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20 November 2008


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................ How come that a attaches all his grades, mba, masters, phd, kindergarten diplomas as part of his "outstanding" resume could be so DUMB to bypass copyright laws?.. Geez.. well his next diploma should be something to learn about copyrights ;)...

Truly sad that these people think photos are to be used because they want to, if I were you I would send him a nice bill for the 6,000 times the photo has been showing in that site ;).

Tom (Achillies875)

hahahaha i didn't realize that you edited the photo he linked. I thought you edited the screenshot.
That's ingenious :D


Kind of mean? You should have done worse. :)

C Weeks

many times bloggers think "if it's out there, i can use it" because they think there's no "commercial value" involved in their use.

not only ... MOST of the time they don't even give credit to the photographer or graphic artist or whatever they felt like posting to their blog.

honestly, when i've found out about improper usage i've sent an email and they've removed what they posted. there's one blogger out there who NEVER complied.

what's crazy is that i find out about a lot through strategic google alerts ... and there's a lot. those are the hits i get just by the inclusion of certain parameters. i'm sure there are hits out there for my work which don't have me tagged in some way.

did you email the guy?

just so you know: you'll never get money out of any of these people. if, in fact, you do get some kind of consideration, your efforts will cost more than you collect.

Stewart Bywater

Hi Thorsten,

sorry to hear about that injustice. I used to (foolishly) post my music photos on Myspace at 800x600, 72 dpi. I couldn't believe it when I opened a magazine and saw them reproduced inside (some of them quite large, and not looking very high quality). Well, it actually happened again, and then the same magazine used more of my pictures without my permission (I had never even contacted or been contacted by them). This time, I had supplied some shots to the band, free of charge, under the condition that they ask me before each time they are published, and that they are always credited with my copyright info, which I provided. The magazine had used them in an advert to promote a concert they were playing at. Well.... this Hallowe'en, I met the editor of this magazine (by chance.. she didn't know who I was (or that I work for a real magazine) and was very rude to me. When I asked her about the photos, she started to get very defensive, saying that it's not her fault, it is, in fact mine, or at the very least the band's. She then went on to say how lucky I was, and that plenty of photographers are queuing up to shoot for her mag.

I think I might send her a bill as well, and one for damages caused to my earnings and reputation (by not putting my name on them, not paying me, and using shitty, stolen low res. shots).

These people deserve to be taught a lesson. If you stole a car, you'd go to prison, and plenty of photos are worth more than a car, (not mine! Haha!) so.... why is it better to steal an image?

Sorry about my ramblings, but I only got home from work at 0100hrs, (10 minutes ago), and I'd been there since 0800 hrs yesterday, so I hope it makes sense!

Goodnight! S.

Brian Webb

I have a few photos that have been used as background images on myspace pages. I added a small watermark to images that were leeched from my site (G2 is great at this).

It was a really small watermark.

And within a day most had stopped.

If I had been in a better mood I might have just replaced the photos with midget bestiality porn or something. Maybe next time.


I disallow deep linking to my website from most everywhere. In fact, I permit from some sites, implicitly disallowing from all others.

Sam Oksner

Well played sir, image theft is just that, theft. Photographers make money by selling images in the same way coca-cola makes money selling sodas. It's a shame, but you definitely taught him a lesson (hopefully)


I very occasionally use other people's photos on my website. I think I have one photo where I haven't asked permission and that is because I can't find the person's contact details but I have made it very clear who the photo was taken by. See here if interested, it's the last photo.

I think this is OK as my website does not carry any adverts and is in no way used to generate profit.

If I was the author of the blog using your picture, I'd at least credit the photographer at the end of the entry.

Hotlinking directly to your hosted image is ridiculous, though. Blogs should rely on other websites as little as possible. By that I mean, say you closed your website. His blog would now have a broken image link. Not good.

Seamus Travers

Well done Thorsten, it's amazing that these type's of people have never heard of copyright law, is it ignorance or stupidity.
Recently a client of mine said to me that they will buy the smallest print photo from me, then scan and print larger ones themselves. They were shocked when I explained to them, such actions are illegal.

Mark Greenmantle

Personally I'd have been more harsh in my newly uploaded image, not to the point of bestiality porn as mentioned in an earlier reply but something legal but embarrassing that would have resulted in his reputation being slammed very quickly.


That's suppoed to be 'no way' not 'now way'.


When they hotlink any of my images, I always have this type of fun ;)

Any pointers when dealing (internationally) with those who don´t hotlink but instead serve the image themselves?

I have these italian assholes that first were hotlinking and when called upon the saved and serve it themselves (it was an old image prior to me starting the watermarking).


Its funny how certain people would consciously or unconsciously make this kind of decision, thinking that taking a picture from someone and using it on their website is OK. It reminds of a situation I had to deal with not to long ago. As a graphic designer you would not believe how many people ask me to work for free... their argument, "yeah but you look like you’re having fun, so I figured you wouldn’t mind doing it for free". Try pulling that off with a lawyer... and if it works send me his phone number please.

There’s this notion, I find, that certain professions are not really "professions" to certain individuals. I’ve had arguments about how much I charge with some very good friends of mine. They think its crazy that a freelance designer or photographer would make as much or more than a lawyer or a dentist. Yeah you think its crazy?? Do it yourself, then see how you manage to pull it off.

In your case, he just decided to help himself to your photography because... well because of course you wouldn’t mind right? You’re just doing it for fun! :) I hate that kind of reasoning and I’m very happy you did what you did to his site.

Christian Rollinson

very good thorsten, very good. theft like this happens all too often, many times without the shooter even knowing about the image being used for profit halfway around the world. hopefully in the future, some kind of standard watermark code will be built into website creation software prohibiting such theft.

Thorsten Overgaard


I just now discovered that I actually didn't answer any of you, so on top of a belatedly sorry for that, an update to the story:

The Danish Press Photographer Association also on their website brought the story and in a matter of a week Dave Keating removed not only mine, but several of the stolen pictures.

I never heard from him though I'm sure he heard of me. I'm not a big believer in revenge or anything, but note with some satisfaction that when you search for Dave Keating, Google will display this story as no 10 and 15 in their rank. If not for anything else, it's part of the track record one will get when searching. And I guess thats fair and objective in some fashion.

Thanks for all the comments!

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