibson about this matter. I know this posting may be tedious and paranoid but I went through an 'incident' on another forum where my credibility ended up in the toilet and I don't want this to happen here as I value this resource and community.

Frank..... I encountered your web log the other day on a routine google search about focusing....and I know for certain that I was not stalking you but trying to discover what technique Adrian Bregazzi used in his landscape work..... So the web crawlers have indeed been through your site..... In fact you came up third in the search results.

Recently I have discovered myself on several sites where I have never been.... It is amazing what I get up to when I'm not around!..... This prompted me to send a note to one of my photopals (not Mr. Gibson) from this forum.... Here is the letter (I assume I can quote my own letter)....

"Hey XXXXX.... You are usually know about this kind of thing so I thought I'd ask you.... Recently I have found several of my postings and even entire threads that I have participated in from the forums appearing on web sites and weblogs.... for example here is a thread here that we both participated in on photo.net... http://www.frankpetronio.com/weblog/Pages/focus.html I don't see it as a big issue that people are clipping my drivel from the forums but I am considering starting my own weblog and I am wondering if people can for whatever reason abscond with entire pages of my (ever so brilliant!) blog and move it elsewhere on the web... any info or links about this issue would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks Annie....."

In reply my photopal mentioned that someone else had previously sent him the same link......this was the full extent of my participation in this matter and I just wanted to make it clear that I in no way condone 'outing' people in the manner that has occurred in this thread... I feel it would have served the community better to initiate a generic discussion about blogs and copyright and contact Mr. Petronio privately. Cheers, Annie.

Ralph Barker
30-Jul-2004, 10:07
Notwithstanding photo.net's far-reaching copyright language, I'm not sure that quoting a thread of discussion in a blog is clearly a copyright violation. It could just as easily be argued that such non-commercial use is "editorial" in nature, and thus exempt. Common Internet practices have certainly blurred the distinctions.

I'll also admit some confusion over the identities (and potential agendas) of (1) Mark Gatehouse (2) Donal Taylor (3) D. Kevin Gibson, as well. Absent some unexpressed agenda (i.e. "hidden"), I agree with Annie - it would be more appropriate to "initiate a generic discussion about blogs and copyright and contact Mr. Petronio privately" regarding his blog.

Michael E. Gordon
30-Jul-2004, 12:23
This is truly lame. It makes the digital vs. traditional threads on APUG look like good reading.

Go make some photographs.