Stolen photography and what to do about it

My photos were stolen

My photography was stolen and used as a marketing tool for someone else’s business. It was used on a website to sell wedding  photography in Pennsylvania. He also stole photographs from other photographers in Melbourne, Sydney, and the US, no doubt expecting to get away with it because of the distance. I’m not at all fluent or educated on copyright but I did succeed in having my photography removed from the thief’s website and face book page. I made this video to share my story so that no one feels helpless to defend their work, and hopefully inspire photographers to pull together as a community and stamp out this type of fraud

 

Preventing photo theft

Some things to consider to protect from photo theft are as follows. Display with flash so people can’t right click and save. Watermark your images, even a small one in the corner will deter a lazy photo thief. display smaller images or strangely cropped images that would not suit anyone else.

Copyright theft fight back

I experienced emotional distress and took it very personally to the point where I became unfortunately preoccupied with defending my photographs. My photography has been stolen before but never has the credit for my work been stolen so this was personal.

The hurt package

The hurt package is what I called it when I pooled all my research, tools and information about the theft. I named it the hurt package because of my intention to retaliate.

1* A cease and desist letter is explained in this wiki listing and we should all expect to need one sooner or later. Cese and desist

2* Find other photography your thief is using and Perform a reverse image search as demonstrated in my video. If you find the thief has stolen from other photographers, you should contact them and pool your resources, weather they be research or legal advice or just support. The best way to pool your resources is to share an online document which the other victims can ad to.

3* To prevent your thief’s website coming up in search results you can ask google to remove your stolen photography from the google index  in it’s place will be a google declaration or removed content.

4* Petition the thief’s web host to remove the content. Someone helped me do this, if you know a good way to do this please comment. A quick search found this tool http://www.whoishostingthis.com it looks a bit spammy but does work. I found a procedure of complaint on the web host’s website but it fell on deaf ears and they were giving me the run-around. I think the best course of action would be to also send an old fashioned hard copy in the post with a signature

5* Consider legal action if you still don’t have satisfaction since the rest of my tips could be called harassment, you don’t want to be a sued victim.

6* Find out everything about the thief and their business, all addresses and phone numbers and use them. Find everywhere the business is listed and look for local directories where you can leave a review, and tell your story.

7* If someone is still using your stolen photography , now the gloves come off. Find them on social networks and contact people in their social circles and attempt to publicly shame the photo thief.

8* Compete for google search rank for the thief’s name by making blog posts or you tube videos with the thief’s name in the title. I didn’t have to do this and would advise caution no matter how justified you are. Remember you have to finish what you start.